Getting productive is at the heart of having an entrepreneur mindset. I’ve been using Things (most recently, Things 3) for well over a decade, now. And I love it. It’s still the most beautifully designed Mac app – not just task management app – I’ve ever used.

I have tried all the big productivity and to-do list apps. I have left Things 3 several times, seduced by shiny new apps, but always returned. Why? Because of it’s simplicity, its elegance and because it does one main thing brilliantly. While researching new to-do apps, the subject of Things 3 pricing will come up a lot. People say it’s expensive, but I’m going to show you why it’s not.

The Things 3 app home page

How Much Does Things 3 Cost?

Aside from being available only for Apple devices, the big controversy is price. Or, more specifically, having to pay every time you add it to another device. So, how much is Things 3?

Want it on your Macbook? That’s going to be $49.99.

What’s that? Want it on your iPhone so you can sync your to-dos on the go? That’ll be another $9.99.

And you’ve got an iPad you want to sync, too? That’s a further $19.99.

Things 3 pricing shown on the Apple app store

That’s a pretty hefty 80 bucks or so upfront for the same app. But here’s the ‘thing’: once you’ve paid for it, it’s yours. The price stays the same because it’s a one-time purchase. Yes, they’ll bring out a newer version of Things at some point and eventually stop supporting it. But we’re talking years. I had Things 2 for five years before Things 3 came out. And, at the time of writing, Things 3 has been out for seven years.

Let’s compare that to the paid-for option on other leading to-do apps.

AppMonthly CostAnnual Cost

When you multiply those numbers by 5 years, Things 3 starts to look like really good value.

Ok, so you could go for something free, like Microsoft To Do or Google Tasks, but features are limited.

Things 3 app Inbox

Features and Task Details

Here’s why I like Things 3 more than any other other to-do app:

  • Easy input. If there is any friction to adding tasks and reminders, you just won’t do it. Things 3 makes it as simple to add a note as one key press anywhere on your Mac within any app or website.
  • Versatile. From simple to-do lists to big projects to managing your work calendar, it can handle everything really easily.
  • Flexibility. You can view and arrange your tasks and sections as you want to see them. And you can set up tags and folders to create projects and areas of your life – or, crucially, not! Things 3 also works on your Apple watch.
  • Notes: The ability to click on a task and add notes, a checklist, an email or an online link is really important. That way, yo you don’t have to go to another location (eg. Evernote) for background info.
  • Reminders. Deadlines and due dates are often treated as the same thing in other productivity apps. In Things 3, you can plan when to assign tasks while also being reminded of when they’re actually due.

Nearly all the features get updated with regular new releases.

Views of the Things 3 interface

Interface and use

Things 3 has been specifically designed for Mac users and has never had a Microsoft or Android version, so it’s exclusively focused on getting the best out of the Apple workflow. (It even has an Apple design award.) It’s also incredibly sleek, uncluttered and well-designed, which makes it really easy to use – and a genuine joy to use. That’s the reason I keep going back to it.

The other apps often have more features, but they’re too complicated to use – which means I stopped using them. Things 3 makes it so simple and easy to use and organize that I… well, keep using it. And I think that’s a very underrated concept that’s REALLY important: if you enjoy using something, you’ll keep using it. That’s what keeps you consistently organized.

Example of a Things 3 shortcut automatically adding a URL to a task

Best Features


If I’m on a website, pressing one specific key will create a reminder in Things 3 and add the URL of the website I’m on – without me ever having to leave that website. I just type “read this tonight” and press enter, and it’s done. I’m free to carry on surfing having barely interrupted my workflow or concentration.

Project Management

One of the features I love about Things 3 is that it’s ideally suited to managing projects. New projects are created into their own separate areas. From here you can add a title, description, deadline, due dates, notes and tags.

Productivity Focused

Things 3 has some meat little tricks up its sleeve to keep you focused and more productive.

  • You have the option to create tasks by email – just write or forward an email to a special email address that Things generates for you.
  • On mobile devices, you can create home screen widgets, which allow you to switch on your phone and press one button to add a reminder, without even unlocking your device.
  • Things works with Apple Shortcuts on both MacOS and iOS for iPhone and iPad.
  • You can also hook up your calendar so that you can see your to-do list and today’s diary entries all at the same time.

The Downsides/Upsides

All that said, there are drawbacks… which I actually see as advantages.

Other productivity tools have tools that are missing from Things 3: limited collaboration, no online app, no location-based reminders, and no natural language writing. These are features that I don’t miss and that help keep the interface simple and clean. I don’t want too many bells and whistles, because those make the app complicated and less likely I’ll stick with it.

Best Things 3 Alternatives

Other power user applications:

  • Todoist
  • TickTick
  • Sorted 3 (like a simplified version of Things 3)


When will Things 4 come out?

This question has been asked for at least 5 years, now. I reached out to the team at Cultured Code, which makes Things 3, to find out. A representative replied that there are no plans to announce a new version and that Things 3 continues to receive full support and ongoing software updates.
So, there you have it: it’ll be Things 3 for a while – no plans for Things 4.

How do I download Things 3?

Just log into your Apple app store account and download the iPhone app, desktop app or iPad Things app.

How do I sync my to-do lists in Things 3?

It’s really simple, using Things Cloud, which comes with the app. Just switch it on in the app settings, create a login and then log in on all your other devices. Hey presto, all synced. And the sync on Things 3 is quick and seamless.

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Image of the author Richard Riviere

Richard Riviere

Richard Riviere is a former wage slave who decided there must be more to life. Turning 50, he quit his job to try earning an income online and get his life back. From knowing zero about e-commerce, he managed to replace his 9-5 income within a year. He now teaches other midlifers how to start living life on their own terms.