Sunday, June 3, 2018

OmniFocus 3 for iOS

Brent Simmons:

OmniFocus for iOS is now celebrating ten years on the App Store — it’s been there since day one, and we’ve been so proud to see it earn its status as the trusted to-do list app.

This major update is the result of two years of design and engineering work — much of it under the hood — to bring new features, better workflows and user experience, and even more reliability and safety.

At the same time, the app should still feel familiar to everyone who used OmniFocus 2.

Indeed, it feels like a nice refinement. I like the new undo button. The release notes are far from exhausitve.

Ken Case:

Implementing free trials, upgrade discounts, and free upgrades for recent purchases for all our iOS apps was a whole lot of work—but on days like today (OmniFocus 3 release day) it’s nice to see that effort pay dividends in customer satisfaction.

Omni Group:

OmniFocus 3 for iOS is a free download in the App Store, with the Standard and Pro feature sets available via In-App Purchase. We also offer a 14-day free trial, after which OmniFocus will function as a free viewer.

The purchase options available to you are based upon your purchase history. If you owned a previous version of OmniFocus for iPad or iPhone, you can purchase Pro or Standard in v3 at a discount. If you start with Standard and decide you want Pro later, you can upgrade for the difference in cost.

Eric Bowers:

OmniFocus 1 and OmniFocus 2 were both very much geared toward the GTD method and contained some built-in Context lists like “Errands” as a default, and included a Project perspective to ensure that you captured items that were more complex to complete. It was and still is the gold standard for GTD in the Mac and iOS user-space.

However, some folks didn’t want to practice a “purely GTD” system, and that’s where the advent of OmniFocus 3 begins to add a lot of possibility to a once workflow-specific system.


A reason that each task now has a cleaned-up interface in OmniFocus 3 is due to what is called “Progressive Disclosure.” Progressive Disclosure is best exemplified by the “Repeat” setting.

Ryan Christoffel:

Notifications are now much more powerful in OmniFocus 3, because each task can now be assigned as many notifications as you’d like.

When a task is assigned a due date, by default it will receive a matching notification, just like in OmniFocus 2. Now, however, you can also add custom notifications to a task whether it has a due date or not. If you want a system that nags you until a particular task is done, you can create multiple reminders, spaced five or ten minutes apart, that won’t stop bugging you until you’ve marked the task complete.


Batch editing is the best small feature of OmniFocus 3.

Marc A. Kastner:

The Omni Group refreshed the look of OmniFocus for iOS. I would not go as far as calling it a revamp in design language - but various color changes, bolder font styles, and stronger contrasts make the app more visually pleasing.


The iPad now features a three pane layout, which is much easier to use than the previous sliding layout behavior in OF2.

David Sparks:

I’ve been experimenting with tags based on energy level, so when I’m in the afternoon doldrums, I can have OmniFocus show me just a list of “brain dead” tasks I can check off without needing to concentrate. I’m also experimenting with certain classifications of work. For example, I’ve created a tag that relates to a very specific online corporate filing I do for some of my legal clients. It’s a massive pain in the neck to get logged in, and that process started so now, with a tag, I can easily get a list of all those filings (regardless of project) once I do log in to the creaky government flash-based website and batch the filings all at once.


I’ve been adding more locations tags with places I go often like the grocery store, the post office, Target, and the hardware store so whenever I go in, I get a notification and can take a look at my list. Because this is tag based, it can pull items tagged to my location out of any of my projects.

A lot of folks like to set their tasks in an A-B-C priority order. You can do that. You can do whatever floats your boat. Make tags for tasks you just want to perform in the morning. Make tags for tasks you’ll only perform while drinking tea.

Jason McIntosh:

In recognition of how much this software-assisted cycle has helped me over the years, and in the hope that it may help someone else as well, this article describes several strategies I use when working with this glorified to-do list program. I focus here more on overall approaches than on software-specific tips-n-tricks.


I have a context called “Waiting”, whose status I marked as On Hold, and which has no particular location or other information associated with it. When the next step in a project literally involves me waiting for something to happen — an email response, a package arrival, and so on — then I represent it with a task — “Wait for Jim-Bob’s reply”, say — and assign that task the Waiting context.

Previously: Omni’s IAP Trials and Upgrade Discounts, Omni’s 2017 Plans, OmniFocus 2018 Roadmap.

Update (2018-06-03): John Gordon notes that, because of the In-App Purchases, OmniFocus no longer works with Family Sharing.

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