Omnifocus & Omniplan Integration Rant

SOOO I’m confused and perplexed as a company who makes both a GTD app and a project management app do not communicate with on another.

Its like the US government, all these agencies (apart of all one entity) are incapable of sharing data and working together.

Its beyond me why omnigroup refuses to incorporate these two softwares, i mean the request feature has been around for quite some time and on the radar.

Its just confusing and disappointing to see that two apps equal in there own rights, definitely overlap boundaries. Its a no brainer that these apps if used in conjuncture with one another, would be crazy more powerful.

See i use omnifocus to do worker type stuff, its really about GTD.

On the other hand, i use omniplan to be in the CEO role (hat) where i plan deadlines, see different inputs like resources and such and how it incorporates, omniplan actually doesn’t really play a role in helping me actually get things done more in that it helps guide and FOCUS what to do, how to do it and when. As omnifocus has a more straight forward approach.

I say all of that to say this, obviously both applications do good on-there-own right and they do both have different (hats) however we all know that integration (at least give people the option) would overhaul and solidify peoples workflow.

Anyways, rant is over but convo is beginning, what are your thoughts? (whether you agree or disagree, leave your thoughts!)


I totally agree with you. I’ve also searched for long how to integrate both. Apparently what you planed in OmniPlan should be broken down to what you should do in daily activity in the GTD context. How it is good if we can draw big picture in OmniPlan and chunk them down into ToDos in OmniFocus.

I suppose that OnmiFocus is originally a by-product of OmniOutliner, or some evolved version of OO, while OmniPlan is totally a different product, and both teams do not recognize or consider this issue as a big one. They first have to recognize users needs, imagine what data set is needed to make this solution possible.

Minimally, all I need is the ability to export from OP its project name, task name, some date infos into OF. It’s better if you can attach some attribute on OP which is recognized as “context” in OF.
It is ideal if you checked “complete” in OF and is imported back to OP as a complete flag, but it’s not 100% required. I can handle completion flan in OP.

Actually, another project management application Merlin 2 from Project Wizard can export data in OF format and feed them to OF with the help of applescript. I’m actually using it.

  • If it is a big project, something like hosting a big conference as a year-long span, plan it in Merlin 2 and feed the data to OF. All completion and change in project is handled in Merlin 2 and re-feed into OF as another set of project data and discard old set data in OF. (Currently there’s no way to set a “complete” flag in OF and feed it back to Merlin 2.)
  • If it is a small project, something like preparing a short business trip, just manage it in OF only. You probably will have a template to handle those repetitive works.
  • Anyway todos from the big project as well as the small one can be handled solely in OF. Good.

Currently I have a fairly satisfactory environment with Merlin 2 and OF (at least planning -> GTD direction). But, hey because OF and OP are in a same developer, they should well be integrated with added value for both applications.

Hey Omni, why you can’t do this while an app from another developer can do?


Another thought is that at Omni, project management software such as OP is considered as a multi-personal environment and does not fit into personal task management like OF. It’s simply wrong.

Nowadays, even a single person have a lots of different projects all at the same time, and Gantt like timeline management and chunked down todos are both needed in integrated manner.

Please someone out there recognize this…


AGREED! idk what is taking forever?

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I am interested in using Omniplan, but its posts like these that make me hesitate. I don’t want to have to enter in so much info twice when trying to Plan and then Do my work…Hope they address this.

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this feature request has been on the table for 2 YEARS!

and according to OG its not possible. Theres no way to integrate the two apps that they designed. HAHA

What has happened to you OF? You were like a chubby cute girlfriend that was super sweet, that cooked and was super fun. But, you start working out, started wearing makeup and you get little confident. Then you start hanging with the mean girls, treating everyone sardonically. You’ve changed OF. Your now a shallow facade of superficial looks with a jaded personality.

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That’s pretty much it… About 10 years ago or so, somebody built a whole system in OmniOutliner called “Kinkless GTD” (, and Omni took that ball and ran with it to create what eventually became OmniFocus.

OmniPlan really is a very different product, and while I can see some people using OmniPlan to plan individual, personal projects, it’s probably not the main, targeted use case. While I don’t believe it’s impossible to integrate the two, it’s not a simple project to do so, and the real question Omni has to ask themselves is whether it’s worth that effort for the majority of OmniPlan and/or OmniFocus user base, or the types of users they’re targeting these apps to.

In my former life, I managed a number of large-scale multi-resource projects, and from personal experience, I can tell you that implementing any type of integration between OmniPlan and OmniFocus would have to be seriously well-thought out, and even then might not work for everybody. It’s a hornet’s nest in terms of trying to make it all talk together nicely, and while somebody who simply wants project plans and gantt charts for their small one-person projects could easily see how that integration might work, my head hurts when I try to think of how this could work in an actual project management environment, where you have multiple resources working within independent teams with their own deliverables, milestones, reporting dates, etc.

In the very least, you’d need to implement an OmniPlan server component to keep everything properly in sync. If a PM is going to have to start importing updates, that’s not really much less effort than managing the project the old-fashioned way, and actually a lot worse as you may end up having to reconcile a lot of information (picture multiple resources working on the same task, for example).

The thing is that a lot of us more technical people (myself included) sometimes like to dream of an “automated” project management solution… Let all the resources use something like OmniFocus, have them report in automatically and just let the project plan update itself. Since no project plan ever survives contact with an actual project, that’s really a pipe dream when it comes right down to it. In the real world, a project manager or his assistant is usually taking status updates manually, following up on existing assignments, and tweaking everything manually. It’s far more of an art than a science when it comes right down to it.


At a minimum, you should be able to right cllck and send a task to OF


following @jdh’s path, I think it would be tough to have OF and OP integrate together.

My first question would be “Will everyone in the project be using OmniFocus?” I have some clients who use Microsoft Outlook and use that as their task manager. So it would be a hard sell to ask clients to switch over to OmniFocus.

OmniFocus + OmniPlan would be great if all the OmniPlan users also have OmniFocus. Otherwise, OmniPlan would probably be a server to e-mail tasks out to the participants. Then the participants would get the e-mail and then change it to a task in their task manager.

We’re doing it now. Use the Clip-O-Tron or the Send clipping to OmniFocus to convert an e-mail to an OmniFocus task.

There are project management apps that have Gantt views (i.e., what OmniPlan does) for task management (what OmniFocus does). For example, there is the web-based project management app Mavenlink that does this. In the case of Mavenlink, the Gantt view is an optional view that probably most users do not see. By default all tasks get added to the Gantt chart, but there is no structure until someone looks at the Gantt view and manually begins to link tasks together. New tasks can also be created in the Gantt view at the project level.

It is doable, but it requires a master plan for how all the parts will work together.

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But seriously, back in 2011 we got this at :

OmniGroup CEO Ken Case (follow on Twitter @kcase) said in a blog post in May 2011 that “adding support for syncing projects with OmniPlan” is a priority for an upcoming “major update” of OmniFocus for Mac. Pretty sure that’s the most recent public information.

Written 18 Dec, 2011 • View Upvotes

For me, there are two key use cases:

  1. Doing Reviews in OmniFocus, as I plan out work, defer/schedule tasks, I desperately need to see the big picture timeline–GANTT chart time, and it’s right there in OmniPlan but I CAN’T ACCESS IT cause they don’t talk to each other. Grrr.

  2. I plan a project in OmniPlan, and then when it’s time to manage my own work I want my tasks in OmniFocus. A lot of folks in this thread are focused on the problem of all team members “having to” use OF. I’m less worried about that: in my org, each team member can do their own productivity stuff their own way–at least let ME get my stuff from OP to OF!




Why is there still no integration??? For 3 + years this has been a ticket item that i know a lot of people eager to get.



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What else can we have to do to make this a priority?

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I agree completely with this. I do not use OmniFocus to manage my staff, only for myself. To me OmniPlan integration is about linking OmniPlan tasks to OmniFocus tasks.


I wrote to OG about this last week and they repeated themselves:

OmniPlan and OmniFocus do not currently integrate with one another, but we have an existing feature request in our development database for this. This is something we’d like to do in the future, but it would involve making a lot of changes to both apps in order for this to be successful. I’ll be sure to add your email to the open request so the rest of the team is aware that this is something you’d like to see! Sorry to disappoint for the time being!

So, based on the history of this request, it seems that it’ll never be done.

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What’s odd is that both OF and OP support “Copy as Link”. I’ve asked OG why they can’t at least implement a “Copy task to OF” in OP, and have it create the task and put the link in the notes of the OF task? That’d be a small start at least?


Didn’t see any highlight about integration in the release notes or blog announcement. I realize that it will take some time for people to play with the demo. Am currently on a 10.6 machine waiting to upgrade via work so cannot report on OF2<->OP3 integration myself.

Software is outside my line of business but as a user it boggles that for $300-$500 two project & task products from the same company aren’t built from the ground up to work seamlessly. Or, am I missing something?

This brings to my mind the scene in Apollo 13 where the astronauts discover, the air filters in the two components of their space craft were entirely different in their design. One was round and the other square.

Perhaps it will take the equivalent of a failed mission to reach the moon for OmniGroup to bring their two products to the same operating standards.


Lol i was laughing so hard at analogy. That was a good movie!

Yeah idk know or understand. They have the resources and skill set they just haven’t made it a priority.

This makes no sense I agree. Its beyond my understanding