For those still on OmniFocus 1, what's holding you back from upgrading to OmniFocus 2?


hey @kcase, read here what’s stopping people from switching AND what makes people going back:


Sure - glad to see you’ve asked.

  1. Ability to resize, change the order, hide/show columns, and use fixed width fields with column headers instead of space wasting repeated text for easy scanning. This was the final straw that made me revert.
  2. A fully functional compact layout (I understand this is here, but haven’t bothered to try it because of the other issues - including #3).
  3. Separate flag and checkbox (both on the left) - the mouse targets are too close together.
  4. Drag/drop from inbox to projects without opening separate windows (this one I could live with, but since you asked)
  5. Font/color customization (again, I could live with this if the defaults were more reasonable, and if #1 and #3 were fixed).
  6. Higher information density
  7. Manually triggered backups. This is now critical given the sync corruption problems I’m seeing (where one device blows away all the changes we make on another one).
  8. Ability to customize the backup location and naming

From my July 29th post - more details on #1:

Columns can’t be resized - that makes it impossible (for example) to
see the full context hierarchy like you could in OF1. Without column
headers, the repeated ‘defer until’ text also makes it very difficult to
scan quickly down the list - the dates and text run together. I can’t
tell you how many times I tried to click and resize the columns during
my failed attempt to migrate to OF2. I’d note that resizable columns
solves the font changing issues too.

From July 14th:

We’re not the only ones that don’t like hard to read/manipulate controls with low-density layouts.


Perhaps the OmniFolks can make a standard layout for users who like the current layout and a custom layout for users who want to have adjustable columns and want to change the layout?


Could you tell more on this? I believe I experienced the same, but not frequent enough to understand circumstances leading to. Would be willing to report a vote to support@ once I have more details.


@yurkennis, @mallard - I have a sync issue that always plays out like this, a few times a year:

  • Accumulate lots of inbox items
  • Process them on my Mac, i.e. sorting them into projects, renaming them, giving them due dates
  • Forget to sync, or reception is bad, or whatever…
  • Add more inbox items on my phone
  • Now sync both devices

Bam! Suddenly my previously processed inbox items have all jumped back into the inbox, lost their due dates and contexts etc. - HOWEVER, changes that I made to existing tasks do not revert. Very very frustrating.

If this is the bug you two are seeing, then I have written to Omni about it in 2010, and they said it can’t be fixed. (I might not have explained the issue very well, though.) Please don’t let me be the only one struggling with this bug :(


A fully customizable layout serves everyone - we’re not taking issue with default, but changeable settings - we’re taking issue that they are the ONLY settings.


I can’t say that’s the exact steps to reproduce, but it feels right. I’d processed 60 some odd inbox items on my mac. Wasn’t able to sync because I was on an airplane, then later when I sync’d all the inbox items were right back where they started. My impression is that it reverted all my changes, but I can’t confirm that one way or another. It’s as if they’re storing sync time on a device-basis instead of an item basis.

What I’ve started doing is to sync all my devices, then process on the main system, then backup that database, then sync. When it re-occurred I was able to just restore the backup and force it down to the problematic devices. That works in OF1 because I can do manual backup and restore, but when I tried in OF2, I couldn’t because they removed that feature.

FWIW, it appears to have gotten more frequent since I 1) added a second computer to the sync mix, and 2) started using my own WebDAV server.

One last hint - for working on offline (where I do most of my processing), I ended up getting a

That let’s me sync all the devices before processing. I just had to set a reserved IP address on the device for my main machine so the rest could find it - and made that the same reserved address on my home network too.


@Tomatenklempner @mallard Sounds exactly like my situation recently: also processed inbox on two devices simultaneously while being offline for several hours, and ended up all the items remained in their places in Inbox, with all(?) the changes made to them lost. Writing to support@ now…

Update: just found this in my earlier emails to support–as one of the known situations when sync results in lost changes:

If you make a very large number of edits (50+) in a single project or context (including the Inbox), and you sync to the server, but another client (iPad, for instance) creates a new task before syncing, your changes can be undone. We infrequently get reports of this behavior, but most people don’t do that many edits at one time. We won’t be able to fully address this issue until we’re able to update our database format… and that requires new versions across all platforms. We’re working on it, though![/quote]

Makes us guys here vote for highest priority of resolving the switch-to-OF2 stoppers.


Does that mean that you change sync method before every “offline processing” session? What are your Sync Preferences for such offline processing mode?


No, I use a custom WedDAV server (I use WebDAV Navigator from the Mac App Store), set to a static IP address. Then on both my home router and the portable one, I set a DHCP reservation for the main/sync computer to always be assigned that IP address. That way, when I switch networks, I never have to reconfigure sync (which can trigger database replacements). I use that travel router as a firewall when connecting to hotel or other public hotspots, so even in a hotel room I can still sync.


I saw a YouTube video from 2Do. They use a pinch to zoom to switch from a compressed layout to an expanded layout. I thought it was a cool idea.


Yeah… it’s cool, interface-wise… but don’t try to sync three devices to dropbox with a medium-sized db… big bummer


One more thing just came to mind. Having some idea of if and/or when these issues will be resolved. If I knew they were coming in a couple of months, I might just power through a few of them (though the backup issue is now one I have to have) and give OF2 a try.

Except, all we’ve seen has been extensive pushback (at worst) or complete silence (at best) both in the forum and in private messages on these issues - even during the beta period! That leads us to believe that you don’t consider them either regressions or important. Yes, you asked, and we appreciate that. Then went silent again.

Well, count us as all moving to Missouri. You need to ‘show us’ you’re serious about addressing these issues in a timely manner before we’re willing to give it a try again.

So how about it? Open up the feature list for OF to show us what we’ll see, and a rough timeline when we’ll see it. In the absence of that, unfortunately, we won’t move until we actually have the code in our hands.


I don’t get where all the anger and misery is coming from, honestly… Omni delivers in due time, why is the sake of Your productivities’ happiness dependent on feature xy? Even better, how could this be? How did software get so much responsibility in Your life?

Please just do me the favor of not speaking for anyone but Yourself here…


Fair enough, I shouldn’t have used ‘we’, though I think I probably do speak for a number of the other voices in this (and other) threads.

But you hit the answer: Omni hasn’t delivered in due time. They had all this feedback during the beta, didn’t address it, still haven’t, and haven’t even given any indication that they ever will.

OF is a critical piece of managing a very complex life - dozens of projects and hundreds of actions. OF1 rocks at that, but OF 2 is simply inadequate. Converting to an alternate system is a major undertaking, and not something to do on a whim.

It’s the silence, interspersed with rare questions, and more than a few patronizing comments that’s caused the frustration.


I would imagine that getting the program stable and rid of bugs old be more important. Fix the bugs first and then add features on top of that. The first wave of omnifocus 2 revealed a new user interface. Feedback comes when users send in feature requests that could possibly send OmniFocus into a different direction. Users learn the new user interface and sends ideas, hints, and suggestions about what worked and what didn’t work.

I remembered the very first beta was not very well received. But it was a start. After shutting down the first beta, omnigroup went back to work and did listen to feedback.

“Due time” is a very vague term. Omnigroup never gave a timeline of when feature XYZ would come.

If I couldn’t find out how to work something out in omnifocus, I come to the forums and ask questions to see if someone else figured out a solution. I’m not gonna wait and gnash my teeth and gripe about a feature missing. I sent my feedback. It gets recorded in the omnifocus feature request database. Then I proceed with life and figure out how to get something done in the meantime.

Any project manager knows it is career suicide to promise features when everything is up in the air.

Apple has had their issues with iOS 8 and Yosemite. My daughter has been eagerly awaiting for her latest update to Minecraft. We all want something yesterday. Sometimes we just get on with life and figure out a solution. When omnifocus gets updated, we can continue with our current solution or change our workflow to take advantage of the new features.


I’m using OF1 and don’t plan to switch any time soon. My main reason: I love OF1. I’ve hammered it into a powerful tool that works beautifully for me. I have no big complaints, so no particular motivation to switch to anything else. I consider OF1 to be an essential life tool for me, and I don’t look forward to the day I can no longer use it.

I initially started and stopped a couple of times with OF1, and it didn’t really work for me until I put a lot of work into various perspectives and little personal hacks and modifications. I think OF2 is probably more approachable right off the bat for most people.

In considering a move to OF2, I read through the forums and came to the conclusion that it would be a step down for me in terms of UI and functionality. When OF1 is a thing of the past, I’ll look at the newest version again, but I’ll also be looking at other options.


You can run OF1 and OF2 simultaneously by using omni sync server. The data files are stored separately but archive only in OF1 until you feel ready. Reading about others’ experiences can be different from actually trying. A lot of users ran both until they felt comfortable.


I’ve purchased v2 for all my devices, but am unable to use it on a daily basis due to an inability to distinguish what’s important. This lack of distinction between items is a show stopper for me. I use color to distinguish my data. I feel lost in the sea of gray. A secondary issue is data density. I am currently using the compact view and the theme hack. I know you are working on some of these items, but I’ve included everything for completeness.

What I need to be able to adopt v2 for Mac, in priority order —

  • The ability to set the font, size, color, and height of the different
    types of actions, projects, and folders. i.e., OF1 themes
  • Have perspectives save/restore the width of the sidebar, or at least
    have a narrow width for contexts and a wide width for projects.
  • The ability to set a color for a perspective and see it in the tab
    bar on the left and toolbar at the top — I need color to be able to
    visually distinguish the different perspectives
  • Bring back the View Bar — the popover isn’t as accessible or efficient
  • Separate the flags from the status circles or make them more obvious,
    possibly changing the circle to a flag — currently these are much too
    small a target to click on, and are not easily distinguishable
  • Move the view note disclosure button to the beginning or end of the
    line, its lost in the middle — I’d prefer the beginning
  • Drag from inbox to projects
  • Estimates times in the main outline

For me to be able to use the iPad and iPhone versions —

  • The ability to set the font, size, color, and height of the different
    types of actions, projects, and folders. I’d be fine if these were
    set on the Mac and synced to iOS devices
  • Separate the flags from the status circles or make them more obvious,
    possibly changing the circle to a flag — just changing the color of
    the circle is too subtle
  • Notes visible in the main outline
  • Rich Text Notes
  • Compact View on the iPad
  • Estimates times in the main outline
  • iPad like views on the iPhone 6+


This has been implemented in the current test builds of OmniFocus 2.1. From the release notes:

  • Tear-off View Options Popover — When the View Options popover is open, it can be dragged away from the window and exist on its own.
  • View Options Popover — When detached, the View Options popover no longer disappears when switching perspective modes or tabs.

Thanks for letting us know this was frustrating you!