Replicating Things3 on Windows: Feishu Multidimensional Tables - TechNode#
Replicating Things3 on Windows: Feishu Multidimensional Tables
Matrix Homepage Recommendation
Matrix is TechNode's writing community, where we advocate for sharing real product experiences and valuable insights. We will periodically select the best articles from Matrix to showcase the most authentic experiences and perspectives from users.
The article represents the author's personal views, and TechNode has only made minor modifications to the title and formatting.
Having tried many GTD (Getting Things Done) software, Things 3 has become my favorite due to its superior user experience and interface design. It has won my heart in the following aspects:
- Using projects to organize to-do items, avoiding scattered and disorganized to-dos;
- To-dos that haven't been assigned to a specific project can be temporarily stored in the Inbox;
- Completed to-dos can be archived under their respective projects for easy review;
- Provides "Today" and "Upcoming" views to have a clear overview within a certain time frame;
- Flexible approach to to-dos - tasks that are not completed today are not marked as overdue, but automatically moved to the next day's schedule until completed;
- Beautiful UI design with drag-and-drop functionality for easy management of to-dos.
During my undergraduate and graduate studies, Things 3 helped me break down various life, study, and career projects, allowing me to manage them in an organized manner using GTD principles. After entering the workforce, I naturally wanted to use Things 3 for managing work tasks. However, I was disappointed to find that Things 3 does not have an official version compatible with Windows systems, and all the work computers provided by the company are running on Windows.
I have tried some unconventional methods, such as purchasing DroidCam to use Things 3 on my work computer by operating it through my phone, or searching for various Windows GTD applications that meet my requirements, such as Microsoft's web version of To-do or the built-in task workspace in Feishu. However, none of them worked well for me.
Because I have been using Feishu's multidimensional tables to manage projects, one day I had an idea: can I modify Feishu's multidimensional tables to make them suitable for GTD? Although the template library of multidimensional tables already includes project management templates for teams and individuals, the team version is not suitable for organizations that do not use Feishu extensively, and the individual version is too simple and cannot meet my project-oriented needs.
Through trial and error in my work practice, I have now developed a relatively complete template that can be shared - I still use Things 3 in the iOS ecosystem for life-related projects, and I use Feishu's multidimensional tables for work-related projects. This deliberate "physical separation" is also to better distinguish between work and personal life. With this arrangement, there is no need for all-in-one synchronization for me.
Template Examples and Usage#
Next, I will introduce the specific usage of the developed template based on Feishu's multidimensional tables, and provide the template link at the end. The current template consists of three data tables, which build the basic data and establish relationships between tables.
Organizational Structure Data Table#
In the initial template, the organizational structure data table includes companies, departments, or project teams that have frequent work interactions. In this data table, you can continuously add the required fields for each department, such as department attributes, cooperation intentions, department functions, etc.
Partners Data Table#
In the partners data table, you can add people with whom you frequently work, including colleagues, supervisors, suppliers, customers, etc. When selecting departments or project teams, you can establish a bidirectional relationship by selecting records from the organizational structure data table, and the corresponding company will be automatically filled in. Collaboration scenarios can be customized, and multiple tags can be added at any time.
The bidirectional relationship means that the partners will also be automatically filled in the organizational structure data table.
Task List Data Table#
The task list consists of 7 views, but the data in the views are synchronized, which means that you can add, edit, modify, and complete to-dos in any view, and the changes will be reflected in other views.
In the "To-Do" view, you can add to-dos to the existing project groups, and you can also break down larger tasks. However, the depth of task decomposition is limited, with a maximum of two levels. For each subtask, you can add execution dates, agreed-upon times, and collaborators.
The "Collaboration Date" is set to the date format by default, only specifying the date, as many small tasks do not have specific times or are scheduled within a time range. If there is a specific time point or time range, you can indicate it in the "Agreed-Upon Time" field, such as AM 9:00-11:00, or use AM to represent the morning. This setting allows the "Today" view to sort the tasks for the morning and afternoon. This field can also be left blank.
Taking the example of an external training project group, I will demonstrate the addition of to-dos and the decomposition of subtasks:
If there are some temporary tasks or tasks that have not been assigned to a specific project group, you can directly place them here, similar to the Inbox in Things 3.
If a new project appears, you can click "New Group" to create a new group and drag the tasks to the project.
Additionally, completed tasks will be filtered out in this view, as it is intended to focus on unfinished tasks. A comprehensive review of all tasks can be done in the "Overview" view.
To-Do (Calendar View)#
The calendar view is mainly used to visually see the distribution of to-dos over time. The most common use case is to adjust task timing by simple drag-and-drop. It also provides a clear overview of future tasks. When there are other tasks that you want to prioritize, you can use this view to make priority judgments and reject or schedule tasks accordingly.
Today (Project View) & (Collaboration View)#
In the "Today" view, only to-dos with an "Execution Date" of today will be displayed. At the beginning of a new workday, you can focus on this view to complete your to-dos. The project view uses "Project Group" as the grouping criterion, allowing you to see which projects the tasks completed today are mainly related to. The to-dos in this view are sorted based on the "Agreed-Upon Time", from morning to evening.
When completing a to-do, you can directly click the checkbox or click on the card to enter the details page and add more information, such as specific feedback or relevant attachments. The additional details and notes can be used to create a simplified Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or hand it over to other colleagues after completing a project that needs to be reused.
The collaboration view uses "Collaborator" as the grouping criterion, which means that when you need to collaborate or report to a specific partner, even if there are multiple tasks across projects related to that partner, you can easily find and allocate time to work with them. Unclassified to-dos are tasks that can be completed independently.
Tomorrow and Automation Settings#
The "Tomorrow" view is similar to the "Today" view, with the only difference being that the "Execution Date" is set to "Tomorrow". You can browse the tasks for the next day's work distribution before leaving work and make adjustments or additions based on the actual situation.
In addition, following the unfinished task design logic of Things 3, tasks that are not completed today will automatically be moved to the next day's tasks after 24:00, reducing the need for manual adjustments and ensuring that unfinished tasks are automatically rescheduled and followed up. The automation settings are shown in the following image:
If you want to change 24:00 to the end of the workday, click on "Automation" in the upper right corner, and modify the built-in time for the "Reschedule Tasks" workflow.
Overview & Overview (Calendar View)#
As the name suggests, the "Overview" view aims to aggregate completed and unfinished tasks based on projects, making it easier to review and create new to-dos from a holistic perspective. In work, there is often a feeling of fatigue from doing many scattered and busy tasks, and when it comes time to write a summary report, it feels like you can't remember anything. However, if you review everything after completing each task, the process becomes too cumbersome. The "Overview" view allows you to achieve "completed = recorded = multidimensional review" without reviewing each task individually.
Using the example of external training, after completing the training for organization C, the past to-dos become part of the process itself, serving as a reference and reuse for the next training for organization D. By reviewing the training process for organization C, you can systematically archive information such as time periods, who to ask for help, what to pay attention to, and what forms to fill out, based on the execution dates, collaborators, specific feedback, and relevant attachments.
You can easily expand or collapse each item using the triangle symbol on the left, and when collapsed, you can review your history in the "External Training" project by seeing which training you have participated in.
The calendar view based on this is not explained in detail here, as it simply provides a different time dimension to view completed and pending tasks. It is suitable for systematically reviewing various reports with time ranges, such as weekly and monthly reports. However, more importantly, this view gives a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, serving as a positive self-motivation.
To access the template, please click: https://o90hpulfak.feishu.cn/base/JafibxTvnamsbJsOgjncaZaEn4g?table=tblgwmAdv4LwHJb7&view=vewXhJ9QrO
Click on the link above to enter the multidimensional table, then click on "More" in the upper right corner, and click on "Create Copy" to copy the structure or content according to your needs.
With the modifications made to Feishu's multidimensional tables, it is now possible to achieve several key features that I value in Things 3. The bidirectional relationship with the organizational structure and partners data tables is more suitable for work scenarios, and it can be used across Windows and macOS platforms.
Furthermore, it is free to use on mobile phones, tablets, and computers.
> Follow TechNode's official account to unlock a new reading experience 📰
> Discover practical and useful genuine software presented by TechNode 🚀
© This article is the author's original work and is exclusively authorized for use by TechNode. Without permission from TechNode, it may not be reproduced or used.