Compact layout: displays info on one line w/status circles on the left [Edit: Now available in 2.3! OmniFocus Preferences ▸ Layout ▸ Custom Columns]


Add me to the list of OmniFocus 2 (Pro) users who much prefer the compact display with single-line data density.


Oh wow. I was originally going to sit this out, but it’s visually exactly what I wanted. The keyboard nav isn’t quite as convenient as the new layout, and the missing white space is missed, but I think it’s easier to take in more information this way. I’ll try this for a few days to see how it works, but I think I’m already converted.


I have to say that whilst I didn’t dislike the new format as much as others, I do like the ability to have more data visible and less ‘white space’. This is along the right lines to me, although the Tickbox for completion needs to be a little bigger and the flag selection a bit easier. I do ordinarily use the keyboard shortcut for flagging, but it would be better if the target area for both of these was a little bigger.

Nice work though.


Out of curiosity, is the alternative high data density layout available as an option in Preferences yet?


This is great, pleased with this. Be great to have a list of these hidden gems.


thanks for the spacebar tip, I don’t use shortcuts much so was annoyed to find the circle doesn’t click, but hooray for the spacebar


Trying this out, I’m excited to reclaim my screen real estate!


Continuing the discussion from Alternate layout which displays everything on one line with status circles on the left:

Shocked to find this as well. Just installed OmniFocus 2 and upgraded to Pro version. Enabled the high data density layout (pretty fantastic) but unable to click the circle is quite… bad.

Also, shouldn’t clicking on the parent item cause the entire task+subtasks to be highlighted?


I’ve made a small mockup of what I envisioned, in regards to my question about ‘Also, shouldn’t clicking on the parent item cause the entire task+subtasks to be highlighted?’.

How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?

That’s a great example of why the high data density layout is a hidden preference, not listed in the main Preferences interface. It’s a very rough proof of concept, untested by our internal Test team, just to show you a glimpse of what we maybe think we might be able to do soon.

How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?

Please remember the high density layout is an early work-in-progress. Ken’s original post mentioned how they were not satisfied with the check circle and there would be more work on this style before it was exposed as a feature.

I’m lovin’ it, by the way.


You actually can click the circle, but only if you click the bottom right corner of it. It’s actually almost outside the circle, but it is clickable:


Ken –
Finding your post stopped me in mid-curse :-) while testing the released OF2. As I’ve posted before, I just don’t get the move away from high data density and it’s prevented me from upgrading. But I commend you for working to come up with alternative layouts.

My other major complaint has been the color palette of the circles (not enough contrast between the colors for my eyes) and that, of course, is exacerbated in the new alternate 1-line layout. That said, the colored box with the date on the right for due and overdue items helps with this. I would vote for more customization of fonts and colors, as has been discussed by others. Not to the extent of OO, but it seems Mac-like (and Omni-like) to offer users the ability to make one of your apps “their own” so that there is a minimum of them having to adjust to someone else’s view of how things should be colored, sized, etc. (within reason, of course).

Thanks for the continuing good work!


My comment isn’t in reference towards your whole post, but just to the assertion that it is ‘Mac-like’ for heavy customisation to happen (OmniGroup, on the other hand, has a different approach) – that might be wrong.


  • Debate between iOS and Android, in terms of customisability.
  • The apparent ‘dumbing down’ of OS X (in light of features being ‘ported’ over from iOS).
  • Decreasing level of user-serviceable parts for Mac hardware.


Yes, more contrast will be helpful. I like either of the views in v2, but I find it hard to differentiate between the individual tasks. The line between this is not dark enough.


I think we really need more contrast in the tool, or go back to giving us control of the colors and themes (including a more readable font).


The alternate layout is amazing. Now I’m actually enjoying and using the new version.


I like the compact layout more, but had to switch back as for some reason I couldn’t actually complete actions this morning in the compact mode. Restarted OF, finally moved to the original layout and was able to complete.


You can’t click the circles, but the space bar works for completing items.


You can always do a right click on the task and choose “complete”, it’s rapid and more easier with the compact layout for the moment.

I’ve noticed that the circle goes a little bit darker when it’s good to mark as complete… but you need good eyes when the task is already selected.