Multi-user Team Sync/Share Idea

Been requesting multi-user share/sync type of feature for years. I know as we look to January there will be a new roadmap blog up. Hopefully there will be something in there about this. I’ve been using Reminders more and more instead of OF since it’s very easy now to sync lists in Reminders between specific family members. I know it has been discussed to death and I’ve searched the forums and read the more recent threads on it so I am aware you can share a single database file between users and that, in the past, it was talked about as needing a major re-write to support this feature.

I have a few ideas:

Option 1: Use Reminders Integration to Enable Sync/Share
Using Reminders to share todo lists with my wife gave me an idea though:

Since Apple has an “EventKit” API (learn here) where you can create, edit, delete items in Reminders… a potentially easy feature that solves this use case is possible. For example:

  1. OF Feature where you can select a list from Reminders in the properties of each project to sync just that project with a Reminders list.
  2. In Reminders, share that Reminders list with the person (or team) you want.

The net effect of this is that so long as 2 people are using icloud to sync reminders, you can now share syncronized OF projects with them. Since the OF property is per project, it also means you can share/sync one project with one person, and another project with someone else. And still keep some projects private (unlike what you can do with a shared OF sync account or shared OF database file)

This seems to be a way to support this long requested use case without OnmiGroup really having to implement it, other than to use the Apple APIs to sync with Reminders. It would be using Reminders as a share/sync proxy in a way and the Apple side of that work is already done.

Seems like there are AppleScripts out there to try and sync OF with Reminders, might try some sort of hacked workaround with that but would be a really cool native feature.

Has this idea been discussed?

Option 2: Use Multiple OF sync accounts to Enable Sync/Share
A much simpler way to share and stay synced between multiple OF users would actually just be to support having multiple OF databases open at once in a single instance of OF. Like this:

  1. User has main OF sync account, let’s say it’s user JaneSmith

  2. Jane makes second OF sync account, let’s say SmithFamily

  3. Jane configures OF to load both JaneSmith and SmithFamily and both passwords. Both load in different root folders in the Projects list. She marks JaneSmith as primary, avoiding the confusing of which one is used for inbox and all that by default.

  4. Janes husband Barney creates his own BarneySmith OF sync account

  5. Barney also configures his OF to sync SmithFamily

Now you have a way to separate personal things the family shouldn’t see (like Christmas present idea lists) and family shared things (like Grocery Lists) without having to create any user share management features.

I can see other use cases for this type of thing too.

What about this one. Has this idea been discussed?

On a related note, as a last resort, does anyone know if Things can share select projects and keep them synced between multiple users?


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Don’t know about Things, but you could do it with 2Do. Set up 2Do to sync using Reminders and share the relevant Reminder lists.

Of course, that’s no use if you don’t get on with 2Do (which I don’t) ;-)

Things and OmniFocus are currently designed as a single user experience. They will have to do some infrastructure work to get it to do collaboration. Nothing is as simple as it looks like on the surface.

But I’m rooting for collaboration one of these days. Heck, I was just thinking about users who don’t have OmniFocus. Then they might just log in to an OmniSync server via a web page to see a simple checklist of tasks. The OmniFocus user can be the one to set up a project or single action list to be shareable on the OmniSync server and publish it. Users who don’t have OmniFocus can see it and check them off as well as add additional notes (without modifying the first note). If you want to share a project with someone, you can publish it as available. Then the other OmniFocus user can subscribe to it. This would show up in OmniFocus. It’s kinda like iCloud calendar. Subscribe to a WebDAV calendar and see all the events in that calendar.

Thanks for the replies guys. I updated my original post since I came up with a second idea worth discussing.