Ugh: another reason to be jealous of Things users

Before anyone goes on the defense, I do love OmniFocus. Things is lovely but just doesn’t have the power to handle the amount of content I have to put into it. Perspectives are a particular advantage OF has.

That said, Things gets a lot right, and version 3.6 adds another pro feature to that pile, apparently: full keyboard control on iOS.

See Federico Viticci’s writeup. I haven’t even read past this part yet, because I’m already jealous:

Things 3.6 obviates the need to touch the screen to select items by letting you press ↓ to select the first item in any view of the app, which gets highlighted in blue. It couldn’t be easier. As you can imagine, you can then navigate among multiple items with the ↓ and ↑ arrows. You can extend your selection up or down with ⇧↑/↓, and even extend the selection to the top or bottom of a list with ⇧⌥↑/↓. You can also quickly select or deselect everything at once with ⌘A and ⌥⌘A, respectively. These options alone sound remarkable for an iOS task manager, but we’re barely scratching the surface of what you can do with the keyboard in Things 3.6.

This is the kind of performance I’ve come to expect/hope for OmniFocus. With 3’s official release a couple days away, it’s clear that better keyboard controls are not going to happen anytime soon. So, who else is jealous?!


I think this is an ever-improving thing for OF3, though. The addition of arrow key navigation is cool, and each perspective has a hotkey based on their order on the home screen, which I like.

I suspect there will be more coming, but make sure to email in the specific functions you’d like to see! Quick Open is the one I’m most keen on.



Aha, I missed that you get arrow key navigation once you’ve selected something. That almost resolves my jealousy alone! Now I just dream for a shortcut such that you can enable arrow key navigation from the keyboard…

Maybe “full keyboard control” isn’t as far away as I’d thought. Thanks!

I emailed Omni about the same thing. While I don’t prefer Things to OF, keyboard navigation is one area in which it clearly excels over OF. I don’t care about the aesthetic of Things, or the animations, but I would love it if OF could be used entirely without the keyboard/touch. Ken Case recently said this on twitter: “The issue in earlier versions of OmniFocus was that there was no notion of a selected row (or rows) to operate on. Now that we have a selection, the keyboard can operate on it.”

Only other thing I want from Things is a slim mode for OF. :)


I like 2Do’s feature called info zoom that allows you to show or hide info in the task list…

Things is awesome now, you can have multiple selection using shift on the keyboard! Literally the ipad app is almost as powerful as the mac app, something far from true with OF3…

OF3 iOS is by definition more feature-filled than the desktop OF2, no? I made this post because there’s a few seemingly-small additions to the keyboard interactions that would make a huge difference, is all.

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Of course not, can you focus on OF3 for iOS, for example??

Wait… does Things even have a focus mode? Feature parity achieved by having less features isn’t a pro!

Can Things 3 do file attachments now? Or have a web interface that’s forthcoming? Why do I still have do buy a separate app for the iPhone and the iPad? I like the universal edition that works on both.

I’m glad to see that Things 3 has caught up in some respects to OF. Automation and e-mail to OF has been a long-time feature that I’ve enjoyed for a long time.

When Cultured Code finally added e-mail to Things and automation, I thought "oh, that’s good they’ve finally added that feature…

Cultured Code and Omnigroup will be leapfrogging each other all the time. It’s healthy for both companies. These two companies have placed different priorities on bringing different feature sets to their users. Keyboard commands for iPad was probably a higher priority for CC to bring first. Omni probably has other feature sets that they’re working on first… The Mac version and the web site seems to be the next set of priorities for Omni.

I read about Things 3.6 and would love to have this. Vote for this feature by sending an e-mail to to upvote this. The more votes, the higher up the priority chain it goes up for the developers. It will tell the devs that this is a feature that more people are requesting for.

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