When you first launch OmniFocus 2 you’ll be asked to set up your sync settings. Syncing is important in OmniFocus as an additional layer of backup storage for your data, and enables several of the advanced features of the app such as Mail Drop. If you have OmniFocus for iPhone or iPad, syncing connects you to the latest changes made on any device.
If you’re planning to sync, it’s recommended to do so as part of the app setup process to ensure as smooth a transition as possible between versions, and to provide that added layer of backup right away. If you choose to set up sync later, the same preferences you saw at first launch are available in OmniFocus ▸ Preferences ▸ Synchronization.
Omni Sync Server
The most straightforward sync option available is our very own Omni Sync Server. It’s free, reliable, and supported by Omni’s ace support team; we take care of managing the servers so your data is always available when you need it most.
Get started by creating a new Omni Sync account here:
Other WebDAV Options
Omni Sync Server is a great syncing solution for most OmniFocus users. If your sync needs require that your data be kept completely within a system you control, you can configure a private WebDAV server to sync your OmniFocus data. This can be a third-party server (there are many fine providers out there) or one that lives on your own Mac.
While we’re not able to provide comprehensive support for WebDAV servers we don’t administrate (since it isn’t our software), we’re glad to help you get started with some pointers.
See this support article for a tutorial on setting up your own OmniFocus sync server using Server.app (included with Mac OS X Server).
When you expose files and folders on your computer to the internet (even with password protection), you assume some risk. Make sure you understand this risk before setting up a server, and be sure to keep your Mac up to date with the latest security patches. If you’d prefer not to host your own server, you can sign up for an Omni Sync Server account or use another standards-compliant WebDAV host to sync OmniFocus.
How Synchronization Works
With sync turned on in OmniFocus, a server you designate keeps a copy of your database so that it’s always available wherever you are. With each subsequent sync, OmniFocus compares your local database with what’s on the server and merges any differences between the two databases.
With sync turned on, OmniFocus sends new changes to the sync server after one minute, or when opening or closing the app. At a bare minimum, OmniFocus checks in with the server every hour if nothing has changed on the device. This helps ensure that your data from OmniFocus is always safe, secure, and most importantly—up to date.
Devices with OmniFocus 2 (on any platform) that sync to the same server account and are connected to the same Wi-Fi network will prompt each other to sync when any new changes are pushed to the server. Nifty!
If you’ve made changes you want to view immediately on other devices, you’ll want to perform a manual sync (by clicking the Sync button in OmniFocus) before switching to OmniFocus on another device. This pushes your latest changes up to the sync server, so that when you launch OmniFocus on the other system, all you have to do is click or tap Sync to ensure that all of your changes are there.
Services such as Dropbox are great for file sharing, but they can’t handle OmniFocus data properly. Using Dropbox as a place to sync your data can corrupt your OmniFocus data. Do not use Dropbox as a means of synchronizing your OmniFocus data.