OmniOutliner 3 for iOS is here!

by Derek Reiff on February 14, 2018

Today we’re happy to announce the arrival of OmniOutliner 3 for iOS. It’s a big update that catches up to OmniOutliner 5 for Mac and adds iPhone X and iOS 11 support, support for printing, a focused, simplified experience for beginners in Essentials, and a lot of our most requested features for Pro customers.

  • Essentials: A simplified experience with a focus on outlining basics
  • Printing: Print your documents
  • Drag & Drop: Text for both versions; attach images in Pro
  • PDF Export: Real fast, with styles in place
  • Document Encryption (Pro): On a per-document basis
  • Omni Automation (Pro): JavaScript-based, cross-platform scripting
  • Slide-In Inspectors (Pro): Select sections or switch styles fast
  • Focus & Filter (Pro): Focus on a section, or sections, plus keyword-based filtering

Features and improvements are tucked in everywhere, so take a look at the release notes.


Essentials is brand new to this version of OmniOutliner, just like in OmniOutliner 5 for Mac, and also brings a lower price. Essentials is just $9.99 for new users. Last February, Ken made the case for Essentials:

But our goals for OmniOutliner 5 were much more ambitious than that. We didn’t want to just reach out to our existing audience; we wanted to introduce the joys and benefits of outlining to a much larger audience. We decided that meant two things: we needed to make the app much simpler, and we needed to make it much more affordable.

You’ll be able to print documents, add notes, export in different formats via the Share Sheet, and sync with OmniPresence (or your own WebDAV server). Another great thing is Open In Place: tap an outline in the Files app and it will launch in OmniOutliner, edits will be saved to the original location, and will remain in the Recent Documents section of your Resource Browser. (In this scenario, we’ve had great results with Dropbox and iCloud, though there are many other storage providers that work great as well.)


OmniOutliner Pro contains a hefty amount of new features, along with everything introduced in Essentials. (Like access to all of the new themes and printing, for example.)

This is the first release on iOS with Omni Automation. With JavaScript-based scripting in OmniOutliner, write a script for something simple or complex that works on both Mac and iOS. We’ve seen some great things in OmniGraffle with Omni Automation, and we’re looking forward to see what happens in OmniOutliner. (If you’re working on something already, we’d love for you to share it on Discourse!)

In the Section and Focus list, focus on specific sections of your outline, with support for multiple selections, too. The other tab, Filters, shows all of your saved searches, even the complex filters that you set up on the Mac. These slide-in sidebars are new, too: quickly focus on a few different sections at the same time, or style a row faster than ever.

Finally, protecting documents with a password has been a popular feature request over the years, and we’re very happy to bring it to iOS! You can set a password for any document you’d like from the Document Inspector. The document is encrypted on disk (which means it will also be encrypted on the server) with AES-256 encryption. Your documents are now safe from prying eyes and people wanting to get into dear-diary.ooutline.

Plus, a 14-day Trial

OmniOutliner joins the rest of our apps on iOS with a free, 14 day trial. It’s really easy to switch between Essentials and Pro, so deciding exactly what you need is effortless.

Getting the App

Download OmniOutliner 3 right now! From there, you can activate the trial or head straight to the purchase screen to see if you qualify for a free or discounted upgrade.

If you’re interested in the specifics of 3, you can check out the release notes, the product page, or ask us questions about features in the app via our Slack Channel or Discourse forums.

We really like OmniOutliner 3 for iOS, and we think you will, too. We’d love to hear what you think.

OmniPlan 3.9’s New Project Dashboard Features

by Derek Reiff on February 7, 2018

Recently we released OmniPlan 3.9, an update with all of the usual suspects: bug fixes, improvements, a new Project Summary Inspector, and a few new enhancements for Dashboard.

The Dashboard’s visible timeline can now be changed via the View options, includes total project effort, and has a less rigid project column. (You can now resize the column to accommodate longer project names!)

Project Dashboard View popover in OmniPlan 3.9

The new Project Summary Inspector displays total project duration, effort, variance, completion %, and cost. It doesn’t take up much screen real estate, but it’s very useful at getting a quick glance at how your project’s totals are coming along.

Screenshot of the Project Summary inspector showing project totals.

Release notes are here! Just check for updates.

OmniGraffle 7.6 for Mac: the new Stencil Browser experience

by Derek Reiff on January 24, 2018

I could write about the recent changes that came to our Stencil Browser in OmniGraffle 7.6 for Mac, but Dan and Mark made a super casual, extremely informative video that covers all of the reasons why it’s so much more helpful to nearly all workflows.

Some of the highlights:

  • The Stencil Browser can now be positioned in the left or right sidebar, or the two views you’re familiar with: popover and detached window.
  • You can add new objects to any stencil by dragging them from the Canvas to the Stencil Browser! (Just hold Option while doing it.)
  • Multiple Stencils can be selected for use at a time, rearranging or reorganizing by with Folders is a snap, and more.

You can read more about the release here.

Kickstart Your Resolutions with OmniFocus and a Brain Dump

by Derek Reiff on January 8, 2018

This is a guest post by Amanda McLoughlin, co-host of a few podcasts, host of a youtube channel, somehow a full-time job, and more. She’s busy. Here’s her recipe for a new start on the new year.

What do you want to accomplish this year? Start a new project, or make progress on an existing one? Maybe you hope to achieve better work-life balance or start down a path to a new career altogether.

Whatever the resolution, let me recommend…a Brain Dump. (Yes, it’s a funny name. Stick with me.)

Notecards on a table.

The point of a Brain Dump is to capture the full picture of everything you need and want to do. Once you have all of your projects, goals, obligations, and dreams down in one place, you can prioritize better and get more stuff done.

So, how do you start? Set aside one calm hour—first thing in the morning or after dinner once you’re home from work—and gather your materials. You can use paper, notecards, a whiteboard, a Word document; any medium that will let you get ideas out of your brain as quickly as possible. I like using index cards that I can move all around the table, but do whatever works best for you!

Now, start writing everything down. That means all of your to-do items, work projects, housework tasks, texts to return, “wouldn’t it be nice if I…” ideas—everything! Even include things you’ve put on hold or are waiting for other people to work on with you. Write it all down.

Let your brain jump around! Don’t worry about going from “return library book” to “figure out new payroll system.” Walk through a typical week in your mind and let your routine trigger you to write down new things. What do you need to do at home? What do you think about on your commute? When you get into the office, what stresses you out that you might be able to change? What do you keep apologizing for not having gotten done?

Once you’ve written down everything you can think of, take a break. Go about your day while add items as they come to you on a notecard or a note taking app. As you go to work, come home, or visit your studio, these locations will trigger your brain into remembering more tasks. Carry the list around for a day or two and add things as they come up, but don’t read or review it.

A list of things in OmniFocus after a brain dump.

Next, it’s time to group your items. Take a look at everything you’ve written down and start to think about what groups make sense for your tasks. You may change these groups over time, so just choose the simplest ones to begin with. Mine include work, podcasts, personal administration, housework, friends/family, and relaxation/hobbies.

Of course, OmniFocus also allows you to assign contexts to your tasks, which is a handy feature that allows users to sort tasks based on where/how you do them. You might have contexts for work vs. home, pen & paper vs. computer, or online vs. offline. My contexts sort my tasks by location (neighborhoods in NYC), states of mind (“detail,” “writing,” “long term planning”), and tools needed (“online,” “phone,” “audio” [reviewing + editing podcasts]).

And… congratulations! You just finished a Brain Dump!

It may initially feel overwhelming to see everything you need and want to do spread out in front of you. But, I promise, you’ll also feel accomplished and in control. Once you understand the full picture of your life, you can start to prioritize and set goals in a smart and informed way.

Good luck!

Amanda is a co-host of several podcasts including Spirits, Join the Party, and Waystation. She’s on Twitter and Medium, and lives here.*

OmniOutliner 5.2 arrives with Omni Automation

by Derek Reiff on November 16, 2017

Yesterday we released an update to OmniOutliner for Mac. It has a few performance and export improvements, but also features a bigger thing: Omni Automation. Omni Automation, you’ll remember, is cross-platform scripting with JavaScript. OmniGraffle arrived with it on both platforms first—Mac and iOS—and OmniOutliner is nearly there; OmniOutliner 3 for iOS is in Public Test, and we’re getting closer to a release!

Check out the OmniOutliner Automation Discourse thread, or join us in our OmniOutliner Slack Workspace to talk automation specifics.

In addition to Word, Powerpoint, and Excel exporting improvements, HTML exports now include inlined PDFs with capable browsers, and we fixed a crash some customers were seeing on Touch Bar MacBook Pros. This release requires macOS v10.12. Full release notes here.

It’s available from the Mac App Store and directly from us.