How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?

Continuing the discussion from How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?:

I suspect the current ‘problems’ that the higher data density version introduces will be remedied in due course. As the OmniGroup staff have said, it’s experimental.

In regards to the checkbox on the left – I suspect, like data density, it should be available as a user-selected setting in the future.


I’m going this conversation fairly late. I don’t really like to have one app dominating the whole screen. That’s why I never really use Maverick’s fullscreen mode for most of my apps unless I’m in Aperture, iMovie, or Final Cut Pro X.

I did find the status circle on the right a bit jarring at first. But I just kept my OmniFocus window size to 1280x800 on my external 26" monitor. The window becomes compact enough that my eyes don’t travel to the right very far. I’ve never really found the need or desire to go full screen mode with OmniFocus 2.


I agree about the usability issue. I have the same issue even on my 11" MacBook Air. It really slows me down when checking off an item to figure out if I’m on the right line. Since the circle lines up in center of 2 line task area, it does not feel aligned with the task. I disagree about the circles being a good looking design. I like checkboxes. I can live with circles on the left. The circles on the right just do not look right to me and I’m not getting used to them. So far I love the new design except for these circles on the right and the single color teal perspective icons (which at least I can change).

Please get rid of the circle and replace it with a proper checkbox ON THE LEFT of the Action. It is too disconnected on the right.

Usability takes a back seat to chasing silly trends with circles, too much white space, having to double-click to enter/edit data, no popup calendar in date fields, and poor data density in OmniFocus v2.

When will all of the bad UI and usability issues be addressed?



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What are people viewing this on - a big screen TV?
One of the niceties of OF, (imo) is that you don’t need to have OF fill up your entire screen.

I’m not looking for a full spreadsheet view in this sort of tool. Do other people use it as a stand in for a matrix?

I didn’t have a big opinion whether checkboxes should be on the right or left, both have their relative values.
In fact, for nested items - I like the checkbox on the right.

The subordinate items go light gray & have a strikethrough.
A faint gray line - under line items might help.

Testing it between OF1 & OF2 simultaneously:
Checkboxes on the right work as well as item-by-item checkboxes on the left.
At least for me, there isn’t a visual deficit.

On a collapsed Project View - The left pane has its checkbox on the left of the project entry.
Location of checkboxes are not a big deal to me. They work equally well in both places.

Another post griped about “Doubleclick?”
I don’t have to double click to enter dates, if I have the inspector open.

IT guys should be happy - OF1 is still a great tool in its own right.
If they perfectly liked what OF1 was, they don’t have to pay to upgrade!

Offtopic a little:
I do miss the ability to redefine a project from parallel to sequential, etc - with one click.
(Of course, single actions required going to the inspector even in OF1).

+1 to this. I really wish that icon to the left of the project indicating its status was interactive - it begs to be clicked.


A rather pointless thrust in terms of argumentation.

Just because it’s there and decided certainly does not mean that it is perfect.

“Pointless thrust?” Did I use that phrase? Seems I did.

No this one is not a pointless thrust.
Its a simple reality that one has the option to stay with OF1.

There are issues to address in any change, but not everyone is tremendously adult about it.
"Change something, just not this” seems as though the tack that a few people are taking & stamping a foot.

Purely an observation & a little non-sequitur:
My statement was to 2 self-identified IT commenters. IT Guys are notoriously cranky & resistant to change (especially on the Windows side, from my observance. Maybe its because they don’t have OmniFocus). Many IT people don’t seem to like users very much, or requests which deviate from a set of rules that make the IT guy’s life effortless. My comment was a poke to get them to lighten up here.

The developers are being very cooperative in trying to meld this into the most useful product.

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Space, the Final Frontier

Full screen mode can be OK, here & there - and I agree with your choices listed, Wilson.

On a desktop, the smaller OF window lends itself to opening the inspector, if there’s a need.
I can’t imagine how its handled on a tablet. Phones - I don’t so much care, I use them for phone calls, not massive work.

The idea that there is breathing room in the app, makes it a stress reducer.
At least until too much of my topic falls off the screen & requires a scroll.

For me, the same rationale applies in that OF is nearly a “pop-up” itself.
The Quick Entry is precisely that: a post-it to jot to, available for later refinement.

Maybe it’s because I’m approaching 50 and wear progressive lenses. Or maybe it’s just that the lines are not differentiated in color like an alternating color spreadsheet. Either way, I’m constantly having to scan from left to right to make sure I check off the right item. I breathe a sigh of relief when I’m checking off a flagged item because it stands out enough from other rows to know I’m hitting the right one. I’ve hit the wrong one at least once.

I like the design of the circles. I would like them even more if I could visually locate them quickly and reliably.

Have you tried the “compact mode”, which improves data density and moves the circles to the left? It’s still not perfect, but for me it’s a LOT better.

How do you switch to Compact mode in Mac OF 2? Nothing in the help about it and I don’t see any options that sound like that in the menus or preferences.

Enter this URL in Safari:


… and then restart the app.

To go back, enter: omnifocus:///change-preference?ContentLayout


That works quite nice. Thank you. I do wish that the task/action icons were a little larger in this view. But they are on the left now!

Edited - the only problem with the compact view is that you cannot check the ‘checkboxes’ any more. You actually have to close each item using the inspector. Ugh.

don’t worry. Omni did say that they considered this experimental. They’re still toying with how to make it work. They didn’t ant to delay the release of OF2 so they put this in to give an idea of what they were working on. It takes time to bake a cake. I think this seemed to generate a very positive response. Now it is a matter of fine-tuning it. I think they’re following Apple’s standard M.O. They’re not the first to do it. but they’ll eventually find something that works.

We can see the WWDC 2014 video. Apple was late to the table with widgets in iOS. Meanwhile, Android had widgets for a long time. But Apple’s version of widgets seems more streamlined.

I know I barely use the dashboard and found it utterly useless with the widgets located there. But having widgets in the Notification screen in Mac OS X Yosemite sounds a lot better.

If anyone has any brainstorming ideas of how to execute a better layout, I’m sure we’d all love to see a screenshot or something. Sometimes things aren’t always as easy as it appears to be. There’s so much thought that needs to be put it into something to make it work.


We’ve started off a thread here, if you’re interested, about widgets and OmniFocus 2 for iOS and OS X.

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Whoa, I wasn’t expecting to see an interim solution so quickly. Thank you, @omnigroup, for the option. It’s looking very nice. A few things (from v2.0.3 (v87.15 r219260)):

  • Checkboxes are quite small (see screenshot). I think that this is almost too compact; if the compact layout is 1 and the normal layout is 2, I think the right amount would be about 1.25. Maybe it should follow the Text Size preference.
  • In response to @tlharpster, it seems like the checkboxes are now working properly, and so is the (comically small) Flag button.
  • This makes it so much easier to organize and manage tasks, especially planning ahead in the Forecast view.

yeah, the limitations are well-documented… we’re all curious with what the Omnicians are coming up next ;-)

I recently upgraded to OF2 and have been struggling with the checkboxes on the right (Retinal Macbook Pro 15" at “More Space” setting). Thanks for posting this, I like the compact view much better.

I had asked Omni about the checkboxes on the right when OF came out for iPad and they said it made sense for the iPad because you’ll usually have a thumb nearby to touch them, so I was a little surprised to see it on the desktop client as well. My mouse is rarely near that side of a list view. Glad to see there’s an easy way to switch it.

I also logged in just because I opened OmniFocus after some time and noticed I suddenly had major difficulty mentally aligning the checkbox with the task on a wide screen. I wasn’t sure if it was just in my head or if something had changed.

For example on a 23" Cinema:

I was thinking a simple solution would be at least that the mouse, when hovering over a row, would apply some basic highlighting/tint so the entire row is clear like so:

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