OopsieThings: My Most-Used AppleScript for Things on Mac

This used to happen to me on a regular basis: I would hit the hotkey to bring up the Things Quick Entry window… but nothing would happen.

After waiting a few seconds wondering where it was, I’d realize that Things wasn’t even running.

So, I would then launch Things, let it load, and then hit the quick entry hotkey once again to capture that initial task.

Now, I let my computer do the thinking for me in those moments. I created a script that takes care of all this and I call it “OopsieThings”.1

OopsieThings — How it Works

When it runs, the OopsieThings script will check to see if Things is running. If Things is running then the script does nothing and Things brings up the Quick Entry Pane for you just as it should.

But, if Things is not running then the script will automatically launch the app and bring up the Quick Entry pane for you.

Effectively, what it means is that any time you hit your hotkey to bring up the Quick Entry pane, you are guaranteed to get it even if Things is not running.

How To Use It

  1. Download the script below. It’s saved as a plain text file, so you can copy/paste it into the Script Editor on your Mac, and then save it as a new AppleScript.

  2. Get out your your global AppleScript invoker of choice. I use Keyboard Maestro, though FastScripts and Alfred are also excellent choices.2

  3. In your keyboard launcher, create a new action that triggers upon the same hotkey combination that you use to activate the Quick Entry pane in Things. (For me, this is Shift+CMD+Space.)

  4. Then set your new AppleScript to run whenever you press the hotkey combo. 

  5. Note that you may need to adjust the Privacy Access settings on your Mac to allow the script to run.

Here’s how I have it set up in Keyboard Maestro:


Since this script can easily be edited to work with OmniFocus and Todoist I’ve also included the variants below.

  1. Trivia fact: This script was originally called “OopsieFocus” because I wrote it way back in 2011 when I was an OmniFocus user. 

  2. That’s a very nerdy paragraph, so let me explain if you’re not familiar. Basically the apps above can be “on call” on your Mac, and whenever you type in a particular keyboard shortcut, then you can have something cool happen.

    For example, in Keyboard Maestro, I have a keyboard shortcut set up using CMD+SHIFT+M to open up my email app. And OPT+CMD+T opens up a new, blank text document in Simplenote.