The OmniFocus 3 for iOS TestFlight preview

The OmniFocus 3 for iOS TestFlight preview

(Wilson Ng) #45

OmniFocus 3 in slideover mode looks the same as in OF2.

OmniFocus 3 for iOS (slideover mode) - Home Screen

OmniFocus 3 for iOS (slideover mode) - Taking a peek at my actions list in slideover mode.

This will be an easy transition for OF2 users to move over to OF3. This might anger some users who were hoping for a look more similar to Things 3. If you’re asking for something that looks like Things 3, why not just go to Things 3? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

The hard part about releasing a new update is that some users might be angered at a brand new UI because they have grown accustomed to the old UI. If we get a radical UI change, it angers some users who say “I wished it was like the old UI.” I remembered when OF2 arrived and there were a lot a lot of jeers for changing things such moving from checkboxes on the left to status circles on the right.

Can’t win 'em all… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

(Wilson Ng) #46

I had some spare time today to test out nagging notifications. I wished I had the ability to add my own custom alerts besides the ones built into OF3.

My alert pops up in Notification Center and the alert sound dings at me. I pick up my iPad and long press to bring up the snooze screen.

I can hit complete to check this task off as completed.

If I hit snooze, it will send me a notification again in 5 minutes. If I forget to hit the snooze button, OF3 will no longer notify me. I have to pull down the notification screen to see the task again to snooze it for another 5 minutes.

I guess I’ll be sticking with the Due app for a little bit longer. I like having the ability to set a reminder for 15 minutes or 1 hour instead of the default 5 minute timer found in iOS 11.


I thought this is how it works in OF2? Nagging alerts should continue to nag until an action is taken. You shouldn’t have to tap and select things. That’s the whole point. I’m wondering if it hasn’t been implemented fully yet?


I agree. I think they’re taking design cues for features that would help. Having a forecast mode that show some calendar entries inline is definitely spurred on by the popularity of Things’ approach.

I think we’ll see some additional UI tweaks as the beta goes on. While I wasn’t hoping to see Things in OF. I was hoping they’d clean up some of the view states. Add some white space, make the design a bit more functional in areas. Dates more present and readable. Etc…


I don’t believe nagging alerts have been implemented yet in the current TestFlight builds. Snoozing has always been there.

(Wilson Ng) #50

It could be. I took OF2 off for now. I rarely used the notifications for OF2.

I’m also inclined to think nagging isn’t here yet. Thanks. Sigh… some things are being delayed to OF 3.1 for now.

(Wilson Ng) #51

Drag the create inbox item button to a spot in the Projects perspective to place a new task in that spot. Drag and drop the create inbox item button to an existing task to create a subtask (also known as an action group).

(Wilson Ng) #52

Here is a screenshot of the Forecast settings. You can select one tag to display in the Forecast perspective.

Create a new tag and apply this tag to existing tasks. In my screenshot, I randomly chose Errands. You might want a tag called Today or Forecast. Multiple tags will make this easy to apply to existing tags.


As far as I know that’s currently in OF2 as well. :slight_smile: Or are you doing that within a custom perspective?

Yea, I feel like Omni has bitten off more than they can chew last year with the tags + custom repeats + notifications promises. They’re trying to catch up, but we’re getting dangerously close to WWDC. My guess is they’ll ship 3.0 just before WWDC. Then we’ll see where they go from there.

(Wilson Ng) #54

Yeah, in the Slack channel it was pointed out as a feature available when iOS 11 arrived. Thanks.

Still only in project perspective.

Latest tweet from Ken case shares that 9500 out of the 10,000 seats have been filled up. Only a few dozen in but early testing is nearing completion with larger testflight invites coming soon.


I use tags in 2Do for a version of the Eisenhower Matrix - Important, Urgent and their opposites. I have 4 Smart Lists:

Important and Urgent
Urgent, not important
Important, not urgent
Not important, not urgent

There are other ways of doing this in 2Do (Today view for urgent, flag/star etc) and I have a hack for doing it in OF2, but I’d see this as a useful ay to deploy tags in OF3.

I don’t use many other tags in 2Do - it becomes too hard (for me) to keep track of them when they proliferate.

(Wilson Ng) #56

Hmmm… this would make sense. Tagging the not important, not urgent will definitely put stuff into Someday/Maybe or the trash bin.

The hard part is that what is important to you isn’t important to someone else. Then what’s urgent for you may be shoved aside by something else that the boss or spouse thinks is more urgent. sigh…

In other news, Ken Case tweeted out that there will be a fairly large group of TestFlight signups will be invited into the beta program.

yes, it certainly looks possible to do this.

OF3 energy at the office

But I don’t know if I want to go crazy tagging everything. I’d say put a tag such as “high focus” or “high energy” to certain tasks. Everything else that doesn’t require high brain power would not have an energy tag. It is automatically considered a “low energy” or “low focus” task.

If I’m brain dead, I already know that I’m not looking at “high focus” tasks. I’ll instinctively go for anything that doesn’t have “high energy” tags. But I have refrained from energy tags for now. If I have low energy, I’ll have some stretching and aerobic office exercises to get the blood running. A power nap also works wonders. Then I’m not as concerned about doing “high focus” tasks only when I “feel like it.” I’ll naturally be the laziest person in the world and will procrastinate on “high focus” tasks.

In recent Twitter news, Ken Case says that more wannabe TestFlight pilots will be coming on board soon! Good luck!

(Joe Buhlig) #57

Looks like Dini is getting in on the fun as well. :wink:

(Wilson Ng) #58

Tim Stringer just posted about a new video screencast at his web site and on YouTube. Take a peek at a walkthrough where he takes you through some of the new features waiting for some new TestFlight invitees.

(Wilson Ng) #59

The Omni Show podcast has two of the Omni developers on their shows talking about tags. It’ll give you more information about how tags has changed OmniFocus.

The first big wave of TestFlights have been sent out. I hope to see you all there. There is an OmniFocus Slack channel that you will need to sign up for to get more information and discussion about OF3.

(Dorian Owens) #60

Good morning,
This is my first-ever post in here, so please bear with me! I’ve been working off and on in many of the major task management apps that are out right now such as OmniFocus, 2Do, and Things 3. In my opinion, the only way that Tags would actually make sense from a workflow perspective is when you have the “easy” ability to search for them at any time. Out of the 3, Things 3 does this most effectively. In iOS, you swipe down, then start typing, and in the Mac version, you simply start typing, and the tasks that are coming up are searched, with the ability to “Continue Searching” if you are looking for past completed tasks. I can’t tell you how helpful that is when I am looking to see when I last completed something!!!.. For instance, if I want to tag a series of things with, say the tag, “Star Wars,” and these tasks are laid out over the course of several months, that tag becomes very useful when you are looking down the road within the database for those specific things.

If you don’t have the ability to easily search for those tags, they aren’t as useful as time progresses. 2Do has very, very powerful search abilities, but it’s complicated in that you have to put certain wording before you search for something, or be in a certain “view” to search for something. The average person will not remember to type in those words to find something… Only in Things 3 does it give you the simple ability to search by the exact wording of the tag itself by swiping down and typing (in iOS), or by just typing in the Mac version… In OmniFocus 2, just getting to the ability to search in iOS is more complicated than it should be. It should simply be a) swipe down, then b) start typing, or something even simpler, such as having a search bar be present at the top of the app by default… There should not be a “Search Here,” or “Search Everything”, because 95% of the time, you need to search the entire database to find your item, especially if you have hundreds of tasks… It should Search Everything by default. Hope this helps!

(Rosemary Orchard) #61

Search is everywhere in OF3 for iOS. Swipe down the view and voila, search. That is one of my favourite features!

(Dorian Owens) #62

Good morning,
After looking through these series of posts, I’m starting to see what the fundamental problem could be, so hear me out: OmniFocus’s primary problem is that the entire UI seems to be based on the Due Date & Time feature. It is rigidly based on this. This isn’t a negative at all; in fact, this could be a blessing if used correctly, but the problem is most people don’t “know” how to use it effectively because Defer Dates are brought into the equation…

From other posts that I’ve seen, I’ve been told that we need to use Due Dates sparingly. So, why not have the entire app become based on Defer Dates??? That way, it gives you the flexibility of moving your tasks around within any perspective according to the Defer Date. Now, in order for that to work, the Defer Time should not be included at all in OmniFocus 3; instead, only the Defer Date alone would be included… That right there gives people the ability to move tasks around in that date however way they want to arrange them…

Things 3 is based on this very feature… For instance, when I place a “Start Date” (according to Things 3) of, say, May 21, on 10 tasks, all those tasks are automatically arranged to come forth on May 21. But then, I have the flexibility of moving those tasks around on that date however way I want them to be arranged… As for Due Dates (and in Things 3, it’s Deadlines), I actually “find myself” using these sparingly because they are something that I “add on” to the Start Dates…

Now, with all that being said, let’s look at this from the standpoint of OmniFocus 3, and how this could work to solve this problem of freely arranging tasks however way we want them to be arranged: First off, if the entire interface was based on the Defer Dates (and the UI would also give you granular detail, saying specific words such as simply “Tomorrow, 4.26,” or “Friday, 4.27”, you would be “leading people” into primarily setting Defer Dates for all their tasks. Then, Due Dates would be “added on sparingly” to these tasks, which I’m thinking was the intent of using OmniFocus in the first place (at least from what I’ve heard in the latest OmniFocus 3 podcasts).

In other words, give people the ability in Preferences (or in the Forecast View/Custom Perspectives) to arrange everything (and I mean everything) by Defer Dates throughout the entire app. This would include the Forecast View and Custom Perspectives. Secondly, “detach” the UI from rigidly arranging everything by Due Date and Time…

Because everything is laid out by Defer Dates, Due Dates would be applied sparingly toward those Defer Dates. Then, when we look in the Forecast View (which really would become the Today View by many people’s standards), everything would be arranged by Defer Dates. We then would have the “natural” flexibility of moving the tasks however way we want to move them. Hopefully someone understands this! Hopefully I’ll hear some feedback!

(Dorian Owens) #63

I’ve signed up for the OF3 Testflight, but haven’t been invited yet. Question: When you search, is it global search like on the Mac, or is it the same as it is now in OmniFocus 2??


Same as it is now in OF2. You have the ability to toggle between “Here, Remaining, Everything”, but it defaults to “Here”.