Is OmniFocus available on Android?

Perhaps the most frequently-asked question about OmniFocus is whether it is available on Android.

The short answer

No, OmniFocus is not available on Android.

And OmniFocus won’t come to Android anytime soon, if ever—the Omni Group has made that clear:

[W]e don’t have any plans to create native Windows or Android versions of our apps in the foreseeable future.

Omni Group CEO Ken Case

The long answer

The long answer is slightly more complicated, although the gist of it is the same.

There are official OmniFocus apps for iOS, macOS, and watchOS. For macOS, you can install OmniFocus through the Mac App Store, or purchase and download OmniFocus directly from the Omni Group’s website.

And in May 2019, the Omni Group launched OmniFocus for the Web.

OmniFocus for the Web is a browser-based version of OmniFocus that is limited and intended for use on a desktop. You can use it for basic actions, like creating and editing projects and tasks, but it is not a full-fledged replacement for the macOS or iPad app.

Here’s what it looks like:

OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Firefox on macOS.
OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Firefox on macOS.

It is possible to use OmniFocus for the Web on a smartphone (including an Android smartphone). But it isn’t convenient. Seriously, I don’t recommend it.

You can use it in a pinch, but take a look at this screenshot and you’ll understand why OmniFocus for the Web is not a long-term solution for Android users:

OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Safari on iPhone.
OmniFocus for the Web viewed in Safari on iPhone.

There are also several third-party OmniFocus clients for Android. While it’s possible to use one of these clients, I don’t recommend doing that either. The Omni Group explains why:

Since v3 of OmniFocus for Mac shipped, customers using these types of [third-party] apps have contacted us about crashes and data loss. Customers who do not use them have not had similar experiences.

The Omni Group

If you’re an Android user and you insist on using OmniFocus, here are a few things you might try:

Otherwise, I’d recommend using a different task manager. Sadly, my second-favorite task manager, Things 3, is also only available on Apple devices. But I’ve worked productively with Nozbe in the past, and Nozbe is available on pretty much any platform, so check it out.

Look, I get it. OmniFocus is an amazing app. If you’re an Android user, it sucks that you can’t run OmniFocus on your phone. I tried switching from an iPhone to an Android phone, twice, but both times I came back to iPhone.

Why?

I sorely missed OmniFocus. 😔

Planning your day with OmniFocus 3 (my favorite new feature)

Have you ever been in Due Date Hell?

It looks like this:

The OmniFocus Forecast view, showing 129 items due soon.

You assign due dates to make sure you don’t forget about important tasks and projects.

But if you’re not careful, you might assign way too many due dates—and when you have 129 tasks that are due “soon”, how on Earth will you know what to work on right now?

See, there’s a difference between tasks you need to do today and tasks you intend to do today.

I always recommend that you use due dates sparingly, but use defer dates liberally. If you cannot work on a certain task until March 5, then defer it until March 5. Don’t let a task distract you when you can’t act on it.

This advice still goes for OmniFocus 3, but we can go further. To help us know what we need to do today as well as what we intend to do today, we’ll use the new OmniFocus 3 feature, “Today shows items with this tag”:

The OmniFocus settings pane, showing the Today shows items with this tag feature.

So here’s how get out of Due Date Hell and plan your day in OmniFocus 3:

  1. Set up a tag called “next”. 
  2. Edit the Forecast perspective to show items with your new “next” tag under Today. (As in the screenshot above.)
  3. For all tasks you intend to work on in the coming day or two, apply the “next” tag.
  4. For all tasks you intend to start on later, apply the “next” tag and defer the task until the moment you’d like to start on it.

Now, when you begin your work day and you look at the Forecast perspective, you’ll see items that you really need to do today (“due” items) as well as items that you intend to get to today (“next” items). Make sure you do the tasks that are due, then do as many of the “next” tasks as you can. Rinse and repeat.

No more Due Date Hell, plus you know exactly what to do each day. 🙌🏻 May your days be extra productive!

Yours,

— Peter