We need to talk about OF3

I have been using OF3 for IOS for a while now, and it’s very disappointing. Some of my main concerns:

  1. Several parts of the new UI do not seem like an improvement. For instance, I can see less tasks than I used to see in OF2 in a given window. Focusing on projects is harder now (I have to long press on a project to do that…).

  2. The new features are lacking: so far tags and reminders are the most innovative features. This seems incremental, not worth it of calling it OF3.

What other thoughts do you have? As it is heading, it feels like not worth the upgrade… what else is coming that would make us feel OF3 is a truly better/robust app, worth the upgrade?


Make sure you email your feedback in, the easiest way is through the “Contact Omni” entry in the settings.

Personally I’m really excited, the new perspectives are absolutely killer for me.

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I guess it depends on your workflow as to whether you value the new features enough to upgrade. For me the new perspective rules, tags and new repeat functionality have hugely improved my experience with the app. I’m also looking forward to the web service when it arrives later in the year (hopefully).

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I’m not too concerned about this. If I try to cram in too much and lose white space, I see too much density and things start looking like a spreadsheet. I don’t mind using some white space.

OF2 has the OmniFocuscolors app which is the theme editor to allow us to create our own themes. I can imagine that a theme editor for OF3 will be coming eventually. Send an email to ofpreview@omnigroup.com to vote for this.

The upcoming OmniJS automation features sound awesome. I can use OmniJS to write once for both iOS and MacOS. Collaboration is also something that might just work.

We have more custom notifications and coming soon is nagging notifications.

With the advanced perspective settings, we can get closer to enhanced smart lists.

These are definitely features I’m not going to brush away…

I think that’s very unfair - multiple tags and flexible reminders have probably been the most requested features for a long time (multiple tags goes way back to OF1). Their implementation requires some quite major changes to both UI and the underlying engines.

Both features enable very major changes to the ways in which people use OF - their workflow, but especially how people organise, priorities, categorise the tasks they have to do.

Then, on top of that, we have the hugely more functional perspective builder - much more complex layered filtering.

I just don’t think “incremental” is fair. Obviously, if these changes don’t have value to you, then you’re right not to take the update. They’ll make a big difference to me


Not to mention bulk edit and, possibly, manual sorting not only in Projects view (though I’m highly disappointed so far to see this work only directly in the Tags view, not in custom perspectives).


I still don’t like how much wasted space OF2 has compared with OF1!

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The OmniFocus Slack Channel did mention that a new update will help reduce some of the white space. It’s still a work-in-progress.

The tags implementation is very limited. For example, if we have a ‘Today’ tag and a ‘At office’ tag, there is no way to see and be able to freely reorder the tasks that we need to complete today at office.
Indeed this is really disappointing and it does not justify the extra cost of upgrading the license to OF3.

But they will force us to pay as probably at some point, OF2 support will be discontinued.

I think this also is unfair.

Firstly, Omni have repeatedly said that OF 3.0 is a starting point, not the end of the exercise and that there will be further features/enhancements in 3.1, 3.2 etc

Secondly, OF2 will continue to work for a long time after OF3 is released - the limiting factor is much more likely to be Mac OS versions. So Omni won’t “force us to pay” unless we want to upgrade to OF3.

Unless you mean that you’d like the extra features in OF3 but don’t want to pay for them, in which case, yes, Omni will “force us to pay” for the extra features. That is, after all, how they make a living


Well that’s a bummer. I thought that was the whole point of tags and custom ordering.

I thought an ordering can apply per tag only right now. How would you envision your use case being implemented? Any combination of tags can have a custom ordering? That would have tons of combinations. Perhaps a perspective can have a custom ordering…

Custom perspectives have their own sorting (sort by defer date, due date, title name, etc.). This will override any custom tag ordering. It is an inherent part of the customer perspective filtering. If you’d like to have a “manual sort” in custom perspectives, send an e-mail to ofpreview@omnigroup.com.

This might be one of those features that may be possible when OF3 for Mac ships and Omnigroup decides to no longer support OF2. I can imagine Omnigroup supporting OF2 for at least 3 to 12 months after the release of OF3 for Mac. Who knows?

I‘m happy with OF2 after - literally - months of fine-tuning my workflow and using all features and supporting apps (TextExpander, Workflow, LaunchCenterPro) to the max.
But I plan on upgrading to OF3.
Only, probably not for 3.0. I‘ll get a paid parallel install on Mac and / or on an old iPad and check it out, I‘ll watch the forums, I‘ll participate where I can contribute meaning.
Only when both the feature set is stable and has a killer in it I‘ll go through the above fine-tuning for my production workflow again.
Standard procedure.
I don’t mind paying x amount for 3.0 even if I‘m probably only using 3.1 or 3.2 onwards productively


My OF2 workflows have stayed intact for the most part. It’s been a smooth transition. I have been using multiple tags only when the need arises. Otherwise my tasks mostly have single tags.

The addition of batch editing in OF3 for iOS has been a godsend. I can do pretty much everything on my iPad. I think the only reason I would use OF3 for Mac is to have quick entry available. I’m not finding myself using OF2 on my Mac as much.

I might use the workaround on my Mac and just send attachments and links via the Omni Sync server e-mail to OmniFocus feature. That might negate my need to have OF3 on my Mac.

But it’s great to see OF3 coming along nicely. Looking forward to OmniFOcus for Mac 3.0.Then it’s on to version 3.1 with even more features!

Thanks for contributing!

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Slightly off topic here, but is it recommended NOT to sync with existing database for Testflight of OF3? Any idea when iPad or OSX Testflights might be ready? (I never did enjoy editing / reviewing on iPhone tiny touch screen). Thank you kindly…

Having just received my testflight invite, and having also been increasingly vocal over the past 3-5 years about my disappointment that (now TEN YEARS later) we’re STILL waiting to get what I’ve felt all along were essential GTD centric features, I want to be careful about piling on here - but honestly have to agree with you in spirit. This app is FAR too critical to it’s users lives to have gotten short shrift, and it’s become kinda obvious that other OG apps have gotten a lot more attention and love over the past years than OF, and so for me - this app is starting to fall into the category of tools I must use (because I have no choice as there aren’t clearly superior options yet) but I’d emotionally and intellectually rather not out of sheer frustration with the developer / manufacturer. (I feel the same way about DJI for instance - their customer service and quality assurance is epically horrific but no ones making product that competes - yet). This is NOT a recipe for success however - as loyalty is undermined and all those users will ultimately bail the second a remotely comparable product is released.

But again, I haven’t even looked at the testflight yet so will withhold judgement until I’ve had a look…

All answered here:


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I"m sure that users of the other apps will have something to say about this. Graphic designers will consider OmniGraffle their centerpoint. Project managers will say OmniPlan will be their main focus. OmniOutliner will have its devout group of followers. I don’t know if it is fair to say that OmniFocus hasn’t been getting a lot of love.


I think that " gets no love in comparison to " usually means “I don’t care about and so should be number one priority”.

I remember a few years back someone claiming that Omni must be a “mom and pop” developer with no real resources because his requirements for OF hadn’t been met.