OF2 issues Omnigroup say they may never fix... So back to OF1

I’m sure this is only a problem for the minority, but nevertheless it is a problem for me and my students and I’ve had to go back to OF1 to make things work for me in lectures. They sound petty as you read them, but in front of 100 students in a lecture theatre you find yourself making excuses for OmniGroup. Not good.

The first and critical issue with OF1 is that it does not fit onto a 1074 by 768 monitor (which all the VGA projectors in our institution are set to for lovely PC users). So in effect the inspector bar (which I lobbied OG to keep floating, but of course the iPad interface stupidly won) is cut off on the right hand side. April, who has been extremely helpful at OG has said that I and only one other person has told them of this problem, which leads me to suspect that we’re the only teachers showing the next generation how to use OF… worrying.

Secondly, and this is to you perhaps petty, but much of my OF work and reviewing/processing takes place on a train where the ‘perfect’ angle for my MacBook screen cannot be achieved (how dare someone have a seat just in front of me :-) and as such the contrast of the Quick Entry Box is so dim I almost can’t see the areas for the contexts and more importantly for me the notes.

So the solution after April from OG told me the news that these won’t be changing any time soon was to go back to OF1. Upon returning, I soon noticed a number of things which might mean I stay with OF1 for now and they are as follows:

  1. more density - I can actually take control of a day at a time properly, rather than the size of each to do in OF2
  2. Layout - I actually prefer it. The buttons on the left hand side on OF2 at first were great, but really given you can change the icons to your own perspectives too on the top, it seems a waste of valuable real estate (especially when on 1024x768 and in front of a lecture theatre full of students with no inspector
  3. Quick Entry box - it works - I can see it whatever monitor, angle, daylight and so on.

Overall I now just prefer OF1. I worry as Yosemite, sorry Marmite, is not an experiment I’m prepared to go to after upgrades recently (plus some mission critical software I use does not work on Marmite yet) and April from OG has told me there are known issues with OF1 and the new OS. I’m sure this will be even worse when we move to Marmite 2 or 3.

Here’s the problem. I’ve invested so much in Omni over the years and the fact that I can’t teach OF1 properly for much longer means I need to move to another platform for GTD and pay out all over again.

My experience of programming is slight I admit, but I’m a pretty good hack at HTML (no comparison I know, but humour me). Surely, to make it fit on a monitor is a quick code thing (forgive my ignorance if this is not the case) and as for the contrast on the Quick Entry Box - that has to be a simple code thing, surely?

It seems OG no longer wish to have the same relationship with all its customers it once had and help make OG as popular as it is.

I’d welcome anyone responding who has experience of these issues. Please don’t respond to tell me off for not understanding coding - as I don’t!


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This is not a solution to your problem but I can envision a transition where tablets are the norm instead of the notebooks of today.

Teaching OF2 for iPad might be another option. I really started clicking with OmniFocus when I bought OF1 for iPad and now OF2 for iPad. I really only use OF2 for Mac when I am doing heavy project planning and archiving my completed actions. Almost all of the things I need to do can be done on the iPad app.

The iPad app just seemed to make OF easier to use for me.

I’ve seen a trend where some people’s only “computer” is their smartphone. Now the iPhone 6 Plus introduces a near-tablet-sized experience. My wife can kind of maneuver around on the Mac but she feels more comfortable with her iPhone 6 Plus and does pretty much everything on it now.

Maybe the next generation will be using smartphones and tablets only. it might help to start preparing a curriculum geared towards mobile platforms.

But then again, I’m an old curmudgeon. I still play my LPs at home whenever I want to unwind and the whole family isn’t at home to complain that Led Zeppelin is too loud.

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Many thanks.

However our students have macs not ipads and still OF1 is way more powerful than the clunky ipad app (IMHO). But as you say, the world may move towards iPad micro (i.e. iPhone Plus). However, in our field, the computer (i.e. the Mac) will always be necessary so perhaps bucking your correct predition.


I think your main problem is your institution and the completely outdated hardware they use.
Even phones these days have higher resolutions than 1024x768.
As you also mention, not many people complain about this issue, so it is commercially not viable for Omnigroup to spend time and money in fixing it.

About the quick entry box, I’m not sure what you can’t see, there are no distinctive areas, whatever monitor you use, only a few placeholder-texts. So, what exactly isn’t working for you there?

I was able to get OF2 shrunk down to 1059 x 744. The window cropped on both sides just a little. But I was able to use it in a 1024x768 resolution.

A higher density layout is in the experimental stage. If you search for “compact layout” in these forums, you’ll find the Safari URL to try it. It’s not fully fleshed out but it is a first step. I guess you can also hide the perspectives tab and get a larger outline section to be shown.

I guess “clunky” is an opinion. For some folks who started off on the iPad version, the Mac version may just feel clunkier.

This trend looks inevitable. I’d never thought I’d imagine a time where mobile devices have become more powerful than the Mac //fx that I used to work on. That was considered high-end a long time ago.

I’ve invested with OF2 and understand the OF2 in its current state is just the ground floor. More floors will be built on the foundation that will enhance OF2’s future capabilities. This new foundation will most likely elevate OmniFocus to a level that couldn’t be imagined with OF1’s foundations. I’m imagining that OF2 will far exceed our expectations soon. I know I just can’t go back to OF1.

I couldn’t imagine wanting to teach OF1 to the current group of students. They won’t be able to purchase OF1 for Mac, iPad, and iPhone nowadays. Why would they spend their time learning software that is no longer being sold? That’s a dead end street that will leave disgruntled students questioning the curriculum regardless of institutional budget restraints. They’ll have felt their time wasted on old software that is no longer being sold or supported. That’s the equivalent of getting training in WordPerfect 5.1 when the current versions of Microsoft Office is available.

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