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

I’m not sure if this what you mean, but if you’d like to remove the calendar events from Forecast, that’s possible. While viewing Forecast, click the Eye button in the toolbar. In the popover that appears, you can choose to show or hide calendar events, and even pick which calendars should appear.

Hope that helps. If not, I’d love to hear more about how you’d like Forecast to work.

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I like the OF 2 better than the old version. And the more I use it the more I like it. Great job! Thanks for letting me beta-test it.

The Forecast view is awesome. And I really appreciate the file sync with the iPhone version. That’s what I’ve been waiting for.

I used OF 1 from the first public beta until early 2011. Then I switched to different apps, but I always came back to OF after a few month.

In OF 2 for Mac I only wish I could tweak the UI a bit. I’d like to see more contrast and color in some areas and a different font for the tasks.

In OF 1 there were themes. Great feature. Are you guys planning to make OF 2 theme-able, too?

I, too, have started using OF2 exclusively.

You guys have removed a lot of friction from the UX — at least insofar as the things I’m doing with it, multiple times a day. Clear win (though I’m admittedly < 48h in).

Will report back if anything else strikes me, but congratulations on a great effort.

A few days have passed since I’ve been using OF2 exclusively. While I am not planing on going back or anything, some of the little things are becoming increasingly difficult. All have been said numerous times here but I want to add my support:

  • Contrast. I found it very helpful being able to change the background colour or styling of folders/groups/projects/contexts. Made it much more comfortable when viewing a long list. Actually this is something needed in the iPhone version as well. When I am viewing a perspective with many tasks grouped by project I find the project name is rather washed out and not as prominent as it should be.
  • Density. The second line (below each task) should be easily shown/hidden). I appreciate the clarity that removal of columns has provided but i need to be able to view tasks as single lines with much greater density when performing reviews so things can be easily evaluated and rearranged.
  • Themes. I am not sure how possible this is going to be. There is something to be said for committing to a design but I am definitely in favour of themes. Sometimes I feel like a serif, sometimes I can’t stand the sight. Sometime I just need things to feel fresh again…

@kcase - I like v2 much better. Reasons:

  • Forecast view
  • More intuitive Perspectives creation/editing/management
  • More pleasing aesthetically
  • I prefer the new Inspector
  • Some nice new touches, such as Quick Open and Focus buttons

No crashes so far.

Things I’d like to see:

  • Greater data density (or options for same)
  • Return of the Clip-o-tron

I don’t intend to go back to v1 at all


I have been a long time user of OmniFocus and I hope the following is viewed as an opprotunity in addressing concerns I am having using OF2. I am confident Omni Group will appropriately consider my comments. I am happy with much of OF2 and would rather focus on areas I find to be a difficulty for me and my workflow. To this end my response is — in its current state OF2 appears it will not fully work as a key component of my GTD system. Simply there is too much friction in dealing with my data.

Current items causing friction:

  • Inbox has no way to drag items to create projects without having multiple windows open. Inbox feels like a disassociated island. (OF1 can see projects from the Inbox and drag tasks from the Inbox to create new projects from a single window.)
  • Checkbox location is too distant from the text of a task on large screens; this is especially important as checkboxes are now used to present additional information. The checkbox has been designed in OF2 to communicate the task’s status by colored rings. Either put the checkbox near the data it is associated to or have the text change color with the checkbox to limit horizontal scanning to view this information. (In OF1 flagged state is on the right, but task status is indicated by changing the text color of the task itself.)
  • Data density. Too much unnecessary space and too many placeholders to appropriately communicate hierarchy and allow scanning of larger groups of tasks. (In OF1 more of a project or a greater number of tasks can be viewed in a single screen of the same dimensions.)
  • The notes icon is present if any other placeholder is present; context, defer date, due date. The slight color change and small plus/arrow difference is difficult to discern its proper indication when scanning a list. Every task in my projects have a context, but not every task has a note. As it is now I cannot easily find the one task which has a note/attachment. (The presence of a note is more apparent in OF1 when the icon is only present when a note/attachment is present.)
  • Selected tasks when being moved by keyboard commands move off screen and require a separate keyboard command or scrolling with the mouse to view again — causing disruption and confusion of where the task has gone. This happens with closing grouped tasks too. Complicated further with data density issue as a few levels is all that is required to move off screen. (In OF1 selected task stays in view at all times.)
  • Perspectives no longer control layout. I feel like I am constantly reseting views every time a new perspective is switched to. (OF1 allows perspective setting closer to custom layout/theme in how data is presented and maintains these separate layout views.)
  • Default perspectives cannot be customized. This is more problematic because the default perspectives cannot be removed from the side tab bar and are in a prime location. I have yet to use the side tab bar, reverting to a custom toolbar, as these default perspectives are predetermined and not configurable by the same parameters as custom perspectives. Associated to the side tab bar — can we collapse the additional listing of projects/contexts in a custom perspective. As of now the side tab bar is completely collapsed and unused in my workflow. (OF1 allowed the customizing or removal of default perspectives — admittedly done in the toolbar, but this limitation makes the side tab bar almost useless for me.)

– EDIT –

Sent email with a copy of this post to Omni Group.

– EDIT –

I want to add another issue here.

  • Default perspectives cannot be added to the toolbar and thus requires making duplicates of these perspectives (Inbox, Projects, Contexts, Forecast, Flagged, Review) to have toolbar versions available in accessing such views. The side bar is becoming more and more of a difficulty in how it is being implemented.

I’m currently on the waiting list for the beta version of OmniFocus 2 but have been a long term user of both the iPad & iPhone versions and back in the day used Merlin Mann’s Kinkless scripts for OmniOutliner. In my day job I’m the Head of Creative Strategy for a major London digital design agency and thought I’d add a few comments ref the interface changes in particular with regard to the changes in data density and the new check circle/action status/flag widget (they seem to be the major area of debate here on the beta forum).

There have been many screens posted both here on the forum and on a selection of productivity blogs and from what I’ve seen so far I think the new design is not just great from an aesthetic perspective but as an overarching design strategy it appears to be delivering on the prime goal of reducing complexity without taking away from OmniFocus’s rich feature set. This is no minor feat and I salute Omni Groups UX designers for delivering on these simplification goals so elegantly.

To my mind the main group of people that got the most out of OmniFocus 1 were there who migrated from the Kinkless scripts. Personally I was disappointed with OF 1 from design perspective as it was very similar to working with a complex OmniOutliner document and didn’t bring any new design solutions with regard to task management. Many of the people I tried to introduce to OmniFocus found it horribly complex and unapproachable with far too much of a learning curve for a task management app. However when I showed a lot of the same people OmniFocus 2 on the iPhone they instantly ‘got it’. All of the underlying power is still there but it’s now so intuitive to use it manages to reveal its power in a natural manner as the user gains daily experience with the app. Having not actually used the OS X version of OF 2 yet I can’t categorically say that it will have that same natural unforced learning curve but the design cues I’ve seen in the screen grabs make me very confident that it should deliver in much the same way.

I personally love the clarity of the information design on the screens I’ve seen. But I would guess the UX has been designed for a very different interaction model to that of OF 1. By removing all of the columns I would say that most users will gain more from their experience if they make greater use of the ‘focus’ features within OF 2 rather than using the application 'spreadsheet style, with huge amounts of data on display at once.

I personally find that having the context/project/note information below the action title is far preferable to a horizontal span of columns but would agree that an option to hide that extra info should be made available via key shortcuts or suchlike. One thing I don’t like about the new design is that the differentiation of typographic elements is only provided via shades of gray on different type sizes. I would suggest the following colour coding here to aid clarity:

  • Project name typography should follow the colour coding from the project sidebar (blue)
  • Context name typography should follow the colour coding from the context sidebar (purple)
  • The arrow indicator that shows the note field contains text could be slightly larger (the note icon itself will appear more distinctive without any changes because of the colour coding on the projects/contexts typography)

The hybrid check circle/flag/status widget works well on the right hand side especially when you combine the graphic communication with the due/start status beside it. However I’m not sure the clarity of the hybrid visual information that’s being communicated through the circle id optimal. To my mind the difference between the flag colour and the due status colour lacks contrast and will probably be lost on many people (forgetting the accessibility issues that arise from that lack of contrast too).

My final initial thought is with regard to the abundance of white space the surrounds the typographic elements. Much as I love how this aids clarity I think it may be a tad too generous. There has been an typographic trend in recent years to provide very generous line heights on typographic elements is it improves visual clarity/usability/comprehension but I think the OF 2 interface could definitely benefit from some of that white space being pared back a little.

Can’t wait to actually get my mits on the new OmniFocus 2 beta as it very much looks like it’s maturing in to the application I originally hoped for when it was first announced.



I like the new version 2. I have switched to v2, burning the bridges so to speak to be able to test it. I have jumped back and forth some for various reasons and found there are some things in version 1, mainly the ability to use colors to help decipher my actions, that are very useful. Otherwise I like many of the features of 2 so far quite a lot, particularly the forecast feature and the quick look. Visually overall I like the layout. I need some color or font changes to help me digest my “stuff.” Much to digest and get used to.

I am agnostic on the circles and positioning on the right. For me I think I am so habituated having any check boxes on the left that the switch has a bit of an odd feel. Time will tell. I am ok with circles vs squares.

For the inbox I like the count of items and have not found a way to see that. Is that me or is there no longer a count on the inbox badge?

Kudos on the development of v2 and I look forward to seeing the finished product.

I like it very much. There have been jobs I’ve left until I’m at my iPad because that was so good; I’m now leaving them until I get back to my Mac and OF2.

I’m not very keen on the font and colour for the Deferred until… and Due lines in a task: I’ve a project listing birthdays and what I need to see quickly is whether I need to start thinking about one. It doesn’t matter who the person is; I make them the task name but I don’t look at that until I see I’m at or near a date. So the fact that the date is a little less clear now is an issue for me.

But the speed and the feel of it all, I really enjoy using it.

Thank you for response Curt. I did see the option - but - when looking at one day forecast - I do like to se calender. However, when looking at the week, I do not need to see a calendar for each of the days. When I look at the forecast I am kind of thinking about what is comming and might actualy do something the actual day.

when reading I did not fully explain myslef in the point 3 - what I mean is not the possibility to choose context list or project list, I actually would like to be able not to show this list at all. Just to see a list of tasks, without the list of contexts.

Just downloaded v2 and first impressions around the UI echo a bunch of other feedback:

  1. Data density–there’s too much white space between actions. I like to see as many actions at a glance as possible without scrolling. I’d suggest losing at least 50% of the white space between actions. I think there could be room for even more.

  2. Action check circles–The circles for checking off actions could be made much smaller IMO. That could help increase the data density overall. Also, I’d suggest considering making the circle check off boxes left aligned versus right aligned. I can see why right aligned was chosen as it matches the iPhone app. I think right aligned works great for the phone as most users are right handed which makes it easier to tap off completed actions single handed. But there’s no real advantage for the desktop–it just causes unnecessary mouse movement to get to the right side of the screen.

  3. Button bar persistance–I like the ability to hide the sidebar. But I think the side buttons (inbox, projects, contexts…) should continue to display if you hide the sidebar. If you have tighter screen real-estate, it’s nice to lose the side panel. But losing the button bar for quick traversal of your major views forces you to have to expand the sidebar (unless you use keyboard shortcuts). The sidebar is pretty important IMO. I think it should always display.

  4. Gray sidebar background–Minor point but not a huge fan of the light gray background used in the sidebar to display projects, context, etc. I think it should be white. White might more clearly suggest projects/context are user created content (as are actions). Using the gray background for the Inspector background makes perfect sense as it’s a fairly universal convention across Mac OS. But I don’t think the sidebar needs to match it. My projects and contexts are important, I don’t like them being muted by gray. Again, minor point.


Thanks for the great feedback! But I’m not seeing the answer to the fundamental question for this thread: overall, are you liking OmniFocus 2 more than OmniFocus 1?

My overall, gestalt reaction is that I like OF 2 more than OF 1 (and more than the previous betas of OF2 from last year). However, I’ve just begun to use the new version (I didn’t know it existed until I decided to check the site, which I’ve been doing only every month or so), and will certainly be assessing all the features and UI elements more closely.

I love it. Great job, and much nicer than the “old” v2 we beta tested last year.

Only real problem I have currently is that the integration with MailMate is rather flaky. Sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes for something to appear in the inbox, and sometimes it never appears. It might be MailMate’s fault, so I guess I should nag Benny about it as well ;)

Smaller issues:

  • When clipping from the other app (using the “Service” thing), the Quick Entry window doesn’t get focus, so it might be hidden behind the current window?
  • The Clippings Shortcut workflow was rather confusing, even to an 8-year Mac veteran like me. I didn’t see the pop-under, and just seeing the Shortcuts window in System Preferences (that starts with the “Launchpad & Dock” section) wasn’t very intuitive. I guessed (correctly) that it was in the Services section, and was further stumped by having two identical “OmniFocus: Send to Inbox” services (I still have OmniFocus 1.x installed, and both versions provide a service. So an edge case, but still rather confusing).
  • I preferred having the checkboxes on the left. Also, I’m not very fond of the new checkbox visual. The the on/off state is OK, but the reaction when clicking is a bit overwhelming, like it’s exploding.
  • More keyboard shortcuts would be nice :+1:

Hi Ken. I just downloaded the release today. I’ll need to use v2 as my primary for a bit to get a better feel. Just wanted to give you some initial impressions. I’ll be sure to post a more specific answer to the discussion question soon. :) Cheers.

I have submitted other feedback elsewhere about feature requests, bugs, etc., but to just answer the question: I am really enjoying using OmniFocus 2. After just a few days with it, it feels like OmniFocus to me, and when I go back to OmniFocus 1, it is a big shock. Sort of like how picking up a phone with iOS 6 feels.

You should all be very proud of the work that you have done – this is shaping up to be a great update to an already amazing product.

Hi, Ken. I think you’re setting the bar too low. Do I prefer OF2 to OF1? If that’s your sole question, the answer is an emphatic yes. I also prefer the current OF2 to the initial OF2 release, primarily due to perspectives and forecast.

But (and I repeat), your bar is too low. At least as expressed in your question. Because I’d extend that question beyond “is it better” to “is it insanely great - and on a scale of 1 - 10, how close is it to insanely great?”

The greatest achievement for OF2, IMO, is that you’ve reduced friction considerably relative to OF1. However, the greatest obstacle to “insane greatness” facing OF2 is the friction that remains. I won’t go into detail now, because it’s been thoroughly hashed out in other replies and on other threads (re: data density, two line views, weird positioning of the checkbox, lack of adequate contrast, lack of themes - or at least font styles and choices - difficulties in drag an drop operations, and I’m sure I am forgetting other examples…).

OF2 checks nearly all of the boxes (or should I say circles) - and removes a lot of the friction that made OF1 such a challenge. I hope you ask - and answer - the question “does this design add or reduce friction?” with every choice you make w.r.t. OF2 from here on out.

So, to answer your question - overall, I like OF2 more than OF1, knowing that’s the bar to clear. And of course I’d like to clear far higher bars. Thanks for asking!



OF2 is an amazing upgrade. It looks great, very nice designed. Forecast is an excellent tool! Much easier to use, less options but more focus and usefull. Really great job. Congratulations.

Does OF2 help Getting Things Done?

I’m not feeling the love others have professed for OF2. Right now, I prefer OF1.
For me, the acid test of OF2 should not be 'do you like it more than OF1?, but ‘does it facilitate Getting Things Done with minimal friction’?

Initial Collection

With both sidebar and inspector hidden, entering new tasks is straightforward, but for bulk entry of tasks, ‘Classic mode’ (hit return for a new item) scores over ‘Modern mode’ (hit return twice for a new item): hitting Return twice gets old very quickly when entering 200+ items.

Initial Processing

To process tasks, I’m obliged to open the Inspector: otherwise, there’s no way to set Estimated Time.

The date fields in the Inspector score over those in the Outline window, which lack a date picker (for no apparent reason).

The problem with using the Inspector is that I have to toggle between it and the Outline for every task (or at least, every task I want to have an Estimated Time, which is pretty much all of them): there doesn’t seem to be any way to advance to the next task while still in the Inspector?


There’s no way to compare the Estimated Time for all of the Actions in a Context, when this is one of the four criteria for ‘choosing actions in the moment’ (i.e. context, time, energy, priority). Perspectives allow for sorting by Estimated Time, but it’s still necessary to scroll through the Actions with the Inspector open to view the actual Estimated Time for each.


Unlike the Inbox, pressing Return in the Quick Entry Window closes the window, which is disconcerting if initial collection has accustomed you to pressing Return to create a new item in the Inbox in Classic mode, and doubly annoying if Modern mode has taught you to press Return twice, as the second Return is passed to the active program.

The Quick Entry Window has the same limitations as the Inbox — no date pickers, no Estimated Time — without access to the Inspector to overcome these limitations.


With no view of the Project list from the Inbox, having to either open a new window to view the Project list (or hit Space in the Project field) is a bit clunky.


Review mode is fine for reviewing all projects due for review on or before today, but offers no clue that there are twenty due for review tomorrow. If I build a better Review perspective, it would be nice to be able to remove the built-in Review perspective from the sidebar so as not to have two ‘Review’ perspectives to choose between.

Currently, OF1 wins on each of these points: OF2 makes every stage of the GTD process a little more awkward. To make OF2 as (or more) friction-free than OF1, I would suggest:

  1. default to ‘Classic’ mode, not ‘Modern’ mode, for data entry
  2. return the Estimated Time field to the Outline
  3. add date pickers to the date fields in the Outline and Quick Entry window
  4. support advancing to the next Outline item from the Inspector
  5. permit viewing of the Project list from the Inbox
  6. give some indication of Projects with upcoming reviews &/or support removing the built-in Perspectives from the sidebar.



Really enjoying it so far - in particular:

  • Finding it much more intuitive.
  • It takes up much less horizontal space - very welcome on my MacBook.
  • Between the side tabs and customising the view bar I now have room to pin all the perspectives I want.

The only thing I have to go back to OF1 for at the moment:

  • Manipulating the expansion state of perspectives.
  • Unregistering clients in the sync settings.