I’ve been using Things 3 as my GTD since 2014. It has become an essential part of my life. I want to share several tips for anyone looking to use Things to manage several aspects of your life. These tips are strictly for Things on macOS.

1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts with Quick Entry

Quick Entry lets you jot down the tasks without bringing Things to the front. You should set it up if you haven’t done so. I assigned Control - Space as the dedicated shortcut for this feature.

You can also add some details for the task by using the available shortcuts. Here are some default shortcuts I often use:

  • Command - S to schedule the task to another date.
  • Command - Shift - D to set a deadline for the task.
  • Command - Shift - M to move the task into a different area or project.
  • Command - Shift - T to tag the task.

2. It’s Okay to Clutter The Inbox

I used to be an extremely organized person. I couldn’t deal with a cluttered inbox at all. However, I realized the obsession with an empty inbox only crippled my productivity.

Inbox can be messy. Inbox doesn’t have to be empty.

Inbox is meant to be a temporary space for your tasks. You use it to collect tasks and ideas. If something comes up while you’re working, you can place them inside the Inbox.

3. No Task Naming Rules

You can name it however you want. Sometimes I just paste the link as the task name. Sometimes I leave the title blank and fill up only the details. You can rename them later.

There will be time for you to reorganize and remove those that are not important as you think.

4. Schedule Inbox and Today Tasks

Some tasks are not meant to be completed immediately. Review your Inbox and Today once in a few days and reschedule them if you’re overwhelmed by the number of tasks that show up in Today. Inbox can get massive if you don’t decide what you want to do with them. So, either delete or break them into smaller tasks by rescheduling them into another day.

That way, Today becomes more manageable because they’ve been spread out into different dates.

5. Use Deadline

The primary purpose of setting a deadline is to provide a state of urgency. If you have a task that must be completed before a specific date, you must select the due date a few days earlier for the task to appear in the Today view.

If you wish to learn more about Things, you should check out their official guide.