Potion Factory Blog

A Contest

We know people are eagerly awaiting The Hit List companion iPhone app and we thought we'd help a few people get it a little early with a contest. Send us a description of an interesting way that you use The Hit List to contest@potionfactory.com. We'll pick up to 10 of the best entries and offer them the opportunity to participate in a closed beta program for the iPhone app when it's ready.

Comments to this post will not enter you into the contest; only emails sent to contest@potionfactory.com that contain descriptions of how you use The Hit List will.

We're not looking for a description of a feature, but rather how THL fits into your workflow or helps you get stuff done. Do you have a good tagging system that helps you track a project? Are you keeping notes for a thesis? Is it reminding you to do something you previously forgot about? We're looking for anything interesting and possibly helpful to others. Please try to be brief but descriptive. We hope to use some of the info in our documentation and on our website.

All entries must be received before September 21st, 2009 EDT.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Enter as often as you wish, but please one entry per email to contest@potionfactory.com.
  2. A person can only win one slot in the iPhone Closed Beta Program.
  3. Screenshots are allowed, but please no screencasts.
  4. All decisions are final and at the sole discretion of the Potion Factory LLC.
  5. All submissions become the property of the Potion Factory LLC. We hope to reuse your ideas but will ask if we want to reuse your name.
  6. To participate in the iPhone Closed Beta program you must supply your own iPhone or iPod Touch (we will not give you one).
  7. Participation in the iPhone Closed Beta program does not imply a license when the product ships.
  8. iPhone Closed Beta participants may not tell others about the product before it ships.
  9. We will contact the winners via email


Allen Schneider

I love your desktop app, and would LOVE to work with you guys on the iPhone app. I love giving feedback. Thanks!

Jamie Maddocks

I am also a iPhone Developer so I know the kind of feedback you want about crashes and so on, in the beta period.

Ronald R. Valente

I use The Hit List to manage all of my open support cases because the built-in tools available to me at work are just terrible to use. The Hit List allows me to set my own priorities, keep notes, and set times for tasks which aid me when I close the case through the web ticket system when the case is complete. I am working on a way to pull the information directly from the site into The Hit List currently.

I couldn't imaging going back to the support site we us on a day-to-day basis.

Tom Schlick

I am a full time web developer working for a startup and i use the hitlist everyday to keep track of my to-do's on both the coding side and from a contractor standpoint. i would love to use my ipod touch to help keep me organized on the go.

Lindsey Breeden

The Hit List just helped me land a job!

I recently was laid-off and used The Hit List to keep track of applications I submitted as well as adding and tracking email responses from prospective employers. During the entire process, I was completely organized thanks to THL and I landed a new job in under one month. I can't wait for the iPhone app!


man, you guys are REALLY good at following directions.

Mike Cohen

I want it! I love THL, but I'm using Things only because it has an iPhone App and THL doesn't. I desperately want to use THL & sync with my iPhone.

David Hellmann

gogogo for the iphone app!!

Matt Witmer

I am a Hit List user and would love to get to test out the iPhone version. I would really like to be able to enter in to-dos from my classes instead having to write them down and then enter them on my computer once I get back to my dorm, like I am doing now.


I want to participate, i love the desktop app.

Kang Chen

I would love to beta test this and help squash some bugs!

Steven Hollingsworth

I use The Hit List's great tagging system to keep track of projects and assignments in my college courses as well as keep track of projects for clients in my freelancing business. The ability to assign tags, priorities, and contexts helps me to stay on track and not get behind on any of my projects. I honestly do not know what I would do without it.

Nicolas Thomsen

I have bought and used every single "big" todo app for iPhone, from Things to Omnifocus, Todo, Pocket Informant and Remember the Milk. I have used all of them extensively in my search to find the perfect GTD app.
I use these different apps to manage all my tasks, but personal, work and freelance. I am very picky when it comes to GTD/todo apps and would be able to put it to the test. I have The Hit List for mac OS as well.


I'm a full time worker but I use The Hit List to get my household clean and to remember what I need o do in the near future. I use it both as a GTD tool and a calendat and I love it! I would be glad to try out the beta version of Hit List!


I like the desktop-app and could help with the iPhone App. As I'm from Germany, perhaps it helps for debugging our special umlauts :-) I use THL daily for work (in combination with Things App).

Kang Chen

I've been using THL for months and reported numerous bugs on the application during this time so I am confident that it will be a great asset going forward.

In terms of usage, I envision seamless sync between the iphone and desktop. My busy work life as an engineer on a team requires me to spend a lot of time on the desktop. However, parts of my team work remotely so it's a nice simulation of how many freelancers or small business perform their functions everyday. Being on a busy team also requires me to have quick access to data on a more portable device so I can properly allocate my time and not get overloaded. In addition to work, it's also very crucial to keep my personal life intact and THL mobile would be the perfect companion for that.

John Higgins

I use THL for capturing all ideas/tasks for my consultancy business. The tagging system becomes my initial review and smartfolders help me monitor my progress. I am not an ardent adherent to GTD so THL's flexible approach suits my thinking style and work practice. The ability to use AppleScript allows me to capture tasks from several sources so I don't have to remember what I want when I return to the computer

I'm looking forward to iPhone app as it'll allow me to refer to work live rather than referring to an export


I love THL. I switched from Things to THL when I got it in the Macheist bundle, but recently had to switch back for the iPhone app. Will certainly be buying this app when it comes out, but if I could help you test it out and report bugs I would love to help you.

Scott Fringer

Since beginning to use THL, I am now better suited to keep an effective eye on requirements from all aspects of my life; from work and personal, to recurring items (bills, pets, kids) and one time projects. This has been a big help for remembering priorities in all aspects of my life - now if I could keep that aspect management available when I'm on the move via my iPod Touch I would be complete.


...and they wonder why life is so difficult. There isn't a GTD app in the world that can help you if you can't follow directions, LOL!



Well, I'm a software craftsman, working on Mac OS X and iPhone. I'm the lead developer of Mac softwares for Logitech. The Hit List helps me to track tasks and bugs in a timely manner, for several projects at the same time.

The iPhone is the only missing component for a perfect life.

Jonathan Mitchell

I've been using The Hit List in broadly three ways: to manage my work (self-employed webmaster), my studies (I'm a mature undergrad studying politics), and finally the various diverse activities involved in an everyday life. I've found the desktop application excellent for all three of these, though to varying degrees. It balances flexibility with accessibility much better than its competitors (one of which I find daunting to even look at; the other, which I've looked at again recently, lacks the intuitiveness of THL's keyboard shortcuts and frankly miraculous "File To" command).

My everyday and work uses of THL are most likely unsurprising, and uninteresting. For university, I have a list for each module. Within these, I use hierarchies to break up multi-part tasks, and tags to categorise where the task is to be carried out, e.g., @home, @library, @lecture, @seminar, and so on. I also use it to keep more long term (i.e., no start/due date) lists of books and articles that I intend to read at some point in the future. I've used it to manage all my weekly readings over my first year, and to organise exam revision, and six essays.

While THL has been more or less satisfactory for work usage (as I'm usually at the computer), I've really missed an iPhone app while at university. I don't generally bring my MacBook with me on campus; I have enough to carry with a bag of books, etc), and my iPod touch takes care of almost everything I need in my day-to-day studies (Mail, Safari, iDisk, Writeroom to send short notes to Scrivener). All I lack is THL Mobile. I usually end up copying my todos into Notes.app, which is a rather kludgy workaround. I really relish being able to tick off my reading list as I pick up books in the library, and quickly capturing todos while in tutorials and lectures. I'm really hoping that the iPhone app proves to be as promising as the desktop app has been.

Jonathan Mitchell

Ergh. Must read before reflex-posting!

Anna Baur

OMG, so embarrassing. I entered my thoughts in the comment field without even thinking! Could you delete it please? Thanks...

Anna Baur

And now I realize everyone else was making the same mistake. Damn internet comments, immortalizing my double dose of idiocy. :)


Please consider me for the beta program.

Currently using Omnifocus, but wanting to try something else. I've tried Things and Nozbe as well... toodledo too.

There is still something missing.


Anybody actually read the post?


OK, should have read better.

I suppose if I cannot follow simple instructions, I cannot beta test a software. Fair enough, let's write that in The Hit List then: "learn to follow simple instructions", due 03/10/2050 2:15pm.

I also use The Hit List for that. ;)


Things is great because it is simple and does not prescribe how it is used. It is utterly useless mobile, because it does not do over-the-air syncing (only locally via WiFi - which means you have to remember to do it when you're in the office AND at home).

OmniFocus is great because the iPhone and multiple desktop instances sync over-the-air via MobileMe. It is rubbish because it is over-engineered, over-complicated, and prescriptive.

As over-the-air is the only way to ensure that home, office, and mobile are all in sync, I am forced to use the clumsy OmniFocus.

Therefore, if The Hit List iPhone app is as simple as its desktop version, and they both sync over-the-air, then I would absolutely love to participate in a beta. However, if there is no such synching, then don't waste a beta-test slot on me as I simply wouldn't use it.


i've been holding out on buying things in the hopes that you guys would come through with an iphone app soon. waiting with bated breath, as it were. so i would love to test out the iphone app and provide feedback.

i use thl to just capture all sorts of tasks, particularly stuff around the house like finishing remodeling projects. i set long timeframes, and it means i don't have to keep a mental list.

Wout Mertens

Well, even though they didn't follow instructions, it was still very interesting to read the comments.

I love THL (got it through MacHeist) but I don't use it because it doesn't have iPhone sync. Right now I use OmniFocus, and thanks to THL I realized that I hate those inspector-type floating windows. I stopped using them and simply add the columns I need to view much like THL. That said, THL has multiple tags per entry, those awesome smart search tabs and just looks so much friendlier, I really hope I can switch soon :)

So here's to the iPhone version, may it come out soon with OTA sync. Oh and an Android version too please, I'm thinking about switching but I can't as long as my GTD list can't be supported. :)

written on iPhone btw, it took a while.


It took so long and it's not even in beta test... with the length of Apple app approval process, i guess we are not gonna see the app till 2010.


I'll use THL to save my marriage. I forget things. She gets mad as an old hornet. I'll love using this I swear.


I know I am not entered in the contest by writing here, but I had to mention the joy and rapture I felt flood my soul when I read Howard's post. The end is near!

Bryan Tamayo

I've used them all and cab give honest feedback and help with your app. I like the desktop version so I was eager tohwar if the iPhone app!


I have used the Hit List to prioritize and handle the work that I do with startups that are being housed in our technology accelerator. The real gap for me is that I have to be mobile as I go from meeting to meeting - and this would fill it nicely. I'd love to participate!


Please add me. I'm a user of omnifocus and have tried things - not very good tbh. Was looking for something new as omni is a bit of a monster. Would love to help make hit list better than them all!

Robert Muchacki

As a Project Manager I use Hit List on a daily basis to manage all the projects I curently have - to prioritize, to remember about all the small things that I usually forget. By using tags I easily can jump between projects. Thanks to the Hit List I manage to keep in time with my work.

By having a mobile version on my iPhone, I won't need to write down things on paper and then rewrite them on my computer. It would be neet to test the iPhone app for you.

Daniel Ditgens

I use Hit List for three month and I like it so bad. Synchronization with iCal and Mail is perfect for my daily business but there is a gap: the Hit List iPhone app! So I don't need to turn on my MacBook and write it down in my iPhone. Just perfect!

So please add me for BETA TEST!

Jan Rychter

Please don't neglect the desktop application because of the iPhone app. This happened to many developers and the results are disappointing.


I am very happy to hear the iPhone app is in betastage. I am a heavy user, cto, venture consultant with a quite big experience.

If you like I will invest some time to test the app. That will be a pleasure, because I love your desk-app and put things and omnifocus away. And I still wait with pressure to have thl on my iPhone and touch!

Gabrielo C. H. Leung

It's great that the beta finally come!!!! I've been eager for the iPhone app so long time since I got the desktop app from MacHeist~~ I use THL for all my works and errands(works, family) to remind me:
1. download e-statement and attach to the Bento 2 (credit card/water bills/electric bills/cell phone/hong kong government rent/...etc),
2. credit card payment,
3. daughter's reading progress(what chapter, finishing date)
4. reminding my mother to contact lawyer/accountant/property agent/doctor
5. health care/body check(repeat yearly)
6. cancel some insurance option, inflation protector option endorsement (every 2 years)
7. shopping list
8. collect rent
9. keep contact architect of every step to build my house
10. who owe my books/games/dvd
11. start date of any event

I am not asking to join the beta testing. Because I'm not good at english, unable to provide clear feedback or any helps. What I want to say is this news makes me so happy!!!!! THL I love YOU. You are the best!!!

I tried Omnifocus and Things before, but they don't fit my needs.
I have a lot of errands for my work and family(mother, sister, wife, daughters.....etc). That make me a lot of tags. THL giving me a easy tagging experience, which is so great !! I can type simply like this

@email the /property related/ application form to /mammy to tell her to sign for /sister

Yes!! Everything in a line without moving my mouse here and there. It save me a lot of time~ In “Things” even the sentence is including the keywords but I still have to tag every keywords again in the Keywords field. So stupid!!
And I don’t even know how to tag multi-Context in omnifocus(maybe I don’t know how to use it, that means not user friendly).
Please keep this great feature in iPhone App~~

And the powerful tags helps me managing my stuffs.
Even the titles scatter in different list, simply click the @Email, bring me every task i needs.

The second reason i love THL is “Today”, “Upcoming”.
I input everything in THL, as little as downloading e-Statement(PDF, monthly) or controlling the progress about how’s my daughters reading a book(chapter 1, due date). Including the repeating task, THL is showing more than 100 tasks in my dock everyday. So what i need is a list to tell me what to do today and tomorrow and the upcoming within a month.

In “things”, the NEXT is not really next, it includes some no-dated tasks in area/project and tasks in today. Too many task out there makes me lost my focus. However too many task doesn’t mean “ALL” Tasks. It don’t show Inbox and Someday. I still miss some upcoming tasks because above reasons.

In “Omnifocus” the upcoming is too short, next week? just not enough for me.

The Third reasons is and the flexibility of Smart Folder.
I have 2 smart folders
1. No date : Start is not set, Due is not set
2. All : Lists or Folder is Inbox, Lists or Folder is not Inbox

when i finish everything in “today”, and nothing i can do for “upcoming”, i will check “no date” rather than checking List by List to see anything i missed.

The “ALL” list is way to help me search my task.
Because i don’t know how to search an apple when i am in a meat list.
Is there anyway to search something out of the list?
when i am in list a, i want to search “chocolate” which maybe in list b or list c?
Something I drop the task in wrong list, i can’t find it
Will there a default “ALL” list or improving the search field?(or i don’t know how to use it ?)


Gabrielo C. H. Leung

How I use The Hit List
1. combine the keyword in the title : @email the /property related/ application form to /mammy to tell her to sign for /sister

2. Sort Tag bundle by
a. Contact(family/agents/shop/friends/workmate/tenant)
b. action-base(@fax/@phone call/@email/@sign a document/@download)
c. object-base (computer/statement/receipts/books/dvd/games/property)
d. place-base(school/office/home)
e. event-base(open day/ wedding/annual dinner/exhibition)

3. enter the start date/due date if needed

4. build 2 smart folders :
a. No date : Start is not set, Due is not set
( to check anything i can do right now which are out of "today" and "upcoming"
b. All : Lists or Folder is Inbox, Lists or Folder is not Inbox
( for searching some tasks that i don't switch between a lot of lists)


Sample illustrating why I deserve the iPhone beta :-)

TASK: "Read post @computer from /Howard Melman/ closely. Take notice of /THL /iPhone /Contest rules stating 'Comments to this post will NOT enter you into the contest; only @email sent to contest@potionfactory.com that contain descriptions of how you use /THL will'"
DUE DATE: 09/21/09

Riccardo Pareschi

Happy user of THL, I great appreciate the iPhone version.
If you need help, please consider me as beta tester. I'm a freelance web & graphic designer and musician.

Jason Evers

So I sync Hit List between work compy and laptop with Dropbox, and until I get the iPhone app, I'm going to have to keep pasting into Evernote for my mobile lists. Once whatever is done or taken care of, I currently have to migrate the completed things back or, if it's finished, just delete the list.

I'd love to be able to take these steps out of my workflow and get a better idea of how the iPhone app will function to make my lists as effortless to maintain across the desktop, laptop, iphone and ipod that I'd like it to be on. This app would be a great one to put to the test and I would put it through the ringer.

Gabrielo C. H. Leung

Yes, Comments to this post will NOT enter you into the contest

If anyone want to give some comments only but not joining the contest,
maybe we can have a discussion in the below link~


I want to manage it in time!
I want to sort it by time!

Michael Critz

get things done proper
The Hit List on my iPhone
a beta haiku


I love your beta haiku! :)

Steve Lininger

You tards, you are supposed to email your beta request, NOT WRITE IT HERE!


I entered a while ago and haven't heard anything, so my assumption is that the contest is over and participants have already been selected?

Andrew Deibel

I just entered, hope I'm not too late, I really want to try this puppy out. Can't wait for it to go live, I would pay $40 for it, if I could have it now!


How much will The iPhone app cost? I'm not buying things because of its price. I you do choose to go down the ~$10 path, please make a free, add-supported version or something. And an ad-supported desktop version like netnewswire has would be nice as well.