Apple Reminders vs Things 3: Which Task Management App Is Better

Parth Shah

Up until the introduction of iOS 13, Apple barely gave attention to the default reminders app on the iPhone. Third-party developers filled the void with excellent alternatives such as Todoist, Things 3, Microsoft To-Do, and more.

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The scenario got changed with the iOS 13 update. Apple doubled down on the reminders app and gave it a huge makeover in looks and functions department. The app can now compete toe-to-toe with the established options from the App Store.

Another feature-packed offering on the App Store is Culturedcode's Things 3. While there are some reasons to look for Things 3 alternatives for iOS, the overall package is still unmatched by the majority on the Apple ecosystem.

While we have already compared Apple Reminders to Microsoft to-Do, in this post, we will pit it against Things 3 to see if it’s worth the switch or not. The fight is going to be intense, so buckle up your seats and let’s get started.

Cross-Platform Availability

It’s a tie. Both the apps are Apple exclusive. So, they're only available on iOS and Mac. I understand the behavior with the Apple Reminder app, but I was surprised to notice Things 3’s absence from Android and Windows. No Web support either.

User Interface

Apple’s reminders app finally received the much-needed overhaul in terms of design. The home page now shows the default four tabs (which can’t be customized though) and lists under it.

Swipe up to search through tasks and use the edit button to rearrange or delete lists. You can’t access settings from the app itself, just like every other iOS app. You need to go to Settings > Reminders to make changes.

Reminder Ui1
Reminders Ui2

Things 3 went through UI makeover in late 2017. And the app still looks and feels better than others. I think Things 3 has the best user interface among all the task management apps. But hey, that's just for me.

It’s a simple, beautiful, and follows the gesture-based navigation. The home page displays the default inbox, upcoming section, logbook, and lists below it.

You can tap on the ‘+’ button to add a task, create a project, and swipe down to search through tasks.

Things 3 Ui3
Things 3 Ui4

Things 3 supports dark grey and pure black theme from the Settings. It also respects the system-wide dark theme introduced in iOS 13.

Adding Task and Details

Task adding experience received major attention in the Apple Reminders app.

Now, you can tap Add Reminder, and the little menu will let you add due date/time, images, and flag a reminder. You can also use location-based reminders that notify about the task when you reach home, office, or getting in a car.

With a single tap on the info icon, you can add notes, URL, set reminder frequency, and give it a priority.

Add Reminder Apple
Add Reminder Details

Apple Reminders all support subtasks. It’s hidden in the info menu, though. I use it to manage small projects. The user gets Siri functionality with Apple Reminders. You can ask Siri to set a reminder with the due date and time. I use it frequently, and it works flawlessly.

Add Sub Tasks

Things 3 offers three options — add a new to-do, create a new project, or create a new area (for group projects).

After that, Things 3 lets you add all the details via the pop-up menu. One can add due date/time, create a checklist about the task, assign a deadline, and add a relevant tag.

Add New Things 3
Things 3 Details

The second option of the new project is straight-forward. Add the project name, notes, details, assign a deadline, tags, and create small steps. You are now ready to go with project management.

The new area option is for group projects. One can create an area and start a project with team members. Talking about sharing, let’s see how collaboration works in both apps.

Things 3 Tasks
Things 3 Area

Sharing

With Apple Reminders, you can invite and share an entire list with others. Tap on the three-dot menu above and select add people and share a link via the default iOS share menu.

Reminder Share
Reminder Share Menu

Things 3 lets you share the list in simple words. You can also use the copy link option from the Share menu, but the receiving person must be on Things 3 to make changes.

Things 3 Share
Things 3 Share Menu

Extra Functions

Apple Reminders lets you create custom lists. You can add a logo and accent color to give it a personal touch. The app also supports. iOS widgets and. The ability to add new tasks via a long-tap menu.

Reminder List Theme
Reminder Widget

Things 3 support Siri shortcuts from the Settings menu. The app also offers calendar integration. So you can view and edit upcoming events inside the app.

Things 3 Siri
Things 3 Calendar

The other goodies include iOS widget support and long-tap menu options, which lets you create tasks in no time.

Backup and Price

By default, all the entries in Apple Reminders get saved in iCloud. The app is completely free on iOS and Mac.

Things 3 uses Things Cloud to store the data. The app costs $10 on iOS and $50 on macOS. A steep price on macOS is the prime reason why the majority is looking for Things 3 alternatives on Mac.

Manage Tasks Like a Pro

Both the apps have nailed the basics with various functions upfront. Apple Reminders is free, has location-based tasks, and works with Siri without any hassle. Things 3 looks better, has calendar integration, and offers a superior experience at a price.

Next up: Google Tasks is a to-do app by the search giant. But it's bare-bone compared to the competition. Read the post below to find out its alternatives on iOS and Android.

Read Next
Top 5 Google Tasks Alternatives for Android and iOS
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Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

A self-described geek with a knack for writing and a passion for all technology