OmniGroup's new (optional) subscription plan for OmniFocus

Long story short: OmniFocus for the web will be a monthly subscription, and if you want, you can get a subscription to OmniFocus for iOS and Mac, too.

But if you want to buy OmniFocus for Mac/iOS, that option will remain available.

Ken Case also tweeted:

Discounted annual pricing will also be available: $99.99/year for the OmniFocus subscription that gives you the web service plus OmniFocus Pro on your Mac and iOS devices; $49.99/year for just the web service.


I use OF on iOS and macOS and usually upgrade to the Pro version at each major release so I guess the question is whether or not the subscription pricing is equal to or cheaper than the outright upgrade pricing; the web option is not something I need so won’t be a reason to go subscription.

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I’m a little surprised it’s taken them this long, actually. To get a big, sustainable audience virtually all competitors in the Productivity space offer services that work on all platforms, some of which have customized front-ends on specific platforms. I can see OmniFocus moving to that model in order to open up better to Windows/Android/Chromebook/Linux (lol, who am I kidding - who in the Linux world wants to buy anything?).

OF was always a premium product, but it worried me that they were trodding the same Apple-only path as, say, Aperture, which got clobbered by cross-platform apps like Lightroom that weren’t as good in many ways but by their design and greater cross-platform reach were a much more compelling alternative for most people.

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I appreciate Case’s refreshingly honest acknowledgement:

I should note that subscriptions do have significant downsides. The initial cost to start using the product is lower, but over time subscriptions will end up costing more—and unlike our one-time purchases, it’s not an investment: when you stop subscribing to OmniFocus you’ll lose access to the things that were being provided by that subscription. When a subscription ends you won’t be able to use OmniFocus for the Web any more—and any OmniFocus apps running on your own devices will go back to whatever state they were in before you subscribed. (If you never unlocked those apps, that means they’ll go into a free viewer mode where you can access your data and export it, but can no longer edit it.)


Well, on the day that I listened to the show about subscriptions, it looks like I will have another one. I’ve been seriously considering switching to OF because I keep running into the limitations of my current to do manager. I have to use a Windows machine at work, so the web version was one of the puzzle pieces to make this work.

I almost purchased OF3 over the weekend, so glad I didn’t get to that!

I use Omnifocus mobile apps almost exclusively during the day as I go from one task to the next and knock things off my project lists, and use OF on my Mac as basically an input and organization device to drive the activity on the iOS apps. So, when OF3 rolled out, I updated my iOS apps and stayed on OF2 after trying out 3 during a free trial. I’m glad to see that people like me that picked one of these options can get the web version for $4.99 a month and just use it as a web app on my Mac.

I liked using the web version in beta, as it solved a lot of issues at work.
But for 49,99 per year I will gladly take all the issues and do it the way I always did.
use my iPad

I think subscription is taking paying for software entirely the wrong way.


One of the reason’s I like subscription is because it makes an app affordable (with a monthly and/or annual price) because most high-end software are out of my reach. We don’t earn the same way most people earned in first world countries being in the 3rd world.

I suggested to Ken Case back then that I was hoping they would use Fontcase business model instead by letting us pay via installment. If we miss a payment, it will be a read-only but have the ability to continue with the payment scheme until you get to pay the total cost and own the software. I hope after this sub model, they would consider that model instead of providing us a regional pricing (we get cheaper Adobe subs compared to US/UK). Because while we can afford it, they are living in a country where the cost of living is higher than ours and they should be paid the amount that they asked.

If a designer gets paid $3000 minimum for a project in the US. Here we get paid minimum $500. Big difference, so expensive software are out of our reach. So as much I would love to use Omnigraffle, I can’t afford it with its asking price. So I’m hoping that their other apps will follow through starting with Omnifocus.

I guess I’m just excited with having an option of paying for Omnigraffle when I need it by having a monthly sub in the future.

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This is a really salient point, one that I haven’t considered before. Thank you for offering that up as an example. What other types of limitations do you experience because of US-based pricing models? Does it force you to get creative with less popular software and apps in order to get things done?

Besides that it is much more expensive especially now that my countries’ currency is dropping making software much more expensive than before, we look for deals & promo codes. Sometimes we ask friends if they have referral codes for discount and/or longer trial period. I also try to contact some of the developers and some are nice enough to give me a discount. Apple a year ago decided to change the App Store to our local currency instead of charging US dollar making it better for us.

Right now, I’m using Todoist. I’m lucky enough that my Todoist subscription won’t expire until 2020 because of referrals and was able to win a contest run by Doist itself adding another free annual sub.

We get creative in a way that we find ways to maximize our budget. I spend more time making sure that it’s the right software for me and stick with it because going to another software means it might be a good fit making me waste more money or that it will be costly in the long run. I can’t tell my clients that I have to charge them higher because I changed my software to something more expensive. That’s also the reason why I sold my MacBook Pro and using an iPad Pro instead for my work. The software is cheaper on the iPad. I’m also open to learning new software if its cheaper. That’s why I also moved to Affinity Photo and Designer rather than Adobe software. We adapt our workflow on what we have rather than what we expect it can do because I can’t afford the latest 15” MacBook Pro and powerful/expensive softwares.

Why is it cheaper? As a designer I have to buy/upgrade to new Wacom tablets and Macs at least every 3-4 years. With the iPad Pro, I only need to buy a Pencil and cheaper design apps (compared to desktop apps) to work.

Another really great point, and I think that Apple has been trying to drive this point home recently with comparisons between iPad and “a computer”.

Thanks for all your insight, this is a really interesting point.

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I won’t go to the subscription model at all with Omnifocu because their web access depends on using their servers to store you tasks. I consider that personal and private data that I will not put into a server I do not control. So for me there is no benefit to the subscription or OmniWeb unless it ran on something I can maintain like my own servers here.

I note that OmniFocus are offering a web service for 49.99 a year. In addition to the cost of their apps. Alternatively you can get the apps included for 99.99 a year

I got off the OmniFocus bandwagon with the last release. I was always getting overwhelmed. Is this a step too far in terms of cost ? Other apps charge a lower subscription e.g todoist, Evernote and the apps are included

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I merged this with an existing topic :slight_smile:

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I think Omnifocus can be made as simple (or as unruly) as one wants, and I agree it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

IIRMC, David Allen has had nice things to say about OmniFocus, but personally doesn’t like it or use it.

As in his recently updated book he referred to printing emails for review I would recommend taking what he says with a side helping of salt (to taste of course!). GTD is excellent, but parts of the book and some things he says do indeed make me wonder! :joy:

I do follow GTD and find OF to be excellent for it, for what it’s worth :slight_smile:


The funny thing to me is that I stick with using OF better than I do sticking to GTD :smile:


I’ll happily pay the subscription price for a few months to see if I like it.


Dare I say this …it is too expensive.


Welcome to services. The OF web service by itself is $60/year. Top cross-platform services were never cheap. Nozbe and Dynalist are each is $96/year. Less powerful (and less complicated) services are cheaper but offer less: Todoist and Any.Do are each is $36/yr, Remember The Milk is $40/yr, etc

Anyway, you don’t need the service if you just own the apps, assuming you don’t need it on Chromebook/Linux/Android/Windows. (And if you’re a devotee now, you’ve probably been working fine without it being on those platforms.)

Personally, just looking an an OF screen starts to give me a headache. But if you’re the type of person who really needs the kind of specificity and control the app offers, the web service could be a boon to you, especially if you use other OSes during the day.