How has OF3 changed your workflow?

For those who have been beta-testing, what are your favourite ways you’ve integrated tags and the new customer perspective builder to improve your system?

I’m looking for inspiration on custom perspectives to build.

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My system is quite simple, so I’m mostly using tags as contexts just as before. The thing that has changed the most for me, though, is using the Forecast tag instead of flagging.

I have a set of actions that are my current priorities (to be done in the next few days). Previously I flagged these but I now I can let the bright orange mean something more special (like ‘really ought to do today’ or ‘I promise myself I will do this today’).

That means my usual working perspective is due soon, flagged and then tagged with my Forecast tag.

It’s really convenient to set the Forecast tag on an item, too, as you need only do a full swipe from left to right.


Not a bit. Because the Mac version still uses contexts, and the new perspectives are incompatible with the Mac, and there is therefore no way to have a “due or flagged” perspective in sync on both with the new way, I’m totally using OF3 on iOS like I was with OF2. I honestly haven’t seen a single functional difference that matters to me, currently.


You don’t have to use all of the new features until you are ready to use them. Multiple tags have had minimal impact for me.

I’m not an “energy” guy and find assigning energy levels an illusion. I might just automatically go towards all low energy task when I should be doing that “Frog” task that I don’t want to do but should be doing.

My first use case of multiple tags I’ve found that changed in OF3 is with agenda items. I can assign an “office” tag as well as a person tag for the person I am delegating a task to. When I’m at home (home tag), I know my wife is responsible for the “pick paint colors for living room wall”. That gets my “wife” tag. I can look at my house perspective and see that we still have to choose the paint colors and my wife is responsible for it.

I have also found that I have spent less time on my Mac. Batch editing was something I’ve been waiting for a long time. I can do almost everything on my iPad with OF3 now.

I can imagine that I’ll mostly use the Mac for archiving/pruning the database and quick capture on my Mac. I do miss the action group’s ability to “mark as complete when completing the last item”. But that should be coming eventually.


I do most of my work on the Mac but like to review , update etc. when I am out or sitting in my armchair on an iPhone or iPad.

So, given the disparity between OF3 and OF2, I can’t take advantage of the new features. It seems to me that the whole thing is becoming a bit of a mess. OF3 IOS contains features not on OF2 Mac, OF2 Mac contains features not on OF3 IOS (Focus, complete when last task complete etc.). The upcoming web version will be a “subset” but as to a subset of what, is unclear.

It seems to me that Omni have lowered the priority of the Mac version and, in time, it may disappear to be replaced by a web version.

I don’t think the direction Omnifocus is heading; iOS first, Mac/Web a low priority afterthought, suits my situation. I am confused by what is available where so a newcomer would find the whole thing confusing.

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This isn’t really the thread for this, but I’ll reply and perhaps this will get split into its own thread.

If The Omni Group were to deprecate the macOS version in favour of the web version I’d be gobsmacked.

(That’s an understatement.)

The iOS version needed lots of attention to make it modern and thus it’s got the development attention. Part of the reason for that was to help bring it closer to feature parity with 2.x for macOS. (Complete with last action is supported in OF 3 for iOS, by the way.)

I’d have loved for OmniFocus 3 to launch on Mac and iOS at the same time (and I’m not really a macOS user). It would have been less confusing for a newcomer. But the reality is there’s only so much engineering time available.

But here’s the good news: you’ll be able to use OmniFocus 3 on your Mac sooner than later, so don’t feel too worried.


The Forecast tag is an important change for me and I see myself using it instead of flags. I can define a tag ‘Today’, set it as the tag which will appear in the Forecast, and now the Forecast perspective shows me everything I am focused on that day.

Once you set a Forecast tag, you can toggle that tag on an action by swiping. As @nostodnayr says, this is very convenient and really helps make the Forecast tag an attractive alternative to using flags for a similar purpose.

I never fully used Contexts in OF2 because I could never figure out a single axis of categorization that made sense to me. Tags make more sense to me, and I’ve enjoyed exploring them in OF3 for iOS. So I think that will be the second biggest change to my workflow.

Like a number of folks in this thread, I am a heavy OF for Mac user. So, I am still using my OF 2 workflow, and just experimenting with OF 3. Since I was not a big user of contexts before, this has not been problematic - the first tag I set in OF 3 appears as a context in OF 2.

I am champing at the bit to have these OF 3 features on my Mac. But in the meantime, it’s been seamless moving between OF3 for iOS and OF2 for Mac if I stick to my OF 2 workflow.

I think the Omni folks have done a great job of providing a way to use OF 2 and OF 3 simultaneously. Transitions are difficult and I think if a simultaneous release on two platforms was not feasible, this has been about as smooth a way to transition as possible.

Since I use both Mac and iOS versions, had Omni done the Mac version first, I’d still be in the same boat. I’d need to wait until both were ready to fully move to the OF 3 workflow.


Omni is working hard to bring iOS and Mac versions up to feature parity.

The web version is in pre-version 1.0 beta testing stage. Omni is introducing the web version and getting the basic foundation first with the minimum feature set just to get it off the ground. If we had to wait for a full featured version, we’ll be waiting even longer. Minimum feature set includes creating new items, projects, tags, and forecast. Over time, they’ll add other features.

The current model for the web version is that you need to create an OmniFocus database on the Omni Sync Server first. That requires OF for iOS or Mac. Then you can use the web version.

In 2018, the Mac and iOS apps are closer together in feature parity. It’ll get sorted out the end.

With OF3 and Drafts 5, I hardly ever use my Mac anymore. Templates using Drafts 5 are much faster in iOS vs AppleScript.
Honestly, I probably would have transitioned to iPad only anyway but I do like OF3.
I wanted tags but now that I have them, I have not leveraged their use.

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It’s nice to have that option of multiple tags in our pocket. I wouldn’t try to force myself into using it until I am approached with a situation that might need it. So far, my use of multiple tags has been in very few small case scenarios. But I can see how other people who love tagging in other apps will use it to the max.

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Elaborate a bit further on how you use Drafts 5. What kind of templates do you mean ?

Drafts has an ability to use placeholders and then autopopulate into OF2 or OF3.

Here is an example:

  • «MemoTopic» Memo @parallel(false) @autodone(true) @flagged

    • Develop «MemoTopic» Content @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Red) @estimate(30m)
    • Send «MemoTopic» Memo Content to «Reviewer» for Review and Approval @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Red) @estimate(5m)
    • Receive Approval from «Reviewer» for «MemoTopic» Memo Content @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Waiting)
    • Send «MemoTopic» Memo Content to «SubjectMatterExpert» (Key Business Partner) @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Red) @estimate(5m)
    • Receive Approval from «SubjectMatterExpert» for «MemoTopic» Memo Content @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Waiting)
    • Create «MemoTopic» using Word Template and add me as a “bcc” @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Red) @estimate(15m)
    • Send «MemoTopic» to Kerrie Sweet @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @context(Red) @estimate(5m)

Fantastic action list from Rosemary Orchard


I’m extraordinarily late to the OF3 iOS party since I apparently signed up for the betas too late. I was testing the previous 2.x iOS versions on macOS & iOS but I evidently did not sign up separately for OF3. I assumed I would simply get the OF3 test builds automatically since I was testing the previous 2.x ones.

Not so, it turns out.

In any case, after having played with the latest builds for a couple of weeks there have been zero changes to my workflow. The thing is, for me, macOS is the primary platform for OF. I use the iOS version more as a companion while I do the heavy lifting on macOS. But since both versions do not have feature parity today, there’s really no change to my workflow. I can’t use the new features in the OF3 iOS version today.

The multiple tags might be interesting but I can’t test them since they don’t (yet) carry over to macOS. The same goes for the revamped perspectives: it seems there are some great possibilities but it’s iOS-only for the moment. The Forecast custom tag looks great as well: I think it will make a lot of people with Today-plans happy. Finally, custom notifications look neat, too. Although I do miss nagging notifications. If these are available, I might be able to ditch Due. (Due’s a great app by the way, but I want everything in a single system.)

In the end for me, I like what OF3 will be offering, but today it doesn’t alter my workflow since OF for macOS is my main platform. I hope we get to test the Mac version for OF3 soon, so I can really testdrive how multiple tags and new perspectives can make an impact on my way of working.

In the end, I suspect that, for people like me who start on the desktop, the current iOS iteration might not look all that enticing. At least until the macOS app reaches feature parity.


I couldn’t figure out what you and @nostodnayr were talking about at first. I mean, just flag the tasks like you used to. I didn’t realize that flagged tasks didn’t appear in Forecast view (which I seldom use unless looking at past due or future tasks) until just now. Great tip.


That was my initial thought using OF3 as well, but with Forecast Tag, I can now have flags mean something else, which is even better (since flagged things could show up in the same lists as other things but have a visual cue of being oranger).


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Except for the fact that this totally doesn’t work if you use the Mac right now.

The mis-aligned timing of this, with iOS leading first, is kinda crappy TBH.


IOS sales are, according to @kcase, by some way the largest component of OF sales. There’s sense in doing IOS first - and I speak as a predominately Mac person. So I think describing it as crappy misaligning is unfair


It’s a bit harsh to call it “crappy”.

I’m in the same boat since macOS is my main OF platform but I understand that resources are limited and Omni can only do so much. The focus was iOS right now because of the larger customer base, and I get that. And yes, it really is annoying that there’s no feature parity with macOS. But as Ken said: after the iOS release, the Mac version is up next. I believe he even mentioned on Twitter that test builds for macOS would become available over the “summer”.

I know the folks at Omni will deliver on the Mac, too. So I’m happy to wait it out a couple of months.

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OF3 for Mac is coming. Just a little bit longer. Besides, if you try OF3 for iOS with the free 2 week trial, you might like it enough to get an iPad or start using the iPad a bit more.

Now that the 2018 iPads have gone to as low as $329 for a 32-GB model and $429 for the 128-GB model, it might be considered a worthwhile investment.

I say this because I was a Mac only guy for a long time and ignored the iPad as a gimmick and a toy. It wasn’t until iOS 11 came along in September 2017 that I changed my tune. iOS 11 was the game changer and showed me that the iPad can become what the Intel Atom sub-notebooks promised. An affordable device that has enough power to run most of our office tasks…

Now I can edit PDFs with PDFPenPro, create short video demos in iMovie, write in Ulysses, work in Microsoft Office, manage my e-mail in Spark, edit photos in affinity photo, create illustrations in affinity designer, and finally use OF3 on the iPad. I used to do most of these on the Mac. Now I can use either the Mac or the ipad.

I would never have said this in Spring 2017. I never really knew what all the hype about the iPad was for until I updated to iOS 11. There are some growing pains when I had to learn how to think the iOS way but I think I finally got the hang of things now. iOS 11 gave iOS app developers the new frameworks that provided new features and hooks.

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I never much liked the user interface of OF2 on Mac so - now y’all have made me think about it - I recognise I’m using OF almost entirely on iOS.

I probably will buy OF3 on Mac and iOS. I’ll see how I get on with OF3 on Mac and might not buy OF4 thereon. On the other hand OF3 on Mac might be compelling.