Things vs. Wunderlist: A To-Do List Dilemma
When I discovered Things, I figured I was out of the woods. It’s got an absolutely fantastic interface that makes me want to use the program, it has a project and area system that lets me keep my tasks organized without becoming too bloated (I don’t want a full-scale project management solution), and it’s got an iPad and iPhone app so I can keep up to date with my tasks on the go…sort of.
And this is where the problem emerges.
See, Things doesn’t do cloud sync. It does sync between your devices, but in order to accomplish this you need to pair your devices with the computer, and you must be on the same network in order to initiate the sync. In practice, this means that every time I tick off a task on my computer, I need to pull out the mobile devices and pop open Things on each to have them sync up before I head out with them. Then, if I complete some items on the go, I need to come back to base to sync everything up between all my devices. I can’t sync between the iPhone and the iPad only, and if I have Things installed on multiple computers, I can’t keep those in sync unless I work around the system by placing the database in my DropBox and linking both Things apps to it - and even then, I can’t have both open at the same time because they panic when they’re both trying to access the same database.
CulturedCode, if you’re listening, this is just not efficient interface experience.
Consequently, I have been toying with another competitor. Though relative newcomers, the folks over at Wunderlist have made a huge splash. This is, I feel, largely because they have designed their system around multi-platform interconnectivity. Not only do they have apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac like Things does, but they also have an Android app, a Windows app, and a fully-featured web client - neither of which Things can compete with. But it’s not so impressive to have all these platforms if you can’t keep everything in sync, and this is where Wunderlist has its greatest advantage: cloud sync. Not only can you have your tasks available on a native app for just about every platform, but your tasks remain in sync automatically between all of them so you never have to worry about manually syncing.
In addition, Wunderlist features some amazing task sharing features via CloudApp. Things, conversely, has a rather unhelpful “sharing” system. You can assign tasks to people, but not send it to them, which makes it a vestigial feature at best.
But here is where my dilemma lies. For now, Wunderlist does not provide the robust project-based and area-based organization features (their lists don’t really cut it), nor tagging - crucial lapses in functionality for my usage patterns.
For now, I’m sticking with Things, but the lack of cloud sync and meaningful collaboration is really starting to get sore. Thankfully, CulturedCode is well aware of these complaints as they’re getting them from most of their users, and they’re working on implementing a system to fix this. Wunderlist, on the other hand, has stated that they’re also working on trying to expand their task management depth to include tagging and more organization features. Since, for now, neither is quite perfect but both are very close, I will give my vote to the first that catches up with the requests of their user base.
Any day now, guys.