OmniOutliner 3 App Reviews

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Initial impressions

As always, OmniOutliner offers lots of formatting options. On the downside, and also consistent with my experiences with them, simple usability issues get in the way. There is no longer any obvious way to change the order of columns. More noticeable still, if you set up a document, but try to use it in tandem with another app next to it, the window does not change it's text size or layout. Why have extensive formatting options but such inflexibility in the interface? The app does seem to work faster, and I must applaud OmniGroup for offering a real trial period. I cannot speak to the automation features.

Love it

Love the app. Thanks for the fix. Life just got better.

What I did not expect...

I downloaded this only because of the free trial and an idle hour. I already had a cheaper alternative, but I am too curious about apps for my own good. I was determined that at best I might, just possibly, buy the standard version, if it was *really* good. Then I tried the pro features for several days, and I am going to have to buy the full version. I did not expect that. Then I found something I needed that was not easy to do (long story, but connects to quite a specific usage scenario). I sent an email to support expecting to be added to a long list of possible future features. I got perhaps the most helpful response I have had to an app support request, providing me with a way to achieve what I needed right now. I did not expect that either. I have spent a few days deleting apps, trying to get rid of all the pretty things that once caught my eye and almost worked and to define a core workspace for the foreseeable future. This app is now, unexpectedly, a part of that core set. It does just what I need. Thanks to the developers for making it, and for the excellent support!

Sub-par for a 10+ year customer

Clunky in terms of file storage/management (guessing that’s why they have their own syncing system, but if your life is in Dropbox, beware). Worst: if you have Pro on Mac (I do), working on your phone will require Pro - BIG ONE HERE — I bought the “essentials” version so I could jot notes here, but THEN YOU CAN’T OPEN IT ON YOUR MAC. Why? Turns out “essentials” is v2 (not 3), and is viewed as out of date and unsafe. (Imagine Word not being able to open an older version of a doc). Result? Two totally diff docs and your phone/Mac are not compatible together unless you also buy Pro in the phone — which means it’s 40 bucks to make a single edit. Two stars because I’m a long time fan, but I just wasted ten bucks for the iOS version.

Pretty cool UI, I li-... F*** me, it costs how much?!

Yeah, I think my review's title says it all.... I really like the design and am pretty sure I would use it frequently for brainstorming and general org of my work notes. But it's only useful to me with the column functions, which costs... $40!! I would've given you up to $7, maybe even $10 if I was feeling frisky, but you priced yourselves right out of a customer here.

Stay with OO2. Way too buggy

The short of it: I don't trust this app with my data. I want to love it, but it is so buggy, I find myself unconsciously choosing to use excel if the data I enter is important because I fear the data will disappear. I've got upgrader's remorse. I paid a lot of money for an app that works nowhere near as reliably as version 2. I have written them 4 times already, and they are very helpful. But this version is just way too buggy. Large paragraphs regularly crash the app. So does turning the phone to landscape mode. Some data disappeared when updgrading to OO3 (an entire years worth of data). Save your money and data. Look elsewhere, at least until these bugs get fixed.

Search and Paste Broken

So they halfway fixed search that has a bug so wouldn't work on single hit results, which is no longer "search" anyway but "filter" that won't anymore just find an entry and scroll down to it in normal context so I can see it's neighbors. In fact now there's two search icon buttons, one having two tabs so really three search panels none of which search down to an entry. The filter panel three is so slow as to be nearly unusable. However now that filter panel one works in its odd way, filtering out single entries out of context, pasting of text copied from most browser pages fails. You have to first paste it into filter panel one and select and copy it back out to get it to paste into an outline. Clearly the developers despite being a serious software corporation lacks a tester, so this program can suddenly break for weeks or months or even years, as was the case for their infuriating scrolling bugs that when finally fixed broke scrolling on search. It also recently undid years of bold emphasis in my major notebook that I just happened to backup the day before otherwise the quick summary readability of it would have been lost forever since an old backup would be too hard to sync with all the new scattered notes. It likes to turn off entry numbering too, so I worry in general about using such buggy software at all for my career. If I knew how to export into EverNote I would flee this bloatware with its big new programming API that I imagine few want developers focusing on. Ah, wait, filter pane one isn't fixed, no it still won't scroll down to single selected hits, and the paste bug happened the week I updated to iOS 11.3. There's weird formatting ending up in the clipboard using the Dolphin browser. Yet it pastes into other apps just fine.

OmniOutliner is the Best!

After trying many outlining apps, this the one for me! Appreciate the free trial and the ability to purchase for a one-time fee. (Pro version) has many templates you can use for outlines, lists, and more. You can save in various formats, including to Apple Notes app (keeps its level formatting). UI is relatively simple to learn; moving items and formatting helps you get organized. Also love the abilities to drag and drop text, add photos and url’s! Thanks, Omni Group, for an efficient and professional outline app!


File level encryption is welcomed. I am not sure why they do t just use an elevated day protection class API and provide app level encryption but nonetheless it is a welcomed feature. I wish they would provide app level encryption for Omni focus.

No ios 10 support?

It's a good app but only supporting iOS 11? Really guys? That's quite disappointing.

OmniOutliner 3

Great product. The gold standard of outliners!

Missed the boat

I feel that the Omni folks have missed the boat when it comes to what is happening in this space. Modern outlining apps get out of your way, but even this new version of OO is still cumbersome to use and makes poor use of screen space by comparison.

Great app just got better

I use outliner constantly for everything from writing to planning to a todo list. It’s great software. But this update only increases the power by bring it up to parity with the Mac OS app on features like filters and more. And yet the team implemented these things in an interface that fits iOS perfectly. Great app with great implementation.

Buggy and crashes on the iPhone

Upgraded OO again. Crashes in landscape and does not differentiate between the icons on the bottom right od the screen. Adds nice functionality but the user i/f design seems to have a lot of friction. Agree with other comments about developer approach documentation - painful to use. Smart folks creating high functioning application. Wish they put as much effort and skill into providing a clean frictionless user experience as the do to incorporating cool programming. I have used their products for a number of years because they they provide useful tools - but never to the fullest extent because of the friction Involved.

Essential for anyone working in a creative field

OmniOutliner has revolutionized my workflow. One could think that an outliner is just for writers, and that Microsoft Word can also do outlining. But OmniOutliner is much more. I use it to write down my ideas, organize them, make them into projects, outline things to write, keep track of information in projects (since OmniOutliner can store many types of information) and much more. Before OmniOutliner I tried many different tools, and nothing really worked. OmniOutliner has made my work much more efficient. And with OmniOutliner 3, many useful tools from Mac has come to iOS. And then Omni writes very elegant programs that fully use the UI of iOS and and Mac. Definitely worth the somewhat high price.

Great app

One of my favorite apps. However - I wish it’s backup functioned more like OmniFocus. Whenever you make a change to a note, it re-uploads the entire note instead of the section you changed. Which isn’t awesome if you workflow uses big files. Other than that, couldn’t recommend more.

OO3 on iPhone X is BROKEN

This version is seriously broken. It freezes. The keyboard does not open when a line is selected to edit. Avoid this app. UPDATE to answer the developers comment. I have the pro version. It is unworkable on iPhone X. Lists with checkboxes are uneditable.

Powerful and Indispensable if You Understand It

I am a longtime OmniOutliner (OO) user on both macOS and iOS, but I'm keenly aware that it is increasingly difficult to justify relatively expensive software to many users. The Omnigroup is one of a handful of developers who have taken both macOS and iOS platforms seriously, but new features typically lag in their iOS version. iOS has become my primary platform for the last two years and OO3 brings the iOS version up to date and with key features that I think make it more compelling for serious users. OO3 is now a free app download with two optional in-app purchases. The basic free version will allow anyone to view outlines, but not edit them; this is great for sharing outlines with those who are convinced they have no need for outlines. The "Essentials" upgrade supports editing with all of the features many would want to create outlines. The "Pro" upgrade adds the full feature set, which allows the user to create and navigate large text databases, along with better control for formatting and sharing, along with other features. I think the real challenge with this app is to understand what to use it for. It's not a replacement for word processors, nor for spreadsheets, although it can do many similar things. If there were more substantive examples of advanced OO3 use, I think it is likely more people would understand its value. One unfortunate trend with the Omnigroup has been to skimp on documentation, which now exists only in web form, making it difficult to search meaningfully, and which only presents features with few examples. If you aren't interested in figuring out how to use the advanced features, I doubt the price will make it worth it. So, I would give this five stars for those who can see the possibilities and are willing to dig in and learn it, but reluctantly only three stars for others. Regardless of which version you get, this is some of the most thoughtfully designed and expertly implemented iOS software I have worked with.

Great Update

Significant update to a trusted tool.

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