New Inside OmniFocus Article on Using Due Dates

by Brent Simmons on August 15, 2019

In this new article — To get stuff done with OmniFocus, take it easy on the due dates — Peter Akkies talks about using due dates not for intentions but for consequences.

Don’t give everything a due date, in other words. Even if you intend to get it done on such-and-such a day. Even if you’re quite sure you’re going to get it done, because you really mean to get it done that day.

Instead, use due dates for when the consequences matter — for when you’d lose a bid, alienate a partner, miss out on a life-changing deal.

For things you merely intend to get done, or when the consequences aren’t so dire, use other methods such as tags (especially the Forecast tag, if you have the Pro edition).

Read all about it!

OmniFocus for the Web Adds Forecast View

by Brent Simmons on August 8, 2019

OmniFocus for the Web — the browser-based companion to OmniFocus for Mac and iOS — has just added a commonly-requested feature: the Forecast view.

It works like the Forecast view in the Mac and iOS versions: it shows you what’s on tap for today and what’s coming up in the future.

By showing you what’s coming up, Forecast helps you plan better — you can see when a day has too many or too few things, and you can reschedule as needed.

And, by showing you what’s scheduled for today, Forecast gives you a resting place in the app: when you’re working, you can stay on that view and just do what needs doing next.

Here’s a screenshot — you may notice that it looks very much like Forecast on the Mac.

Screenshot of the Forecast view in OmniFocus for the Web.

As always, if you have any questions or need help, please contact our amazing Support Humans, who are standing by.

OmniPlan 3.13 for Mac: Omni Automation and More

by Brent Simmons on August 6, 2019

OmniPlan 3.13 for Mac is a very important release — it brings Omni Automation to the Mac (in the Pro edition).

The recently released OmniPlan 3.11 for iOS also includes Omni Automation. With this release of the Mac app, you can now write scripts that work in both apps — and your scripts can work with other Omni apps that support Omni Automation.

Omni Automation has been integrated into the app in a number of different ways:

  • You can save plug-ins (bundles of scripts) and access them from the Automation menu.
  • The Automation Console gives you a place to write JavaScript, run it, and see the results.
  • In Sync & Sharing Actions, the “Run a Script” action can run an Omni Automation plug-in.

Omni Automation gives you the ability to do things we would never have thought of — and do things that make sense for your workflow, that make your job easier. It’s powerful, and we think you’re going to love it!

To learn more, visit omni-automation.com.

Other changes: View Options in the Network View are respected when exporting and printing; opening projects with very wide Gantt charts is faster; scheduling bugs related to split and hammock tasks were fixed; Sync and Sharing Actions (Pro edition) now respects the selected view (at configuration time) when publishing to an image format.

For the full scoop, read the release notes.

The Omni Show: OmniGraffle 7.11 Performance

by Brent Simmons on July 31, 2019

In the latest episode of The Omni Show, we have two interviews with members of the OmniGraffle team where we talk about the latest big performance update.

The first interview is with engineers Rey Worthington and Shannon Hughes; the second is with Ken Case (CEO), Tim Wood (CTO), and Dan Walker (OmniGraffle PM). We talk about finding the slow-downs, measuring them, fixing them — and making sure they stay fixed without causing any functional or performance regressions.

This episode is a little on the nerdier side — but it’s a good look behind the scenes at what it takes to make an app like OmniGraffle even better than ever.

Enjoy!

Adopting Apple’s Standard iOS Document Browser

by Ken Case on July 30, 2019

When we launched our first iPad apps in April, 2010, the iPad platform was completely new. (We launched our first apps the day the App Store launched!) At that time, there was no built-in document browser, or even a rich text editor: if we wanted those features—essential to apps like OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner—we had to build them ourselves.

There was also no built-in mechanism for syncing documents: iCloud itself didn’t exist in 2010, and iCloud Drive didn’t exist until it was introduced with iOS 8 (in September, 2014). We knew how important it was to be able to easily sync documents between multiple devices, so in May of 2013 we shipped our own syncing solution, OmniPresence.

A document browser with integrated cloud syncing was a great solution—for 2013. But time marches on, and in 2019 we now have lots of cloud storage options which integrate strongly with Apple’s standard document browser—a browser which is now built into iOS and available to every iOS app. It’s understandable that, more and more, we’ve been hearing from customers who find it frustrating that they can’t easily use the cloud syncing service of their choice within our apps.

In 2019, we think it’s time to retire our custom document browser in favor of using Apple’s built-in document browser—and with our iOS 13 updates this fall we’ll be doing just that. Instead of seeing our custom file browser, you’ll be presented with the standard iOS document browser—just like in Apple’s own iWork apps. Using Apple’s browser, you’ll be able to store and sync your documents using Apple’s built-in iCloud Drive, or third-party commercial options like Box—or even in cloud- or self-hosted collaborative git repositories using Working Copy.

Syncing through OmniPresence will still be an option, but it will no longer be the only integrated option. In fact, it might be the least privileged option: since OmniPresence isn’t its own separate app, it won’t be listed in the document browser’s sidebar where you find your other document storage solutions. Instead, it will present itself on iOS much like it does on Mac—as a folder of synced documents. We’re not trying to drive people away from using OmniPresence—but in 2019 we don’t think it makes sense to push people towards it either. OmniPresence is not a core part of our apps or business, and in 2019 there are lots of great alternatives. Seamless document syncing is essential to our apps—but exactly where and how those documents are synced is not!

Adopting the standard iOS document browser will make it easier than ever for you to choose where you want to keep our apps’ documents. If you’re already testing the iOS 13 betas and would like to help test our apps, please sign up for our iOS 13 TestFlights!


(Feedback? I’d love to hear from you! You can find me on twitter at @kcase, or send me email at kc@omnigroup.com.)