Applications and utilities on the iPhone are beginning to blur the line between what we do with our Macs and what we do with our phones. I have two Macs. An iMac on my desktop and a MacBook Pro to go. For the most part, what I do on one I can do on the other. I don’t expect my iPhone to be a full-fledged Mac. Yet. My expectations are changing and I want similar functionality between the two. iCal and Address Book work seamlessly between Mac and iPhone. So does Things, my favorite task and project manager.
The iPhone isn’t yet a Mac in our pockets, but it’s getting there. Adobe Photoshop isn’t an iPhone app, though there are plenty of photo manipulation apps available.
The revolution is seamless, quiet, effortless synchronization of specific, highly useful utilities and applications from Mac or PC to and from the iPhone. Apple gets the whole revolution started with iCal and Address Book which sync, more or less, with Calendar and Contacts on the iPhone.
That’s close to how God intended for seamless data portability to be.
Cultured Code’s Things is a very talented, easy-learning-curve utility designed to manage tasks and projects. It does that quite well.
It’s more than a simple to-do list manager, but not Microsoft Project or OmniPlan, which means it’s easy to figure out and actually use without taking night school classes; very Mac-like, if you will.
I reviewed Things before the iPhone and synchronization became such a big deal. Now it’s a big deal.
There’s a Things for your Mac and a Things for your iPhone. Guess what? They talk to each other.
No Learning Curve Ball
iPhone applications are usually easy to learn. Press a few buttons and you can figure out how to use nearly any popular iPhone application.
Things is simple at first, and becomes more complex as you use it and need more features. It may be the most attractive task manager on the Mac for average users.
Things on the iPhone is remarkably similar, and doesn’t feel like a scaled down version, which means the learning curve is still easy, but functionality is there. Changes you make on your iPhone Things can be synchronized with your Mac Things.
If you’re still on iCal’s to-do manager, no problemo. Things can handle that with a sync. But Things does to-do better.
Tasks & Projects
Most of us graduate to task management in Things rather quickly. Think of it as a to-do list with more options.
Tasks, for the most part, are what make up Projects. So, a Project may have from a few tasks to many tasks and even milestones. Things, Mac or iPhone, makes both usable.
You manage tasks, and group them into Projects; again, Mac or iPhone. Tasks need due dates. You get them on both Mac or iPhone Things. Then it gets more complicated.
There’s the option to delegate tasks, which also requires an extra layer of managing. To-do’s can be repeating or standalone or part of a Project. Notes can be attached to tasks and projects.
Sync Me, Baby
Things on your iPhone looks remarkably like Things on your Mac. That familiarity makes it easy for iPhone Things to become useful. Things on your iPhone functions remarkably like Things on your Mac.
What you change on your iPhone Things can be quickly synchronized to your Mac Things. That’s the future of using our iPhones as an extension of our Macs.
I don’t expect to do huge PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheets on my iPhone. There’s only so much that can go on inside that screen in the palm of your had. I do expect my mobile data to synchronize without effort between my two devices; in my hand and on my desk. Things, and a few other iPhone apps, do exactly that.
Increasingly, I’m using my MacBook Pro less, because I’m less afraid to venture off to a business meeting with just my iPhone. Notes can be synchronized back to my Mac. The future is almost here. Seamless, safe, secure, dependable, and quick synchronization between the Mac on the desktop, and the almost-a-Mac in my pocket.
Are your mobile habits changing because of the iPhone and specific applications and utilities?