Thoughts on the OmniFocus 4 beta

Thoughts on the OmniFocus 4 beta

I don’t write much on Omnifocus anymore. That’s not because I don’t use it. I use it as much as I ever have.  I don’t write about it much anymore, because I haven’t had much more to say. 

However, now that there’s a transition underway from OmniFocus 3 to 4 on the iOS, I do have a few thoughts I want to share. 

My current devices are a 2013 Macbook Pro and iPhone 11 Pro.

I joined OmniFocus 4 early in the beta. At first, OmniFocus 4 wasn’t very usable. It would crash regularly.  Simple actions like writing text would create trouble. There were a number of features that I needed in order to get around, and they just weren’t easily accessed.

So, I would play with it for a bit and return to OmniFocus 3 where I could work. But in time as I kept playing with OF4 and as the Omni Group has been updating things, I have really grown to enjoy it. 

For example, my home screen with OmniFocus 3 most recently looks like this:

OmniFocus 3 home screen

Now, with OmniFocus 4, I have a cleaner looking list of lists, which I really appreciate:

OmniFocus 4 home screen

My lists, in turn, look simpler:

Current/Today list example

I can now edit a task in place, too, rather than go into the Inspector:

OmniFocus 4 editing in place

The inspector exists, but it’s just not as necessary now.

A task’s note is displayed so it lets me get to any relevant links, again without having to go to the Inspector. A very useful “back button” appears at the top when I do jump through a link:

OmniFocus 4 Back button from projects

All in all, I can access everything as I did before, but somehow the path to get all the pieces feel a bit smoother. Certainly, there was a learning curve as they’re always must be in any new environment. But now that I’m there I almost never return to OmniFocus 3, at least on iOS.

I’ll be stepping off the beta train for a bit as updates are targeted at those brave souls with iOS 15 betas which I have not installed.  I look forward to seeing how it continues to shape up.  I understand that status circles are returning which is much welcomed.

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