The Omni Group Reveals Details of Upcoming OmniFocus 3 for Mac & iOS

What's New

There’s lots in store for OmniFocus in 2018, including OmniFocus 3 for Mac & iOS and OmniFocus for the Web.

OmniFocus, which is now ten years old, was prominently featured in today’s Omni Roadmap 2018 post. OmniFocus has come a long way in the past decade and the Omni Group has a well-deserved reputation for keeping up with advances in macOS and iOS.

OmniFocus 3 will continue this tradition with some innovative new features and enhancements. And the Omni Group revealed that they’re building OmniFocus for the Web, a simplified version of OmniFocus that will give you basic access to your OmniFocus data on Windows.

New Features in OmniFocus 3

Here’s a summary of some of the new features and enhancements that are coming to OmniFocus 3.

  • Multiple Tags – In OmniFocus 3, contexts will become “tags”, and you’ll be able to assign multiple tags to actions. Tags can represent traditional GTD contexts (e.g. @home or @braindead), but are not limited to contexts. For example, you could have a tag of #today for everything you want to get done today and a tag of #vacation to flag actions that you want to complete before you go on vacation.
  • Manual Sorting – A common frustration among OmniFocus users is the inability to manually rearrange actions when viewing them by context. This is all changing with OmniFocus 3. In addition to being able to specify the order of tasks within a project, you’ll be able to reorder by tag. For example, you’ll be able to define the order of actions that are tagged with #today independently from the ordering of these tasks in other tags and projects.
  • Flexible Scheduling – OmniFocus’ current repeat functionality is genuinely useful, but has its limitations. For example, there isn’t currently an easy way to have an action repeat on the first Thursday of each month. OmniFocus 3 will introduce flexible scheduling, employing a design principle called progressive disclosure to help ensure that this new flexibility doesn’t come at the expense of a tedious and complicated user interface.
  • Flexible Notifications – OmniFocus 3 improves the way in which notifications are delivered and gives you more control over how and when you’re notified. For example, perhaps you’d like to be notified when an action becomes available or one week before something is due. Tasks can have even have multiple notifications and, for things that are particularly time-sensitive (e.g. taking medication), you can choose to be notified every few minutes until the action is marked complete.
  • Design Enhancements – I’ve seen first hand how much thought the Omni Group puts into their products, so it’s not surprising that OmniFocus 3 will come with many meticulously crafted design changes. This includes features for onboarding new users and design aesthetics that will make OmniFocus feel right at home on the latest versions of macOS and iOS.
  • Multiple Item Selection on iOS – OmniFocus 3 for iOS will gain a feature that Mac users have enjoyed for many years: multiple item selection and bulk editing. For example, you’ll be able to select a group of actions and, with a few taps of your finger, assign them all the same tag or defer date. On the iPad, you’ll even be able to drag all of the selected items to another app.
  • Powerful Automation – Automation is a popular topic here on Learn OmniFocus. Our live sessions have showcased a variety of ways to automate OmniFocus on Mac and iOS, and Fraser Speirs wowed us with some amazing iOS automations using Workflow. While this is all great, it would be even better if automation workflows worked on both Mac and iOS. To take automation to the next level, the Omni Group will be introducing JavaScript-based automation capabilities that will make it possible to create multi-platform scripts. We’ll be monitoring these developments closely and sharing some of our favourite scripts.
  • Collaboration – Whether you’re a solopreneur or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you need a way to manage your personal tasks; details that other people don’t need to know about that help you honour your commitments and responsibilities. OmniFocus is fundamentally a personal task manager, and OmniFocus 3 won’t change that. But, you’ll be able to share specific tasks with other OmniFocus users. Once linked, both people will be able to see updates on the status of specific tasks.

Help Test OmniFocus 3

If you’re eager to get your hands on these new features sooner rather than later, consider signing up for OmniFocus TestFlight. Keep in mind that you’ll be using a pre-release version of OmniFocus that isn’t feature complete and will have some bugs.

OmniFocus for the Web

Last but not least, there’s some good news for those of you want access to your OmniFocus database on non-Apple devices.

The Omni Group are building OmniFocus for the Web. It will be a greatly simplified version of OmniFocus that will give you basic access to your OmniFocus database. You won’t have advanced features like Review and Custom Perspectives, but you will be able to see what’s in your Inbox, in addition to having access to projects, tasks and their associated notes and due dates. You’ll also be able to make basic edits, such as marking task complete and editing notes.

OmniFocus for the Web isn’t intended to be a stand-alone product. Instead, it’s a complement to OmniFocus’ Mac and iOS apps that will no doubt be invaluable when you’re sitting in front of your Windows computer at work.

Subscribe to the Omni Group’s newsletter to be notified when OmniFocus for the Web is available for testing.

Supporting You in Using OmniFocus 3

I’m already dreaming up some innovative ways to make good use of these wonderful new features. In particular, the ability to add multiple tags will open up some productive new workflow possibilities, and ultimately make OmniFocus an even more useful element of your productivity system.

I’m putting plans in place for new content that will showcase OmniFocus 3 features and build on workflows and best practices that we’ve been sharing since Learn OmniFocus launched in 2014. In the meantime, I’ll also continue to support you in making effective use of OmniFocus 2.

To stay in the loop, make sure you’ve signed up for our mailing list. We’ll also be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Kudos to the Omni Group

Many thanks to the Omni Group for all of the work that they’re putting into this upcoming release. They’re a great group of people who have a genuine passion for productivity and an outstanding reputation for delivering quality products.

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