This is so new it isn’t here yet. But Tim Stringer of technicallysimple.com is launching a Learn OmniFocus project which will be a mix of videos and tutorials about this software. I’m actually in two minds about this because I’m the type that prefers to learn on the job, to find out how to do things because I need to do them. And it works: I now feel I know OmniFocus very well. But partly because the promise of video tutorials is a good one and partly because I want you to know I’m not the only nut for OmniFocus software, I wanted to show you this link: http://technicallysimple.com/announcements/coming-soon-learn-omnifocus/
That’s an announcement about the new programme and it includes a sign-up form. I’ve signed up.
But it’s an interesting time to be doing this. I’ve mentioned OmniFocus before and doubtlessly will again but there are three versions of it and at this specific moment they are in a bit of flux. The iPhone one was only recently updated so that’s done, if you like, but the iPad and the Mac have a ways to go.
Less so the iPad one. That is by far the best version of OmniFocus and if you can buy only one, that’s the one to only buy. Except the iPhone version was dramatically improved by its being updated for iOS 7 and you have to expect that the iPad one will get the same or a better update too.
The Mac one is harder to explain. OmniFocus has been on the Mac for years and it shows. It just feels old. Looks old. And it is comparatively hard to use: it’s very powerful and I’m glad I got into it right alongside the iPhone and iPad ones, but it’s unquestionably harder to learn. So early this year I was very glad to sign up for the beta test of OmniFocus 2 for Mac and eventually along came a beta version. I liked it very much. Found lots of problems, as you’d expect and presume from a beta, reported them all back, saw at least most of them fixed. And then it stopped. I assumed the firm was done with the beta testing and the final product would be out presently.
What really happened is that Apple had unveiled its drastically reworked iOS 7and The Omni Group paused the Mac development and instead focused on getting a new iPhone app out in time for, and to exploit the features of, iOS 7. They did it, they did it well, and the very first thing I did after updating my iPhone to iOS 7 was to buy the new OmniFocus.
But it was a purchase. It wasn’t a free update. And I am fine with that, I am more than fine with that because OmniFocus has saved, my bacon, kept my sanity and even – yes – lifted my heart. Of course I’ll buy the new one.
Except, the way the Apple App Store works, there can’t be any free or reduced upgrades for even new users. If you bought OmniFocus for iPad today and a new one came out tomorrow, you wouldn’t be happy. I think you’d be happier than you expected because the iPad one is so good. But you wouldn’t be happiest.
So reluctantly, I’m saying hold off buying the iPad one for just a while yet if you can.
The Mac version is different: so long as you buy it directly from the company, The Omni Group, instead of via Apple’s Mac App Store, you’ll be fine: buy version 1 now, get version 2 free (I believe) when it comes out – whenever it comes out. The Omni Group store is here: https://store.omnigroup.com
But there wouldn’t be a need for OmniFocus 2 for Mac if the first one weren’t hard to use so it’s tricky to recommend you buy something that’s difficult, that you may get very frustrated by and which will be replaced at some unknown but soon time.
You might be best off buying the iPhone version and just enjoying that for now. But oh, the iPad one is a treat to use.