My One Problem with Things 3

I’ve been playing with Things 3 a good bit lately. It’s a beautiful app on the Mac and iOS, and the sync engine seems to be rock-solid.

When I first played with it, I was baffled by the app’s UI for creating repeating tasks. After some time, I’ve come to see what the app is doing. There is, however, one problem I can’t overcome.

You can’t check off a repeating task early.

Let’s say I have a task on the 8th of every month named “Update Monthly Income Spreadsheet.” Every other task manager on the planet would let me mark this task as complete if I do it on the 7th.

Except Things 3.

Here’s a little test project I whipped up:

You can see I have a task with no date,1 one due today and one due on May 16. That middle one — which is due tomorrow — cannot be marked complete until tomorrow.

This is maddening to me. Two-thirds of my tasks are repeating, but most of them don’t have to be completed on the exact date I have entered. Very often, if I have some time, I will look a few days ahead and see what I can do in advance.

Things 3 breaks this workflow, making the app unusable for me. That’s a real bummer; I hope Cultured Code changes this soon. If they do, I’ll be back.

I have contacted Cultured Code about this shortcoming. If it bugs you too, let them know and maybe the app could become a lot more flexible.

Update: I guess we have a partial victory:

  1. Ideally, Things 3 would sort tasks without due dates at the bottom of a list, but I can live with them at the top if I have to.