I’ve been an ardent user of Wunderlist for the past year now, having used TeuxDeux prior. The thing with todo managers is that you rarely find one that fits all of your needs and simply works. With TeuxDeux, it lacked reminders. With Wunderlist, notifications work half the time.
Recently, I decided to take a chance with another tool and decided to place my bet on Things. Here are the reasons why I made the switch:
- Wunderlist Pro
When I first heard that Wunderlist was planning to release a new Pro version, I wasn’t surprised. They had millions of users across practically every platform that matters and yet, not a single paying customer.
I don’t have a problem paying for software that I love and use. If Wunderlist was a paid app, I would not hesitate to pay a one-time fee to use it, although a subscription plan would’ve been a harder selling point for me.
When they finally launched the Pro version, I knew that it was finally time for me to start looking for alternatives. With Pro, Wunderlist is catering primarily to teams. I used the app primarily as a personal GTD tool and so the introduction of new collaboration features like assigning tasks to people simply did not interest me at all. Furthermore, it’s obvious that most of the people who will end up subscribing are businesses or groups of people collaborating together on a project. I’m not entirely blaming this on Wunderlist, but this is one of the downsides of offering a free service that tons of people use. Eventually, you’re going to have to start solving the monetization problem, whether it be through advertisements, subscription plans, etc.
- Cleaner design, faster – Wunderlist has a very functional and utilitarian look and feel. You can change the background design to spice things up, but it’s just lipstick on a pig.
Things is sleek and delightful. I especially love the color icons that it uses, which makes the job of distinguishing sections infinitely easier. Wunderlist adopts a boring black-gray scheme.
In terms of speed, this is mostly focusing on their mobile apps. Cloud sync plays a big role certainly, but startup is where it matters most. Through some very basic tests, I found Things to launch on average about twice as fast as Wunderlist.
- Annoying notifications bug
Whenever you create reminders in Wunderlist, it sends you two notifications: the reminder itself, and another one saying that the task was due. Another time, I had removed a recurring task that had a reminder but it did not stop the notifications from appearing.
- Finer-grain control of tasks
Most importantly, Things allows me to satisfy my desire for power features like sorting (tags, projects, areas, scheduled) and creating recurring tasks. Wunderlist does let you create recurring tasks but Things lets you specify an end date and can create a new task as soon as you complete them (e.g., a new “do laundry” task in 10 days after you mark it as complete).
What I miss the most:
- Reminders – Things for iOS has integration with Reminders and Siri, which sounds useful, but I’m using a 4th Generation iPod Touch. Other than that, you can’t create reminders in Things. So, my only solution is to use Reminders which oddly enough, is like a stripped down version of Wunderlist if you think about it.
- Subtasks – This one is going to hurt the most, but I think I can cope for the most part. Subtasks are great if you like working mostly from a dedicated inbox rather than having tasks dispersed across various lists, projects, tags, etc. For now, my only solution is a combination of using projects, notes, and areas in Things.