OmniFocus 2 (Mac App Store) is now available. In general, I am finding it to be well designed. The menus and options are refined and simplified. It’s a bit less flexible than previous versions, but I think it’s more approachable.
The beta’s problems with low information density remain, though you can somewhat mitigate them by clicking this link to enable the experimental “compact” layout. Even with the single line layout, the window makes less efficient use of space. For example, in OmniFocus 1 there were 219 pixels from the left edge of the window to left edge of my actions. In OmniFocus 2, with the narrowest possible sidebar, it’s 387 pixels. The minimum font size is also larger, so the actions themselves show less text in the same width.
The text itself is now set in ApproximaNova, rather than a font of my choosing. So there’s no way to get high-quality unsmoothed text like I could with Osaka. With font smoothing, the text looks fuzzy on a non-Retina display. They gray note text is especially hard to read.
You can use OmniFocus 1 and 2 simultaneously, since they are sync-compatible. This is interesting for comparing the design, as well as the speed. Some actions, such as flipping views, are faster in 2. Arrow-keying through projects and contexts is much faster in 1. Moving actions up and down has always been slow and still is.
Many of the screenshots show OmniFocus in full screen mode. Indeed, it doesn’t seem to have been designed for small windows. If you have the sidebar or inspector hidden, showing them can grow the window off the right edge of the screen, and hiding them doesn’t always put things back the way they were.
I like the redesigned inspector, but the resizing problems could be avoided if it were available as a popover or floating window. Like the iPhone version, there are now buttons to quickly defer a task for a day, week, or month. I prefer to use a script bound to a keyboard shortcut.
The manual—which is well done—is now available on iBooks. Unfortunately, the Mac version of iBooks doesn’t support scroll wheels and has a distracting animation when paging via the keyboard. The app has a built-in HTML-based help viewer that works better, except that it isn’t searchable. A PDF, with page thumbnails and easy searching, would probably be best.
The app seems to be pretty solid for a new release. The main bugs that I noticed are:
- The “Go to Search Field” menu item and keyboard shortcut don’t always work.
- Services no longer work in the outline when whole actions are selected (just text). I’ve posted a script that works around this so that you can still bulk-open URLs.
- The Control-D binding for Forward Delete no longer works at all in the outline. I’ve long used that to delete actions so that I can keep my right hand on the mouse.
- You can no longer drag and drop actions onto contexts in the outline.
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