For the past 3 years, I’ve been a using Things for Mac together with Things for iPhone companion app for managing my day-to-day tasks. In the past year, I’m starting to find the development pace of Things to be a little too slow for my tolerance.
The desktop application has a few serious short-falls (inflexibilities) that really limit the way one can organise tasks. For example, there isn’t a way to order sequential tasks except by creating a project. You can’t nest projects, neither can you arrange them as though they are tasks. From the way the company, CultureCode, functions, it seems unlikely that they will be rethinking the architecture of Things any time soon.
Another annoying thing about Things is that their sync solution between the desktop, iPhone, and iPad applications is extremely cumbersome. It requires the desktop application to be the gatekeeper and sync-hub of all other mobile devices, which is impractical in this day and age. Imposing such requirements to ensure data integrity (data loss do occur!) across three devices is ridiculous and renders the mobile devices useless once either of them have been out-of-sync. Their solution to this problem, in the form of Cloud Sync, has been in the works for almost 2 whole years! I’m finding it hard to justify waiting any further when competing products are beginning to surface, namely, OmniFocus and The Hit List.
For a moment in time, I did give OmniFocus a spin and found it overly complex, cluttered and ugly. I loved the clean look of Things and would not like to give it up unless I really had to. Over the Air (OTA) sync is one of them. Furthermore, OmniFocus mobile companion products, for both the iPhone and iPad, are sold separately and are rather expensive. Then, I decided that it’s best that I give OmniFocus a miss and to remain with Things.
Two years ago, The Hit List (THL) was in beta and it came with the 2009 MacHeist bundle. It was a little buggy and in public beta then, but it looked promising. Development suddenly stopped in 2009 and their last blog post was dated September 2009. Nothing was heard nor written about THL since then, leaving many to believe that the developers have given up.
Then, on 1st June 2011, literally out of the blue, THL’s Twitter account sprang to life and announced that THL 1.0 is released. The iPhone companion app has also been submitted to Apple for review. Life seem to have been injected into the project and THL has since seen its second bugfix release. With the license key from the MacHeist bundle, I decided to give THL another try as I have already paid for it, more than 2 years ago.
My first impression of my second trial of THL was a reminder of how similar it is to OmniFocus. I’m inclined to see THL as a lighter and leaner sibling of OmniFocus. Given that OTA sync is already delivered out of the box (albeit at $20/year), and that the iPhone app is currently being reviewed by Apple, THL has already offered more functionality than Things and its companion app combined. Furthremore, THL has a cleaner interface compared to OmniFocus and its single-character keyboard shortcuts are a plus.
Now that the summer holidays are here, and that my task load is a lot lower, any task manager migration, if any, must be done before the start of my school term. After evaluating THL as a Things replacement, I decided to take the plunge and to migrate over to THL from Things completely, after ensuring THL’s feature parity with Things.
So, to Things, I bid farewell.