One Thing

Put a single task or goal in your menu bar

This can be a useful tool to help you focus on a single task.

Some examples of what you could write:

  • Eat more healthily
  • Exercise
  • Reply to Sarah’s email
  • Be happy
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Finish the 🦄 project
  • Important meeting today

However, what you use this space for is really up to you.

You can achieve almost anything in life — as long as you focus on achieving one thing at a time. It’s a time-tested strategy that’s been shared by many successful people.


  • Press return/esc or click the menu bar item to close the edit window.
  • Click the menu bar item while pressing shift to clear the text.
  • Right-click the menu bar item to be able to quit the app quickly.
  • If the menu bar item text is truncated, hover over it to see the full text in a tooltip.
  • You can use Markdown to style the text (supports bold, italic, and strikethrough) and add links.
  • You can drag & drop text onto the menu bar item to set it. For example, you could drag a todo item from the Reminders app or Things.
  • Select some text in any app, right-click, select “Services”, and click “Send to One Thing” to set One Thing to the selected text. You can also use the “Share” menu item if the app supports that.


One Thing can be automated using the Shortcuts app or with a custom URL scheme.

More integrations:

Shortcuts app


Custom URL scheme

The menu bar item text can be set from any tool that can open an URL. This includes, a website, Bash, Node.js, Python, Swift, etc.

For example, in your terminal:

open --background 'one-thing:?text=Exercise'

Don’t forget to URL encode the value for the text= search parameter. For example, using this Bash function.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a feature request, bug report, or some feedback

Send it here.

The menu bar item has disappeared!

macOS hides menu bar items that do not fit. Click here to reset the text.

I made the text too long and now the menu bar item is hidden

Click here to reset the text.

What if I have two things?

The point is to focus on one thing at a time. Humans work best this way. However, nothing is stopping you from writing two things, for example, with a · character in-between.

How can I show the next task in the “Today” list in Things in One Thing?

You can use the macOS Shortcuts app for this. Things unfortunately does not have very good Shortcuts support (Please tell them to improve that!), so we have to resort to AppleScript to fetch the next task in the “Today” list. Here’s an example shortcut.

Shortcuts does not yet support automation, so to have the shown todo stay in sync with Things, we need to use the Shortery app to run the shortcut. Choose the “Application” trigger type and make it trigger when Things becomes “Inactive”. Alternatively, place the shortcut in the menu bar and run it manually.

How can I show a todo from my favorite todo app in One Thing?

Do something similar to the above answer.

How can I put spacing on the sides of the text?

You can add some horizontal padding around the text by adding multiple spaces to the “Prefix” and “Suffix” settings.

Can you add iOS / watchOS support?

I plan to do it if the app takes off. So tell your friends.

How can I export, import, sync, or backup the settings?

See this guide.

Is the app native?

Yes, it’s native and written in Swift and SwiftUI.

Why is this free without ads?

I just enjoy making Mac apps. Consider leaving a nice review on the App Store.

Where can I find the changelog?

Go here and click “Version History”.

Can you localize the app into my language?

I don’t have any immediate plans to localize the app.

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