Earlier today, the Omni Group released OmniFocus 3.6 updates for both macOS and iOS/iPadOS, with support for floating time zones. This new feature is a welcome addition for anyone who travels across time zones.
Read on to learn more. And if you’re a Learn OmniFocus Member, check out the Travelling Across Time Zones with OmniFocus 3 video to see this feature in action. Also, check out the OmniFocus Release Notes for more information this and other changes that were included in OmniFocus 3.6.
Upgrading OmniFocus and Migrating Your Database
Before you can use this feature, you’ll need to upgrade all of your devices to OmniFocus 3.6 (or later) and perform a database migration. Check out the Omni Group’s support article, Migrating to a newer OmniFocus database format for more information.
How Floating Time Zones Work
In a nutshell, “Use floating time zone” is a new option in the inspector that allows you to specify whether the Defer Until and Due fields stay the same or change as you move between time zones.
For example, if you want your “Perform Evening Review” project to show up at 3:30 pm wherever you are in the world, you would turn on the “Use floating time zone” option for this project. This project will always become available at 3:30 pm, wherever you happen to find yourself.
There are times when it makes sense to turn off the “Use floating time zone” option.
For example, if you commit to having something done by Friday at 5 pm during a business trip to New York City (Eastern Time), it makes sense that OmniFocus would display the due time as 2pm when you return home to Seattle (Pacific Time).
Note that the “Use floating time zone” option will be disabled (macOS) and invisible (iOS/iPadOS) if the Defer Until and Due fields are empty. This option will become available as soon as you add a date/time to at least one of these two fields.
If you make frequent use of this feature on your iPhone and iPad, I recommend tapping “Customize Inspector” and adding it to the “Always Show” list. Otherwise, you’ll need to tap “Show More” each time you want to view or change the “Use floating time zone” setting.
Updating Existing Items
The “Use floating time zone” option is unchecked for any projects, action groups, and actions that you created before upgrading to OmniFocus 3.6.
I recommend taking some time to go through your database and identify items that are best suited to floating time zones. To make this process as efficient as possible, use the batch editing facilities that are provided on both macOS and iOS/iPadOS.
To learn more, check out our Travelling Across Time Zones with OmniFocus 3 video, that’s available exclusively to Learn OmniFocus Members. Not a member yet? Visit out our membership page for more information on becoming part of our community. All memberships come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Thanks to the Omni Group for adding this feature. I know I’ll be making good use of it on my upcoming travels.