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The Story of OmniFocus 2 for the Mac


The delivery of OmniFocus 2 for the Mac was just announced. The release date has been scheduled for this June 2014. The beta from the original program in 2013 has been restarted with a revamped OmniFocus 2. It’s nice not only to see the return of OmniFocus 2 in beta form for use but to also know there is now a hard date set for the release of the product.

I was part of that original beta and I’m both delighted to see the beta has been restarted and the shape of the new OmniFocus 2 for the Mac. OmniFocus 1 is getting pretty long in the tooth and it is non too soon for a new and updated OmniFocus. From first blush, the new OmniFocus 2 looks excellent with its minimalistic design somewhat resembling the IOS product for the iPhone.

WWDC 2013

Although it was recognized much earlier OmniFocus 1 had done its day, two things happened that slowed down the delivery of OmniFocus 2. The original OmniFocus 2 was actually a very nice product however Omni was majorily influenced by Jony Ives new minimalist design for IOS.

Omni decided to shift focus and do OmniFocus 2 for the iPhone first. This product was released the day Apple released IOS 7. Omni was praised for the IOS 7 iPhone version of OmniFocus. It definitely was nice.

OmniFocus 2 Confusion

For the beta team working on OmniFocus there was much confusion when Omni went quiet on the project to do the work on the iPhone product. Many people had only used version 2 of OmniFocus and some had become quite accustomed to it.

Mavericks changed what is to be the OmniFocus 2

When Mavericks was announced with all its capabilities but more importantly its strategic positioning that sealed it for Omni. They had one technological problem with the original OmniFocus 2 that Mavericks solved.

It was decided that OmniFocus 2 would be a Mavericks only product. Mavericks solved the technological problem and secondly from a design perspective Omni wanted OmniFocus 2 for the Mac to be somewhat similar to its IOS counterpart and follow the minimalist design as set out by Apple.

The Original OmniFocus 2 was Shutdown

The day Mavericks was released the beta team received the news that the original OmniFocus 2 was being scuttled. For many this was disheartening due to the lack of information. For those, like myself who had grown very dependent of OmniFocus 2 it was somewhat disorienting. In many ways, my digital universe revolved around OmniFocus 2.

The Return of OmniFocus 2 couldn’t be more Welcome

It is wonderful that OmniFocus 2 has returned. Yes, it is somewhat different than the original beta but only in look. I prefer the minimalist look of the new OmniFocus 2. I like the iPhone product also with it’s colours and saturation.

OmniFocus 2 follows the design ethos set by Apple. I’ve only worked with the new OmniFocus 2 briefly but it is bar non superb. I’m right at home. The mild sense of organizational dysfunction is gone. I tried many GTD programs. They all have positive qualities. The one I took to was the Hit List but it didn’t have an iPad app. This was unfortunately a more severe problem than I realized it would be.

From there, I gave Things a go and although it’s not bad I’m glad OmniFocus 2 has returned. This is what I’ll be returning to. It’s a powerful, customizable product with a great interface. I couldn’t be happier.

There is more to the Story of OmniFocus 2 but enough for this day

There is more to the story of OmniFocus 2 but enough for this day. Although at the time some things weren’t amusing in hindsight they seem very unimportant. What is important is that the Omnigroup will be delivering another high quality product of which we’ll get to use. Who knows; more awards for Omni might be in the offing and for us OmniFocus 2 users a new, modern yet powerful information manager is with us.

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