Lion Adoption

by Kris on August 5, 2011

At Omni we've noticed a trend that would make Sigfried and Roy jealous: it seems everyone is rushing to get their very own king-of-the-jungle. Y'see, Apple made it so easy to adopt their brand new Lion operating system—by offering it as an upgrade through the Mac App Store—that folks are clamoring to get a Simba to call their own. 

Alright, pop culture references aside, it's really cool to see so many of our customers taking up a new operating system so quickly. As you can see from the following OmniGraphSketcher file, the percentage of Omni customers using Lion within the first 10 days of its release is nearly the same as those who began using Leopard within the first 100 days of its release. That's quite a curve, if you ask us. 

But some of you might want to ask how we're getting these magical metrics. Well, when you update an Omni app, we get some anonymous system data (if you allow it). This helps us to see the adoption rate of new OS or hardware. It also helps us to see when there are so few users on a particular OS or hardware platform (the PPC architecture, for example) that it might be reasonable for us to stop supporting it. From this type of data we get to confirm our instincts to quickly add Lion features to our apps before the OS ships, and our customers get their favorite apps chock-full of cool Lion features faster than they might if we were just guessing at this stuff. 

Though it may not be as thrilling as a Vegas show with giant ferocious cats, we think this trend is quite encouraging and hopefully you do too. 

OmniPlan 2 is now available!

by Skwirl on July 18, 2011

We're thrilled to announce that OmniPlan v2.0 ships today! Since releasing OmniPlan v1.0, we've learned a lot about how people are using OmniPlan to manage their projects and we think that OmniPlan v1.0 grew into an excellent resource for project planning workflow for a single person. However in undertaking OmniPlan v2.0, we knew that people wanted to bring this workflow and user experience to their teams — and so that's what we focused on: collaboration.

Collaboration in OmniPlan v2.0 allows a manager to create and share a project with their team. By syncing over MobileMe, Omni Sync Server or a WebDAV server, teams are able to synchronize their work and stay up to date on the latest changes.

While collaboration is the most exciting new feature, OmniPlan v2.0 also adds scheduling and printing options and improves performance with large projects to add speed and versatility to your workflow.

We know a lot of you have been anxiously waiting for this, so let's jump right into some of the new features we've added in OmniPlan v2.0:

Collaboration: Sync, Publish, Edit, and Track Changes 

Use a WebDAV server to sync your projects between resources. Then, publish your tasks automatically upon saving. Grab new changes automatically via Bonjour or at a specified interval. (You can also publish and update manually, of course.) Publish tasks and pull in updates from a server-based calendar. Export your plan automatically in any supported format. Execute custom AppleScripts from within the app during export.

Use Apple's Calendar Server to pull in free times and busy times for your resources. Import vacation and holiday schedules from a web-hosted calendar.

Keep track of the changes to the project with visual change tracking. See your own edits on a personal project or see the synced changes on a team project. Accept and reject changes on a task-by-task basis or all at once. 

Scheduling

Fiscal years are now supported in addition to calendar years so you can choose whether your tasks are due in Q2 or Spring. Schedule projects backwards from a fixed end date. Create, save, and compare your projects against multiple baselines. Highlight the critical path to individual milestones in the new ‘‘Project: Milestones’’ inspector. Resource schedules now have optional start and end dates.

Tasks and Resources

Split your tasks to schedule around interruptions. Create hammock tasks that have start and end dates based on prerequisites that you define. Effort and Duration can now be unlinked. Default task and resource attributes can be configured per project or in a template for faster task creation. Color-code tasks based on their resource. Choose independent display formats for duration and effort values.

Filtering

Save multiple, commonly-used filters for quick re-use later. Configure publishing actions to use filters.

Printing Options

Headers and footers are now more flexible. Expand or collapse all notes and task and resource groups. Page margins support mirroring on facing pages. Customize the margin above and below the header and footer.

OmniPlan v2.0 is available from our store and from the Mac App Store for $199.99. Folks who purchased OmniPlan v1.0 from the Mac App Store and our online store between January 6, 2011 and July 17th, 2011 will receive a free upgrade to OmniPlan v2.0. For folks who purchased OmniPlan v1.0 before that date, an OmniPlan v2.0 upgrade is available from our online store for $99.99.

We hope that you'll enjoy the new features, improvements, and updated user interface in OmniPlan v2.0. We've been working very hard on this new version and we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts about OmniPlan v2.0:  please send any feedback, questions or comments to us at omniplan@omnigroup.com and someone from our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

OmniPlan 2.0 rc released!

by Skwirl on July 12, 2011

Hello OmniPlan planners!

The release candidate is here! We're getting very close to OmniPlan 2.0 final, so if you find any issues with this release please let us know. If you'd like to check out the full release notes, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

As always, please keep in mind that this version is still in development so feedback is encouraged and we apologize if it breaks your computer, corrupts your files, or ruins your weekend. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts about OmniPlan v2.0: You can contact us directly by our support page or by using the Send Feedback feature in your copy of OmniPlan.

To start using the new rc, you can use the built-in software updater in OmniPlan v2.0 or you can download it from our website here.

Slay the Leviathan Context

by Bill Van Hecke on June 24, 2011

If you're like us, nearly all of your OmniFocus actions seem to want to go in some leviathan-context called "Computer" or "Online" or something equally unhelpful. Here is one way to break that huge context down using hierarchical contexts in OmniFocus. Instead of organizing actions strictly by where the work needs to happen, this approach also considers the kind of work your brain needs to do in order to get them done. That way, when I'm sitting in front of the Mac or the iPad wondering what to work on, I can choose based on where my mind is, instead of paging past tons of stuff that seems too boring or too demanding.

  • Work — This used to be called "Mac", before the iPhone and iPad. Now this sort of work can happen pretty much anywhere. Nothing goes directly in here, only in the subcontexts. The subcontexts are arranged roughly by ascending cognitive expense.
    • Maintenance — Mindless stuff like shuffling files around, paying bills, and fixing little problems on sites.
    • Study — Research, Googlin’, finding out stuffs I need to find out.
    • Communication — Contacting people by email or chat.
    • Planning — Serious thinking, outlining, drafting ideas, and so on.
    • Design — Grafflin’ & Photochoppin’.
    • Writing — Production writing tasks for things that need to be written well.
    • Code — Coding tasks that are likely to require a warmed-up brain.
    • Translation — Making things that are in Japanese not be in Japanese anymore.
  • Input — Videos; music; articles that won’t go in Instapaper.
  • Output — Informal blog posts ("macrotweeting") and such that don’t require intense thought.

This strategy is probably common knowledge among serious GTD theorists, but I still run into folks who are surprised by it. The inspiration for adopting it myself came from my DavidCo GTD coaching session a while back. This context arrangement (in addition to the standard Home, Errands, et cetera) pretty seriously improved the way I work. I hope it yields some usefulness for you too.

OmniPlan 2.0 beta updated!

by Skwirl on June 23, 2011

Hello again OmniPlan planners!

For this beta update we fixed 5 more distinct crashers and added support for full screen mode and hidden scroll bars in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion). We also addressed some issues with scheduling, publishing & subscriptions, as well as various bugs that were reported by beta testers over the last couple of weeks. If you'd like to check out the full release notes, click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

As always, please keep in mind that this version is still in development so feedback is encouraged and we apologize if it breaks your computer, corrupts your files, or ruins your weekend. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts about OmniPlan v2.0: You can contact us directly by our support page or by using the Send Feedback feature in your copy of OmniPlan.

To start using the new beta, you can use the built-in software updater in OmniPlan v2.0 or you can download it from our website here.