Omni’s 2020 Roadmap Update: Collaboration, Custom Perspectives for the Web, and Rethinking OmniFocus


Earlier today, Omni Group CEO, Ken Case provided an update to the roadmap that he shared back in January.

As Ken noted, there has been a lot of change in the world since his January post. As a result of the pandemic, the Omni team transitioned from working in-person at their beautiful office in Seattle to working from home. Announcements at Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) will also have a significant impact on Omni’s products. Upcoming changes to Mac hardware and macOS are especially significant.

Below are some key takeaways from Ken’s post that will be of particular interest to OmniFocus users. I recommend reading the full post if you’d like to take a deeper dive into the specifics.

The Year to Date

Omni has taken significant strides so far this year. Some of this work has been behind the scenes, paving the way for new functionality to be introduced later in the year. Omni has also introduced some brand new features.

  • Omni Automation – This cross-platform technology is now available in all of Omni’s apps, including OmniFocus. As I mentioned in a recent post, we’re hard at work creating content to help you get the most out of this ground-breaking technology.
  • Floating Time Zones – It’s now possible to specify whether or not you want dates and times to automatically adjust as you travel between time zones. We shared a summary of this feature when it was introduced earlier this year and produced a tutorial (Membership required) to help you put it to good use during your future travels.

Looking Forward

There’s still plenty to come, including:

  • OmniFocus for the Web: Custom Perspectives – Just over a year ago, Omni launched OmniFocus for the Web, making it possible for people to access their OmniFocus database from a desktop browser. The web platform will be taking a big leap forward with the introduction of Custom Perspectives. You’ll soon be able to put this new feature through its paces on the public test site. And be sure to check out our Custom Perspectives Directory to get a taste of the many ways Custom Perspectives can be put to good use.
  • OmniFocus Collaboration – Omni previously announced upcoming support for linked tasks and plans to create a bridge between OmniFocus and OmniPlan. They’re upping their game and will be making it possible to share entire projects, not just individual tasks.
  • Support for Silicon — Apple announced that they’re moving away from Intel-based Macs in favour of their own Apple silicon processors. Omni’s first priority is to ensure compatibility with new Macs as they’re released as a stepping stone to fully embracing Apple silicon.

Rethinking OmniFocus

The next major release of macOS will be macOS 11 (aka “Big Sur”). It will feature a striking new visual design and will open up plenty of new possibilities behind the scenes.

In light of all of these changes, Omni is taking a step back to rethink their apps, looking at how they can best leverage these exciting new developments and improve the flow of using their apps on all of the supported platforms. The years of feedback they’ve received from Omni customers will also help inform their design choices.

While this redesign won’t be ready for September, Omni may have some preliminary OmniFocus test builds for you to check out by then. In the meantime, Omni will make sure that OmniFocus continues to run well on Apple’s updated operating systems.

Purchasing and Subscribing to OmniFocus

You’ll continue to have the option of either purchasing or subscribing to OmniFocus, with enhancements that make both options more convenient and flexible:

  • Sign-In Licensing – This new feature will alleviate the need to keep track of license codes for OmniFocus and other Omni apps. You’ll be able to unlock your purchased apps simply by signing into your Omni Account on all of your devices.
  • Personal Subscriptions – Following in the footsteps of Team Subscriptions, Personal Subscriptions will be making their debut alongside Sign-In Licensing. This could be a good option for people who want a lower up-front cost and access to the latest version of OmniFocus on all supported platforms.
  • Purchasing OmniFocus – Omni will continue to offer traditional licenses. They cost more upfront but tend to be less expensive in the long run. As it stands, OmniFocus is a separate purchase on macOS and iOS/iPadOS. In the future, you’ll be able to unlock OmniFocus on all of your devices with a single purchase.

Upcoming Learn OmniFocus Content and LIVE Sessions

We’re following these developments closely and are hard at work behind the scenes preparing new content and LIVE sessions to help you make productive use of current and upcoming features.

While new features are great, it’s also important to develop productive practices that focus on making good use of your time and energy. We make a point of weaving best practices and productivity methodologies into everything that we do to support you in living a fulfilling and productive life with some help from OmniFocus and complementary productivity apps.

Thanks, Omni Group

Many thanks to the talented folks at Omni for all of the time and energy they continue to put into their apps.

Upcoming Events

Join Mailing List

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates on our content and services.