Slow Performance and High Memory Usage

I have had OmniOutliner since 2005 at which time it came preinstalled for free with Macs. Initially, I did not use the software because I had no use for a dedicated outliner, but once I dipped my toes into the OmniOutliner pool the more uses I have found for the software. I have come to find OmniOutliner so useful that I opted to go Pro when I updated to version 5.

My most recent project has been building a structured list of facilities that is 1) a means for my co-workers and myself to have a hierarchal reference when reporting on a facility, and 2) building a proposal to our client to assist in cleaning up their database based on discovery from the build of our internal “database”.

I have other personal outlines that are rather long, but suffer no performance issues. For instance, the quick reference for my music collection and wish list has 4,722 rows by 6 columns with 2 columns being pop-up lists. The file is 236 KB and I have never had performance issues even when other outlines were open.

In contrast, the outline in question has 1,851 rows by 15 columns. Five of the columns have pop-up lists and one is date column. The file is only 97 KB, but is using 17.4 GB of RAM. The RAM usage is an astonishing 188,095 times larger than the file and just over half of my total system memory (32 GB).

As I was building up the outline, I first noticed slowdowns in the pop-up list columns when I updated items in the lists. At this point, working in the outline often results in the macOS spinning ball, especially if a few parent/child rows are expanded.

Unlike some others, I find OmniOutliner to be far too useful to cease using it; and quite honestly there is no other Mac or Windows outliner software that can really hold a candle to OmniOutiner Pro. That stated, my proposal to my superiors and our client—albeit to a much lesser extent with the latter, as they are Windows-based and would therefore be provided output in another format—will be a very hard sell if the document response is doggedly slow and memory usage redonkulously high.

Obviously, I have no insight into the inner workings of OmniOutliner, but it seems odd that software that is exclusively developed for macOS would have such sluggish performance and exorbitant memory usage with what is by today’s standards a very small file.

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