OmniGraffle 2.2 for iOS with Actions and Document Provider support

by Derek Reiff on August 17, 2015

Today we’re releasing a great update to OmniGraffle for iOS! There’s a whole lot under the hood that makes it worth checking out right now, but there are also two Big Things:

  • Actions support (Pro)
  • Document Provider extension support (BETA)


Actions are brand new to iOS. Create new Actions on iOS via the Action Inspector, or use the Browse Action Tool to interact with Actions that you already added to documents from the Mac. You can jump to a specific spot in a document, toggle layers on and off, and link to URLs. (Certain actions on Mac won’t work on iOS, like “Runs a Script” and “Open a File.”)

Document Provider extension

Document Provider extension support in OmniGraffle 2.2 for iOS

Plus, with iOS 8’s Document Provider extension, you’ll be able to store documents directly in iCloud! It’s important to point out that some other storage providers will automatically show up if you have them installed, but not all are equal. (Or support the file package format.) You could lose data using storage providers other than iCloud, so we’ve marked this feature as BETA while we work with individual providers to improve compatibility. To turn it on, tap the gear icon, head to Settings, and toggle on the “Use Cloud Storage Providers” switch.

Find out more in the Working in the Cloud chapter of OmniGraffle’s manual.

We’ve also done a lot of work on Inspectors so that they’ll work on smaller screens, fixed some crashes, and improved freehand drawing. Enjoy the new features!

Let’s Test OmniPlan 3

by Derek Reiff on July 29, 2015

Four years (and change) ago we offered customers a chance to test the latest features for the next big release of OmniPlan—v2. The biggest of those: collaboration. The year was 2011, and you could use MobileMe to sync projects with your team.

Now it’s 2015, and we’re ready to test OmniPlan 3! OmniPlan 3 offers some pretty serious new features—and a lot of improvements—as we’ve taken your feedback and requests over the past few years and turned complex project management processes into something that we’re proud to showcase in the friendliest PM app.

Dashboard view of multiple projects in OmniPlan 3.

We’ve added Multi-project Dashboards, Monte Carlo simulation, Network Diagrams, a brand new set of reports, and Earned value analysis.

Network diagrams in OmniPlan 3.

We know that a lot of the interface is still a work in progress, but we’ve added so much new functionality that we wanted to get your feedback on it as soon as possible! Your critique and feedback is critical. Sign up to test and let us know what you think.

When you find bugs, head to Help->Send Feedback…! When you think of a better way to use Feature X, send feedback! Now we need to know which bits are best and what we need to focus on next. We’ve written up some guidelines for great bug reporting to help you make your feedback as effective as possible.

Have at it!

Push-Triggered Sync in OmniFocus

by Derek Reiff on July 15, 2015

Today we released OmniFocus 2.6 for iOS with a new Dark Palette, Swipe to Flag, and Push-Triggered Sync, a new feature in OmniFocus that helps keep your database up to date. We’re starting a gradual rollout to our customers now—read on to find out when you’ll start seeing push and how to tell if it’s enabled for your account.

What it means for you

When Push-Triggered Sync is enabled, OmniFocus for iOS will start syncing more frequently in the background as you make changes on other devices. This means that OmniFocus on your iPhone or iPad will have your latest changes right away, no matter where you make them. Because you’ll be syncing more frequently, the amount of data in each sync should also go down; your syncs will finish much faster.

Push-Triggered Sync doesn’t change how OmniFocus is already syncing your data. Whether you’re using Omni Sync Server, another hosting provider, or running your own server, Push-Triggered Sync just sends a timely notice to OmniFocus: “Sync now, please”.

Since this feature is still new, you won’t see the full benefit until all of your iOS devices are upgraded to the latest version of OmniFocus for iOS or OmniFocus for iPhone (the latter is currently waiting for App Store approval). This isn’t just a server-side change; the copies of OmniFocus that you run on your devices need to be updated to support push. We’re starting with iOS and iPhone in version 2.6 and then adding push to the Mac later this summer.

When you’ll see it

If you’re syncing with a service other than Omni Sync Server, Push will be enabled for you as soon as you install version 2.6. No matter where you sync, you’ll need to have OmniFocus for Mac 2.2.1 installed in order for your iOS devices to receive push triggers from your Mac.

Omni Sync Server users: we want to make sure we don’t start a fire in the server cabinet. To start, only our OmniFocus 2.6 TestFlight testers will have Push-Triggered Sync enabled. When all is well and we’ve determined how quickly we can bring new people in, we’ll start adding more. It’s a big jump from 1,000 TestFlight users to over 100,000 active Omni Sync Server users—multiplied by all of their iOS devices!—but we expect this rollout period to be weeks, not months.

You’ll be able to check your status by tapping on Push in OmniFocus Settings. If you see “Awesome,” you’re in! You’ll start seeing Push entries in the (new) Sync log! If it’s “Holding” instead, you’re still in line.

OmniFocus Push Settings


This implementation of faster sync changes the amount of anonymous data that is sent to Omni from OmniFocus, but presents no new privacy implications for task information in your database. Check out our support article for all of the technical details.

As always, if you have questions about any of this, send us an email!

Omni Support Lab: one-on-one support at Omni on July 24th

by Derek Reiff on July 2, 2015

A few years ago in San Francisco we put on an event called The OmniFocus Setup. We talked to twenty of our customers about how they were using OmniFocus and what they were having trouble with. It went well, and giving folks support face-to-face is also a great way to improve our software.

So, we’re doing it again up here in Seattle, and we’re expanding it to all of our apps! Can’t figure out a feature in OmniPlan? Bring your laptop. Question about styling in OmniOutliner for iOS? Bring your iPhone or iPad. Want a little more help with creating a Perspective in OmniFocus for iOS? You know what to do.

We’re scheduling our first Lab for July 24th—between 2 and 4 in the afternoon—with about the same number of people as before. If you’re not one of the first, we’ll save your name for next time. (And we’ll give you a call, too—we’ve offered phone support for nearly seven years now.)

Oh, and let us know where you’re coming from, too.


Our offices. 1000 Dexter Avenue North. We’re on the west side of South Lake Union.

When, again?

July 24th. 2-4 p.m.

What do I do, specifically?

Send us email! Let us know what you’ve got on your mind and we’ll find you a good person to talk to!

We hope to start doing this regularly, too. Stay tuned if you can’t make this one!

We’ve been wearing this watch for two months now!

by Derek Reiff on June 26, 2015

Designing something new for something new is hard. Even printing out or creating fake replicas, slapping on imaginary tap-targets, and faking interactions by moving around paper shapes only takes you so far.

OmniFocus on Apple Watch

We hadn’t designed for something new since iPad—that now-impossibly clunky first one—and we’d never designed for a screen at Watch size. But here we are over two months later and we’ve had time to use it in real ways, learning how it performs in different situations. (Dictation is awesome!)

…everybody seems to like it! The vast majority of Watch-wearers are ecstatic with how it works, how it works well, and what it actually adds to their OmniFocus workflow.

And a few weeks ago, Apple gave us a preview of watchOS 2. We’re pretty excited to dig in on some new features. While we do that, let us know how it’s affecting your day-to-day life!

It’s been pretty positive for us:

Christina J., Support:

OmniFocus on Apple Watch has really complemented the iOS app for me. I use OmniFocus to keep track of a lot of lists and will usually add and process those lists on the Mac. When I need to do something about the list, I always used my iPhone, but it’s always being set down and forgotten. Using OmniFocus for Apple Watch has fixed that problem.

Aside from OmniFocus, I feel like it’s changed how I interact with my phone in general. I am more apt to leave it in another room, or not process an email right then just because it came in. Which I think is a very good thing.

Ecstatic-with-it for: groceries (no fishing phone out of purse) and packing for a weekend trip.

Dan W., Test and web-people-wrangler:

Over the past couple weeks I have changed the way I use perspectives. Previously, I only used large perspectives that I would scroll through and complete tasks from; now, I’ve created much smaller perspectives that are more focused and easier to view on the watch.

…which means that at home, I’ll leave the phone on the charger and work around the house using only the Watch. I use Continuity to “queue up” work to do from either a custom perspective or a project, and then work through the tasks away from the iPhone.

Steve S., Test:

I’m constantly capturing “stuff” into OmniFocus. Siri on Apple Watch, in combination with OmniFocus’ Reminders Capture feature, makes capturing passing bits of information and tasks easier than ever. I just raise my wrist and start speaking: “Hey Siri, remind me to…”

Additionally, keeping tabs on the “weight” of upcoming tasks due today (and past due items) is nice with the glance, which also provides the easiest way to launch OmniFocus for Apple Watch: swipe to the glance and tap anywhere to be whisked away to the OmniFocus home screen.

Lastly, having my errands perspective on the watch using the continuity slot has also changed the way I complete actions while I’m out and about, getting stuff done.