What's YOUR roadmap?

My #1 addition would be the ability to tag items with a value, and then be able to see all tagged items in a separate view that allows sorting by the tags. One use of the ability would be to assign priorities and dates to action items, and then see a listed sorted by priority and date without disturbing the underlying outline. This was Grandview’s primary strength. Circus Ponies Notebook allowed a limited version of it. OmniOutliner started on that path, but then the capability got pulled into OmniFocus.

For me there’s too much overhead in having to use a separate piece of software for handling action items when all of my planning and information storage is already being done in an outliner. As is OmniOutliner does let me maintain an automatically-sorted prioritized list of items that’s easy to copy/paste from/to my primary notes, so it gets me far enough along that path to do what I need–just not as efficiently as I would like.

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Did Ecco Pro allow column or checkbox configurations definable by row/level??

Yes. Using tabs, you could have as many different views of the outline as you wanted: different columns, different sorts, different filters, pretty much anything you wanted. Just writing those words makes me miss it even more.

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If we could have some kind of many to many tagging along with the kind of sorting you are talking about, OO could bridge the gap between outliner and simple relational database. That could be very powerful.

Tinderbox already can do that, def, but quite a commitment of $ and time getting up to speed. Ridiculously capable, amazing user community, but def triple black diamond artisanal software…

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I’ve used OmniOutliner since v1. I find myself using OO to open old outlines, but I work on new outlines in Dynalist, which I find much easier to work with.

I wish OO had the navigation and filtering features of Dynalist:

  • Clickable tags that reveal all items with the same tag;

  • Saved searches;

  • A Hoist widget to the left of any topic;

  • A breadcrumb path at the top of the window for instant navigation upstream;

  • Search filter that will reveal only items containing search item;

None of these features require advanced engineering. They require embracing a slightly different design that works better.


FWIW, OO does have Saved Searches (they’ll show up in the Filter sidebar), and the search filter will reveal only items containing search terms. Just use Filter instead of Batch Find. And you can create clickable tags - in the Filter sidebar.

I put the Focus icon on the toolbar (works the same as the hoist widget).

As for the way Dynalist works, to each their own. I tried it, it’s cool, but I prefer OO’s interface, and Dynalist’s lack of columns is a deal-breaker for me.

But, as always, YMMV.

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  1. A styling system that is easier to grok.
  2. An option to have a library-based system, rather than individual files.
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A library-based system instead of individual files would be just what I don’t want, in part because if something goes wrong it can impact everything rather than one file, and in part because I depend upon being able to keep my files in a super-secured dmg partition (I need to store lots of sensitive information for clients).


I totally understand and that’s why it would need to be optional. Which is probably very hard to code and create a UX model that does both. So it probably won’t ever happen!

A simpler way to create themes, and a theme gallery where users can share editable themes, as you can do with Ulysses and MacDown (which uses the quasi-standard Rainglow theme collection also available for Slack, Sublime, Xcode, Coda and others) and Highland (which also has an awesome web-based theme-builder), and others.

To add my picks here :-)


  • Tags from Dynalist (a click on a tag becomes an ephemeral smart search)
  • Breadcrumbs (can be smart about it, I don’t think the “full path” is needed, can be trimmed to “root + immediate parent”)

Small tweaks:

  • Just add Focus to the toolbar by default (don’t make me go and add it, don’t make me right-click to select it)
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The advantage of the library system would be that you could create links to any branch even outside of the current file

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I just got a subscription of OO, so great to see so many ideas for future development!

to share in (and second some things already mentioned):

• “multiple choices from a drop-down list”!!!
• footnote handling
• aliases/clones (like DevonThink, Tinderbx et al.)
• consistent custom styling of rows beyond rtf-format (e.g. pick-list styling works only halfway…)
• saved views for in-/visible rows
• boolean searches (in main search box)
• breadcrumb / history
• “Better handling of embedded attachments, particularly images”!!! - esp. titles/captions (like Ulysses e.g.)

I´d dearly hope some of the subscription money goes into any of the things mentioned in this thread :-D

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I am super interested in whether @kcase has any input on the future of OmniOutliner. Such a powerful great app, I hope it continues to be developed as suggested in this and the linked thread!

Dynalist is a super product.

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I personally would like the Omni group to prioritise things other than automation. I know they have put tremendous work into that, and not to take away from those who find that a core issue, but I cannot imagine it being so to most users, who don’t have the time, energy and knowledge to take advantage of it. I would like to see much more effort put into OO, and look to some other apps like dynamist, for some inspiration of what can be done.

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Totally agree. Productivity apps are for busy people - and many of us are WAY too busy to learn how to write code. With nothing but respect and gratitude for Omni Group - a terrific company that makes excellent products - we’re looking to them to figure out how to design software that does what we need, not ask us to figure out how to do it.


I love OmniOutliner, but I have stopped using it except for outlines that will be used and then forgotten.

I need to reference my notes and writings on the Mac, iPad and sometimes iPhone. I also need to be able to search across multiple files. I wish Omni would come up with a helper app that could search within files within the iCloud OmniOutliner folder. A notebook style collection of outlines would also work for me, but that would make it a different app.

I can live without it, but a less Byzantine way of using styles would be nice.

There are lots of things I wish OmniOutliner could do, but the bottom line is that I have yet to find another industrial strength outliner that gets the outline motif right along with columns and sorting options. I continue to depend on it heavily.