A New Take on GTD

It’s hard to consider yourself a true Mac power user until you’ve got a project management or todo list app that can handle anything you throw at it. Historically, that’s meant picking between a few big-name tools like Things or OmniFocus, and while those are undoubtably great options, I never stopped my search for something that could fit my workflow just a little bit better.

Enter – a Getting Things Done app that promises a beautiful interface and incredible cross-platform compatibility. But wide compatibility often comes at the expense of the end user experience. Does offer an experience on-par with the best or has it’s broad focus relegated it becoming a jack of all trades, and master of none? Read on to find out.

User Experience and Design

The first thing I noticed about was it’s icon, which actually grabbed my attention in the Mac App Store. Without a doubt, its bright blue color and slight sparkle make it stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, once downloaded, the icon actually something closer to nightmarish.

It’s rounded edges look like they’d be better placed on iOS and it was bigger than everything else in my dock. Using an iOS icon on a Mac just doesn’t work and it’s especially bad when you consider it’s downright awkward sizing. Moreover, due to it’s size and shape, badge notifications end up looking like a last-minute hack.

You’re probably wondering why any of this matters, and the answer is simple; when up against such fierce competition, the little things count. If you do decide to use, do yourself a favor and replace the icon. So, with my complaints, about the icon aside, and with somewhat lowered expectations, I was ready to see what had in store.

The main interface was a pleasant surprise.

The main interface was a pleasant surprise.

Upon first opening the app I was shocked to see what a beautiful interface it really had. As a new entrant into the Mac application space, the developers of were able to take full advantages of many of the newer design elements in OS X. Where I was expecting little more than an Adobe Air app, actually proved to be one of the best user experiences for a web service ported to the Mac that I’ve seen in awhile.

Everything feels “right” with design touches taken from it’s best-of-breed competitors. From spacing to scrolling, your tasks will look beautiful just sitting there in the inbox. In terms of user interface, is really just like any other Getting Things Done app, if you’d used one, you’ve basically used them all. While it’s far more complicated than a simple todo list, if you take some time to get used to the GTD way of life, you should feel right at home. In short, looks and feels like a more refined version of Things with all the high-end trimmings you’d expect from a native Mac app.


If there’s something you want to do with GTD, chances are, does it, and exceptionally well, at that. The app is divided into four groupings: Collect, Focus, Projects, and Contexts. Again, any experienced GTD user will feel right at home here, and each group works as expected. Collect acts as your Inbox for tasks waiting to be sorted down by date (Focus), Projects, or Contexts.

In my daily use, I’ve found that Projects work the best for long term goals, like a home renovation or anything involving a long process, whereas Contexts provides a nice way for to view my tasks at a specific place like work or the bank. Focus sorts tasks into either Today, Tomorrow, Someday, or Waiting folders; each working as expected. When you schedule a task further in advance, though, there’s no way to view it in Focus mode.

The window for adding a task.

The window for adding a task.

It should be noted that these options for organization aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, you can have a task in a Project, with a Context, and with a Focus all at the same time. It simply depends on how organized and specific you’d like to get. There’s also a “Smart Add” window which can be brought up system-wide which allows you to quickly enter a task while still being able to apply the aforementioned sorting options.

Other functionality of note includes the ability to customize shortcuts for just about everything, arrange your inbox by Context, Priority, or Deadline, and an “Add from clipboard” tool which works as expected, but annoyingly enough, doesn’t give you any confirmation that your task has been added, often leading to quite a few duplicates.

Competition and Conclusion

As I mentioned before, has its fair share of competition. If you’re just looking for something to handle simple todo list management, chances are this is overkill; I’d suggest looking at tools like the built-in Reminders app or Cheddar. If you’re ready to commit to the full GTD system, though, can easily handle it’s own against OmniFocus or Things.

While it doesn’t quite have the community support of those two, it more than handily makes up for that in features, interface, and value. On that note, is priced like a subscription service rather than a standalone app, with a Pro plan (required to use the Mac app) priced at $20 a year or $2 /month. Compared to $140 for all the OmniFocus applications or $80 for full suite of Things applications, is a winner on price, hands down.

Editor’s Note: We originally wrote that all of’s data is stored in China, but that was incorrect and we’re sorry for reporting wrong on that. The team got in touch to let us know that all user data synced to is stored on Amazon’s servers in Japan and the US, and your data will only be synced to Chinese servers if you’re in China. If you’re in China, you should signup for at, but everyone else should signup at

Summary is a great alternative to Things or OmniFocus for those who need wide cross-platform compatibility and a beautiful interface.



Add Yours
  • Is it just me or this is a little bit scary? “Finally, it’s worth mentioning that all data from the app is being stored on’s servers in Mainland China.”

    • That’s why it was worth mentioning… and here’s the link to their terms if you’re interested:

    • Actually, data are divided into two parts, the data for Chinese users are in China, while those for other users are on Amazon, respectively in Japan and US.

    • You know what bothers me? The blatant racism in this thread. People seem to think if something is Chinese then it has to be untrustworthy or a complete knockoff. Fear the red devil. What a bloody throwback.

      All you need to do is look at the amount of requests the US government makes each year on online data, and you’ll soon realise maybe China isn’t such a bad option after all.

      And for that matter, do you really think the Chinese government cares at all about your GTD information? I doubt it.

      I’m sorry for the rant, but as a foreigner who lives in China, this complete lack of respect for Chinese people and Chinese work really bothers me.

    • Are we still talking about functionality? Is it necessary all the blatant racism and xenophobia?!

      Since when “stored in USA” became the exclusive synonymous with security. Since when anything but American became unsafe or not up to standard? People should get over of their Übermensch’s complex.

  • I hope I’m not the only one that thinks looks a LOT like Things by CulturedCode. I looked twice, and then pulled up my Things window only to think, “Wow, that *does* look a lot like Things…”

    • yeah its chinese copy od Things – looks exactly the same! :/ “a new take on gtd” nope

      • Yes, because every GTD app is based on the same model; if you really want to look at it this way, they are all a knock off of David Allen’s GTD model. Get over yourself.

    • Which part is similar to Things?

      • With all due respect – are you blind?

        • With all due respect – are you blind?

  • I dislike apps that I must pay a yearly fee for using but storing my data in China is a deal-killer.

    • Because data stored in the US is so safe and trustworthy? Honestly, the racism and xenophobia in in this thread is palpable.

  • Despite of the “lack” of feature of reordering the tasks (tho some may suggest that GTD concept doesn’t have to concept of reordering) in the “normal” lists (you can re-order tasks in the “Doit Now” list), it is by far the best GTD app I have used. 9/10 is well deserved.

  • Save your $20 and go buy Things for Mac. Its on sale this week for half off…$25. No yearly fee.

  • This is essentially a copy of Things w/ a subscription rather than license model. It’s not even worth a mention in the article that the functionality/interface is almost identical to Things? It’s so patent, I have to wonder if the author has ever actually used Things.

    I’m all for competition, and forcing Cultured Code to speed up their frustratingly slow development pace, but let’s call a spade a spade.

    With that said, Things hasn’t changed substantially in years – and adding sync did not warrant a whole version level bump. On the surface it seems as if the GTD market is saturated, but each of the respectable options is anemic in certain areas. E.g. Things is anemic on customization and collaboration, Omnifocus is slow, overly complex at times and has no collaborative features, Wunderlist is a fancy todo app, heavy on collaboration, and light on GTD – heck, you can’t even get a tree view of your tasks/subtasks in the new version.

    It seems to me that the practice of packaging small, iterative updates as major, mind-blowing revisions is endemic to the GTD environment. Omnifocus seems to be the only app that is providing some true innovation. At the very least, they refuse to trumpet up minor features as landmark developments worthy of a major new version.

    It’s sad, really – so many players, and so little progress being made.

  • I am using for my work everyday now. Good to see it keeps improving.

  • Honestly, I’m disgusted by the unmitigated gall of this developer for blatantly ripping off Things by Cultured Code. Additionally, I am upset that a trusted site like AppStorm would feature this flaky rip off. Let’s get some quality control over the posts here, please.

    • Yeah, not like every single GTD app is a knock-off of David Allen’s model. Things no more or less so than any other app. Get off your high horse.

  • I like way better than Things. I tried all options I could find and this is the most complete implementation of GTD I found in an app that syncs to all my devices: Mac, iPad, Android.. I like the online ‘review’ function als well. It might look like Things on the Mac app but that’s just a small part of the product line. Before judging it only because of that you might want to try it out first – and maybe find out (like me) it really works well. Love the iPad app too!

  • is as much a Things rip-off as any other gtd implementation. If you should be disgusted with anyone it should be the Things developer. Yes, they had a solid product but they sat on their laurels with seemingly little development whilst coninuing to charge a premium.

    Fair play to the likes of, Nirvana etc. for stepping in with viable alternatives.

  • I really liked this app. The filters, the new goal features and the easy tagging makes the use of it a breeze. Hope they are going to stick there for sometime

  • may “look” like Things, but implements GTD far better. Cross-platform, and it’s inbox on android is simply the best implementation of capturing. Period. I’ve been a long-time user of Omnifocus, but for me, is less complex and just allows me to do GTD without having to think about it.

  • Hello guys! I’ve just made my own icon for this great app. Here’s a little preview

    You can download .icns, .png and .sketch files here