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2 Macs + 1 iPhone = 1 sync or 2? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
My apologies if this question has been answered elsewhere. I am new to OF (and loving it) and didn't see an answer to this question.

I have installed OF on my macbook pro at home. I've also installed the OF client on my iPhone and have been able to sync between my home computer and my iPhone without difficulty so far. (I should mention that I'm using MobileMe to perform the sync).

Today I installed OF on my macbook pro at work (my understanding is that the license I purchased allows me to do this since I am the only user of both computers - if this is somehow incorrect please let me know). Right after installing I synced OF on my work computer with my data in the MobileMe cloud and - presto- all my projects and actions are now on my work computer.

MY QUESTION: Should I set up OF on my work computer to sync with my iPhone also? Or should the iPhone sync only be performed with one computer? My understanding is that if I don't set up the sync between the iPhone and the work computer, I will have go home before the sync between my phone and the cloud will be updated. Is that correct? Alternatively, my worry is that if I set up my iPhone to sync with both computers that it will somehow get confused and I will wind up with duplicates, lost actions, or worse. Or am I making this all more complicated than it actually is?

A FURTHER COMPLICATION: my iPhone generally gets no signal (phone or wifi) in my office. Does this mean that if I should create the sync between the iPhone and my work computer, that I'll need to take that laptop out of my office to someplace where I get a signal to establish the link between it and the iPhone? If so, is this something that I will need to do everytime I sync, or only once to first establish the connection between the phone and the computer? In other words, once having established the sync between the work computer and the iPhone, would I be able to make changes to the OF database while sitting in my office and know that - even if my phone doesn't connect while I'm in my office - once I brought my phone somewhere that I got a signal, that the OF client on the phone would be updated automatically? Or, conversely, does the sync between the phone and the computer only happen when it's activated, in which case would I find that the phone/computer sync would fail while I was in my office (due to the phone not getting a signal), and would not later be updated?

Sorry to write such a long explanation but I wanted to try to be as clear as possible. Many thanks for making such a great program!

Abe Z.
 
Installing your license on more than one computer is perfectly fine.

Using MobileMe as your sync server, there's no reason not to have all three devices (two macs and the phone) all sync. If your phone isn't able to get a connection to the MobileMe servers, it'll be unable to sync for a while, but we designed the code to handle situations like that just fine.

The phone will just be a bit out of date until the next sync, but it'll catch up just fine once the network connection becomes available again.

It's generally a best practice to work on one device at a time, and sync both when switching from one to another. The system doesn't require that though. It just makes things go a bit faster and predictably.

Last edited by Brian; 2010-02-09 at 12:40 PM..
 
Ok, great. That's very helpful and thanks for the quick reply.

Just to clarify and make sure I'm understanding you: since I've already set up the sync between the iPhone and the desktop client (using MobileMe) on my computer at home, should I ALSO tell the desktop client on my computer at work to sync with the iPhone? Or will that basically be redundant since all three devices are already uploading/downloading changes to/from MobileMe?

In other words, having just today installed the OF client on my work computer, should I go to Preferences/Sync and under the heading for the iPhone click Share Settings? Or will that essentially have no effect either way?

Many thanks,
Abe Z.
 
I'm afraid I don't completely follow this. Having set up the sync with MobileMe, won't all three devices automatically sync to/from MobileMe without any further activation from me? And if so, what does it mean to say that I should "sync both when switching from one to another"? That sounds like I need to manually tell OF, hey, now sync any changes that I have made up to the cloud and download any changes in the cloud down to this device.

Or have I misunderstood you?

My understanding of the sync is that I can make changes on OF at home in the morning, on OF at work during the day, and on the iPhone as I go about the day, and still expect all three devices to show the same data (once they connect to the network if, as with the phone, they are sometimes out of range) without me doing something to maintain that sync. Is that incorrect?

Many thanks!

Abe Z.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
It's generally a best practice to work on one device at a time, and sync both when switching from one to another. The system doesn't require that though. It just makes things go a bit faster and predictably.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amz1 View Post
Just to clarify and make sure I'm understanding you: since I've already set up the sync between the iPhone and the desktop client (using MobileMe) on my computer at home, should I ALSO tell the desktop client on my computer at work to sync with the iPhone? Or will that basically be redundant since all three devices are already uploading/downloading changes to/from MobileMe?
Actually, you don't tell any of them to sync with a specific device, just the method to be used (MobileMe, in this case).
Quote:
In other words, having just today installed the OF client on my work computer, should I go to Preferences/Sync and under the heading for the iPhone click Share Settings? Or will that essentially have no effect either way?
Unnecessary -- the iPhone already knows all it needs to know if it is syncing successfully. No change required to add another client to the mix, because they don't sync with each other, they sync with the database stored on the MobileMe webDAV server. Think of it as a physical bulletin board where you and your buddies leave each other group messages, rather than calling each member of the group. Maybe a shared Facebook account would be a more relevant example for this day and age :)
 
Perfect! That's exactly what I needed to know.

Thanks so much for the help.

AZ
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amz1 View Post
I'm afraid I don't completely follow this. Having set up the sync with MobileMe, won't all three devices automatically sync to/from MobileMe without any further activation from me? And if so, what does it mean to say that I should "sync both when switching from one to another"? That sounds like I need to manually tell OF, hey, now sync any changes that I have made up to the cloud and download any changes in the cloud down to this device.
Yes, they will, if they have the opportunity. But if you quit the app before OmniFocus can sync any changes back to the central database, the others won't know about them. Or if you make changes on the iPhone when you don't have internet connectivity, then switch to another app, again, those changes won't propagate to the other client(s) until you successfully do a sync of the iPhone.

Brian is just saying that if you make a bunch of changes on one device, it's a good practice to sync that device (if possible) before you start making changes on another device. This has a number of good effects: it makes sure that the device you are switching to has all the latest data, it makes sure that your change isn't lost if something happens to the device on which you made it (you spill your coffee into the laptop, or forget your iPhone on the table, etc.) and it also helps keep the sync performance snappier.
Quote:
My understanding of the sync is that I can make changes on OF at home in the morning, on OF at work during the day, and on the iPhone as I go about the day, and still expect all three devices to show the same data (once they connect to the network if, as with the phone, they are sometimes out of range) without me doing something to maintain that sync. Is that incorrect?
Yes, essentially correct, although the automatic syncing can take up to an hour (by default, but the timing is adjustable) to catch up on a client that isn't being actively used (changes being made). The automatic sync behavior is essentially to sync automatically at startup (both desktop and iPhone), one minute after a change is made (both desktop and iPhone), every hour thereafter (both desktop and iPhone), and on quit (desktop only). So if you happen to make a change on the desktop at 1:59pm and walk away, it will sync at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, etc. If you then made a change on your iPhone at 2:03pm and sync, the desktop won't become aware of that change until it syncs at 3pm. However, you can always click the sync button on either app if you want to make sure you've got the latest information in the central database.

Note that there is a setting on the iPhone app called Auto-sync which if set to "off" causes the iPhone not to sync at all unless you tap the sync button. The default value is "on" and that's probably where you should leave it until such time as you understand where and why it might be beneficial to have it otherwise, depending on your circumstances and working methods.
 
Very helpful! Thank you.
Abe Z.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Using MobileMe as your sync server, there's no reason not to have all three devices (two macs and the phone) all sync. If your phone isn't able to get a connection to the MobileMe servers, it'll be unable to sync for a while, but we designed the code to handle situations like that just fine.
There's just one problem with that and that problem is in the sync with Snow Leopard's extensible Sync Services. To-day, Calendar sync through MobileMe also syncs todos and notes. This means that if you sync OmniFocus tasks / actions with the built-in Sync Services [OmniFocus says 'iCal' but it works in the same way with other calendar applications like BusyCal and SOHO Organizer as they use the the Sync Services too] on Mac A the tasks will automatically propagate to Mac B. And syncing OmniFocus with the Sync Services on Mac B will then only give problems. Since there's no way in which OmniFocus on Mac B will recognize todos in the Sync Services on Mac B as the actions already synced on Mac A you will get problems, lots of problems. The tasks will namely be duplicated - lots of times.

Unfortunately, OmniFocus will automatically request a sync with 'iCal', the Sync Services, and it is still impossible to turn off that feature. But at least it doesn't yet perform the sync automatically [I've put on that feature on one of my Macs with a QuicKeys script triggered twice an hour].
 
OmniFocus won't sync anything over to iCal (or the sync services if you prefer to call it that) unless you configure it to do so. Your post makes it sound like this is a problem for everyone with 2 macs and an iPhone, and as best I can tell, that is not correct. I only have one machine that runs Snow Leopard, so I cannot currently rule out the possibility that it might be an issue in the case where multiple machines are running Snow Leopard.
 
 


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