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Linking together to-dos in Things with links

Written on August 28, 2020

I get things that I need to get done using Things.

One of the features that Things lacks natively is the ability to link to-dos together.

What would linking to-dos allow? The ability to link related to-dos, put together sequences across to-dos and references.

It was by chance that I stumbled on a way to tie to-dos together to form a link. This is by utilitizing Things’ URL scheme.

What is a URL scheme?

You might already be familiar with URL schemes that start with https:// or ftp://. In macOS and iOS there’s a way to create app-specific URL schemes, that when clicked on, interacts with the app in a specific context.

Things has a its own URL scheme which allows you to do all sorts of neat things such as creating a new to-do, adding projects and more.

What it looks like is this,

things:///add?title=Sleep%20early

Linking together to-dos using Things’ URL scheme on macOS

Let’s start with creating a to-do in the Inbox.

Things with a single to-do in Inbox

I’ll then create another to-do, I’d like to create the link with.

After creating the second to-do, I can right click on the to-do to pull up the context menu. Once, the menu is up, if I go down to the Share option it expands out additional options.

One of those options is Copy Link. Clicking on this will copy the link of the to-do item to your Mac’s clipboard.

To-do with expanded menu

I can then paste that link into the notes section of the first to-do and now the first to-do is “linked” to the second one.

To-do link pasted into the notes section

Let’s say I move my first to-do to Today. When I complete the to-do. I can expand the to-do and click on the link.

To-do, expanded to show notes

This will take me directly to the folder in which the second to-do is currently in—Inbox.

To-do in Things Inbox while highlighted

Now, I’m ready to work on the second to-do and I can schedule the task to get done Today.

To-do in Things was moved out of the Inbox

The neat thing about Things’ to-do links is that it is device agnostic. Meaning if you’re like me and use Things on the Mac, iPhone and iPad and sync using Things Cloud, the linked to-dos will still work no matter which device you use.

Here’s how to get to-do links on iOS.

First, swipe left on the to-do you’d like the link for.

Revealing the toolbar option when swiped left

This will cause the toolbar to pop-up.

Things to-do specific toolbar

Select the ellipsis ... on the bottom right hand side which will pull up a menu with more options.

More options from the toolbar

One of those options will be the Share option which is the last option on the menu. This will pull up iOS’ share sheet.

On the share sheet, you should see an option to Copy Link.

Things specific iOS share sheet

Selecting the Copy Link option will copy the to-do’s unique Things link. You can now use it to link a different to-do back to this one.

If you're a fellow Things user and found this helpful, let me know on Twitter! I'd love to hear how you're using Things' to-do links to be productive.