Overall, how are you liking OmniFocus 2 relative to OmniFocus 1?


Briefly: I like a lot of what I see, and I think it mostly looks much better than it did last summer. There is one thing that really bothers me, though – the enormous, space-wasting rows, and the fact that there’s no way to do anything about it. One of the best features of OF1 is the ability to edit basic styles like fonts, margins, row height, etc. It looks like that feature is not planned for OF2 (if it is, that’s a pretty big piece to still be completely missing only a couple months before the release target).

I’m looking at OF1 and 2 side-by-side, right now, with the exact same stuff in both. In OF1, I can see more than twice as many rows (folders, projects, actions) as OF2 – and that’s with all the notes expanded in OF1, and collapsed in OF2. The sidebar also has a really wide minimum width. I can’t get it any smaller than 304px, whereas my sidebar in OF1 is 205px wide.

Right now I’ve OmniOutliner and OmniFocus side-by-side on my 13" Air (1440x900), each using half of the screen, and it’s perfect. OF2 does not fit where OF1 did, and that’s going to be a dealbreaker for me. I don’t mind the spacious design as a default, but if the style editor isn’t coming back, and all the metrics remain as “generous” as they are now, there’s absolutely no way I’ll ever upgrade.


Been on OF2 for a bit longer now and still sticking with it. But it’s becoming more difficult. I know it’s been said to death but I am finding it really difficult viewing my list of tasks when compared to OF1. I accept it may just be a get used to it situation but it seems to be getting worse vs better. I feel I’m not “flowing” in 2 the way I did in 1. Hard to describe otherwise. I like the overall aesthetic. I am really happy about forecast view and review function. But overall the usability feels like it’s suffering for me. I am experiencing some longing to go back to OF1 which is surprising to me because OF2 hits the mark in many areas.


Love the new interface and forecast view, as an iPhone app user, this is a feature I widely use to help plan my day and actions.

Projects > New Action – It would seem “Defer until” should come after “Due.” When creating a new item within Projects view I add my task, context, due date. It is only after I feel completing by the due date is at risk would I enter a defer until date. E.g. Task due today, defer until tomorrow.

Would also be nice to have an estimated time in the new action as opposed in addition to the inspector where it currently resides.

Would like a quick visual indicator in sidebar (similar to OF1) for upcoming/overdue tasks, e.g. count of items that are either due or due soon


AWESOME. UI is fantastic. Don’t listen to people who say too much white space! I would definitely condense the tasks (1 line), but it looks like you’re already doing that. The UI is fantastic.

The one thing i would add is the ability to customize some keyboard shortcuts…


Have you tried customizing the keyboard shortcuts through the Keyboard panel in the System Preferences?


I moved 2 posts to an existing topic: How do we feel about the checkboxes on the right?


I couldn’t agree more. After entering item #2, I switched to Classic Mode. Keyboard shortcuts are supposed to be efficient. I’d suggest offering some way to avoid the double enter: Ctrl-Enter maybe?


So I’ve been at it with OF2 for a couple of weeks. I have found that over that time my initial excitement with it has continued to erode until this morning when I opened up OF1 just to recall what it looked like and to be honest, I think I may stay there a while. Here are some thoughts on it:

  • I love the forecast view and have been wanting it since its intro on IOS.
  • love the Review mode implementation.
  • I (like others have singled out data density in OF2 as an issue and was happy to see that the recent build introduced greater density but unfortunately it just looks really cluttered now. I have concluded on this matter that the second line needs to be hideable.
  • I really miss the columns in OF1. The layout is much more conducive to productivity. Much easier to scan through tasks.
  • I miss the colour coding of next/due/upcoming items in the war that OF1 does it.
  • I miss the style customization of OF1 much more than I ever thought I would. I got it to a point where it was almost exactly what I wanted it to look like. Perfect level of contrast for me. Project/context titles have highlighted backgrounds making them as visible as I need/want them to be. Font sizes are exactly what I like. etc. I don’t dislike the aesthetic overall of OF2 but I prefer having it setup exactly how I want it and being able to change it should me needs/preferences change.
  • find that in OF1 I was just way more productive overall. I accept that this may just be a familiarity thing but I find that I spend more time in OF2 just kind of disoriented trying to review tasks whereas in OF1 I am able to just process and move on.

So the short answer to the original question for me would be, I do like OF2 but as the weeks progressed I found my productivity felt like it was suffering and that I longed for OF1 until today when I launched it and realized that in fact, I prefer so many things in OF1.


I’ve commented (or others have) about things I would like to see, or some tweaks. From the staff responses, some are being already worked on, others are being considered after the 2.0 release.

That being said, as a user of OF1 (Mac), OF1 (iPad), OF1 (iPhone), and OF2 (iPhone) I think I can sum up my experience this way:

  • I love the reviewing and forecast process/view on the iPad – so I love it in OF2
  • I really enjoy the app design on the iPad (folder/project nesting); OF1 needed serious styling to keep things clean. – OF2 does this with a subtle line, works for me
  • Once I got used to some of the button locations/options on OF2 iPhone, I absolutely enjoyed (and still enjoy) using it regularly. One of my favorite applications just for how it works for me visually on my phone. – I can’t say that about OF2 yet.

OF2 Mac…has so many of the elements that I love from the iPad and iPhone applications, I feel like I should be in heaven, but I’m not. I really like the design, I like some of the functional changes too. It is just really a struggle to use it as part of my regular workflow right now. I am still trying to figure out if it is just a visual issue or a functional issue. (sorry I cannot clarify better).


  • Fonts are easier for me to read at regular working distance
  • Spacing between everything makes it easier to read; something I played with WAY TOO much in OF1, looks great to me in OF2 (yeay!)
  • I am struggling with the whitespace where columns were in OF1. For me, it’s less of a checkbox on the left or right and more of is that checkbox for this action? Maybe the grey line needs to be darker?

I think some of the design elements from OF2 iPhone are not translating well (checkboxes, data density, colors, flags, etc) with more screen real estate. I love the spacing, most views are more readable, but something is just not working for me yet.

Keep up the tweaks and changes, it will get there…I’ll keep using it and see if I can pin-point what functional issue I am having. Cheers to the team!


Ken: I’ll answer your question directly and say, no, I’m not liking v2 overall. I will likely go back to v1 rather than continue with the betas. Right up front, I’ll admit that my reasons are not based on function or features, but rather the UI.

The first is data density. I configured my v2 window to match v1 as closely as possible:

  • I matched dimensions of windows, based on how I typically size it in v1, which is a bit under 1/4 of my 27" Cinema Display.
  • I selected Projects view in v2, and Projects > Library in v1. This displays the same listing of my available tasks in the main outline view of each.
  • In v2, I have the text size set to “Medium”. In v1, I have the main outline styles set to Open Sans 13pt with row and child spacing set to 0.

I won’t upload a screenshot, but v1 shows twice as many tasks in the main outline and 5 more projects in the sidebar.

The second reason I’m not thrilled with v2 is that, as someone who has never worn prescription glasses but now is at the age where I’m needing reading glasses more and more, I find v2 much harder to read on the whole. The overall lack of contrast and the low legibilty (for me) of the default typeface are dealbreakers. The adjustability of text size is a step in the right direction, but the difference between “Medium” and “Medium and a half” is too great–Medium is too small, while M-1/2 is too large (which exacerbates the info density problem). To my pushing-50-yr-old eyes, the choice of typeface is problematic. It sets wider than the 13pt font I use in v1 (again, info density), but its relatively small x-height and vertical compactness means that some of the descenders and counters are tiny. I might eventually need to wear glasses all the time, at which point this issue may well will go away, but for the time being, the inability to select both the font and the size are going to keep me in v1.


Having re-engaged with this after taking a short vacation I’m feeling a lot more productive within OF2 than when I first started using it. After setting my perspectives and increasing the font size I’m happy with what OF2 can offer on a day-to-day basis. . My niggles have been stated elsewhere so I’ll keep to the point and in answer to the subject: Yes, I’m really enjoying using OF2 and now use it exclusively.


Overall, it’s looking great, but I can’t use it until the data density is closer to OF1. The attached screenshot shows the comparison of how many fewer tasks I see at a glance, which isn’t really the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that between each task I have to filter out what I perceive as extraneous information (the +[] ProjectName). It makes scanning the list harder. I would be 100% on board with OF2 if there was an option to get rid of that second line in each task.

Quick open is awesome. Love the new inspector.


It’s essentially useless since you dropped local network syncing. See my post in the bonjour sync thread.


After spending a day on OmniFocus 2, I am going back to OmniFocus 1, with these quick thoughts:

Great stuff

  • Love the quick open (best new feature by far)
  • glad to have inspector integrated into the view
  • Forecast and Review are welcome additions to OF2

Areas for improvement

  • I’m not really sure if it is data density, checkboxes on the right, general fonts and typeface related choices, or the icons, but I second the general thought that I am seeing my lists less clearly than before (when i think we were all hoping for the opposite)
  • i’m not 100% sold on the the decision to move away from the columns to the two row format at all - i tab through the fields and thought it wouldn’t matter either way, but not sure if this more related to the change of the notes field or general dislike of the two rows
  • using the notes field is more challenging, with multiple keyboard shortcuts required as compared to before


Replying to my own post here…

I want to amend my original comment: Up until now, I had been using OF2 exclusively on a 27" Cinema Display, but looking at OF2 on my 13" MacBook Pro Retina, the difference in visual quality is striking. On a non-Retina display, the type is fuzzy and there isn’t enough contrast between elements for my liking, while on this display, everything is sharp–even at a smaller size (“Medium” instead of “Medium and a half”).

Admittedly, text also looks sharper in OF1 on a Retina display, but in OF1, I’m able to select a font and size that works better on a non-Retina display, and that makes a huge difference for me.


Time to check back in. I’ve been using the beta builds since day 0 and haven’t looked back. I have no desire to go back to using v1. Each day, the developers seem to be chipping away at the things that don’t work or that I don’t like. I need a little more “configurability” around the interface to be completely satisfied, but that’s a quibble. v2 was worth the wait.


Ken your team’s recent refinement work is really nice and has flipped me from stubborn OF1 user to “Like OF2 more than OF1”.

What’s made the difference in recent builds?

  • condensing the main list layout
  • overdue counts next to project name
  • improved contrast between having note and just note button (I still think the note button is redundant displayed all the time - seems like a great candidate for “appear on hover”, like flag is now)
  • i like the new mini flag addition in main outline - it really helps

And also a big thing is I’ve started working in a narrower window to get the coloured circles closer to the content they relate to. A “hack” of sorts to get round the dissociation.

Outlines are still a little busy to scan in OF2 - but the big thing is now I flip back to OF1 to compare and IT’S the one feeling a bit gappy and disjoint. OF2 feels modern and evolved.

Thought I’d better register my change of vote! Nice one.


Seems to me OF1 was function over style and OF2 is style over function.

I like the fixed inspector but to be fair that could have been achieved with a small mod to OF1. I can’t really see OF2 making even a slight difference to my productivity.

People would always moan about how complicated OF1 was - it’s only as simple or complicated as you need to make it; if you want the complicated features use them, if not then don’t… They’ve tried to give OF2 a simpler UI but in doing so have taken some of its usability.


Well, I guess it’s not enough of a difference to have a different way of looking at your projects and tasks?

Like you, I prefer the inspector built in to the window. OF1’s floating inspector didn’t do well when trying to use OF1 in full-screen mode. I’d constantly have to move the floating window to see what was underneath it. Finally bringing in OF for iPad’s forecast mode sure helped a lot of us. I don’t know if a “small mod” would make it more effective.

OF2 for Mac introduced a new way to create and edit perspectives. Perspectives in OF1 is very powerful but kind of hiding. OF2’s view filter and perspective manager is miles ahead of OF1’s perspective creator. The revised perspective workflow in OF2 is easier to grasp for beginners and makes it a bit more straightforward. Creating and adjusting perspectives appears to be much easier in OF2.

I can see a few features that finally migrated over from the iPad version that certainly helped a lot.

The newest feature to migrate over from OF 1 for iPad are the Review and Forecast views. The Review mode is a much needed improvement over OF1 for Mac’s review mode. The Forecast view is also another fellow traveller from OF1 for iPad that wasn’t in OF1 for Mac. A lot of users didn’t know what they were missing because they didn’t try OF1 for iPad.

I definitely thinking that having these three features is stylistic and also functional. It definitely boosted productivity for many users - especially users who were never had a chance to try out OF1 for iPad. They didn’t know what they were missing when they never saw OF1 for iPad’s Review and Forecast modes.

Now, you may say that Review and Forecast as “not new” but it is new to the many user who never tried OF1 for iPad.

Besides, OmniFocus 2.0 is just the beginning. There’s more to come.


Like many here I aborted the original round OF2 testing as the UI was just too unfamiliar and seemed counter-intuitive to what I was trying to achieve (quick entry of tasks/projects and easy reviewing of progress/to do list for the day/week).

This new version has been running for 10 minutes and I’ve already closed OF1 and stopped it from auto-loading at startup. I haven’t used anything in-depth yet - but I can see this being a fine and appropriate replacement for OF1.

Well done - and thanks for keeping plugging away at it!