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Syncing one OmniFocus To Do list across 4 devices - Help needed Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Dear Support Ninja


My father and I both use OmniFocus (version 1.9.4) on our MacBook Pro laptops - it is a shared licence with '5 seats' but currently we are the only ones who use it. We both also purchased the OmniFocus App for our iPhones (version 1.13.1) which are sync'ed up to our respective laptops (albeit in different ways)

We each have our own separate to-do lists that are sync'ed between laptop and iPhone.

What we want:

To share one OmniFocus list across our four machines (2 laptops and 2 iPhones) that allows us to add/edit a To Do item from any of the four machines which then syncs up to the remaining three. (I understand that we will have a bit of typing to do so that we have all the tasks on one list - I think we are going to move everything on his list over to mine.)

What I need help on is:

1) Getting the newly incorporated list that is on my iPhone and MacBook onto my father's computer.

If this is possible our starting point would be - my iPhone and MacBook Pro with a comprehensive and sync'ed OmniFocus list on AND my father's MacBook Pro and iPhone both with OmniFocus with no tasks in.

2) Syncing the newly incorporated list from my father's computer to his iPhone - preferably in the same way as I do now (I currently sync over MobileMe - although this does not exist anymore but when my father tried to sync the same way he was unable to. This might be related to the fact that he did not have MobileMe before iCloud)

I believe that for the above two points to be possible I would have to enter the password to the iCloud account that I use to sync my current OmniFocus To Do list on to my father's phone, I am willing to do this if it achieves those two points.

Please ask any questions if I haven't explained anything in enough detail.

Do you have a UK phone line on which I could speak to someone about this if you are not able to help me resolve this via email?

Many thanks

Bashir Falconer
We don't generally advise people to share an OmniFocus database as you describe. The main risk is that if you both edit an action at the same time, there can be data loss. For example, you change an action's date at the same time he changes its context. Once everything's synced up, only one of those changes will still exist.

However, if you would still like to do so, here's how (without much typing). Please read this whole thing through and ask if you have any questions before embarking.

0) Make backups of each of your databases on your respective macs, just in case anything goes awry.

1) Make certain your father's OmniFocus on Mac and iPhone are perfectly in sync. (Sync one, sync the other, sync the first again.)

2) On his mac, File > Export...
Choose somewhere convenient like your desktop.
Set the format to OmniFocus document.

3) Transfer this exported document to your computer by any convenient means. (Email, USB drive, etc.)

4) On your computer, double-click the file. It should open in OmniFocus, side-by-side with your existing database.

5) Drag-n-drop or copy and paste whatever you want to put into your database.

6) On your father's mac, change the sync settings to match your computer's sync settings. When it syncs, there will be an alert "Replace your database and start syncing". Choose "Sync".

7) Repeat step 6 for your father's iPhone. The dialogs are slightly different, the general process the same.

Now you should have the same database in all 4 places.

We do not have a UK phone line, but you are very welcome to email or post here if you run into any troubles along the way.

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