OmniFocus HowTo: Printing to 3x5 cards

by Brian on December 11, 2007

Got another question from a customer which I thought other folks might be interested in, so up on the blog it goes!

Q: Has there been any progress on index card printing? I've been checking through the New Features lists with each releases, but I haven't seen anything relevant. Have I missed something? It would be really great if I could print to index cards nicely.

A: You can do this, but it's not something that we mentioned in the feature list. What you want to do is set up a custom paper size, then tell OmniFocus to use that paper size when printing.

(This assumes your printer supports printing to 3x5 cards, of course.)

To set up a custom paper size, do the following:

  1. Open OmniFocus
  2. Select File -> Page Setup
  3. In the Paper Size pop-up menu, select “Manage Custom Sizes”.
  4. In the window that appears, press the plus-sign button in the lower left.
  5. Double-click the new item that appears in the left column, and rename it to “3x5 Notecard”.
  6. On the right side of the page, set the page width to 5 inches, and the page height to 3 inches.
  7. Adjust the printer margins to taste, or leave them on the default values.
  8. Press the Okay button to close the window and save your custom paper size.

You'll now be taken back to the page setup sheet in OmniFocus. Again, assuming your printer supports printing to 3x5 cards, you can now select your custom paper size in the “Paper Size” pop-up. Press the Okay button.

Do a test print (or preview), adjust to taste, and you're all set to take your OmniFocus info with you all pocket-sized.


OmniFocus HowTo: Printing an 'on the go' task list

by Brian on December 3, 2007

Last week, your humble support ninja got this in an email from a customer:

It would be nice to select which tasks/projects I want to have printed out and get some more information on my piece of paper (e.g. dates).

This is pretty easy to do, and I figured other folks might want to do this as well, so up on the blog it goes!

OmniFocus has a feature called “Perspectives” which allows you to set up different views of your information that you'd like to access quickly and easily. For example, I have one perspective saved that focuses on my Support Ninja tasks and another that shows all my completed actions, which flip over to during those “when did i do that task again?” moments I occasionally have.

More importantly, I also have a “To-Go” perspective that shows the contexts for going out and running errands, but not the ones like 'desk', 'office', or 'home'. Whenever I need a new task list, I just switch to that perspective, print my task list, and off I go.

To set this up, do the following:

Switch to context view, then set the window up as you'd like your to-go task list to look. Command-click the relevant contexts to select them, change up the view bar settings, and so forth. Get everything looking how you'd like it to look on paper.

Next, select Perspectives -> Show Perspectives Window from the menu bar. Press the “Plus” button in the lower left. Name the new perspective “To-Go”, or “Printed Task List”, or whatever you'd like.

When you set the perspective up, we add an item for it under the Perspectives menu. From now on, anytime you want to print your task list, just select that menu item and print. We'll apply the settings you specified for you, saving you the effort of twiddling everything yourself.

Pro tip: if the Perspectives window is showing on screen, you can just select the perspective in the window, then hit the quick print button at the bottom. We'll print your list without switching your window to that perspective.

And if you ever want to change how the printout looks, just activate the perspective, adjust how the window is set up, and press the button with the camera icon. We'll save the new settings into your perspective for you.

(One neat trick I used this for - to use less paper, use File -> Page Setup to set the scale to something less than 100%, so you get more tasks on less paper. We'll save that setting into the perspective, too.)



Whoa, $100,000 in under five days!

by Ken Case on November 21, 2007

I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you all for your support!  In less than five days, we've already received over $100,000 in preorders for OmniFocus, making this one of our strongest product launches of all time.

We're still hard at work (as you can see if you've been following along with the multiple beta updates we're pushing out each day)—but it's inspiring to see that the time and resources our team has invested into this over the last 16 months has earned your vote of confidence.

Thank you!


OmniFocus public beta/introductory pricing

by Linda Sharps on November 16, 2007

BIG NEWS OVER HERE PEOPLE. After over 500 sneaky peek releases, which so many of you have been kind enough to give us feedback on, we are finally drawing the OmniFocus early release cycle to a close, with a bright and shiny final release date in mind: January 8, 2008.

As Ken wrote in his message to the OmniFocus mailing list, “We could probably go on indefinitely in this state:  you continue to give us lots of great ideas for ways in which we could improve the software further, and it's hard to resist implementing a good idea when we hear it.”

For REAL. This whole process has taken a lot longer than we had initially guessed, partially because of all the amazing feedback we received along the way. Oh, the spirited conversations that OmniFocus has sparked as we've tweaked the way the application works, and that's just here in the office. I won't get into details, but take it from me: you do not want to use the term “bucket” around here for a while—lest you trigger a frothy-mouthed debate, liberal use of the Caps Lock key, and eventual frantic emailing back-and-forth of walrus images.

Anyway, we've decided not only to commit to a final ship date, but also offer you a special deal. From today until January 8, you can pre-purchase OmniFocus at its introductory rate of $39.95. Once the final version ships, OmniFocus will sell for $79.95—so buy now, and save 50%.

But Omni, you might be thinking. What will I actually get if I buy it now? This sounds like one of those BS marketing schemes where if I buy in the next hour I'll also get a set of steak knives.


Ha ha! Come on, you know us better than that! We would never give you steak knives, because then you might use them to stab us.


If you buy now, you'll get a license that will work in the final version of the software. We'll send you an email when the final version ships, so you'll know exactly when it becomes available.


In the meantime, you can continue to use the beta version, which we're opening up to the general public today. While the betas will still be expiring (so you're encouraged to download more recent versions and not be stuck with bugs we may have fixed), you can easily set your OmniFocus preferences to automatically grab the most recent builds.


Also, if you are an OmniOutliner Professional license owner, you get an additional 25% discount on top of the current introductory pricing. Quantity discounts, educational, and family pricing are all available on our online store.


Thank you for helping us make OmniFocus such a great piece of software, and thank you for your patience during our development cycle.


And now, the relevant links:


OmniFocus and the Way of the (Support) Ninja

by Brian on October 2, 2007

Linda asked lil' ol' me to provide the second post in our ongoing OmniFocus: What We've Learned So Far series. Whether she will come to regret this, only time can tell. Without further ado, the post beginneth thusly:Okay, I'm long-winded; sue me. Before I can really tell you how well the OmniFocus test process is going, though, I feel like I have to supply a bit of background on how we've handled this process for previous projects. It went a little something like this:

  1. Development team produces build of application OmniFoo they're mostly happy with.
  2. Marketing Weasel writes press release, webmaster nee Web Editor updates site with brand-new OmniFoo Beta page. We push new version of website.
  3. VersionTracker, etc. pick up on new build.
  4. Support Ninjas are crushed under a big pile of electronic mail for the next three months. All that is heard from them is a soft but desperate honking noise. Think baby penguin at the bottom of a deep ice-crevasse.
This has a couple of negative effects: first of all, when you're buried in raw oscillating electrons up to your neck, it's really hard on the skin; not at all like that 'drink from the glowy pool of water' scene in Tron would have you believe.More seriously: we get plenty of eyeballs on the new application, which is a good thing. Unfortunately we also got all those eyeballs on the new app at the exact same time. So that thing that's forehead-smackingly obviously broken (which, of course, we failed to catch in the gajillions of hours we spent staring at the app before we pushed it out) gets reported 200 times.Now, the first report of an issue? Good. The tenth? Gold - then we know that this isn't random gremlin activity; there is something here we need to figure out. This holds up till, oh, somewhere between 30 and 50 reports. Beyond that, it's a problem we know about, that we know we need to fix, but from there on out the additional utility of the reports drops off fast. The time it takes the Ninjas to process them doesn't, however.Result: stressed-out ninjas, frustrated engineers (because they're not getting reports of the problems in the newest builds; we're still looking at launch day reports), and the folks with the test builds are having to wade through issues that we haven't fixed because we're still sorting and writing up reports.In short, it works, but it's painful for everyone involved.  So this time, we did something better. Process this time:
  1. A couple months before we're ready to start testing, let folks know we'll be ready to start testing in a couple months. Set up an email list to join if they'd like to participate.
  2. Produce build of application we're ready to start testing.
  3. Make build available to some of the folks on said list.
  4. Fix the problems they find, including forehead-smackers.
  5. Return to step 3, above.
Advantages: Many. We get feedback in manageable quantities. Testers get fixes that bear some resemblance to their reports. Support ninjas get fewer ulcers. World shares cola beverage, sings in perfect harmony.What do we need to do differently next time? To begin with, we need to give customers the ability to help us prioritize their mail, by at the very least sorting it into “bug report”, “feature request”, and “oh god, where is my download login” buckets. The other thing? If we choose to implement any more apps based on the current 800-pound gorilla of personal productivity methodologies, I'm just going to start hiring and never, ever stop. ;-)Which, of course, provides me with a perfect opportunity to link point interested parties over to our Want Work? page, newly updated as of yesterday.