How to migrate from Things 2 to Things 3

The Mac task management app Things 3 came out in 2017 or so, but it removed an important feature that I relied on heavily in Things 2. (The ability to sort the Today task list by date.) So I kept on using Things 2 at work all this time. But Things 2 recently stopped working, and I decided to finally upgrade to Things 3. But I couldn’t find any way to get Things 3 to import/migrate my data from Things 2.

It turns out that the company that makes Things, Cultured Code, does have a support page that explains in detail how to import/migrate data from Things 2 to Things 3.

But that page doesn’t show up in a search in their support site, nor in a Google search. In fact, they told me that they intentionally hide that page from searches, because Things 3 came out several years ago and so they don’t think most people want to see the page about how to migrate to it, even if they’re explicitly searching for that page. Instead, if you want to migrate, they want you to contact their support people, so that the support people can point you to that page.

So I’m posting about the hidden page, to at least give the chance that a Google search will turn up my post, which will in turn lead people to the page with the info they need.

…There’s a further thing that isn’t on that page that you might need to know: After you install the old trial version of Things 3, you might have to manually tell it not to hide the option to import data from Things 2, using this command line (in

defaults delete com.culturedcode.ThingsMac LegacyAppDataImportIsSupressed

(Note that they misspelled the word “Suppressed” in their flag name, sigh.)

Yes, that’s right: the feature to import from Things 2 was invisible by default in the last version of Things 3 that was capable of doing that import. You have to run a command-line command to make the invisible feature appear before you can use it.

I do recognize that software can’t always support old features indefinitely. And I do appreciate Cultured Code’s support people, who continue to be friendly and knowledgeable and helpful. But the lengths that the company goes to to keep people from migrating seem excessive to me.

And I still wish they hadn’t removed the sort feature.

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