OmniOutliner 5 App Reviews

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Do not download the trial version. It will corrupt all the existing files started in past versions.

Syncing Across Devices Works Seemlessly with iCloud

I'm unsure what some of the reviewers are experiencing when complaining about cumbersome syncing. When I save an outline to iCloud, it syncs seemlessly across Mac OS and iOS. I can then simply open the file, make any changes, close the file and all changes immediately sync across all devices. Maybe the issue was fixed in response to the reviews. Maybe the reviewers were confused or need instruction on using their devices. Either way, do not let those reviews discourage you from purchasing this great app. Syncing with iCloud is fast, easy and intuitive.

Syncing is painful

Trying out Omnioutliner on Mac and iPad. Syncing is painful and involves download additional apps on the Mac. There isn’t any obvious way to setup syncing on the ipad version. Why not just click iCloud and be done with it like all other apps?

There’s nothing like it.

This program started after the demise of MORE, a Mac outliner in the 90s. I was a fan of MORE and I’ve been a big fan of this since it started. For starting ideation it’s so easy to type everything you can think of (or your group can think of), and then start to organize by dragging the elements around. It’s super easy to hide huge parts of your outline by unexpanding things, so you can focus on just what you’re working on today.

This is version 5???

If you select a different header style, it leaves the check mark on the previous one. Somehow a set of entries got linked such that they act as if they are grouped, which means that if I select a particular one, and try and move it left or right, the whole block moves. I feel like this wasn't so irritating before. It certainly isn't what I expect out of OmniGroup.

Good interface but has fallen out of step with MacOS/iOS state of the art

It’s easy to bang out a quick outline and later revise it. Multicolumn outlines are a major selling point. Omnipresence sync works well across devices, but you have to actively manage what you sync. There’s no straightforward way to sync templates between MacOS and iOS versions. Omni-automation seems promising but also very complex, not as accessbile as URL-based schemes available on many current apps like Omni’s own omnifocus. Export options do not support markdown natively. I still find the product useful because of ease of editing and multicolumn support, but these limitations are a big source of friction. A lot of the drawbacks I see with this app date to decisions Omni made when icloud sync simply did not work. That’s when they opted for omnipresence as a way to sync individual files across machines. That works but does not scale well across more than a few files. Omnipresence does not support folders and hierarchies. It does not natively integrate with the iOS 11 files app. In other words, the strategy adopted a few years ago to work around non-functioning core apple technologies is a drawback now that apple has an architecture that actually works. Similar remarks can be made for automation. There’s not a simple way to link to a file and have it open in omnioutliner. Part of this is due to omni’s powerful but complex automation strategy. Part of this is due to the reliance on omnipresence. Export strategies seem to focus almost exclusively on Microsoft Word and PDF. A native markdown export option would be a nice addition for simple single column outlines.

Cannot believe the makers of omnifocus are behind this product

This outliner app is just clunky and awful compared to other Omnigroup products. Try editing an outline at all or dragging parts of the outline around. You just can’t. Or at least I couldn’t drag a subheading from one top-level heading to another. Also, Select all doesn’t work, but you can hold down shift and select multiple items individually? Not great to introduce friction into an outlining app. I feel like I’m back in the early/mid-nineties when drag and drop wasn’t universal and people were just figuring out intuitive elements of the UI. For $10? No thanks. I’d rather outline things in Omnifocus, as silly as that sounds, but it’s actually way superior app for the task. Save your money and just get OF and export as taskpaper.

Needs some work

This used to be my main app of choice. I can’t tell you how often I would use OmniOutliner on my iPhone, iPad, or MBP as I worked two different jobs and traveld around giving presentations. It was useful for jotting my thoughts down, organizing a template for a lecture, making an agenda, using a checklist at a beer tasting, and more. Somewhere, however, OmniOutliner has lost its way. I just re-re-redownloaded the desktop app as I love what the company puts out (generally) and thought they’d make the app better. It’s January and the iPhone X doesn’t have a version yet. It was a hassle to get OmniPresence started (and it is too much friction to find the documents on any platform). I’ve had issues with exporting it how I wanted to (I’ve hashed that out in the past). But one thing that really bugs me is that suppose I create a style of a document with different levels having different settings. You cannot apply that style to the entire document. I’ve spent fifteen minutes trying to figure it out and I can only get it to apply one part (level 1) style to all levels. Basically, it used to be a great product that, for some reason, has lost some of its ease of use, and now is harder to use than before. Pretty much any of the other outliner apps out there will serve you better. However, this is OmniGroup and I have faith in them. I’m not sure for why their 2017 was a year of going backwards in everything, but I’m holding out that 2018 will be their year to right the ship and return to the form of the company we all know and love.

QuickLook doesn’t working

I installed v4 and v5. The QuickLook doesn’t working for v5 but works for v4.

Looking good so far

I’m still in the 14 day trial period, and I am impressed with OmniOutliner so far. I will probably end up purchasing the app, just have to decide whether to just do the $10 for Essentials or go full out for the Pro Version at $59.99. I never really used an Outliner, but since trying this out I can see where this could be a valuable tool. I’ve been using OmniFocus for years and love the quality of the apps from OmniGroup.

Amazing Editor

I love Omni Outliner. It makes writing things down somuch fun!

Essentials missing some key essentials

While I’ve played around with the Pro version during the Trial, I can’t say I’ve used it enough to give a fair rating, but the Essentials version is missing some key features that make it worse than many other options available. Overall, the UI is mostly great. It’s easy to navigate outlines, promote or demote items, and the styles and themes add some nice variety. This has so much of what I want in a simple outliner, but some key things are missing. First, the visibility of bullet points and twirl downs (that show if there are children hidden under the item) are tied into the themes. Find a theme you like, but the bullets are hidden? Nothing you can do about that. Want to hide bulets in your favorite theme? Nope. You’re stuck with what you get. UI should never be user hostile, but this is. Finding a theme that you love, but find it missing a key feature available in other themes is frustrating to say the least. In most outliners (including free outliners), you have the ability to focus on a specific item and it’s children. When you’re deep in a large complex outline, it’s great to zoom in, and focus on the section you want, without it being pushed into a narrow column all the way to the right in an outline because it’s nested 5-10 generations down. In Essentials, you cannot focus (this feature is reserved for pro). Synching is also an issue. There is an app on the ios app store, but it is not compatible with Essentials, so unless you upgrade to Pro, no synching for you (for now at least). This again makes other options (including free and web based options) seem more useful than Essentials. In all, I wish Essentials was better. I wish it had essential features that make outlining a better option than text, or mind mapping. This really could be a great starter outliner app with a couple of changes. I know they need to keep key features for the pro version, but I don’t think focusing, synching, and bullet point visibility are pro features. Especially when they are available in most other basic outliners. I hope it will get better, but for now, there are many better options out there.

Beautiful Outlining for Outliers

Best outliner for an ADD stricken person like me. I think this version is more intuitive and usable than past versions, and (as slways for an Omni product), is a work of art in its beautiful and sophisticated UI. If you like intelligent style, ease of use, and one of the oldest and most reliable software developers (I’ve used their software for decades), then this is the coolest of them all. Yes, I’ve tried other outliners, and I always come back to this one. Omni has a kind of wisdom embedded in their software thant ordinary and newer developers lack. I love the very reasonable new price structure, too. I hope they roll out upcoming apps at a new price level, too, If you are an outliner, this is pure pleasure and a great way to Epowering the People ;-)

Can’t afford to pay for every upgrade

I was a big fan of omni apps. I bought every versions of Onmioutliner, Onmifocus and Omniplan. The money I spend on these apps can buy me a macbook. After I find out this version only works for 15 days and requires more $$$, I decide to switch to other cheaper apps. I have to say other apps, such as Everynote, or even mac’s notes can do the same jobs. Omni apps are not that special except for the price.

OneNote does it better

OneNote allows you to do most of the things OmniOutliner does, namely indenting and folding. However, OneNote is free, and does a bunch more. I would buy the pro version if it had the following features: multiple collaborators, syncing between iOS devices, and rich text ( [maybe it supports some of these] images, urls, code snippits, Latex). Additionally, diffs and mark down support would be nice.


OmniOutliner 5 was the smoothest upgrade I have seen from anyone in the App Store. I upgraded from 4 Pro to 5 Pro. I was prepared to jump through hoops to be able to upgrade. There were no hoops, just a stunned look that it was that easy. OmniOutliner is my go to outline app. I use it on MacOS and iOS using OmniPresense to sync. It works flawlessly. It is easy to make your own templates. I love being able to set my own template as the default for creating new documents. I also love being able to have it automatically match the destination format when pasting with CMD+V. There is lot to like about this product. I highly recommend it.

Lacks features and elegance of many modern outliners

I paid for it, but I never use it... I prefer the “essentials” version because it doesn’t get in my way with a lot of useless features that I never use when compared with the “pro” version, but I still feel that OO can’t hold a candle to some of the web-based outliners that are out now in terms of features or user experience. And there are other MacOS apps that more closely match the experience offered by these web apps. This product feels dated.

Terrific outlining app, but has some bugs with new version

Omnioutliner is a terrific outlining app, easy to use, and a ton of customization to fit your needs. Two things keep it from being 5 stars: 1) This new version is a little buggy, but Omni Group will work them out. Had some crashes with syncs to iOS devices, otherwise seems mostly stable. 2) Wished there was a way to have a line showing the parent-to-child items like Workflowy and show with theirs. If the developers could add that, then I would give it 5 stars easily.

Don’t bother!

This version works for 15 days. After that you can only use it in read-only mode unless you purchase the product. Not worth paying for.

Disappointed with some things...

LOVE omnioutliner, not so happy with paying for this update. Dark mode has to do with templates, and isnt a 'display preference'... disappointing. (means no 'dark' opml editing) An omni blog post long ago got me excited about markdown in oo5... so i purchased the ugrade from my oo4 pro sight-unseen... My bad. NO MARKDOWN magic in this release, unfortunately. and still using weird rtf formatting... There are some folks who dont want to worry about any themes or formatting stuff until export time, guys! I'd expect a pro app to cater to these individuals! - Where is the option for PLAIN TEXT EVERYTHING if we don't get markdown? (OPML MODE?) - Where are even more granular controls for text export if no markdown? (plugin only) - weird 'document' width controls (even in OPML mode? c'mon!)... can't just set a default 'fit to window' somewhere? (if so, negative points for hiding it well.) I really love this company, and their apps... Just not happy with how much this upgrade cost me, (an OO4 Pro user) for the features we got. I won't ask for a refund, I really did need the OO5 new file format, i **REALLY** just hope things change in the future. This is not a 2-star review of the app in general... just a 2-star review of the Pro upgrade, from an OO4 user.

One of the best outliners, and one of the best Mac apps

An essential and flexible tool for work and life. I use it everyday.

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