OmniFocus Support

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OmniFocus Support Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

OmniFocus for iPad

Is OmniFocus for iPad a Universal Application?

The iPad and iPhone editions of OmniFocus each have a user experience fine tuned for the device that they’re designed to run on. Because of this, we’ve released and priced them separately.

Do I need all three versions of OmniFocus?

Nope! While each version of OmniFocus offers a unique experience, optimized for the device on which it runs, each version is a fully-featured standalone application.

Isn’t it kind of expensive?

While it certainly works well with other editions of the application, OmniFocus for iPad isn’t meant to be just a companion. Rather, OmniFocus for iPad is a full-featured application. It gives you the power of our desktop edition, plus a few extras crafted specifically for the iPad.

Additionally, OmniFocus for iPad has several complex and robust features that most others don’t. For example, over the air sync (via the Omni Sync Server or other WebDAV server) and prompt support from a real, live person.

What is the best way to sync to The Cloud?

The easiest way to get OmniFocus syncing is to use the Omni Sync Server. OmniFocus can also sync with other standards-compliant WebDAV servers.

To set up sync with one of these options, tap the Settings button (it’s the gear) above the toolbar in OmniFocus for iPad and then tap the Sync Setup button. From there, choose one of the sync options and fill in your credentials. Set up sync the same way on another device running OmniFocus and they’ll stay in sync.

How can I turn an email into an OmniFocus action?

If you’re syncing via our server, we recommend using Mail Drop

If you’re not using our server, we also offer a simple bounce-back service. To try it out, send a message to send-to-omnifocus@omnigroup.com. Within a few seconds, you’ll receive an auto-response from us which includes a “Send to OmniFocus” link. Tapping the opens OmniFocus and creates a new Inbox item from your original message (Note that this method may not work if you’re using webmail vs a dedicated Mail application).

Where is the calendar?

OmniFocus isn’t meant to be a calendar replacement, but rather a calendar complement. The calendar does well when it comes to keeping tabs on events that happen at a specific place and time, however, many of our tasks don’t schedule so neatly—that’s where OmniFocus comes into play.

For example, while your calendar may be really good at helping you remember your dentist appointment at 9 on Thursday, OmniFocus is great at helping you remember to file your taxes (which, here in the U.S. can happen anytime between January and mid-April) or to take the trash to the curb Sunday evening.

Some of my Perspectives aren’t appearing after syncing with OmniFocus for Mac. Why?

Sorry for the inconvenience! Currently, only perspectives that are based on Context mode will display in OmniFocus for iPad and iPhone. There’s some additional engineering work we need to complete in order to add support for Project mode perspectives.

I’m not syncing OmniFocus for iPad with my Mac. Is there a way to get the “Perspectives” sidebar item to appear?

Sure is! Open Safari on your iPad, then browse to this page on our website. The links on that page will let you enable or disable that sidebar item.

How can I learn more about OmniFocus and GTD?

Check out our white paper here (PDF Download).

Can I reset the password for my Omni Sync Server account?

Sure can! Just check out this support article for more information.

OmniFocus for iPhone

I already bought OmniFocus 1 for iPhone. Do I have to pay for OmniFocus 2 for iPhone?

OmniFocus 2 for iPhone has been redesigned and optimized for iOS7, and is a separate purchase. You can see the new design and new features in our OmniFocus 2 for iPhone video. OmniFocus 1 is fully supported on iOS 6 and 7, so you’re welcome to keep using it if you prefer not to upgrade.

How do I quickly get back to the OmniFocus home page?

A slightly longer press on the back button will take you back to the OmniFocus home page.

What happened to landscape support?

Given the short time between the iOS 7 announcement and release, we had to focus on the portrait-mode interface. We plan on restoring landscape support in the future.

Why isn’t TextExpander working?

iOS 7 necessitated a change in Smile’s TextExpander API, and that API wasn’t finalized until after we shipped OmniFocus 2. We’ll be restoring support as soon as we can integrate the new code.

Is OmniFocus 2 for iPhone available in my language?

Version 2.1 includes Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish localizations.

How can I turn an email into an OmniFocus action?

If you’re syncing via our server, we recommend using Mail Drop.

If you’re not using our server, we also offer a simple bounce-back service. To try it out, send a message to send-to-omnifocus@omnigroup.com. Within a few seconds, you’ll receive an auto-response from us which includes a “Send to OmniFocus” link. Tapping the opens OmniFocus and creates a new Inbox item from your original message (Note that this method may not work if you’re using webmail vs a dedicated Mail application).

Does this mean you’ll be doing OmniFocus 2 for iPad as well?

Yes. After shipping OmniFocus 2 for iPhone in September 2013, we returned to working full-time on OmniFocus 2 for Mac, which we paused for iOS7. We’ll be picking up iPad development when that release has shipped.

In the meantime, OmniFocus 1 for iPad is completely sync-compatible with OmniFocus 2 on iPhone and OS X. It’s also possible to run OmniFocus 2 for iPhone on an iPad if you prefer an iOS 7 interface, though it won’t be optimized for the larger iPad display.

Is there a discount if I buy OmniFocus on multiple platforms?

OmniFocus for Mac, iPad, and iPhone are separate products, with lots of independent work going into each one. We’re generally quite happy to offer bundle pricing for products purchased through our own online store, but there’s no way to do that when selling through the App Store. We’ve tried to make sure that each app is priced reasonably as an independent product, and we hope you’ll agree that they become even more valuable when you use them together.

Can I have a loyalty/educational/other discount?

While we offer both upgrade and education discounts for our Mac apps via our own store, the App Store doesn’t provide for this kind of discounting. All purchasers of a given app must pay the same price.

Do I have to pay for future updates?

The App Store policy and the longstanding Omni Group policy agree: minor updates should be free. Of course, if there is a major overhaul of the application with lots of shiny new features, we may release it as a new product, and that would cost money. Bug fixes, minor features, and miscellaneous polishing come at no cost.

Do I need OmniFocus for Mac?

OmniFocus can work perfectly fine on your mobile device all by itself. You can create a fully usable database, and then enter, edit, and complete items. Of course, doing really involved editing of large amounts of data is easier on the desktop, but by no means is it required. OmniFocus for iPhone is usable entirely on its own, and if you want to pick up the Mac edition down the road, you can set up sync at any time to start synchronizing between the two.

I don’t have a Mac. Will OmniFocus play well with my Windows PC?

iTunes on Windows does back up the data on your iPhone when you plug it in, which might save you in case something untoward happens. But if that’s not enough reassurance for you, it might be worth synchronizing with Omni Sync Server or another WebDAV server, if only to have a live copy of your database that lives somewhere other than on your crash-susceptible and stealable mobile device. We do not have plans for a Windows version of OmniFocus at this time.

If you’re using Omni Sync Server, Mail Drop is a good option for capturing actions into the OmniFocus Inbox from Windows.

Does OmniFocus 2 for iPhone sync with OmniFocus 1.x for Mac and iPad?

Yes! You can sync using the same server and account you’ve been using with the other editions of the app. This even includes OmniFocus 1.x for iPhone, in case you’d like to continue using it on a device that can’t update to iOS 7.

Will OmniFocus work with iPod touch?

Certainly! OmniFocus works the same way on iPod touch as it does on iPhone, except for the things that are impossible there: using the cell network or GPS to find your geographic location. OmniFocus on iPod touch can still try to find your location using Wi-Fi to show you your nearby actions, but you won’t be able to receive location-based alerts.

Are there any devices OmniFocus 2 can’t run on?

OmniFocus 2 for iPhone requires iOS 7, which means that it will run on any device capable with that version installed.

Why don’t you have sync over a USB cable, or color-coded badges on the app icon, or rich text, or [other obviously useful but absent feature]?

These are all limitations of the iPhone platform, not design choices. The platform is still very young, and we’re already thrilled with what we can do, but if Apple wants to open up these features to us, we will be more than happy to take advantage of them.

Can I reset the password for my Omni Sync Server account?

Sure can! Just check out this support article for more information.

OmniFocus for Mac

What happened to the OmniFocus 1 downloads?

You can still download OmniFocus 1 from our archives.

Can I sync OmniFocus 2 for Mac with OmniFocus 1?

The 2.0 version of OmniFocus for Mac is sync-compatible with all three editions of OmniFocus 1 (Mac, iPhone, iPad) as well as OmniFocus 2 for iPhone.

How do I migrate my existing data into OmniFocus 2?

The app pretty much walks you through it! When you add the new version of OmniFocus to your Applications folder, if the old version is still installed you will be prompted to either Keep Both or Replace OmniFocus 1. Selecting Replace only replaces the app — your data is stored separately on your computer and will not be overwritten. The first time you launch OmniFocus 2, it will prompt you to either Keep Data in the Cloud or Keep Data Here Only.

Were you syncing OmniFocus previously? Selecting Keep Data in the Cloud will automatically configure sync, and also download your database from the server if you’ve previously been syncing OmniFocus 1 or any of the iOS versions.

Never set up sync before? If all your previous OmniFocus work was done offline, choose Keep Data Here Only to either import the local OmniFocus 1 data or create a brand new database (you can always set up sync later).

If you had previously been storing data in an Archive, the first time you Move Old Data to Archive, once you select a date range and confirm, OmniFocus 2 will offer to migrate your existing archive from OF 1.

What’s the difference between the Omni Store version of OmniFocus and the Mac App Store version?

Whether you purchase direct from us or through the Mac App Store, you get an identical product with all the same functionality. As a result of sandboxing, OmniFocus will store files in a slightly different location depending on if you purchase direct or through the App Store — regardless, the overall operation of the application remains the same. There are different benefits to each store: through our website we offer upgrade pricing, access to test versions and volume/educational discounts, whereas the Mac App Store lets you install and license the app all in a single click. You’re welcome to purchase from whichever store better suits your preference! This blog post describes the two options in greater detail.

So wait, there’s a Pro version now? What are the Pro-specific features of OmniFocus 2?

OmniFocus 1 was a huge success, and we think it provided great value for those who needed its power. That said, one of our goals for OmniFocus 2 was to help people who weren’t sure that they did need all that power, or worried it might get in the way. So we’ve chosen a streamlined set of features for the Standard edition of OmniFocus 2, while making some of the more complex features part of OmniFocus Pro. Those who are already making full use of the OmniFocus 1 feature set might want to go straight for Pro, but you can always start with Standard and then upgrade to Pro later.

Here’s an overview of the extra features you get with a Pro license:

  • Custom Perspectives: Create and save filtered and sorted views that are geared towards an area of responsibility, a regular activity, or a state of mind. Assign custom icons and hotkeys to make pulling them up a snap.
  • Focus: Hide everything but the projects you choose, throughout all views. For example, don’t get distracted by your home projects when you’re at work, and vice versa.
  • AppleScript: Use scripts to automate mundane actions, bring in data from other sources, and generally make OmniFocus infinitely powerful!

Is there a discount if I buy OmniFocus on multiple platforms?

OmniFocus for Mac, iPad, and iPhone are separate products, with lots of independent work going into each one. We’re generally quite happy to offer bundle pricing for products purchased through our own online store, but there’s no way to do that when selling through the App Store. We’ve tried to make sure that each app is priced reasonably as an independent product, and we hope you’ll agree that they become even more valuable when you use them together.

I just did an OS update, and now my Mail plugins are disabled. Can you issue an update?

Sorry about this confusing error message! You can solve the problem using the instructions in this article

Do I have to pay for OmniFocus 1.10 for Mac if I already own version 1.0?

Version 1.10, like all minor updates from the Omni Group, is free.

Can OmniFocus use iCloud to sync?

No. OmniFocus’ syncing feature has more complex needs than the apps iCloud was designed to support. Right now, the two aren’t a good match for each other.

One possibility would be re-designing OmniFocus to fit iCloud, but it would be a significant engineering effort–we’d need to build a new database format with iCloud-style sync in mind. We may do that in the future, but this would also mean putting all the other features that customers are asking for on hold until we were finished. For the time being, we’re hesitant to do that.

You are welcome to set up a free account on our own Sync Server. (We may add additional for-pay services to the server in the future, but if all you need is sync access, we won’t charge for that.)

Why is OmniFocus repeatedly asking for my Sync Server / WebDAV login info?

In OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, there is a problem with login info that is saved to the keychain. If OmniFocus is launched as a result of a services request (basically any way other than clicking the app icon), it will not be granted access to its own saved login information. We have been in contact with Apple regarding the issue, and are currently awaiting a fix.

To avoid this problem for now, you’ll want to make sure that OmniFocus is already running when you try to use Clipping or a bookmarklet. If you do run into repeated prompts and have verified that you’re entering the correct information, quitting and restarting OmniFocus should solve the problem. In some cases, it may be necessary to also delete the keychain entry that OmniFocus saves using the Keychain Access application (found in your /Applications/Utilities/ folder), and then create a new one by entering your credentials the next time OmniFocus syncs and making sure the “Remember in Keychain” option is checked.

Whether or not you are running Mountain Lion, check that you are entering the correct account name and password, with the correct case. Passwords are always case-sensitive, and some servers (including the Omni Sync Server) treat account names as case-sensitive as well.

If you have any trouble with these steps, please don’t hesitate to email or call (+1 800-315-6664) our Support Humans. We should be able to help you get back up and running quickly.

Why are the controls in the Sync preferences pane disabled/greyed out?

Make sure that you have at least one window open showing your OmniFocus database. If there are no open windows, the database is not open, and the preferences for syncing the database will be disabled.

If you have multiple OmniFocus databases open (such as your normal database and your archive file or a backup), make sure that the main database window has focus. If a window for a different database has focus, the preferences for syncing will be disabled.

Make sure that OmniFocus is not in the middle of a sync. While syncing, the preferences for syncing are disabled.

Make sure that the username for Omni Sync Server or your WebDAV server is spelled correctly and has the correct case. Some services may allow you to log in with mismatched case in the username, yet disallow further activity. For example, if your user name is JohnSmith, make sure you enter that, not “johnsmith”.

Can I reset the password for my Omni Sync Server account?

Sure can! Just check out this support article for more information.