OmniFocus Essentials: Back to Basics

by Ken Case on January 15, 2021

OmniFocus can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. It’s essentially an outline of tasks that can be tagged and filtered in different ways. This makes it incredibly flexible—much like paper—which lets it grow with your needs.

What does OmniFocus do, and how does it actually help you get things done? I know this is a tautology, but for something to be called a “to do list” it has to include (drumroll, please) a list of things to do! That list is the starting point for any tool that helps you stay on top of the work you need to get done.

OmniFocus starts with that basic functionality: it provides an Inbox where you can list things to do. It also provides lots of easy capturing mechanisms to help you get things into that Inbox:

  • You can add tasks by asking Siri to add a reminder.
  • You can forward email to your OmniFocus mail drop.
  • With a single keystroke you can open Quick Entry to create a new inbox item. Simply write down what you need to do, then press Return to capture that task and dismiss the capture window—returning to whatever you were working on without undue distraction.

When you open OmniFocus, you’ll can easily see all those captured items in your Inbox. You can drag them around (or use convenient keyboard shortcuts) to reorder them into your preferred order, and you can check them off to mark that you’re done with them.

We’ve designed OmniFocus to be a flexible and powerful system that can grow as your needs grow, helping you focus on what matters as your list outgrows that simple Inbox. But if your current workload is simple, you can stop right there! Capturing things in your Inbox and checking them off as you do them are all you need to know to start accomplishing more every day using OmniFocus. (Install OmniFocus, and begin your free two-week trial today!)


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

Omni Productivity Suite Now Available for M1 and macOS Big Sur

by Ken Case on November 12, 2020

The Omni Group creates productivity tools that are as powerful as you—designed for Mac, iPhone, and iPad—and we love the Mac! We’ve been developing for the Mac since 1989 (via its NeXT lineage), and over the years we’ve gone through many CPU transitions—from the Motorola 68030 to the PowerPC to 64-bit to Intel.

We were thrilled when Apple announced that the Mac will transition to their own Apple silicon. Apple has a decade-long history of making steady year-over-year improvements to the Apple silicon that powers other Apple products, including iPhone and iPad. We can’t wait for those same improvements to benefit all of our Mac customers. Our Mac customers are some of the most productive people in the world, and we know that many of you will be eager to start using M1-powered Macs.

Compared to previous transitions, this one has been a snap—because most of our code had already been ported to run on Apple silicon iPhones and iPads. By the time we received a Developer Transition Kit, our apps were quickly ready to test!

We’re very pleased to share that our app transition has been smooth and seamless. All our apps—including our free apps OmniDiskSweeper, OmniPresence, and OmniWeb—are now available as native Universal apps on M1-powered Macs, and can be either downloaded from our website or found on the Mac App Store.

Of course, we’ve been using these apps ourselves as we test to make sure they’re working well! Here are some ways that I’ve personally been using our apps:

With OmniPlan, I’m exploring different possibilities for our product roadmap. As I consider different options, everything is smooth and responsive.

With a plan, I bring my personal task list into OmniFocus. My data is securely synced between Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch using private encryption keys that never leave my devices—so I know that my tasks are always with me, but never exposed to anyone else through the cloud.

As I work through those tasks, I use OmniOutliner to compose my thoughts and ideas. All of this works perfectly on an M1-powered Mac.

And when I need to visualize something, whether for myself or to share with others, I have OmniGraffle at my fingertips as well. Shapes slide smoothly into place on an M1-powered Mac.

We have some great updates planned for the next year; support for M1 is just the start. We believe the future of the Mac platform is Apple silicon—and that future has never looked brighter!


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

OmniFocus for the Web Adds Support for Custom Perspectives

by Ken Case on October 27, 2020

Many busy professionals choose OmniFocus because of its power and flexibility, helping them tame the chaos and focus on the right tasks at the right time. We have some exciting news to share today for OmniFocus for the Web users, but first I’d like to talk about where we started and our progress to date.

When we launched OmniFocus for the Web, we included the core set of built-in perspectives from our first iPhone app. These built-in perspectives let you work with task lists from your inbox, project lists, and tag lists, giving you different ways to slice and dice your tasks.

We also included basic support for filtering those lists, so you could focus on:

  • your remaining incomplete items,
  • available items (that aren’t blocked by an earlier task or a defer date),
  • the first available items from each project (so you can see the next action that will move those projects forward), or
  • the entire list (including completed and dropped tasks) so you can view the full history of a project.

After launching OmniFocus for the Web, we immediately turned our attention to adding our trademark Forecast perspective, which displays upcoming tasks on a calendar so that you’re not surprised when a due date arrives.

We’ve done several other minor updates since then, but today marks the moment many of our web customers have been waiting for—the day we take the web app beyond those basic features and add support for our most important Pro feature.

OmniFocus for the Web now has support for viewing custom perspectives!

With custom perspectives, you can customize your own views in OmniFocus to truly make the app your own. You can set up personalized combinations of filter rules to show you the items you’re most interested in, and those custom perspectives are synced to all your devices. Want to see every flagged task related to work that hasn’t been completed, grouped by when you last edited those tasks? Or perhaps you want to pull up a list of everything you have finished, grouped by completion date? Or see everything in your Family folder tagged with Errand or Groceries, but not if it contains the word “egg” or belongs to a project tagged Birthday?

OK, that last example is a bit ridiculous, I know, but all of these views are easy to define using a custom perspective—and now that custom perspectives are supported in the web app you can access those perspectives from any desktop system.

(I should note that it’s not yet possible to create or edit custom perspectives using the web app: that process still happens on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. We do want to support that eventually, but being able to view custom perspectives everywhere is a much higher priority than being able to edit them everywhere.)

Custom perspectives can be marked as favorites so that they always appear on your sidebar, and can even be bookmarked in your browser for direct access.

Because custom perspectives are much more flexible than the built-in perspectives we were previously displaying, we ended up building a whole new set of back-end APIs to support them. These newer APIs are more flexible, allowing more types of content in the presented outline to allow grouping by date and so on. And they also have much better performance for large databases. Even when testing large perspectives with tens of thousands of items, our new custom perspectives will display results in a blink of an eye.

This update is free for all OmniFocus subscribers (thank you for your support!). If you would like to give OmniFocus for the Web a try, you can start a free two-week trial at web.omnifocus.com. Cross-platform OmniFocus subscriptions are $9.99/month. If you already own OmniFocus for Mac, iPhone, or iPad, add a web-only subscription for just $4.99/month.

Enjoy!


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

Omni Roadmap 2020 — July Update

by Ken Case on July 8, 2020

When I shared our 2020 roadmap back in January, little did I know that we were headed into a worldwide pandemic that would touch each of our lives so deeply. I hope that each of you, wherever you are, are safe and well.

Our world is constantly changing, and each year we have to be prepared to adjust our plans based on what we encounter along the way. This year we’ve had to adjust to working from home during the pandemic, of course—but we’re also accustomed to expect big news about Apple’s platforms in June, and this year was no exception. As usual, there were plenty of great improvements to iPhone and iPad—but from our perspective, this year’s big news was about the Mac platform. After two decades of macOS 10 (originally written “Mac OS X”), the Mac platform is finally moving on to macOS 11—and by the end of this year the Mac platform will also start to transition to Apple silicon.

How does this news affect our roadmap?


Roadmap Review

Before we talk about how the roadmap might be changing, let’s start by reviewing this year’s roadmap and where on that road we are today!

With Omni Automation now available in every app, you can leverage plug-ins and scripts to accomplish more every day, automating routine tasks and integrating with other tools and services. We want Omni Automation to be easy for anyone to get started with, not just software developers, so Sal Soghoian and Rosemary Orchard have been helping us build instructional material and sample plug-ins which you can check out over at omni-automation.com. You’ll find new content posted there nearly every week! You’re also welcome to drop by the #automation channel on our Slack workspace, where we have a community of people asking questions and sharing their own projects.

A long-awaited feature has finally landed in OmniFocus, with support for “floating” time zones. This feature lets items always become due or available at the same local time whenever you’re travelling—though, ironically, everyone is doing a lot less travelling right now. (We hope those of you who have been doing some travelling are enjoying this change.)

A steady stream of OmniGraffle updates have greatly improved: performance, support for reading and writing Visio and SVG files, and support for storing documents on third-party document sync services.

With sign-in licensing (coming very soon), you will no longer have to keep track of license codes: to access purchases, you can simply log into our apps using your Omni Account. A single Omni Account can be used across all devices and platforms: with an OmniFocus subscription, for example, the same sign-in will unlock OmniFocus on Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Web.

We launched team subscriptions in March, and will be launching personal subscriptions at the same time as sign-in licensing. Subscriptions give you the latest version of our apps, enabling every feature on every platform (including Pro features)—with a lower cost up front and predictable spending in the future. But knowing that subscriptions aren’t the best choice for everyone, we continue to offer traditional licenses as well: traditional licenses are investments which may cost more up front, but save money in the long run.

We’re bringing one of our most powerful Pro features, custom perspectives, to OmniFocus for the Web. With custom perspectives, you can truly slice and dice your task list, making it easier to focus your attention on the things that need doing right now and to tune out the things that can wait. We’re currently testing custom perspectives internally, and will soon be making them available to everyone through our public test site.

Finally, we have our biggest project from this year’s roadmap: OmniPlan 4. I’m pleased to share that OmniPlan 4 is now feature complete, has been approved for distribution through the Mac App Store, and will be shipping very soon! OmniPlan 4 introduces interval cost and effort tracking, new scheduling features like recurring and manually scheduled tasks, and a new assistant to help set up project schedules. In addition to these powerful new features, a wide range of improvements have been made throughout the app, making OmniPlan easier than ever to use for day-to-day project management tasks no matter how complex your project is.

Sounds like a pretty full year already! What’s left in this year’s roadmap?

There are two big new features that remain from January’s roadmap, and both have to do with collaboration in OmniFocus: sharing linked tasks in OmniFocus, and sharing linked tasks between OmniFocus and OmniPlan. We’ve been hard at work at designing and implementing these, and as we’ve gotten deeper into this work we’ve decided to set our sights higher. Our original plan was to simply enable the sharing of individual tasks with one other person, but as we’ve thought through the various way people will want to collaborate we’ve decided it’s important to support sharing entire projects with teams right out of the gate.

Features are important to a productivity app, but designing and building a great user experience is even more essential to delivering a great app—so the other big project remaining in this year’s roadmap was to improve the flow of using our apps, particularly on iPad and iPhone. We want our apps to be easy to navigate, so everything in the app feels like it’s right at your fingertips—whether your fingertips are using a mouse, touch screen, or hardware keyboard. And we want to leverage the strengths of each platform, while maintaining consistency so it’s easy to switch from one platform to another. This isn’t easy to do! But we know the results will be worth the effort.


So how does WWDC affect this roadmap?

Apple announced a host of platform updates this year: from Apple Pencil handwriting recognition, to new date and color pickers on iPad and iPhone, to new Macs built with Apple silicon which can natively run iPhone and iPad apps on macOS 11. (And if Apple follows their usual pattern of launching new products in September, there’s not a lot of time before these platform updates start shipping!)

Our roadmap itself isn’t changing dramatically. We’re going to continue working on OmniFocus collaboration, and we’re going to continue improving the flow of using our apps. But the latest news from Apple has inspired us to take this work even further.

One of our top priorities is to make sure our Mac apps work well on Apple silicon. In theory we could just let Apple silicon do all the work, taking our existing Intel apps and converting them to run them on the new processor. Depending on how soon Apple is ready to ship their hardware, we may need to do that in the short term. But in the long term, that’s a recipe for apps getting stale and left behind—as so many 32-bit apps were left behind last year when Catalina shipped. The future of the Mac platform is Apple silicon, and we want to be ready to fully embrace that future. (I look forward to working on a Mac platform which gets better every year because it’s built on Apple silicon—much as we’ve already seen happen with the iPhone and iPad platforms!)

But Apple silicon isn’t the only big change Apple announced at WWDC. Along with support for new system hardware, macOS 11 is introducing a new design for the Mac platform—and quite a few new technologies which weren’t available just a few short years ago. With frameworks like SwiftUI, it’s easier than ever to design and build an app which behaves consistently across all of Apple’s platforms, while adapting behavior to leverage the strengths of each platform. The combination of new designs and new cross-platform technologies is a perfect fit with our roadmap for improving the flow of using our apps.

We see building for macOS 11 as an opportunity, much like building for Mac OS X was an opportunity twenty years ago. When Mac OS X was introduced, it had “Carbon” frameworks which made it possible to build apps which ran natively on X but were also compatible with Mac OS 9. Those frameworks were important to the transition from 9 to X, because the ecosystem of customers and products couldn’t leap to X overnight. But while those frameworks were important—essential, even—they didn’t represent the future of the Mac platform. That future belonged to the Mac’s newer “Cocoa” frameworks. And twenty years ago, those newer “Cocoa” frameworks were what we successfully leveraged to build our products and business (winning a record-setting five Apple Design Awards).

A similar transition lies ahead. We know that not all Mac customers will be ready to adopt macOS 11 the day it ships. And we know that we could continue to build apps using older macOS 10 technology and have those apps continue to run on macOS 11. But we also know that macOS 11’s new technologies represent the future of the platform, and that they have the potential to greatly improve our productivity as developers.

Twenty years ago, I had trouble understanding why so many Mac developers were sticking with Carbon rather than taking advantage of Apple’s newly introduced Cocoa frameworks. Facing a similar transition today, I have a much better appreciation for why that would be: as developers who have been working with Mac OS X for twenty years, we have a ton of code which is written using the old paradigm. We know the old frameworks inside and out, what to use and what to avoid. And it’s almost certain that the new frameworks aren’t fully baked or complete yet; they will have bugs in areas that haven’t been tested yet, and they may be missing some important capabilities. Building new code on a new foundation isn’t nearly as comfortable as building old code on a foundation we know.

But if we were building a new app today, I believe the best way to invest in the future of our products would be to take full advantage of these new frameworks rather than continuing to build on older technology. And if we want our products to stay relevant for another twenty years, I believe that adopting the latest technologies is the right move for them as well.

So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do: as we redesign our apps, we’re going to leverage the latest technologies. We’re not going to completely restart our development from scratch—but we are taking a step back to think about how we would design and build our apps if we were starting again now, building on the latest technologies and taking into account everything we’ve learned from our customers—you!—about how you use our apps. We’ll preserve much of our battle-hardened cross-platform application logic—the same business logic that we already share between Mac, iPad, and iPhone. And of course we’ll keep all of the new Omni Automation work we just completed, since our JavaScript-based plug-in and scripting code works well down at that layer with our business logic, aligning perfectly with our goal of delivering the best experience for our customers independent of the Apple devices they use. But when it comes to drawing content on the screen, processing input and commands, adapting to screen changes and so on, we’re going to take a fresh look at today’s technologies to see what we can best leverage as we redesign our apps.

This is obviously a huge undertaking. Can we redesign and rebuild our apps on top of new frameworks between now and September? That seems extremely unlikely! If we’re lucky, I’m hopeful that we might have test builds of new versions of OmniFocus and OmniGraffle ready to use by then. It will take us a while to get where we’re going–but in the meantime, we’ll continue to make sure that our current apps work well on the new operating systems.

With major new upgrades to your apps on the way, should I buy them today?

If you just want to get work done rather than worrying about timing, your best option might be to purchase a subscription! As noted earlier, subscriptions require the least up-front investment and always give you access to the latest version of our apps, enabling every feature on every platform. Team subscriptions are available today, and as noted above personal subscriptions will be available very soon.

But while we’re on the topic of licensing…

Over the last decade, the ways that apps are designed and built aren’t the only things which have changed: market expectations around how apps are bought and sold have also changed. Rather than buying independent apps for each platform (Mac, iPhone, iPad), in today’s market we expect to be able to purchase an app once and use it on every device where that app is available. This is already true for all of our subscriptions (where one universal subscription gives you access to the app on all devices), and as we look to the future we think it’s appropriate to use this model for our traditional licenses as well.

To that end, starting with OmniPlan 4 (but ultimately expanding to include our entire productivity suite), whether you purchase our apps using a subscription or a traditional license your purchase will be a universal purchase which unlocks the app on every device where it can run.


Wrap-Up

I hope this roadmap update gives you a sense of where we’re headed next! When we think about what to focus on next, we think about how to build products that help you, our customers, be your most productive selves. You’re working on big projects, and you’re looking to us for powerful tools to help you with those projects. It’s our job to help you accomplish those projects efficiently and effectively, without wasted effort. As we work to improve our products, we hope that the improvements we’re making will help you do just that.


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

Omni Roadmap 2020

by Ken Case on January 29, 2020

Looking Back at the 2010s

Welcome to the 2020s! Ten years ago (on January 27, 2010), Apple introduced iPad—a new device category that would, as Steve Jobs put it, “connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.” Inspired by the announcement, we put many of our plans for the next few years on hold—and just two days later I shared our first public company-wide roadmap, “iPad or Bust!

When we completed “iPad or Bust!” a few years later, I found myself reflecting on 2012 and looking ahead to 2013. This established a pattern for the rest of the decade, as we started regularly sharing roadmap updates for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and of course 2019.

Our roadmaps have never been perfect predictions of the future. Our world is constantly changing, and each year we have to be prepared to adjust those plans based on what we’ve encountered along the way:

Changes to the projected iPad or Bust! roadmap

But while our roadmaps don’t predict the future, they do state the direction in which we’re headed—and I hope you find them useful!

Looking Back at 2019

Before we talk about future roadmap, let me quickly summarize the major updates from last year:

(For more detailed notes on what we did last year, I recommend reading last year’s September roadmap update.)


Looking Ahead

In last year’s roadmap, I said that beyond shipping OmniFocus for the Web, we would continue to work on site licensing, JavaScript-based automation, sharing linked tasks, and improving the flow of using our apps:

“We’ll be reviewing the ways customers navigate our apps—making them easier to navigate on small touch devices, more efficient to use from a keyboard, and more accessible to the sight-impaired. We’ll be improving integration between our own apps (such as linking tasks between OmniFocus and OmniPlan), between our apps and others (such as OmniGraffle’s import and export of Visio and SVG files), and with the rest of the system. We’ll be tracking down and fixing rare crashes and other bugs. And we’ll be taking a hard look at performance issues, so our apps respond to your input faster.”

We did ship OmniFocus for the Web as planned—but when iPadOS was announced in June we took a pretty big detour from the rest of our planned roadmap. There was a lot of benefit in that detour: it’s great to have multiple windows on iPad, support for iCloud Drive and other document providers, and Dark Mode! But it did leave a fair amount of unfinished business from last year’s roadmap, and we’re continuing with that work this year.

Specifically, we will continue our work on sharing linked tasks in OmniFocus, and on improving integration both between our own apps (such as linking tasks between OmniFocus and OmniPlan) and between our apps and others (such as OmniGraffle’s import and export of Visio and SVG files).

We’re also continuing to improve the flow of using our apps—particularly on iPad and iPhone. We want easy navigation, so everything in the app feels like it’s right at your fingertips—whether your fingertips are using the mouse, touch screen, or a hardware keyboard.

As we do this work, we’re also actively listening to your feedback. When we hear that you’re repeatedly encountering pain points in our apps (whether you’re encountering performance or stability issues, or dealing with common workflow issues such as time zone changes in OmniFocus), we will be setting aside time for addressing those issues.

Using Automation for Custom Features and Integrations

With AppleScript, we’ve always had first-class support for automation in our Mac apps. This support for automation has enabled our customers to create some wonderful solutions, such as the Kinkless GTD scripts for OmniOutliner which inspired us to build OmniFocus.

But AppleScript had some big caveats: it was generally easy to read, but it was a fairly esoteric language that many developers found less easy to write. It was able to accomplish some amazing things, much faster and more accurately than working by hand—but it was generally slow enough that you could watch it work, and if it had a lot of work to do you could be watching and waiting for a while. And it was only available for the Mac platform—which was totally fine in the ’00s when that was the only place our apps ran, but was a lot less useful in the ’10s when our customers were increasingly spending their time on mobile devices.

To overcome those limitations, in 2015 we started working on Omni Automation: a technology which lets customers run JavaScript code in our apps using Apple’s highly-optimized JavaScript engine. Since then, we’ve shipped Omni Automation support for OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle, OmniPlan—and in 2020 we will be officially shipping support for Omni Automation in OmniFocus.

Why does this matter? If you don’t know how to program JavaScript, how does Omni Automation benefit you?

By providing automation technology in our apps, we make it possible for customers to extend our apps’ capabilities. People can build customized solutions to meet their own needs—and then share those solutions with others. We had thousands of customers using Kinkless GTD in OmniOutliner, even though most of those customers didn’t know AppleScript. I’ve been told that one of JTech Communications’ most popular blog posts was for a script for OmniGraffle which counts items on a canvas. With automation, people are able to create their own keyboard shortcuts to quickly perform actions like creating a task calendar from OmniFocus, or exporting Markdown from OmniOutliner—and those solutions can often be shared with others, making everyone’s lives easier.

Automation is also a building block that can be used to integrate our apps with other applications and systems. We’ve had customers use AppleScript automation to sync OmniPlan with their internal bug tracking systems, so they can easily keep their project plans up-to-date as work gets completed and their tracking system up-to-date as their plans change.

It’s definitely true that writing JavaScript code isn’t for everyone! But automation solutions powered by JavaScript have the potential to benefit everyone—and we’ll be working to make it easier for all of you to share your solutions with each other.

Simplifying Licensing with Sign-Ins

In our ideal world, nobody would have to think about how our apps are distributed and licensed. You would simply install the app from whatever source is most convenient for you, and pick whatever licensing option works the best for you. This was how our software worked in the ’90s and ’00s: you could install our apps from CDs or our website, and you could purchase licenses for those apps from retail stores or our website—whichever was most convenient for you.

That picture has changed with the App Store. We can still offer app downloads and licenses on our website, but only for the Mac platform—to install on an iPad or iPhone, you must install from the App Store. We can offer trials and upgrade discounts and price protections in the App Store, but only when we use free downloads with in-app purchases. But in-app purchases can’t be made directly by businesses and schools—so those customers really need the option to pay in advance as well.

In our attempt to provide the best options to everyone, we’ve ended up with three different distributions of our apps: website installs (purchased from our store), free App Store installs (licensed with in-app purchases), and pay-in-advance App Store installs. (The pay-in-advance App Store option is certainly the most straightforward—but with no options for trials or discounts, it’s also the least friendly and flexible.)

Those who follow closely may have noticed that we introduced another approach to this problem last year: sign-in licensing, which is used for our cross-platform OmniFocus subscriptions. While the App Store doesn’t allow apps to be unlocked using license codes, it does allow apps to be unlocked based on signing into the app (as seen with Microsoft Office, Netflix, and many other apps). With the sign-in licensing model, you no longer have to worry about how the app was installed, or whether their subscription was purchased from within the app or directly from our website. You don’t even have to worry about which platform you’re using: the same sign-in unlocks OmniFocus on Mac, iOS, and web.

We think this provides a much better experience overall. But right now this experience is limited to individual OmniFocus subscribers—which means most of our customers still have to think about how they’re licensing our apps, because it doesn’t apply to any of the other licensing methods. To make this benefit universal, we’re working on supporting sign-in licensing in all our apps. We’re extending it to support teams, so organizations can purchase subscriptions for people on their teams. (This includes single sign-on support for our larger customers—many of whom have tired of managing spreadsheets with hundreds of license codes.) And we’ll also be updating our store to support sign-in licensing for one-time “à la carte” purchases of our apps, so customers who prefer that model can benefit from it as well.

OmniFocus for the Web

OmniFocus for the Web is still relatively new, having shipped less than a year ago. It’s been very useful and popular—but in terms of functionality, it still has a lot to do to catch up with its older siblings on other platforms! Aside from keeping pace with new features (like floating time zones), our top priorities are to add support for custom perspectives and for the Mac app’s Focus feature (so you can focus on your work projects when you’re on your Windows box at the office).

OmniPlan 4

We’ve been listening carefully to your feedback on OmniPlan, and I’m very pleased to share that we’ll be shipping OmniPlan 4 for Mac in the first half of this year! We’ve improved the discoverability and ease-of-use of OmniPlan’s existing feature set, and introduced a number of new features like Recurring Tasks and Task Roll-Up. We’ll be introducing OmniPlan 4 more fully as we start its public test period (soon!), but for now I’ll focus on just one of those features, Interval Tracking:

Many of our OmniPlan customers have asked for a way to report on the costs of a project over time, not just broken down by task or resource groupings. OmniPlan 4 solves this problem by adding Interval Tracking, which breaks down the cost over time of each item on the Gantt chart, based on your current Gantt scale:

OmniPlan 4 Interval Tracking

For those of you doing cost planning (or reporting), Interval Tracking makes it much, much easier to see exactly how much time or money you’re going to need to spend (or have already spent) on each item or group. (And if you just need to see the totals, we’ve got you covered! You can enable Interval Tracking for just the headers.)


Wrap-Up

I hope this year’s roadmap gives you a sense of where we’re headed next! When we think about what to focus on next, we think about how to build products that help you, our customers, be your most productive selves. You’re working on big projects, and you’re looking to us for powerful tools to help you with those projects. It’s our job to help you accomplish those projects efficiently and effectively, without wasted effort. As we work to improve our products, we hope that the improvements we’re making will help you do just that.


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