Disclosure triangles

On OmniFocus for iOS, since there are no disclosure triangles in the project view, action groups are only visually distinguished by indentation. With nested lists, it can be rather difficult to scan a project visually, to focus on a part of it, or to tell which action group items belong to, or how deeply nested the action group is. I’m guessing Omni Group would want to keep the platforms separate, but an improvement to the iOS version here shouldn’t pose any significant threat to to the superiority of the Mac version, which is much more powerful.

What do you think?

I can’t say i’ve ever missed this. Even thinking about it now, I can’t say it would make a difference to me, and I have some projects I run regularly which have up to 100 actions.

I guess I don’t tend to look at them as projects though, i deal with the items via context based perspectives to narrow down the number of items I’m dealing with so that I’m looking at Admin tasks, or Focused work, or flagged tasks.

I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea, just that it wouldn’t make a difference to me whether added or not.

The Iphone version is actually much better in this case, and does not have the problem. One would expect the Ipad version of OF to be at least as good as the Iphone version. The Iphone version not only gives a much better overview regarding action groups, it also makes it far more convenient to create multiple tasks in the same action group, as I describe in another thread:

Action groups in OF 3 test flight

The inferior behaviour in the Ipad version is, sadly, still there in the test flight version of OF 3.

Yes I had noticed that too, it’s harder to create action groups on the iPad than on the iPhone, which is surprising.

Are you saying that from your perspective the issue is that nested tasks all show expected (as shown in the screenshot below, taken from Rosemary Orchard’s sneak peak post), and that you have no way to collapse a group? Or are things showing differently on the iPhone?

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I never understood why it is not possible to collapse a group (nested tasks) in iPad just like in OSX. It is so frustrating…

To me, an action group is a convenient way of gathering tasks belonging to another task without having to create a separate project. There are two things I would expect from an action group:

  1. A possibility to hide the tasks in the action group, so that I could have an overview of the tasks on a certain level without seeing the tasks in the action groups. On the Mac I may collapse an action group using the triangle, and on the Iphone it happens automatically, as the Iphone with OF 2 only shows one level of tasks. On the Ipad, there is no way to hide the tasks in an action group.

  2. A possibility to create new tasks directly in an action group. On the Mac I may create a new task on the same level simply by pressing the return key, and on the Iphone I could (at least with OF 2) tap on the plus button while I’m showing the level with the tasks in the action group. As there is no way to show only the level with the tasks in an action group on the Ipad, there is consequently no way (other than dragging) to create new tasks directly in an action group, at least not in OF 2.

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I agree with you on both points. And OmniOutliner 3 for iOS, which has a similar “data model”, allows both. It seems that currently however TestFlight builds of OF 3 always show sub-actions expanded, with no possibility of collapsing a group, which, from you’re saying, is as OF 2 does right now on the iPad. (And I am not sure about the ability to create a new actions directly as a sub-actions.)

Let’s see what the final OF 3 does, and hope for the best!

I agree, this would be useful.

Oh! Sounds like you may have missed a new feature that came with our iOS 11 update last September: you can now drag and drop the New Inbox Item button directly into an action group to add a new item in that location. If you don’t have an action group yet, you can drop it onto an existing item to turn that item into a group and add its first child.

(This also works when dragging from other apps and dropping it onto the outline.)


A-ha! I’d missed that. Thanks Ken.

Thanks for your answer, @kcase. Hoping to see a way to hide tasks in OF 3, or in an update to OF 3. It is strange that the Ipad version in this case is inferior to the Iphone version.

I could have mentioned more clearly in my post than in brackets that you now may create tasks in an action group (and even create the action group itself!) by dragging them to the group. I love the possibility to drag and drop tasks in the IOS versions of Omnifocus, it has certainly made those versions much more convenient to use! For creating tasks in action groups, it is even more convenient though to simply press the plus button (or Save + button) on the Iphone, or the return key on the Mac.