Omni (Group) Roadmap 2020


Other than OmniPlan 4 (nice but niche), and some more automation support (also nice but niche) there’s not much going on at OmniGroup this year, it seems. Looks like OmniGroup continues the shift to revenue-harvesting mode and away from investment-in-the-future mode. Another case where the “subscriptions will bring innovation” argument has not proven out in practice.



They dramatically increased the price of OmniOutliner last year, and are showing that they have little intention to do more than milk it as it slides into irrelevance; without explicit development (and with the unlocked versions for Mac/iOS raised last year to $100/$50) it’s clear they aren’t interested in the product. The vast majority of their revenue comes from OmniFocus so that’s where they’re focusing their energies.

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So you’re saying OmniFocus is the Focus of Omni?


The basic OmniOutliner is available for users who don’t need much of thw Pro features.

A lot of development has gone on last year for Omni. A quick look at the revision history of their apps will show that.

OmniJS, task sharing, and improved iOS user experience aren’t trivial affairs. There’s a lot of things they’re doing. But I guess these are features that don’t matter to some but are of great importance to others.

I wish more app makers were as transparent as the Omnigroup. Especially those going subscription.


I (and OmniGroup) were talking about the future. The past is over.

Which is why I said “also nice but niche”



So the limited version is available for less - so what? As you are well aware they raised the price of the unlocked Mac app from $60 to $100 (and the limited Essentials version from $10 to $20), and the iOS app from $25 to $50, and they’ve done virtually nothing new with it, nor do they show they intend to in the roadmap.

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@bowline I agree. I just want OmniOutliner feature parity between platforms. :cry:

It seems like Omni does a lot of work on behind the scenes stuff, like shifting how OmniFocus deal with its data model to be able to use multiple windows on iPadOS. That’s fine and good but it’s not really noticeable—it’s the kind of thing we’d notice if we never got multiwindow support, but otherwise it doesn’t feel like an upgrade.

This criticism isn’t really fair, but it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with a few visible changes in each app to keep users engaged. Like feature parity! Why is it we still can’t use Focus mode on iOS?


I’m a longtime user/upgrader of OmniOutliner Pro on my Mac (and I refuse to spend $50 on the inferior unlocked iOS version). I think it needs more than parity, it needs an overhaul they clearly are uninterested in pursuing. The presets for font/size/background are horrid, for example, and they don/t make it easy to adjust or offer good documentation for users to easily make templates. By comparison I use apps like Ulysses and Highland 2 which not only are ridiculously easy to create themes but also offer downloadable themes submitted by users in theme galleries.

If Mac/iOS Outlinely were supported more strongly I’d consider moving to it. Otherwise I’m considering migrating a lot of my outlining to Dynalist, which has a surprisingly robust free tier.


My view is that all the Omni products are beautiful and show great promise, but never seem to quite deliver, especially for their cost.

I got OmniOutliner free on my first Mac (an iBook), and have purchased paid versions, but I have not found an advantage over the outlining features of other programs. I bought OmniGraffle, two versions, and found it the quickest way to create flowcharts but very cumbersome for other vector-drawing needs, so I’ve tended to stick with EazyDraw over the years (buying every upgrade). Never considered OmniPlan.

OmniFocus I use religiously. But I’ve found myself using only a small set of its features, so probably could have used another product. Ironically, this is one of few programs I would have paid a subscription for since it uses their cloud service and they are providing a continuous value.

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As I said on the Omni forums:
Unfortunately the “killer feature” promised for OF last year is not even mentioned this year: better iPad keyboard shortcuts support. (there is a hint of it, but only barely)

I’m now seriously looking at switching to Things, after many years of OF…
The iPad is my main device and OF is almost non-functional on that platform.


The fact that OF is far more GTD traditional and the UI/UX is still recovering from that has led me away as well. For me it was really the unworkability of start dates that led me to both Things and Todoist. OF is great but not really a pleasure.

I will join the minority to say Omni had a busy 2019 and 2020 looks like a good plan. iOS/iPadOS 13 updates were important to me so I’m understanding of the backlogged work as a consequence.

But there’s a lot implied in the UX/shortcut/performance fixes that is important to me, so I really hope there isn’t another big surprise from Apple this year so Omni will be able to make all those small improvements that add up.

P.S. I agree it would be great to get a very fresh update of OO for Mac (and for web!) It’s still peerless in some really useful ways; it just needs to catch up aesthetically and adopt some of the visual paradigms of Dynalist/Workflowy that make them quick to learn.


For me, this looks like a good year for them.

I use OmniPlan every day because I do project management, and would love to have it linked to OmniFocus. That has always been something that I thought would be possible from when I bought the applications. I also use OmniGraffle daily for opening and dealing with Visio files and couldn’t live without it.

I agree that OmniOutliner needs a bit of attention, but it is already the best application for outlining that I’ve used. The themes are a little outdated but aren’t that bad. I love being able to import an outline from OmniOutliner in OmniGraffle and see it turned into a flowchart, then export to Visio so I can share with colleagues. This saves me loads of time.

Better iOS keyboard control of OmniFocus will also be welcome. I’m all Mac so I won’t subscribe/benefit from OmniFocus on the Web, but I understand why folks on multiple platforms would want it.


The only subscription required is for OF on the web. Everything else is available for a one-time licence. A sub for a web service is normal.

I’m surprised to read so many negative comments here. Especially since I hear nothing but praise elsewehere…

With the 2018 revamp it’s sad that the themes are so bad - not just outdated, but hokey and clunky and poorly documented for users to make their own, while being impossible for users to easily export/import/share their own themes. Compare that to the massive user galleries for Ulysses and Highland 2(and the ridiculuos ease with which to create, switch and share themes).

It’s convenient that OO Pro works with OmniGraffle and Visio, and ir’s probably a good solution for people who regularly work with those apps. Most people don’t need that, and apps like iThoughts could always import and export OPML back and forth with outliners for years. There’s a big world out there, and OO isn’t the only outliner, but the category is generally so moribund (overshadowed these days by mindmap apps) that Omni has no incentive to do anything more with OO, and has shunted it aside while making the pricing prohibitive enough so they don’t have to support a large userbase.

We’re cranky from the Fantastical thread. :wink:

Where’s elsewhere? I’d love to see some more takes!

Edit: as it happens this thread on the Omni forums isn’t too positive, either.


I think OmniGroup should come up with a great Calendar App and it should integrate well with OmniFocus.

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