Things by Cultured Code does come with a high price tag. But it is by far the most useful todo app that I have come across.
Let’s do a quick salient point pro/con analysis of this. One of my favorite parts of Things is the concept of context. When you create a todo item, you can tag it with what context it is in. Then you can sort or show your todo’s by context. You can sort by multiple tags. This can be shown with the following example, “How can I see what phone calls I have to make for work?” You can click on the items tagged with work and phone. Then you’ll have which phone calls to make.
The biggest con here is the hefty price tag. It definitely does cause some sticker shock. Between the USD $10 for iPhone app and the USD $50 for the laptop/desktop version, USD $60 can be quite a bit for the simplicity of a todo app.
I have found that since spending the USD $60, I have become a lot more efficient and productive. There are also a lot fewer things that fall through the cracks. I have to face facts that I have a pretty poor memory. So when I have something to do, I immediately put it into Things and then sync it as soon as I am in the same place as my laptop again.
One of the beautiful aspects of Things is its simplicity. It has a simple interface and a very succinct group of menus. The only thing that I believe that Things is missing is alerts. I like the iCal sync and iPhone sync, but I would like it to integrate into Growl. This would be even more useful if you could give specific times that you want the Growl notifications to pop up. I know this isn’t possible in the current state of the iPhone OS (until push notifications from the background are available). But this is certainly an available on the laptop/desktop setup.
I am a big believer in FOSS and Open Source in general. However, I am also a big believer in the right tool for the right job. Sometimes that tool costs a little bit of money. Although it may not be the right tool for everyone, it happened to be a tool that made me a more efficient worker and person.