Things 3 has kick-butt Siri support, including on Watch

“In Things, remind me to finish my blog posts tomorrow at 2pm.”

“Show my Today list in Things.”

“Add support Finer Things in Tech on Patreon using Things.”

Seems like it all works from Apple Watch too. Per this Twitter thread, it sounds like developers must deliberately add that; they don’t get it for free just by adding Siri support on iPhone.


How to add tasks to Things 3 with Siri and Reminders

Things 3 iPhone Siri RemindersThings 3 can automatically import tasks from Reminders, which includes those added by Siri. You can use the default Reminders list or tell Things to watch a specific list for new tasks. Once Things notices them, it will bring those tasks into your Inbox and delete them from Reminders.

It’s worth noting that, once iOS 11 ships this fall, Things 3 will integrate directly with Siri and no longer require Reminders as a proxy. It was demoed on-stage at WWDC 2017, and Cultured Code confirmed this on its blog. If you want to keep Reminders as a proxy for other workflows or integrations, though, they’ll keep this feature around.

But if you want Things 3 + Siri today, here’s how to enable it:

  • Open Things 3 on an iPhone or iPad
  • At the bottom of the sidebar, tap the Settings gear
  • Tap Siri
  • Tap Show Reminders switch to turn it on
  • A “List” option appears at the bottom
  • Choose whether you want Things to watch your default Reminders list (where Siri puts everything unless otherwise specified) or a specific list you created

Things 3 can only watch one Reminders list, so you’ll have to decide how you want your setup to work. Personally, I use the default Reminders list; I manage all tasks in Things 3 now, and almost never open Reminders.

But, if you choose to use one of your other Reminders lists, adding tasks with Siri is still pretty easy. Say you created a Reminders list called “Things” specifically for this purpose. Just say to Siri “add Finish the blog post to my Things list,” and your task will make its way to your Things 3 inbox.

I really like Things 3 for iPad, iPhone, and Mac so far, and I’ve switched all my personal task management to it. That includes planning Finer Things in Tech articles and the newsletter (to which you should totally subscribe!), as well as all of my Bit & Pen client tasks that don’t need the collaboration of something like Trello.

The iOS apps don’t have any sort of trial. But you can grab a Mac demo from Cultured Code.

Reminder: I use affiliate links like App Store/iTunes and Amazon. If you tap through and buy something, you’ll help support Finer Things in Tech and my app habit.


Use Siri, multiple Reminders lists to add items to AnyList for iPhone and iPad

AnyList for iPhone and iPad is my preferred, shared grocery and shopping list app. It builds a library of the items you add, so re-adding them the next time you need them is a simple tap. It can also optionally be location-aware, share lists with others, handle quantities, and much more.

One of my favorite AnyList features is its Siri and Reminders integration that goes a step beyond what I’ve seen in most other apps. If you switch it on, AnyList duplicates your lists in Reminders. Where most other apps allow you to pull in items from a single Reminders list, AnyList can watch for new items in all of your Reminders lists that have a doppelgänger, then add them to the corresponding list in AnyList.

Check out my screenshots in this post. I can say things to Siri like “add spinach to my Groceries list.” Siri adds it to that specific list, and AnyList gobbles it into my Groceries list. But I can also say “add Cliff bars to my Costco list,” and Cliff bars finds its way to that corresponding list in AnyList.

Bonus points: when AnyList imports items like this, it deletes them from Reminders; you’re not stuck with Yet Another Inbox to constantly clear.

Bonus bonus points: this all works great with Siri on Apple Watch.

macOS Sierra: Ask Siri to find files, turn results into a widget

Now that macOS Sierra is out, we now have Siri on the Mac. It’s mostly the Siri you know from iOS, but it has a few unique tricks. To trigger Siri for Mac, hold the Command key and Space bar for a second or two.

One is that you can ask Siri for Mac to help you find specific files, open folders, display the files you worked on last week, or to show the files you’ve shared with a specific contact. Once you learn the proper commands, it’s a really convenient way to work with your files. It’s also something Siri for iOS simply doesn’t do, at least as of version 10.

If you need to perform a certain type of search often, you can also turn the search into a widget for the Today screen. Once you ask Siri a file-related command, top of the search results has a (+) button. Click it, and a live widget of those search results is added to the top of the Today screen.

To access your Today screen, you can click the Notification Center at the right of your Mac’s menu bar. Or, with a MacBook or Apple trackpad, you can swipe left with two fingers from the right edge of the trackpad.


Use Siri to add items to AnyList grocery shopping app

Thanks to recommendations from The Sweet Setup and some Twitter followers, I recently swapped out Grocery Gadget, the seemingly abandoned shopping app I use with Jessi, for AnyList.

It’s been great for collaboratively organizing our grocery list and all our other shopping, and I’m a paying subscriber now. I also started warming up to the recipe organization features. My favorite surprise so far, though, is the ability to automatically import items from Reminders.

Once you switch this feature on from Settings > Reminders Import and grant access, AnyList will duplicate all your lists in Reminders. It then watches for new items in those lists, automatically in the background, and moves them to the corresponding list in AnyList.

The ultimate punchline here is that you can now use Siri to add items to AnyList, using Reminders as a proxy. Telling Siri to “add salmon to my Costco list” will add salmon to that list in Reminders, and AnyList will soon catch that and add it to your Costco list. When you create new lists in AnyList, it will duplicate that list in Reminders.

I’ve started making this habit and I’m really happy with the setup. Toss in the ability to add items to Reminders via Apple Watch, and it gets even more convenient.


Siri understands a lot of different commands now. Like, a *lot*

You know when you trigger Siri, and there’s that little question mark in the lower left? Ever tap it? Whether you like Siri or haven’t had a reason to yet, I highly recommend it. Not only will Siri show the increasing list of core apps and features it supports—things like starting a FaceTime call and checking your favorite sports scores—you can tap each example to get a (presumably full?) list of commands you can use for each app and scenario. Siri can do a ton of stuff, including moving Calendar events, skipping back in a podcast, showing landmarks in Apple Maps, and figuring out your dinner tip.

iOS 8: Siri can rate the currently playing song

Thanks to iOS 8, you can tell Siri to rate the song currently playing in Music from one to five stars. This is useful if you also manage your music in iTunes on a Mac or PC, since song ratings can power smart playlists (for example, you can create a playlist of all your music rated four stars and above, or just your five-star songs). But as of September 2014 and iOS 8, Apple has still not added smart playlist abilities to iOS.
[thanks Tyler!]

Siri rate songs