Preferences

Preferences in OmniFocus govern ways the app behaves on its own and how you interact with it, and can be customized to suit your needs and workflow. Choose Preferences from the OmniFocus menu, or use the keyboard shortcut (⌘,) to open the Preferences window.

General

The General tab of the Preferences window includes settings for readability and common interactions you’ll have with OmniFocus.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac General Preferences.

Organization

The Organization tab of the Preferences window includes settings for keeping your database views tidy, and defaults affecting how projects and perspectives are organized.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac Organization Preferences.

Note
Sometimes after cleaning up, a project named Miscellaneous will appear in your Projects perspective. What’s up with that?

The Miscellaneous project is a single action list that OmniFocus automatically creates whenever items are cleaned up that don’t have a project assigned. Since removing items from the inbox requires that they be assigned a project, if your clean up preferences are context-based the Miscellaneous project becomes their home until you assign them another.

Since the Miscellaneous project is automatically created by the app based on how you’ve chosen for clean up to work, it can’t be permanently removed; if you’d prefer not to use it, try cleaning up based on project assignment instead.

Layout

The Layout tab of Preferences controls how data is displayed in OmniFocus’s main outline.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac Layout Preferences.

With OmniFocus Pro, you can use individual perspectives’ View options (or the Perspectives Editor) to choose whether Layout preferences affect that particular perspective. If you like, you can also customize individual perspectives’ column layouts to only show the data most relevant to the perspective.

Additional view options available in OmniFocus Pro for custom columns individually tailored to each perspective.

Dates & Times

OmniFocus starts with an educated guess at some default parameters for what it means for items to be due, due soon, and deferred, as well as an interval for project reviews. You can change these settings in the Dates & Times pane of Preferences.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac Dates & Times Preferences.

Notifications

OmniFocus can operate in complete stealth mode, or it can alert you each and every time an action is due. The Notifications pane of Preferences holds settings for fine-grained control over when and how the app tells you what’s up next.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac Notifications Preferences.

With OmniFocus Pro, you also have the option of choosing a custom perspective to display in Notification Center via the Today extension. Choosing Show a Custom Perspective reveals a dropdown menu from which you can pick the existing custom perspective that you’d like to display.

Choosing a Custom Perspective to display with the OmniFocus Today extension in Notifications Preferences.

Warning
When choosing a location to store a subscribed calendar, you may see iCloud as an available location (this is the default location in OS X’s Calendar app, for example). Storing a calendar in iCloud that syncs with your OmniFocus database can lead to some annoying and repetitive password prompts, so we recommend storing it locally on the device where you’d like to receive the alerts instead.

Note
When OmniFocus publishes due items as calendar alerts, it looks for actions and projects that are due within the next two weeks and no further. This is to prevent inaccuracies based on predictions of future activity from creeping in to your calendars. For important occasions outside of this timeframe, scheduling regular calendar events is advised.

Synchronization

As explained in Getting Synced, establishing a common cloud-connected copy of your database is a great way to keep OmniFocus in harmony across all your devices. The Synchronization pane of Preferences has the options you need to set up your sync account.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac Synchronization Preferences.

Update

OmniFocus can operate completely offline without a problem, but if you’d like the security of automatic updates you can set them up here in the Update pane of Preferences. There’s also the option to help Omni improve future versions of OmniFocus by sending us anonymous data about your Mac.

OmniFocus 2 for Mac Update Preferences.