I've had it with omnioultiner!

I am over this outliner, I tell ya!!! There’s always a bug or some sort of issue. However my main issue with OmniOutliner is it’s downright terrible performance.

  1. Computer specs

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac14,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3.5 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 32 GB

1. Bugs and issues

I recall the app having sorting problems… imagine having thousands of rows in deep level containers!!! The saved filters almost never work and when they do they eventually break; imagine classifying your document for all this time only to have your entire classification system disappear…ridiculous.

  1. Loading time madness

no need for explanation here…

  1. More Feature issues

Expanding rows in a larger projects will render your app unresponsive or make it impossible to scroll without long temporary freezes.

  1. The worst one of all

Every time I move to another application on my iMac and return to OmniOutliner I get the mac ballon spinning delay wheel thing; every single time. This drives me completely insane!!! Go to a web browser, do some research, come back to Omni and wait for color wheel to spin and spin and spin. Every time you leave this app and come back to it feels like needing to punch someone in the face.

This is a toy tool and needs to be presented as such. It cannot handle anything serious. Omni Group needs to stop developing new features and seriously consider focusing on fixing they already have. I’m deserting their product and never ever coming back. The frustration, the slow workflow and the amount of times they’ve corrupted my work…I’VE HAD IT!!

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Did you email support? They’re very good and can definitely investigate this kind of thing.

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I respect the fact that you’re having problems, but I have to tell you I have enormous OO files, and never experience the problems you’re having. They load pretty quickly, and I seldom get temporary freezes or spinning beach balls after returning to it from another app. Rosemary’s advice is good - email or call support. They might be able to fix this.


I’m also very happy with the performance and stability of OmniOutliner. Just to ask the question: I don’t think you gave the version of OO you’re using?

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Like others here, I am a heavy and constant user of OmniOutliner and never have this kind of problem.

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Something going wrong, definitely. I use OmniOutliner as my go-to story crafting tool. I think if it as draft zero. I never see a glitch.

From OO, I export it as opml. Since I don’t want so many levels of topics in Scrivener as I have in OO, I have a little Python script that will squash the opml down to 2 or 3 (or as many as I want) levels. Scrivener will import it fine, and that gives me a manageable binder, with simplistic quasi-hierarchical outlines in the synopsis of each OO topic tree. Ten levels becomes two without losing information.

I think I use a lot of OO’s features. Sometimes I use the OO document as a checklist. I’ll add a checklist column and filter on that.

I hope you get your problems sorted out, because you may be looking at something that will affect more than OO.

Can’t wait for the new tags in OmniFocus, and whatever comes next in OO is bound to be pretty cool, too.


stanblues999: I’m sorry you’re experiencing this frustration. I’m sure if you send your document to OmniGroup they will be able to sort your problem out. And if there’s an OmniOutliner bug, this will help them fix it for the benefit of all OmniOutliner users.

When I upgraded to OmniOutliner 5 last year, I started to experience a performance problem in one of my key documents (a very detailed outline for my latest ebook, Cognitive Productivity with macOS®: 7 Principles for Getting Smarter with Knowledge). The problem was apparently related to a huge enclosure. I removed some sections of the document and this fixed the problem. OmniGroup’s support staff were very responsive, as always.

I have thousands of OmniOutliner documents, spanning multiple versions of the app, many of them quite large. The one mentioned above is the only one that had this problem. Considering the usefulness of OmniOutliner (see below), massaging one document was well worth the effort.

This is a toy tool and needs to be presented as such. It cannot handle anything serious.

This is an overgeneralization. You are talking about a great, robust product from OmniGroup, which produces the most helpful apps on macOS for creatives (and therefore for any OS). (No, I don’t work for OmniGroup. But I do specialize in cognitive tools and cognitive productivity).

Daniel Alm’s Timing app confirms that OmniOutliner is my most used editing app (and I work much more than full-time, primarily on my Mac). Since 2003, I have been outlining all my major writing in OmniOutliner: for books, academic papers, blogging, functional specifications ( software), business documents, and my personal life). I also use OmniOutliner to create notes (“meta-docs”) about books and papers I read (described in my books). OmniOutliner is an extension of my brain.

I outline in OmniOutliner, and do my final writing in a plain text editor using markdown. There are many plain text editors to choose from (I use and love BBEdit). But when it comes to outlining on macOS, there’s OmniOutliner.