The Hit List v1.0

June 03, 2011

Earlier this week it was announced that The Hit List had finally reached v1.0, and that the iPhone app currently was being reviewed by Apple. A huge congratulations to Andy Kim, the developer.

2.5 years ago I paid for a pre-order license for THL because when it came to my workflow it was, by far, the best of the big three Mac task apps (i.e., OmniFocus, Things and THL). I loved it, and sang its praises to anyone that cared to listen. In the beginning it was adding features at a decent clip, and there was semi-normal communication from Andy.

Then, silence. Andy just kind of shut up and left all of us in the dark. He'd pop up on Twitter or the user group every few months to let us know he was alive, and would offer the tiniest bit of information regarding the status of the app so that we'd stay faithful. And we did, for a long time.

Then he started discussing the iPhone app, development of which dragged on forever and forever, just like the Mac app. This at a time when Things and OmniFocus were announcing features left and right (well, mostly OmniFocus); both have long had iPhone and iPad apps, and OmniFocus has had great sync support between its clients for a while now. In view of the silence, I went all in with OmniFocus a while ago, but not before bouncing around between it and Things a good many times.

I don't know what happened with Andy and development of the app(s), and frankly, it's not my (or your) business, but I, and many others, would have appreciated a bit more transparency, honesty and realism along the way. I emailed Andy a little over a year ago and asked for a refund of my $50 pre-order. I never heard from him. (That's fine; as far as I know I was never promised a date by which 1.0 would ship, and so my request was just a shot in the dark.)

I'm scared that once I play around with v1.0 a bit more I'm going to be sucked right back in to its delicious interface and flow. I'm scared that the iPhone app will be great. I mean, at this point it kind of has to be, right? I'm scared that I'm going to want to migrate everything back to it.1 Again. (Clearly I hate myself.)

I'm scared I'm going to go through all that trouble and then there's not going to be a peep from Andy for six months, the iPad app will be put on hold indefinitely, etc. I have almost no confidence in the apps' future development, and Andy doesn't seem to want to try to fix that lack of confidence, which seems odd to me. I hope he rights this ship, because the app is so great, and has the potential to be the greatest.

Anyway, if you're not carrying around all of this emotional baggage (ha!), you may want to give THL a serious look. It's beautiful, fun to use and probably still my favorite of the big three, but I wouldn't expect much from the developer when it comes to future updates. (I hope I'm soon made to believe otherwise.)


  1. The one major hiccup for me would be the fact THL doesn't support due times. You can define the day obviously, but not a time within the day, and I don't think you can get THL to actually pop up an alert of any sort when something is due. In addition to tasks, I now put most of my meetings, doctor appointments, etc., into OmniFocus, and use the "due times" to alert me ahead of time. (I guess one workaround might be to put the "due time" in the task itself, and then just train myself to more routinely look at what's due each day.) 

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