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Here's a happy user of OmniFocus for Mac and iPhone who over the time became aware, that he needs an outliner and of course I licensed OmniOutliner (Pro) today.
I knew about the missing options for the iPhone and so I will not complain. Apart from creating new notes when I'm visiting customers and editing and adding tasks to OmniFocus I don't use my iPhone much for creating data - I do that in my bureau/shop -,but being able to view my files on the iPhone is absolutely essential for me. It's my business-to-go. I knew I will have to workaround this problem with exporting to .pdf or .html and I'm mentally prepared to do so for a long time to come

but please, whatever great app for OmniOutliner on the iPhone you may release sometime in the future: Give us a viewer!


PS: And thanks for your SyncServer! :)
I heartily second. An Outline viewer would be a very, very important tool for me.
Sorry, joining this thread late. I use Omnioutliner on Mac - excellent tool. Would love to see it on iPhone. In answer to your initial questions on what user needs/desires would be:

1) Do you need multiple columns of data, column types, or the column summary options?

Multiple columns would be nice, but not essential for me. However, status checkboxes would be important for me.

2) Do you need formatting support? Or just plain text like OmniFocus for the iPhone.

Plain text is fine for me ... although, status checkboxes would imply more then plain text wouldn't it :) In any case, formatting support (for me) does not need to be extensive.

3) Do you need attachment support?


4) Should it be a viewer only, or have editing capabilities? If just a viewer only, how well does the Quick Look preview/DHTML export meet your needs? (Viewing the export on the iPhone that is)

Definitely need to be able to edit as well as view.

5) What kind of syncing expectations do you have? This would be one big reason why OmniOutliner 4 needs to be developed first as OO3 is not designed for merging synced changes.

Syncing is not required for me, because I would plan to use Dropbox for that purpose (thus making outline files accessible on Mac and on iPhone).
1) Definitely yes. These wonderful features are the ones making OO stand out!

2) Yes. Before you introduced that, I was ok without it; but now, I would feel uncomfortable if I could not find these features handy!

3) No need. But if you can provide it with limited file size, why not? But I hate it to be too slow when running the app.

4) No Viewer only please! We need to edit things/create things/sync things on the go!

5) MindNode's iCloud sync is simple and works, just like iWorks. Why not just fully embrace iCloud since it's the future and offers standard interfaces. It's not ideal at all for a user to manage a cloud account for each service he is using. Now I have Evernote, Omni, iCloud - just too many to manage!

Please work harder, though i know you must work hard, I cannot wait to use OO for iPhone! Good Luck! :)
Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I would like an OO version that runs on the iPhone but it's not something I'm going to hyperventilate about in the short term.
I didn't hyperventilate about it in the short term, either. But the short term was over years ago.

The iPhone came out in June, 2007. Apple released the SDK in March, 2008. When did Omni release their first app for iOS? Was that for the phone or the pad? What year is it now? Who cares: MS is going to release Office for iOS (likely this November) before Omni can even release an OO viewer for the phone.

I use an outliner to get work done. An outliner, not a todo list. I calibrate that outline in the field. I need a solution that will facilitate this process. This has gotten to the point I'm starting to look at other outliners simply to get away from Omni in the same way I embrace Apple Maps just to get away from Google.

Yes. It's that frustrating.

Last edited by E_Day; 2012-10-31 at 10:38 AM..
I just noticed that OmniOutliner for iPad still lives on my iPad without much being touched. The reason still being the missing sync with the Mac - it's just kind of isolated (though I understand I could probably e-mail things back and forth).

Also - once sync capabilities are in place - I assume the lack of organisation options for groups of outlines could turn out as an issue for even average pro users with dozens of templates / hundreds of outlines in day to day production use.

Last not least I must say the one device that I absolutely permanently carry with me is not the iPad but the iPhone. And what I hear from people (even those who love their iPads) their iPhones are by nature far more ubiquitous than their tablets.

Just my thoughts. The usefulness of an outliner rises and falls with the ubiquitousness of the content on whichever device just happens to be handy wherever I am and whatever I do. Hence I think sync + iPhone app are fundamental requirements to boosting usefulness of OmniOutliner (with organisation features then helping to cope with that boost...).

Just my 2ct - please consider.

Best regards, Chris
I carry the iPhone when I want to contact or be contacted by other people. I carry the iPad whenever I think I might want a computing/browsing device. The latter is a far greater fraction of the day than the former :)

I don't see any reason why Omni couldn't build a document browser that offered more tools for organizing documents, but I would be surprised if you could show even a handful of people who use dozens of templates and hundreds of outlines in their day to day use! Might not be the appropriate design target...
I will only buy iPad version AFTER iPhone version

To show that there is still huge demand for this, users have been adding replies regularly for the last 4 years. This is my first post. I'm a new user and almost didn't buy Omni Outliner because of the lack of iPhone syncing. If CarbonFin had a native OSX app, I would have put up with its limited functionality and gone with that. I won't be buying the iPad version until I have an iPhone version for all the reasons listed above, and some more below.

But I'm pleased that Omni asked the question, so here are my answers:

1) No - I can live without multiple columns, etc., at least initially.*

2) No - plain text would be absolutely fine.*

3) No - attachment support isn't required.*

*As long as saving the file on the iPhone doesn't remove or corrupt the non-visible data.

4) A viewer with status check ability would be better than nothing, editing support would be much, much better. I wouldn't pay money for a viewer, but definitely would for an editor. If it's too difficult then even just the ability to add lines that come out in a iPhone-edited-format in OSX outliner would be acceptable to me, and still much more useful than a reader.

5) Dropbox would be perfect for syncing. All outlines can be kept in various project specific folders, synced via dropbox. That way when access is required all you need is to find and open via dropbox, then save back to dropbox. I could live with iCloud syncing, but for serious work where directory structures are required (and the ability to view OPMLs in mind mapping software) I would much prefer dropbox.

I have an iPad and an iPhone, and despite the screen size and processor power restrictions, I would much much rather have omni outliner on my iPhone than my iPad.

As everyone else has mentioned the iPhone is with me at all times. So when I think of something on the road or in the middle of the night, I want to be able to open and edit a basic version of any relevant outline. I don't want to have to predict which outlines I may want to access and save them as OPML's. I want to be able to open and save all OO3's (or OO4's) normally on any device, as I can with .pages, .numbers, .key, .xlsx, .docx, .pptx, .JPG, .CR2, etc.

Also iPhones are personal devices, iPads are very often shared devices, as such my iPad is much less secure than my iPhone. I often pass my iPad to a client or friend, even the kids and babysitter know the iPad password. I'd rather they couldn't easily stumble into my business plan.

I have OmniFocus for OSX, iPad and iPhone and only use the iPad version when working with someone on a shared GTD exercise. So once I've been using the iPhone version for a while, if I find myself wishing for more screen real estate and functionality, I'll get the iPad version (which I hope can be password protected).

So to me a limited functionality version available in Q1 2013 would be much better than a full functionality version in Q4 2014. Just make the limitations clear in the blurb, then you can plough the revenue into expanding the team to develop a full featured version.

Last edited by andeye; 2012-12-28 at 11:58 PM.. Reason: the title didn't show up
Why not work with CarbonFin?

Regarding Omni's difficulties of designing an iPhone app with adequate ergonomics and features. CarbonFin is nearly perfect in terms of an iPhone outliner. It allows you to easily produce, edit and fold outlines, and mark statuses etc.

If Omni still don't see sufficient reason to allocate resources to an iPhone outliner (this thread started 4 years ago...) then could a collaboration with CarbonFin be arranged?

All an OmniFin version would need to be able to do over the current CarbonFin is to be able to open oo3's (/oo4's) from dropbox, perform the usual CarbonFin type editing, and save back to dropbox. As long as saving the file on the iPhone doesn't remove or corrupt the non-visible data.

This shouldn't cannibalise either product, as CarbonFin is just a simple one column outliner, and Omni Outliner does way more. The ability to edit CarbonFin outlines on OSX could bring in new Omni Outliner OSX users. Similarly a significant number of the Omni Outliner user base would buy CarbonFin (or OmniFin if a different app was needed) with minimal input required from the under-resourced Omni team...

Just a thought. Either way 4 years is too long to wait for oo3 to go iPhone portable.

Last edited by andeye; 2012-12-28 at 11:56 PM.. Reason: the title didn't show up
I've tried and like CarbonFin but for navigating large outlines find it a little awkward for reasons I don't think I can articulate, it just feels a little clunky.

For a while I actually used OmniFocus with a special folder for notes but didn't really like cluttering up the database with fairly large semi-permanent entries as it slows down the sync.

At the moment I'm using Taskpaper for a few large reference outlines. The format is structured plain text, the sync works and it's available on iPhone, iPad and iOS.

Once omni get their new syncing framework into the current two OO implementations perhaps an iPhone version will seem more compelling.

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