OmniFocus 3 - Top feature requests


#1

Since we know what the team at Omni are working on through the end of the year for OmniFocus (tags, bulb editing, flexible repeat options) I thought it would be interesting to look ahead to OmniFocus 3 and see what features people would like to see. Next spring will mark the 4 year mark for OF 2 on Mac being put into public testing. Omnifocus 2 for iPhone was released in September of 2013 and Omnifocus 2 for iPad, September of 2014.

My top requests for MacOS

  1. UI and design overhauls. Similar to what they did from OF 1 to OF 2, I’d love to see a visual overhaul to both MacOS and iOS. I think the left sidebar could use some rethinking.

  2. Ability to pause and review tasks on an individual basis. My single actions lists for Finance, Admin ect can grow out of control and there are things on there that I’d only like to have to review once or twice a year so setting custom review dates for individual actions would be great. If you don’t choose to set these options, they would default to their parent settings.

  3. Don’t show lists in my project view that have no available actions. It just adds clutter if the list is shown but nothing is on it. This becomes a bigger problem the more SAL you have.

  4. Better ability to drag tasks into parent/sub task action lists. Sometimes I want to take an action from my inbox and drop it inside a very particular location in a project, let’s say in a certain sub-list. Let’s say you had your view to only show available tasks. It would be cool when you started dragging that the entire project became visible while you were dragging so you could drop the task right where you wanted it. Same on iOS.

  5. App intelligence. It would be cool to start seeing Omni go down the AI route with simple things like recommended certain tags. Let’s say you create an action that says “buy groceries”. It would be nice if it remembered previous task entries and recommended “Errands and Food” as tags. Calendar on MacOS does this with prior appointments.

My top requests for iOS

  1. UI and design overhauls here as well. Refine the color palette. Get rid of the teal green color for custom perspectives. Same with the review color. It’s pretty gross. New beautiful icons ect… Make better use of their core purple color.

  2. Task bubbles. The little circles that show how many actions you have on a particular list or project. I don’t think they should show items that aren’t available. I think it defeats the purpose. Or at least provide the user an option.

  3. Don’t show lists in my project view that have no available actions. Same as Mac request above.

  4. Rethought one screen. The perspective blocks feel a bit big and blocky to me. I think they could become smaller and more refined through iteration to potentially show more on that screen upon launch. Maybe a few tasks from a custom perspective?

  5. Nagging notifications. It would be nice to choose a nag duration to have that alert continue to nag you until you mark it as complete. 2Do does this and it’s a nice feature. Sometimes you get an alert and can’t take action for another 20-30mins. Snooze is only helpful when you actually hit the button which is sometimes not possible if Apple Watch presents multiple notifications at the same time.

I’d love to see more people contribute to this thread and see what features they’d like to see in upcoming versions of OF.


Surprising Gaps in Features
OmniFocus 3 - More flexibility on due dates filtering
Hopes for Omnifocus in 2018
Reordering Tasks Items in OF3
#2

I have been missing option 3 in your list. Small functionality. I certainly hope full Siri voice interface is made available soon (I guess a part of it is going on, though know no details). To me a voice interface while driving is on the top of my list, and Siri is getting dumber (at least in spanish) and mistakes reminders lists with apple play lists all the time.


#3

Not sure I want anything to disappear from the outline in Project view. But if I have anything in project view with nothing on it then I need to add something. :) My top feature requests:

  1. Get rid of the sidebar tabs, they are not helpful to me. I can have my most used tabs up top (which I use more often than the built in ones) and have more room to see my project names and tasks on my MacBook Air. I do want to see my structure (context lists or project names but I do not need the name of the perspective taking up space.
  2. Project notes up top where I can see them when I click on a project. Or custom order for all the little goodies in the right sidebar.
  3. Better customization of perspectives, INCLUDING THE BUILT IN ONES. I have some old perspectives that I don’t think I know how to build in Omnifocus 2, luckily they were brought over and still work.
  4. This should be #1, starting over with reduced functionality and building back up is not good. If the new Omnifocus can’t do what the old one did, maybe it’s not ready to be released. I’m not sure Omnifocus 2 has ever reached the level of Omnifocus 1. The abilities I lost still make me sad and none of the new features makes up for those, I could do without them.
  5. Keep inbox in the project view. For me (and I think many others) having the inbox up top and having drag and drop (no room for 2 windows on an 11" MacBook Air) is much more important than any special behaviors.
  6. Exclude folders/contexts rather than just select ones to include. I don’t know if you can do that or not. I would rather have a new one show up by default and I go back and exclude it than the other way around.
  7. Color code a project.
  8. Sort however I want in every perspective - this is really the same as making the default perspectives completely customizable I guess.
  9. Built in remove all flags button.
  10. Built in count projects and actions.

These are what come to mind now. If functionality is there and I have missed it I apologize in advance, I have recently come back from off the reservation and only found out about the inbox preference today which made my MONTH!!!


#5

For #5 - There is a setting for displaying the Inbox in Project view under the Organization preferences.


#6

Love the recommended features for iOS Omni 3…I would add:

  1. Drag and drop tasks to a particular project (new multi touch functionality should help with that?)
  2. With #1, I do like how Things 3 lets you drag the ‘new’ button to a project to immediately begin creating a task in that project. That’s a time saver and a plus in my book
  3. Ability to change whether the Defer Date or Due date is what is used by default…ie. When I tell Siri to remind to do something and Omnifocus imports that reminder…it automatically populates the Due Date and time on that imported task…I’d like it to populate the defer date/time instead (i use due dates sparingly)
  4. I know it’s already being worked on…but bulk editing of tasks is crazy important to me…that should be #1, 2, and 3 on the list. Easily deferring tasks I didn’t get done today (on my ipad or iphone…using my mac less nowadays) would be huge

#7

I really like your idea of default defer dates along with the due date.


#8

Add remind dates to defer and due.

Defer for when a task is available
Due for when it is due
Remind for when you want to be reminded of a task.

As of right now another app has to be used for reminders, or use the due dates (which are supposed to be sacred only for when something is actually due). IMO there is one date field left.


#9

Do they have a blog post or something where they said what they’re working on until the end of the year?


#10

Found the blog (https://www.omnigroup.com/blog/looking-back-looking-ahead-2017-edition) Anyone know when the next version is coming out with these features?


#11

Basically what the blog said, by year’s end. Mr Case’s latest statement:


#12

I could really use a “remind date”. I often have projects where I know they will take a certain amount of time, but I can’t start them today/now. But they only appear on OF radar like 2 days before they are due. This has resulted in some panic filled days. :-) in a perfect world I’d be reviewing all the projects more often, but …

I’d also like the ability to pause items not just projects - like a “waiting for…” option. For example if a task I have can’t be completed until I get client approval, I can’t close the task, because it’s not done but I don’t want it constantly appearing in my "available tasks: list because I’m waiting for a response first. And I can’t pause the whole project because I am working on other tasks.


#13

I would like it for a very similar purpose. Waiting is the contextual equivalent to defer for dates, but like we both agree sometimes we’d like a little more heads up. I’ve put in a request for this a while back and I’ve gone more in depth with others here.

Also, I can assign a “waiting” context to individual tasks. I’m not sure if it came by default or if I added it at some point. If it isn’t there, add a context called “waiting” and make the status “on hold”. That way you can assign it to individual tasks and not a project (I say individual tasks because it would be much easier to assign a project with an “on hold” status than list it and all its contents with a “waiting” context).

The only additional suggesting I would have if you decide to add this context would be to get in the habit of regularly changing your views. I’ve often wondered why projects appeared “stalled” with no remaining tasks and spinning my head before realizing there isn’t anything I can really do.


#14

I use Flagged as my daily to-do focus list. I wish I could manually reorder the tasks in that list, separate from the project hierarchy.


#15

Agreed. The two biggest uses for flags I’ve seen are to indicate priority and to establish tasks the user wants to get done. I’m part of the latter, but being able to reorder the flagged list would serve both purposes (allowing you to see tasks you really want to get done, and tasks you kinda want to get done).


#16

Multiple contexts for each item! Just add a table in the design between the table for items (tasks/actions/projects) and the context table.


#17

A Web Interface (thrashed to death here: OmniFocus Web Access)

I’ve been using OF for years and most of the employers I’ve worked for won’t let me connect my Mac/iPad to their network or give me the option of a MacOS work machine. Yes I could use OF on my iPad with a mobile contract but embedding links to employer internal sites/servers is fundamental to the way I work so I’ve had to use other products online products like Todoist.

3rd parties are stepping in to fill the void.

This is money that Omni are leaving on the table, but it would be expensive to hire for, develop and operate such a service and they have to do the maths and take the risk on whether the service revenue would leave them in the black.


#18

Based on this question Ken made several months ago… I’m pretty sure OF3 main new feature will be collaboration.


#19

Using OF for iOS since 2010, I’ve got workarounds for every OF limitation. These improvements would help me most, in this order:

(1) Integration with iOS eMail.
eMail is still the poor man’s interface for and from everything. Right now I have to forward an eMail to the Omni Sync Server (and revisit it in my Inbox and having to do with horrible formatting) or print it to pdf and use a workflow (yes, that separate iOS app) to create a new action (and loose embedded links and have to click and pinch and type for some 10 seconds each).
The quick&easy solution would be to append tags to the eMail forwarded to the Sync Server. These tell OF which project / context to save the new action to when ingesting the eMail. And do something about the formatting of HTML email, please.

(2) When ingesting a ToDo from the iOS Reminders app, support the tagging as described above.
Currently I create reminders in Outlook on my office PC, this is synced to iOS reminders, this is grabbed by OF. But I have to revisit that in the OF Inbox on iOS. Compare feature request (1).
Additional remark: This process can work without using the (public) Omni Sync Server because you can transfer through a VPN. Good for company confidential stuff.
The other way round (OF to company confidential) I do via a workflow (yes, again that iOS app): I create an appointment in my company calender on iOS with all the details. Subject “Let’s talk about this”, if for others, or ‘Block time for this’, if for me alone.

(3) When ‘sharing’ an item into OF on iOS: truly filter the projects list to select the correct project (and context) while I type.
Do I need to explain? Just try the iOS share sheet when you’ve got more than a few projects. I always have to settle for saving the new action to the Inbox and have to revisit it there.

(4) Basic collaboration for family offices.
Not for big teams. Yet. In my big company environment I have got more “collaborative software” that’s more or less obligatory to use than I can enumerate without looking it up.
But for families and small offices this would be a unique selling point because they are free to choose their GTD software.
For my setup of OF a quick&easy solution would be an additional attribute for each action, an additional, second context. The difference to the usual context would be a ‘private’ setting for each leaf / branch that could be set by any member and would hide these projects and actions from non-members. Create a few built-in perspectives (‘mine’, ‘not yet assigned’, ‘checked off lately by the others’) and allow full custom perspectives. Voila. People who think they cant live without multiple tags will be happier, too.

(5) When creating a new project on the fly, i.e. by typing it’s name in an action: ask where to put it and inherit the context and review cycle from the parent.
Currently I have to always move it from the top level and remember to adapt context and review cycle.

(6) Show (and allow filters for) creation and modified dates for items and projects (with dates for projects being rolled up from the actions).
To see exactly when I created / updated an action is seldom necessary, but when I need it, it’s crucial.
Currently I use a shortcut by the iOS app TextExpander to enter the current date with 3 taps, but why should I need to do that?

(7) Allow Notes in folders.
For specific folders I need to follow some formal criteria because my processes and the custom perspectives I use extensively (Launcher for iOS) depend on that. Currently I note something in the name of the action, but…

Contrary to popular belief, I do not need multiple contexts, I very much simplified my context and project trees (no more group actions, extremely detailled checklists, autocomplete and auto-restarting of projects for me - I need to be able to correctly work OF even when in bed with a flu) and have moved ‘reference material’ into a cross-platform cloud solution.

Keep up the good work!


#20

I would love to see a new perspective type which would be a hybrid between hierarchical and context perspectives.

It would be similar to the context perspective but if an action has sub-actions they would be displayed hierarchically, and you would be able to collapse them to hide them when you don’t need to pay attention to the sub-actions.

I explained this idea further here


#21

Give us loads more customization options for custom perspectives, I.e., smart folder/playlist style. The first task manager I got to know was Schoolhouse and I’ve missed the granular control over the custom views I could set up.