Omnifocus 2 for Mac does not bring value over omnifocus1 - what is a difference?

I’m considering buying omnifocus2, but after analysis (being a staging tester also) I came to a conclusion that there is no even ONE big feature in omnifocus2. Can somebody prove me wrong?

Below you can find list of new features with my comments, taken from official materials:

  1. Forecast perspective to get a view of your actions laid out by date - We have it in omnifocus1, it’s just named “DUE” - gives me the same list of tasks (i can filter and manipulate etc).
  2. Quick Open, a way to jump right to a folder, project, context, or perspective - this is new, but let’s be honest - it is a SMALL feature.
  3. printing and export - it was already there - yes, printouts looked different, but first it just a small difference, and second, when did you last print something? Come on…

And nothing else. Zero.

Pro version is even more ‘not worth to upgrade’:
4. focus - was there in omnifocus1
5. custom perspectives - I’m able to define and name my own views
6. applescript - you guessed it - it was in omnifocus1

So yes, there are small changes. But almost everything is already in omnifocus1, and everything important is in omnifocus1. This release scope is much smaller than e.g. windows 8.1 to windows 8, or mavericks to mountain lion difference. It should be done without all this trumpet blowing and definitely for free.

One more Big thing: omnifocus2 is substantially SLOWER than omnifocus1. For hardcore geeks, with 200+ projects, omnifocus2 is a nogo.

*) Yes I know that omnifocus2 looks different, but it’s a question of taste if better or not, and let be honest, it’s not a big change. In fact there are serious design mistakes in omnifocus2 (calendar issue).

well, sometimes it’s the small things that can count for a lot. It may not be a big deal for you but it might bring immense value to someone else. I remember that just giving my wife a simple flower and it made her whole day. One simple thing made all the difference. FWIW, I don’t think quick open is a SMALL feature.

I always hated the floating inspector in OF1. The new righthand inspector feels so much better for me.

The Forecast perspective also includes a calendar that provides an overview of how busy your day might look like with all the due tasks falling under a particular day.

I think for beginners or people who were frustrated by OF1` might find the new view settings/filters easier to understand. I remember being a complete newbie and being baffled about creating perspectives. Now, it looks easier for the newbie and even veterans to create.

OF2 Standard will come at a lower price and makes it easy for beginners to not invest a lot of money into OF2. Then, if they want to use custom perspectives or Applescript, they can always pay the difference to go from Standard to Pro.

Besides, the underlying code is a complete rewrite with a new engine that will provide a solid foundation for years to come. The best is yet to come.

Remember, OF1 version 1.0 was basically OmniOutliner with extra code to handle task management. It wasn’t until later that we had things like Omni Sync services, a theme editor, a companion iPhone and iPad app, and other new features that were slowly introduced over the years that provided value-added bonuses to us. OF2 can take advantage of new technologies in Mavericks and beyond that would be harder to graft on to OF1. I’m finally glad to see that we’re breaking away from the heavy influences from OmniOutliner. We’re starting to see OF2 develop its own interface and personality.

OF version 2.0 has a few warts and bugs that will eventually get ironed out. That comes with the territory with any new version upgrade. Mavericks and iOS 7 had a bunch of warts that are still being sorted out. It’s just a matter of time.

You can always stay with OF1 for as long as you want. Then you can upgrade to OF2 when you finally find enough features that you like.



i think forecast has a lot of value and its better than seeing a list of “due” items. It’s not for everyone, its for those that needs to have a big picture view.

The “feel” of the app has significantly improved. This means the workflow, design, function has improved for me.

Review function has definitely being improved a lot.

The wordings has been improved as well. I didn’t use start date because i misunderstood it, now i use it a lot when it changed to defer date. All these small stuff are important and is precisely why people choose apple over android.

quick open is great addition. it further reduces friction for me.

You may think it’s a small thing, its not for me. And it’s not so easy to come up with these small but valuable tweaks.

you may also feel like the database is slow. All i can say is everything new is buggy and give Omnigroup some time.

Also, this may not be relevant, but I never got into OF 1. It doesn’t click for me no matter how many times i’ve used it and what videos, course i watch. I uninstalled it and paid 2 years for todoist (I like it a lot)

But omnifocus 2 launched, i’m trying it right now, and i hugely regret my 2 years payment to Todoist.

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you can’t simply announce something like ‘serious design mistakes’ which is a fairly severe negative claim, and then vaguely say ‘calendar issues’. what calendar issues? in the forecast view? in the date boxes?

i’m not a hundred per cent happy with omnifocus 2 yet, i would like more ability to customise aspects of the interface, but overall, i find this version much easier to understand and work with than OF 1, and as has been pointed out many times is a starting point for further development. if it’s not for you, you don’t have to use it.


The major difference is design but fundamental functionality is the same. There’s a lot of features which people have been asking for for years that could have been included but haven’t. I’m hoping future updates will add them.


In such case we should be paying when they will be here. What is a reason to support a vague promise?
Sad think that whole this holy OF2 internal rewrite made things worse. OF2 is slower than OF1. New technology, new internals, no new features and slower. Thats what we’re paying for? For the same car hastily painted in a garage…

This topic was beaten to death during staging phase. Compare ipad OF how forecast uses date/calendar bar. Now look at the Mac OF2. WTF? 30% of screen unused due to calendar being carelessly and without any thought placed on the screen (it should be horizontal bar). Is this ‘careful and beautiful redesign’ everybody is bragging about?

The staging phase is done and over with. Yes, the early versions of the private test were horrible but we’re past the growing pains now.

I think the idea was that OF2 was in need of a rebuild instead of just using the OmniOutliner engine and grafting features on top of that. Keeping the underlying data structure helps users who are still wedded to OF1’s functions. This is a transition period to help users who still have pre-Mavericks machines and can’t upgrade to OF2 which requires Mavericks or still prefer OF1’s workflows. Eventually, we’ll all upgrade to new Macs with pre-installed Mavericks and a future version of OF2 will evolve into something more than what it is today.

We can still keep using OF1 for a little bit longer until our Macs finally die or when we’re ready to upgrade to a new Mac.

When a future version of OF2 comes along, then you can revisit and decide once again.

Then we can agree that you won’t be buying OF2 until you feel that it mights your expectations. If you haven’t put down the money for OF2, why get angry? Just wait for OF2 to become what you wanted it.

I expect OF2 to evolve over time. Then, we’ll see possible new features like multiple tags, contexts, contacts integration, or even multi-user collaborative workflows begin introduced.

Omnigroup has demonstrated before that they will roll out features when they are programmed and ready for release.

Isn’t this the case with pretty much all software? Apple released a really crappy version of Final Cut Pro X that drew a lot of fire. But now that FCPX is at version 10.1, it’s actually drawing praise and finally gotten to a point where some folks are actually returning back to the Final Cut platform.

FCPX was also a complete under-the-hood redesign. The recoding had to be broken down and rebuilt from scratch to take advantage of new technology and future features - 64-bit ready, better memory management, auditions, taking advantage of multi-core processors, etc. But it took a couple of years as we saw 10.0.1, 10.0.2, all the way to 10.0.9 and finally version 10.1 to see a much more complete feature set.

I expect the same thing to happen to OF2. So, go back to OF1 and enjoy. You didn’t burn any money buying the upgrade yet. When OF2 is finally capable, go ahead and get the upgrade. But in the meantime, I think I’m gonna hit the ground running. I’m gonna get acclimated to working in a new workflow and eventually I’ll see new features slowly being added.


if i don’t understand what’s being complained about. I’m sure omnigroup has no idea what’s a horrible placement of calendar and real estate waste etc etc.

how is it forecast a real estate waste? Just because there’s some space at the bottom of the calendar u mean? if it were horizontal it would be a better idea? Yes it might but you need to keep in mind of the limitations here.

If it were horizontal instead of vertical, then omnigroup might have to write a whole new block of code for that section alone. Because everything else, projects, contexts is sitting vertically. That would mean more resources spent and things might even break for quite some time. (bugs)

It’s version 0, and its not like it’s the first time Omnigroup has been slow. They have been slow from day one? Omnioutliner took like 6 years? With that said, this might be a small company and there’s plenty more company that moved in snail pace. Cultured code, the hit list, etc.

And forecast real estate works just fine for me. I’m on 13" screen and i see 6 tasks. I don’t really get why i would need to see more tasks than that. Maybe my brain is small but 6 task at one time is enough for me. And i see 8 task on projects tab

And the argument that it takes a lot of time to scan from left to right? I don’t know, I don’t scan that much because i have plenty of perspectives. So most of the time, the circle check box thing is moot. I just scan whenever i want confirmation. It’s not like my screen is so big i have to turn my neck to see the circle.

And for the comment about slowness. To be honest, i don’t experience any slowness. Maybe sometimes it will freeze a while. I’m sure it’s bugs and I’m patient enough to wait for a fix. It works fine 90% of the time and It’s a really productive use of my time to use OF so i bear with it.

I’m not trolling or condemning anyone. I just have a hard time understanding the issues.


I agree with the basic premise of this post, that this is essentially a iOS-themed visual refresh and very few features were added.

While making it a bit more accessible to the “average iOS” user that might be looking at OmniFocus for the first time, I would have to agree that most, if not all, of the major features that have been requested in the forums over the past few years were left out of 2.0.

There is nothing wrong with a re-write of the underlying code, nor a visual refresh, but for many of us longtime OF users, we are pretty disappointed with the lack of new features.

As stated, I’ll be waiting to upgrade my OF for a while yet. The re-design significantly affected my workflow, so I’ll be passing for now.

It is an obvious business decision on OmniGroup and no one should fault them for that. They wanted to expand the reach of OF. Many OF faithful will be disappointed, such as myself, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the correct decision from a business perspective.

I expect features to come eventually, especially if this code re-write was so crucial, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

OmniGroup has long been promising updates and V2.0 shows that features are not a priority.

Still a happy OF 1.0 user…


This is well worded summary. Omnigroup is not paying attention to long time OF users and supporters. They’re concentrating on NEW users, while forgetting/not caring about us - without us, OF wouldnt be at the place it is now. As akula34 wrote “OmniGroup has long been promising updates and V2.0 shows that features are not a priority.”

Yet I find wilsonng answer well worded and positive :-)

I hope that Omnigroup will start working at something for old users. I’ll happily pay for that. In contrast of visual change with almost none of new features which is state of current OF2.


if omnifocus is the premier product for omnigroup (which i suspect is, and the one that brings in the most sales) then omnigroup probably should focus more resources on this app.

I’m not an old timer so i don’t understand how long and what features long time customers want. But i bought omnifocus and then ominoutliner because i was so impressed with omnifocus.

I suspect OF is like the iPhone for Apple. Each new iPhone customers bring in more sales for iPods, macs and etc.

Omnigroup has also shown to be capable of focusing hard on a product and release updates 2 to 3 times a week.

But of course, they must shift resources back and forth to other products and that’s their style. (as its their business) So in the end, members can only shout their opinions.

It’s pretty sad to see what OmniGroup has done with OmniFocus v2 after all this time.

The abysmal data density and the reams of paper required to print when using the Beta version showed that OmniGroup cared more about looks and pretentious minimalism over actual usability and providing features that have long been requested.

There are other parts of OmniFocus v2 that are just as bad that slow me down. There is more mouse travel, double-clicking, trying to visually align actions with the ridiculous status circles on the right, no calendar popups in date fields, a complete waste of screen real estate, lack of customization of fonts, colors, styles, etc. It’s form over function run amok.

Alarm bells are going off, and I may take the next three months prior to the release of OS X 10.10 to decide if I will remain an OmniFocus user. They have not instilled confidence that they can move fast enough to fix all that is wrong with OmniFocus v2. I have deleted the trial version of OmniFocus v2 from my Mac.



I’ve brought up the issue of data density which has splintered off into other conversations regarding OmniFocus 2’s UX.

Concessions has been made in regards to data density and I am pleased to say that it is a massive improvement on the previous interface.

There’s definitely some kinks that need to be worked out (1) Checkbox as opposed to a circle 2) Clicking the circle for a task to complete, …) but it’s a clear improvement from before.

As @wilsonng points out, yes, technically OmniFocus 2 (at the current moment) just a visual update, but given OmniGroup’s track record (in terms of providing long-term support), I have no doubt that OmniFocus 2 will expand on its feature scope once the foundational aspects is sorted out.

Yes, the data density issue has improved but to me it demonstrated where the development resources were originally wasted, rather than adding long requested features or simply maintaining important functionality such as the Styles feature.

I hope that OmniGroup will make a statement in the next 30-60 days confirming they will release a maintenance patch when OS X 10.10 is released to the public to ensure that OmniFocus v1 continues to work properly. It would be a sign of goodwill to those that will continue to use OmniFocus v1 until OmniFocus v2 is up to scratch.


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The design interface has resulted in me using OF far more than before. Even if the added features I use now are minimal (I DO use Review and Forecast, never thought I would), and there are still important features missing, the interface just makes it a far more pleasurable experience. I used to avoid using OF1 when I can, now I look for excuses to use OF2 :)


I agree with the basic premise of this and also follow on comments from akula34 and wilsonng. As a long time user, I’m still waiting for some key features.

I’ve been using OF 2 daily since release and there are a lot of little things I like about it, and a lot of little things that are frustrations, but the key is they are all little things, no major new things.

Except a major new lack:

Pro version is even more ‘not worth to upgrade’:
4. focus - was there in omnifocus1
5. custom perspectives - I’m able to define and name my own views
6. applescript - you guessed it - it was in one

I live with Focus on all the time. This and perspectives were in OF 1 as part of the package. It galls me to have to now pay - and pay a good deal more than the upgrade price - just to get one feature I find basic to my work flow. I feel like I’m being held to ransom for using a feature that was a core component but now costs twice the upgrade price to get. This is not the way to treat long time customers.

After a month or so in OF 2, I’ve decided to downgrade to OF 1 and will keep it until either OF 2 becomes worth it in features - and that includes the base features that 1 already had - or it stops working.