OmniGroup CEO's Plans for OmniFocus

Reading the “Looking Back, Looking Ahead—2016 Edition” article, I was surprised to not see any plans to take advantage of changing the data structure to allow for more customized data formats (tagging or multiple contexts per item, putting individual items on hold, etc.). These have literally been discussed in the Omni forums for quite a few years and I do recall a commitment to add these features.

To quote the proverbs, if not now, when?

Well, if you consider that adding features like tagging or allowing multiple contexts, these would likely break backward compatibility and definitely need serious UI work.

Mr. Case does mention working on forward- and backward-compatible syncing this year to facilitate introducing “new features”.

OmniFocus 2 has brought a new UI, sync and is now working on feature parity with OmniFocus 1 (information density is finished, now on to styling). Perhaps we’ll be looking at OmniFocus 3 in the next 12-18 months.

Edit: Looks like this is planned for the 2.0 cycle. Amazing!


Sorry that I didn’t call this out more clearly in my article, @JBB! The whole reason we’re working on backward- and forward-compatible syncing is so that we’ll have a foundation on which to build new file format features (such as putting individual items on hold, user-defined custom columns, and so on).

I’m really looking forward to the year ahead!


Are you planning to improve feature parity between iOS and Mac versions? We’ve finally got the note indicator recently, but there are still a few important things missing: copying links to tasks, auto completion of projects/action groups to name a few.

Knowing how easy would be to include those (honestly, the devs in my team would not estimate more than 1 md for them), it’s hard not to get into thinking that keeping them specific to the Mac version is just a marketing decision. But that would be short sighted, such limitations are really discouraging for those who need to rely on the iOS apps due to Windows based environments at their work places.

Really looking forward to hear your plans…

I think it is standard for most software companies to not give a guaranteed ETA for upcoming software features. That would be inviting disaster if a promised feature was not delivered by a certain date.

I think that the iOS version has come a long way in the past year in getting up to parity with the Mac version. Previously I would rely on the Mac version for everything and the iPad/iPhone for checking off stuff. Now I use Omnifocus on the iPad for about 80% of the time.

Nothing is ever “easy.”


Looking forward to it. Implementing the features I mentioned would really sharpen my game and I think the game of many other users. I really hope this gets done in 2016. (I did see the tweets about the 2Do review today also). Bottom line is I’m pretty sure most users want to stick with the Omni products because they’re so well-engineered but it would also be nice to pick up the pace a bit on the features. Again, this has been talked about for years.