Microsoft To-Do vs Things 3: Which Task Management App is Better for you

Microsoft purchased the popular task management app Wunderlist and shut down further development. Over the years, the company has been trying to port all the Wunderlist functionalities to the new app called Microsoft To-Do.

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Their journey has been bumpy, but I can safely say that the transition is complete now with the recent update. Microsoft To-Do is right up there with established apps like Todoist and Things 3.

Things 3 app got a design overhaul, and at the same time, Culturedcode is improving the app by adding new functions. It has been my go-to recommendation for Apple loyalists.

We have already compared Microsoft To-Do with Todoist. In this post, we will pit it against Things 3. The comparison will be based on UI, availability, features, themes, sharing, and price. Let’s jump in.


Things 3 is Apple-exclusive. Meaning, it’s only available on iOS and macOS. Microsoft To-Do is accessible on every platform. You can use the app on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS.

User Interface and Theme Support

Both Things 3 and Microsoft To-Do have received a design overhaul. However, their approach is different. Microsoft took inspiration from Wunderlist and implemented a card-style UI and beautiful wallpapers.

Swipe left, and the hamburger menu is ready to serve you with different options (more on that later).

To Do Ui
To Do Ui 2

Talking about customization, you can change the look of the background in a list. It includes pastel colors, default wallpapers (my preference), and solid colors. You can’t change the default white theme of the hamburger menu though.

To Do Theme

Things 3 is all about a minimalistic approach. You can access every option right from the home screen. It’s a unique approach that I have seen in a task management app. And I love it.

Things Ui
Things Ui 2

Simply tap on the ‘+’ icon to create a task or new project. Swipe down on the home screen to search the to-do list. The Settings menu is also a tap away at the bottom. And the best thing about the app is, every interaction takes place through pop-up menus. It looks good and saves time.

Things Theme

Things 3 supports native iOS 13 dark theme. You can either choose from Grey color or Pure Black option.

Features and Task Management

Microsoft has a capable My Day functionality. You can directly add tasks from the bottom menu. I like the quick way to add a new task. You can include other details such as files, notes, time later.

To Do My Day
To Do Email

The app lets you create lists from the below menu. Microsoft is leveraging its other services too. You can flag an email in Outlook, and it will show up in the Flagged Email list in the To-Do app.

Microsoft also offers basic project management with sub-tasks and list sharing function. And as the app offers file attachment, I have seen some small teams using a to-do app to keep track of issues at the on-going project.

To Do Sub Task
To Do Share

Microsoft To-Do also offers a long-press function to add a new task quickly and set the day ahead. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t offer iOS widget. The app also lacks Siri shortcut support.

Things 3 gives three options to start the day. You can add a new task, make an area (list), and start a project. While adding a task, you can integrate a relevant tag, add due date, sub-tasks, and give a priority.

Things Inbox
Things Details

I was impressed by the speed at which one can add the task details. It all happens on a little pop-up box. The ability to add files is missing here.

Things 3’s sharing and project management happens on an individual level. Meaning, you can’t invite others to join the list or make edits. One can only share a list with others using the default sharing menu which sends a normal list in plain words.

Things Project
Things Siri

You can create and keep track of on-going projects using sub-tasks and deadlines. I like how it displays the remaining days on the default page.

Things 3 reigns over Microsoft To-Do with Siri Shortcuts and Widget support. The app offers a wide range of Siri Shortcuts to add tasks via default voice assistant.

Things Calendar

You can also long-press the app icon and add new tasks, explore today’s agenda, and glance over the remaining tasks via widget.

Things 3 also offers tight integration with popular calendar providers such as iCloud, Gmail, and Outlook.

Pricing Model

Pricing is one of the reasons why the majority opt for Microsoft To-Do over the costly rivals. It’s completely free on all platforms, no strings attached.

Things 3 comes with a steep price tag. For starters, it doesn’t follow the subscription route and instead asks for a one-time payment. It costs $10 on iOS, and the Mac version will set you back by $50. It’s one of the reasons why the loyalists are looking for Things 3 alternatives for iOS and macOS.

Manage Tasks like a Pro

As you can see from this comparison above, both the apps have their strengths and weaknesses. Microsoft To-Do is free, cross-platform, has tight integration with Outlook mail, and the sharing is better than the rival. Meanwhile, Things 3 provides better look and feel, Siri Shortcuts support, iOS widgets, and calendar integration.

Next up: Both Google and Apple also offer a capable task management app. Read the post below to see a detailed comparison between them.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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