OmniFocus with iOS 13 Features Now Available

by Brent Simmons on November 21, 2019

OmniFocus 3.4 adopts new productivity features in iOS 13 — features that will help make you more powerful, so you can accomplish more every day.

Some highlights:

Native Dark Mode: when you switch the system to Dark Mode, OmniFocus will appear in Dark Mode. It looks cool, yes — but, most importantly, this makes the app more accessible for many people. (It can help with eye strain, too.)

Multiple windows: on iPad you can open more than one window at a time. When you need to make similar changes in more than one place, you can do so without having to flip back and forth between perspectives. When you need to refer to one perspective while working in another, you can have both visible at once.

Context Menus: you can quickly perform common actions via 3D Touch or a touch-and-hold gesture. This can help save on taps, and it helps with discovery — you can see at a glance what commands apply to an item.

Shortcuts with parameters: in iOS 13, shortcuts can take input, and data can pass from shortcut to shortcut. Among the new OmniFocus shortcuts is Find Items, which runs an advanced search on your items with filters based on status, project, tags, date, and more. You could use this to create a weekly report, for instance, or to send a list of items to someone on your team. (We’ll have more to say on new OmniFocus shortcuts in an upcoming blog post.)

There are a number of other changes, too, which will help you be more productive. Read the change notes for details!

PS Here’s a screenshot showing OmniFocus running in Dark Mode, on an iPad, with two windows open:

Screenshot showing OmniFocus running on an iPad, in Dark Mode, with one window showing Inbox and a second window showing Forecast.

The Omni Show: Jim Correia, OmniFocus Engineer

by Brent Simmons on November 20, 2019

In the latest episode, OmniFocus Engineer Jim Correia joins the show to talk about what he and the team have been working on since WWDC: Dark Mode, multiple windows, and Shortcuts.

Jim’s first computer was a TI 99/4A, without any form of storage, and thus he had to write (or at least type) his apps after every time he booted. This experience led him to major not in computer science but in physics, where he helped search for exotic mesons — which sounds really, really cool. :)

He eventually came back to programming and took a job at Bare Bones, where he worked on apps such as BBEdit and Yojimbo. About ten years ago he came to Omni — and he’s worked on OmniFocus ever since.

Enjoy!

The Omni Show: April Ramm, Support Human

by Brent Simmons on November 6, 2019

In the latest episode, April Ramm joins the show to talk about how she triages support email to make sure people who need urgent help are helped as quickly as possible.

We also talk about doing phone support and how rewarding it can be — and then we talk about how she makes jewelry. Check out the show notes for pictures of a couple of beautiful pieces she’s made.

Enjoy!

The Omni Show: Christopher Harrington, OmniGraffle User

by Brent Simmons on October 23, 2019

In the latest episode of The Omni Show, we talk with Christopher Harrington, Director of Creative Strategy at Gartner — and a long-time OmniGraffle user and advocate. One of the secrets of OmniGraffle’s appeal to Christopher is that it’s open-ended: he can solve all kinds of different problems with it.

Christopher, aka octothorpe, is also passionate about user experience, Prince, and otters — not necessarily in that order — and we talk about all three.

Enjoy! But, before you do, please note the content warning below.

Content warning: In the course of talking about user experience, Christopher discusses the user experience of his partner Bill as he undergoes treatment for cancer. The user experience is presented as exemplary, as the kind of thing designers can set up when they care about users. Nevertheless, we realize this may be a topic that some people would rather not hear about. If that’s you, please skip this episode, or stop listening when we switch to that topic.

OmniFocus for the Web Adds New Internationalization Settings

by Brent Simmons on October 18, 2019

We just updated OmniFocus for the Web — the browser-based companion to OmniFocus for Mac and iOS — with a set of new commonly-requested user preferences.

The app does detect your locale and set reasonable defaults, but there are times when that’s not actually what a given person might want. This situation can happen when, for instance, you aren’t permitted to change the system settings on a work computer — but your own preferences for language and so on are different from the computer’s settings.

So we’ve added the ability to set your language, date format, start-of-the-week day, and time format.

It’s as simple as this:

Screenshot showing popup buttons for language, date format, start of week, and time format.

To get there, just open the OmniFocus menu (click the checkbox in the very upper-left corner), then choose Preferences.

We don’t expect most people will need to use this feature — the detected defaults will be spot-on — but the people who need it really need it. Their productivity will be dramatically helped by not having to mentally translate times and dates, and maybe even the language itself, into something that works better for them.

In addition, we’ve added the ability to set the language on the login screen, and we’ve made UI improvements and fixed a number of localization bugs.

Read all about it in the latest change notes!