You may already be using or considering using Things for the Mac and iPhone. It’s what I use and I’m fairly happy with it. The biggest problem with Things, however, is that it doesn’t sync across multiple computers. In my case, I have two computers at home and one at the office. I like to track everything in on place, so I really need a shared library. Fortunately, the addition of a free Dropbox account solves this problem fairly well. Here’s how it works:
- Make sure you have Things and Dropbox installed and configured on each of your computers.
- Launch Things while holding down the “option” key on your keyboard. You will see the following prompt:
- This dialog will let you choose or create a library for Things. If you already have some ToDos stored in your library, you’ll want to first locate your Things library and copy it to your Dropbox drive. Once your library is copied over to Dropbox, click “Choose Library…” from the dialog. Locate the library on your Dropbox drive and click OK.If you haven’t created any ToDo’s yet click “Create Library…” then specify a location on your Dropbox drive. Things will place a fresh library file in that location.
- On each of your remaining computers, launch Things while holding down the option key on your keyboard, then folow the prompts to choose the library located on your Dropbox drive.
That’s it! Now that your Things library is located on Dropbox, you’ll be able to access it from anywhere as long as you follow the steps listed above for each new computer.
This solution works well, but it isn’t perfect. In order to keep your library file clean and up to date, you’ll need to make sure you never run Things from two different computers at the same time. Likewise, you should always quit Things on one machine before opening it on another. This will prevent tasks from being overwritten.
How to sync Things with your iPhone on a secure corporate network
Perhaps, like me, you use Things at work both on your iPhone and on your laptop/desktop. Perhaps also like me, you do not have access to the corporate network from your iPhone and you’re wondering how you can sync the two devices without network access. Here’s how:
- Open your WiFi menu and select “Create Network…” You’ll be creating a Computer-to-Computer network:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone, select WiFi and then choose the network you just created
- Launch Things on your iPhone (and be sure Things is running on your desktop/laptop)
- Wait for the sync to begin…
That’s it. Once the sync is finished, you can turn off the Computer-to-Computer network. Because this is admittedly a pain, I only do this when I’ve been adding todos via the iPhone and need to sync while at work.
Until Things adds true cloud sync, this is the best method I’ve found for running things on multiple computers. Hopefully CulturedCode will add cloud sync in 2010. Happy planning!