Why is there a separate window for custom perspective building, and no ability to reorder / name them from the left side panel?

The UI particularly in dark mode is gorgeous, but one of the things that let’s it down is creating the custom perspectives, where it opens a new window - that isn’t in dark-mode, so looks completely out of place. It really clutters the screen and stands out oddly.

I don’t get why the window is not built into the UI as a slide over or someting simliar. And why is it not in dark mode either.

I also don’t get why you can’t simply rename and reorder custom perspectives directly from the left side panel. Why do you have to open a whole out of place, separate window just to rename and reorder. I stand corrected if there’s a reason behind this, but currentyl I can’t think of one other than bad design.

This is an old throwback to the days of OF1 and OF2. I think Omni has been busy dedicating resources to the new features and not yet updating the perspective editor yet.

Email omnifocus@omnigroup.com to upvote for this feature request.

Yes I will do. It’s so ugly and awkward in an otherwise beautiful new UI

For what it’s worth, the Perspectives window supports dark mode as of v3.1 on macOS Mojave. 3.1 is out today for direct customers, and hopefully very soon for App Store customers (waiting for approval).

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Well that’s an improvement. It just seems bizarre to have to open up a whole new window just to reorder the custom perspectives or rename them. That should be doable from within the left panel itself.

Sorry, I should have answered the “why” question in your original post. The “why” is because the window dates back to before the sidebar tabs existed, and perspectives lived only in the toolbar. The tabs appeared in OmniFocus 2.0 but looking at our bug database, interest in re-arranging the tabs didn’t pick up until we started the OF3 beta—we’ve had twice as many reports in the last few months as we did in the previous four years.

Thanks, so that sounds like there is a lot of demand for reorder and renaming them, from within the left panel - is it on the priority list ?

Customer interest isn’t the only thing that drives our roadmap, but the total number of customer requests is still very low—in the single digits.

Ok. Interesting. Seems most unintuitive and unnecessary to have to open a new separate window, just to change a perspectives name, when one could easily change the name directly in the original left panel, including reordering. But hey maybe most people aren’t appreciative of intuitive work flows like me.

I should have mentioned earlier that you can edit the names of custom perspectives from View Options in the toolbar in addition to in the Perspectives window—the same place you make other changes.

As mentioned above, it used to be that perspectives lived only in the toolbar. It is not possible to edit toolbar button labels in place. So, the window, or some other place to edit, used to be necessary.

I agree that since we don’t have that restriction anymore, in-place name editing in the tabs themselves would be great. But when we released OmniFocus 2 and those tabs first appeared, we decided not to add that functionality right away, and it has not been something that customers in general have been clamoring for. Perhaps other folks will see your posts here and realize what they’ve been missing.

Hi David,

I do appreciate you taking the time to reply. I would however say that regardless of whether people realise this is something they’ve been missing, with the greatest of respect, it is yet another example of something Omnifocus should have implemented regardless. If it wants to be known as an intuitive and fast, modern productivity app, especially in the face of increasing competition, it needs to keep up.

Productivity apps become more useable the quicker and more fluid they are. The more clicks or screen presses it takes to achieve something, when there could be a faster way to access what is needed, makes an app become frustrating to use. The moment people find a smoother workflow elsewhere they will use that instead. You yourself know this.

When you have to unnecessarily go into drop down windows all the time to access something, it slows the flow. Good UI design bypasses this as much as possible.

Other examples include inconsistencies across platforms e.g.not being able to collapse / hide action groups on iOS, yet you can on a mac. So once you spend time inputting into OF on OSx, and then transfer to iOS you realise your screen is cluttered with actions, as you can’t hide the groups, so you have no overview of the whole screen, and the other groups. Or you can’t hide tags on iOS, yet you can on on OSX, so again the iOS screen becomes very cluttered. OF needs to understand the iOS iPhone screen size better, i is almost like it has not been taken into account, and it was just a straight port over. I don’t know how all this passed QC if I’m perfectly honest. Again this should not be about customer requests and feedback, this is fundamental and basic UI design.

Waiting for users to suggest features or voice an opinion is reactionary as opposed to innovatory. And really the things we are talking about here are not feature implementations, they are standard in modern UI design.


My quote:

was in direct response to

and was not meant to imply that we only implement things that people ask for. We design features and then use customer feedback to validate those designs. We have finite development resources and try to use them in ways that will benefit the most customers.

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Ok thank you for your reply. I look forward to the app developing and growing beyond the excellent software it already nearly is.

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What may sound/look like fundamental and basic may be foreign and undecipherable to others. This is a very subjective opinion.

Omni has had their hands full with an aggressive gameplan to get OF3 out the door in time for MacOS Mojave release date. I’m grateful that they’ve gone this far with the release of OmniFocus 3.1. Users voting in their feature requests gives Omni some idea of what they might want to work on next.

That’s their choice to do so. But I certainly think there are users who have gone to other platforms and end up returning to OmniFocus.

It’s in their tech support database. It’s coming. We’re all eagerly awaiting for this and many other features.

It’s not easy to work on something as small as an iPhone screen. And there are also multiple sizes of iPhone screens to consider. This is not a small feat. The current release is not the end of the road. It’s just the beginning. Omni has a long history of continuously updating their apps.

I’m happy for you though I’m confused what that has to do with my post.

Sorry. hit the save button and had to go somewhere else. Returned to edit the post.

I appreciate your reply. We seem to be talking about different things though. Let’s forget about my request to unify the separate floating perspectives window. That I can live with. I am talking mainly about simple refinements and quick fixes, but ones which have a big impact on the design flow.

These are not feature requests. They are in fact really small fixes. So for any developer they would not take long to Implement at all. Eg collapsing group actions in iOS. This is not a feature. This is something that is fundamental to a GTD or even any simple regular to do app.

It’s not a ‘we’ll have to reroute all resources for a month to work out how to do this’. It’s a small easy simple thing that was overlooked when designing the iOS App and fell through the cracks somehow. And would take minimal time to implement.

It has little baring on being harder to do because of all the different screen sizes. Yet despite being such a small thing it has a BIG impact on the way you use the app on the iPhone. Which is why it’s so frustrating. As why would you not fix it and get it out of the way when it’s a quick and easy to do. I am surprised we are this far down the line since release and a fundamental element of the app is yet to be fixed.

I’m not sure what you’re referring to re a technical support database. But whatever that is, if you’re saying it suggests the above is on the immediate road map then that’s positive to hear. I am surprised why David would not have mentioned that though.

As a developer myself (not for Omni) whenever someone says this I wonder if they’re a developer ;) It’s easy to think something is a small feature and won’t take any time to implement but even just changing a word in the UI though can have ramifications throughout the app and requires testing on every single screen size the app is available for - even if the development itself doesn’t require much effort the testing also has to be considered.

The database Wilson was referring to is where Support log all bugs and requests. The more votes a feature gets the more likely it will be considered for implementation - so if you haven’t emailed in your vote for these features then I would highly recommend you do so.


I hear what you’re saying but we are not talking about a feature implementation of any magnitude. They have resources. Because they have paying customers. And I suspect quite a number. Anyway let’s beg to differ. May I ask how to access this database you mention I cannot sent to find it.

We do not get access to this database - it’s internal. You just need to send your feature request to support and they will handle it.