Link OmniOutliner Document to OmniFocus Project

I have really like OmniFocus so I thought I would go all into the Omnigroup ecosystem and try OmniOutliner. My experience is with OneNote for Mac, which has fit my needs well so far. I have been working on more projects lately, however, and that is most likely going to increase. I am looking for integration between OmniFocus and OmniOutliner.

I was hoping that OmniOutliner was integrated with OmniFocus in a way that would allow me to tie/link an OmniOutliner documents or documents to an OmniFocus project. This would allow me to keep all my thoughts and notes tied together and easily accessible in one location.

Does this functionality exist? Thanks for the help!


I was in the process of asking this question when this topic popped up. I’m very interested in this too, but I guess the lack of replies is an indication of the lack of this capability… Subscribed…

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I which it worked as well. I sent an email to Omnigroup support and received the following response.

Thanks for contacting us with your question!

There are a couple ways that OmniFocus and OmniOutliner can work together. OmniFocus actually started out as a set of AppleScripts within OmniOutliner, called Kinkless GTD. So it makes sense that you would want an integration between the two!

I don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, since I’m not familiar with your workflow. Currently, OmniFocus can import an OmniOutliner document; the process adds the rows in as individual tasks that are put into your Inbox.

OmniFocus is also capable of handling attachments and links. If you wanted to attach an OmniOutliner file to a task in OmniFocus, you could do that by selecting the task and then either dragging the file from a Finder window into the Notes field, or selecting from the menubar: Edit > Attach File…

It’s worth noting here that when you option+drag a file into a Note in OmniFocus, you get a link to that file, not an attachment.

Now, the place this gets tricky is if you’re using multiple devices and you want to access a file from both devices. Right now there isn’t a way to do that–the file is still originally stored on a specific device, and attaching it to OmniFocus doesn’t mean that the OmniFocus app knows what to do with it when you want to open it.

My recommendation would be to use your Mac for the integration you’re looking for, since it works nicely when you stick to the same device.

Let me know if you have any questions or if anything’s unclear. I’m happy to help!

All the best,
Annette F.
Support Human
Omni Group

So it sounds like you can treat the OmniOutliner document like any other attachment, but not “reference” the notes of a project in OmniOutliner from OmniFocus. Hopefully this will be something that they implement one day.

Thank you for sharing that. Perhaps it’s an indication that they’re at least tracking it. Their suggestion that you “use your Mac to…” is useless to me because a Mac isn’t part of my workflow.

I won’t belabor the issue, but it sure seems bizarre to me that two products from the same company that have been around as long as OmniFocus and OmniOutliner have don’t play well together…

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Seriously, I find this pretty bizarre! I thought OO was a “brainstorming” environment and that a natural next step for its output would be into OF for incorporation of tasks into one’s workflow.

Absurdly, my other big go-to for brainstorming, MindNode, ties directly into OmniFocus while OmniOutliner does not.

Frankly I’m a little underwhelmed with OO at this point. I bought the basic version assuming it did a bit more than it does. Unless it ties in with OF, I don’t think I have much use for it I can’t get out of, say, the outline mode in Pages.


+1 This is a huge opportunity for Omnigroup. This is essential.

Omnioutliner=brainstorming for natural planning, Omnifocus=task and action-step management related to that project.

Projects should naturally begin in OmniOutliner, and translate to Omnifocus once the next steps begin to form. With Outliner helping to maintain the big picture as the project evolves.



If you haven’t already done so, email the support humans with this as a feature request. Although Omni keeps a good eye on what goes on here, an email gets the request onto their formal feature request list, and if others email the same request, they can upvote it

There’s a lot of potential to use the new automation features of OmniOutliner that might do what you want.

For example there’s a recent thread that provides an OmniOutliner plugin that sends the current OmniOutliner selection (the entire nested structure) to OmniFocus as a new project.

You may already be aware of this, but it is possible to import data from OmniOutliner into OmniFocus. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • Select File > Import OmniOutliner Document… in the OmniFocus menu bar. For this to work, you’ll need to have your OmniOutliner document saved as a OmniOutliner 3 (.oo3) file. This is the default format used by OmniOutliner 3 and 4, but if you are using OmniOutliner 5, you’ll need to export a copy of your file into the OmniOutliner 3 format.

  • Copy and paste rows from your OmniOutliner document into OmniFocus.

Similarly, you can copy projects and tasks from OmniFocus and paste them into OmniOutliner. This, however, will only include the project/task names and not any other info like due dates or notes from OmniFocus.

All this said, we do have an open request for better integration with OmniOutliner, and I’ve added you to it.


In addition to syncing, is there a way to have a universal link to the OO outline that can be pasted into an Omnifocus project?

That way I can click the link on any of my devices through Omnifocus and directly open my outliner document and work on it to develop the project.

I purchased OO on both Mac and iOS and it seems really difficult to integrate in a way that easily works with OF…am I missing something?

My post was just moved to this link… @elguapo, all these other options are nice, but really what we want is an url callback and multi device that will open the OO file from any device.

I was hoping that the OO file could be referenced in the OF project it supports, then the OO outline and the OF todos could integrate more organically as parts of the OO project evolve and become defined. I find that OF is good for managing “do-ing” not “defining”. Outliner really doesn’t have much use for me if it can’t sync like a MindNode project can, or even my OF can. I just assumed that all OMNI files could integrate and I wish I didn’t spend that money on OO. Dynalist is more suitable for my needs in this regard and it’s free. I get power users might love OO and my my use case may be an edge case, but just seems obvious to me.