Areas where I feel OmniFocus 3 could be improved

Now that OF3 has been out for a while, I’d like to point out a few areas where I feel that OF could be improved. The iOS app feels a bit like a reaction to Things 3 in that the Omni Group have tried to simplify the app but in reality have just made it worse.

Progressive Disclosure on iOS
Does progressive disclosure really make the app easier to use? I find it cumbersome and confusing. For example, the customise the inspector does not appear on newly created tasks but it does on existing tasks. To add a repeating instruction I have to click ‘Repeat’ where I am presented with a blank screen with ‘Repeat’ toggle switch. What is the point of this? If I then switch the toggle I’m presented with a screen of options. Ironically, OF2 handles progressive disclosure much better; click repeat and you are presented with a few choices on the type of repeat then pressing one reveals further choices. I’m not saying OF2 was brilliant and I can understand the need to change it but it feels like OF3 is a step back.

Indentation on iOS
This seem like a minor gripe but I absolutely hate how OF3 on iOS indents every task. What a waste of precious screen real estate. It makes everything seem cluttered and convoluted. I realise this is probably so that looking at tasks in the Projects perspective can have disclosure triangles but I’m not sure how many people would be looking at the view in the app. This is making me want to switch back to OF2.

Task formatting and display in lists
The look of a list of tasks in OF3 is simply awful. The indentation as mentioned above is bad. Then you have the formatting of the Tags which are always displayed and are given a grey highlighting that makes them stand out too much. If I select the Waiting tag, do I really need to see the waiting tag for every task? The Project formatting is shoved above the task title and it just doesn’t look right. I would prefer the Project title to return underneath the task with the first tag to the right of that. If you have multiple tags ad you need see them all, click the inspector.

Tag entry on iOS
OF2 knows you are going to assign a single tag (context) to a task. You click the Context button then click the Context and then the app returns to the Inspector automatically. To add a single Context takes 2 clicks. OF3 assumes that you are going to assign multiple Tags and remains in the Tags view after you have selected a Tag. It’s not very often I assign multiple Tags. When I’m on the go with my iPhone I want this to be quick and easy like it used to be. I realise changing the default behaviour would make assigning multiple Tags too cumbersome but it would be nice if there was an option to change it (at the risk of adding complexity).


I think all the things you detailed are improvements from a usability standpoint.

Certainly if they are pain points for you, then maybe OF2 would be the better choice. I would think eventually support for OF2 will be dropped, and this might force a decision at that point.

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You’re probably right. I do feel like I’ve wasted my money upgrading.

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Maybe OF could issue a refund?

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