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How to sync Things on Mac and iPhone with Bluetooth or USB

Things is a great GTD-based piece of software for Mac and iPhone, and as you’d expect the two products can be synchronised.

However, at the moment, you can only sync between them via WiFi when they’re on the same network – which can be a pain if, for example, you want to sync somewhere there isn’t a public WiFi zone.

However, if you have Internet tethering set up on your iPhone, you can in fact do it. Simply tether your iPhone to the Mac either with USB or Bluetooth, start up both applications, and they will happily sync – no WiFi network required.

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  • http://www.recedinghairline.co.uk Christopher Phin

    …and, of course, as people* always forget, you can always use the Sharing pane of System Preferences to create an ad-hoc wireless network which you can then join your iPhone or iPod touch to.

    * Not saying you did – your point was about Bluetooth/USB syncing – but still worth reminding folks about the ad-hoc thing.

  • Ian Betteridge


  • http://www.devilx.net Marius M.

    Or use Dropbox to Sync Things over multiple Mac: http://www.devilx.net/2009/10/02/put-some-things-into-your-dropbox/ :-)


  • Amy

    No, not so much bluetooth happiness here. After a half hour trying to make it work, I went to the Cultured Code web site. It’s still not possible. Their web site says that

    “Syncing via USB cable or Bluetooth is technically not possible for third party applications from the App Store. That’s why Things uses Wi-Fi.”

    Here’s what I do: My desktop machine is not on the house’s open wireless; it is on the internet by wire on a secure network. I had to buy a new router to create a wifi just for this purpose, and to sync Things, I have to turn it on, go to the iphone settings and wait for the ForThingsOnly network to appear, and go on. Then start up Things on the iphone and mac, let them sync, then turn off the wireless router. Tedious! I wish it could just sync when everything else syncs!!

  • http://the-performancegroup.com Harald

    Dear Amy,

    I use Internet tethering to sync Things between my mac and my iPhone when no WiFi available. It works just perfect. The only prerequisite is that you enable Internet Tethering on your iPhone (Settings – General – Network), start bluetooth on both mac and iPhone and pair them. All this is done just once. From here on, all you have to do is to select your iPhone by clicking the Bluetooth icon in the top-right menubar, have Things open on both mac and iPhone, and that’s it!

  • http://jeffsimons.com Jeff

    Wow, this works like a charm! Thanks for the tip :)

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  • Anonymous

     well.. I’m using ,,Plan” .It Sync my tasks on the go to Cloud 😉

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