The Omni Group Roadmap and A Few Thoughts on OmniFocus

The Omni Group has published its latest road map. As a fan of their software, I love reading these. They are committing to release OmniFocus 4 this year and they are also working on an update to OmniGraffle. I’ve heard from a lot of folks about the OmniFocus 4 release, and I’ve got a few thoughts:

  • Many readers tried the early betas and didn’t care for it. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to give the current, later betas, another look. A year ago, they were focused on features. They’ve done a ton of UI polish since then.
  • The Omni Group is the first company I’ve seen emerge from the morass of Swift UI with a high-end productivity app. I expect this will pay dividends going forward. Just like we’re now seeing Apple release major new features across all platforms at once, I expect we’ll see the same from the Omni Group going forward.

I went into the wild over the last six months looking seriously at other task manager options including Reminders, Things, and some of the emerging online tools. I started that survey willing to move to another app, but ended up right back where I started. My takeaway is that OmniFocus is still the only option for me. (Perspectives are so powerful and you can link anything, anywhere.) While Reminders is a lot better, on a scale of 1 to 10 it goes to 7 and OmniFocus goes to 11.

Finally, now that I’ve finished my survey, I’ve committed three months to making an entirely new edition of the OmniFocus Field Guide once the new version ships.

Sal Soghoian and OmniFocus Voice Commands Video Interview

A few months ago, I did an extended Friends of Dave interview with Sal Soghoian about the new voice commands for OmniFocus. This has been in the MacSparky Labs for a few months, and several members have been using this cool feature. This is one of those things I wanted to make sure everyone can see, so here it is.

I put a lot of content like this in the MacSparky Labs. I’d love to have you join.

Links from Video

Omni Automation Plug-Ins for OmniFocus

Installing Plug-Ins

Script Security

Omni Automation

Omni Automation in OmniFocus

Omni Automation Controls in OmniFocus

OmniFocus 4 Beta for Mac

The OmniFocus team has been hard at work on OmniFocus 4 for some time now. Recently they announced the public release of the Beta for OmniFocus 4 for Mac. There are several significant improvements coming with OmniFocus 4:

Feature Parity

With OmniFocus now built around SwiftUI, Mac, iPhone, and iPad features are essentially in sync. Generally, you get all features everywhere. For example, you can now get location-based tags on the Mac for the first time.

New Design

The new design is lighter than previous iterations of OmniFocus. There’s more white space, and the UI is much cleaner. Nevertheless, it still feels like a flavor of OmniFocus. 

You can read more details and sign up for the beta here.

OmniFocus Voice Control Tutorial with Sal Soghoian (MacSparky Labs)

This month’s Friends of Dave interview is a special one. Sal Soghian (formerly with Apple, now working with the Omni Group) spent an hour with me doing a walk-through on how to set up and start using the new Javascript-based voice automation in OmniFocus. Sal has, in essence, created an entirely new user interface for OmniFocus, letting you fully control the app with your voice. Moreover, you can add your own custom commands. In this video, I share my screen and Sal walks me through the entire setup process. Watch this video with the current version of OmniFocus installed on your Mac and you’ll be voice-controlling within the hour…

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Tier 2 (Backstage) and Tier 3 (Early Access) Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

Automating Dates in OmniFocus (MacSparky Labs)

The Omni Group has written its own flavor of JavaScript to automate its apps. These new automations will work on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. In this video, I take one of the Omni Group’s new JavaScript automations that can assign and adjust defer and due dates in OmniFocus. I then use a Keyboard Maestro trick to combine and simplify the various keyboard shortcuts for each action. If you use OmniFocus, you’ll find this useful. And even if you don’t use the app, the Conflict Palette technique shown here can help you out …

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

Project Setup with Craft, OmniFocus, and Shortcuts (MacSparky Labs)

Some of the labs members are interested in Craft. Good news! I’m using Craft for some of the Labs back-end. Here’s a Shortcut that builds out a new project using Craft and OmniFocus along with some basic training in Craft…

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Level 3 (Early Access) and Level 2 (Backstage) Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

Creating OmniFocus Templates with Keyboard Maestro (MacSparky Labs)

For a long time I’ve been adding OmniFocus template projects using Shortcuts. I have a few other automations that involve project creation with Keyboard Maestro, which got me thinking about adding templated OmniFocus projects via Keyboard Maestro…

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Level 3 (Early Access) and Level 2 (Backstage) Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?