01 Nov OmniPlan’s update for Mac still makes me envy the iOS version

OmniPlan (@omniplan) is an excellent app from OmniGroup and one of my favourite tools to manage projects.

How I use OmniPlan

I’ve been using OmniPlan on OS X for years, and currently use it to plan timelines for POTENTIEL (@edupotentiel), a physical education project community for teachers, as well as our student Leadership team (@eec_smdy) at ÉÉC Sainte-Marguerite-d’Youville in Toronto, Canada.

While I don’t mind using it on my 13in MacBook Pro, it’s at its most practical on the larger 27in iMac screen. I use a fraction of the features, since I’m not using it with many ressources. The recent update to version 3 has a bunch of new features that I’ll have to learn to use, and I’m really interested in the Multi-Project Dashboard.

I use it in a simplified way for the management of all my Leadership team projects. The different coloured bar groups represent the activities that each unit of students is responsible for. With this kept up to date, the teachers are able to follow the progress of the units and support those in need according to the timeline progression.

I’m also in the process of creating a project structure for the school’s swim team in order for the parents and coaches to be ready for the upcoming events.

Even with the update for OS X, I still envy the look of the iOS app. Have a look at the screenshots taken from their website below.


The Mac version is starting to look better with a reduced radius to the task bar corners and better colour styling with transparency effects when percentage of tasks are completed.


The iOS version with a night theme (dark background) is stunning.


The iOS app with a white background looks good as well.

I’m not sure what it is that makes the iOS version look better. It could be the thicker task bars. If you want this on the OS X version, your sidebar text has to be substantially increased in size, and then you can’t read anything. It might be the way the colours look on the black background. It might be the standard typeface use that makes it look more modern.

Who this app is for

I would guess that Gantt charts most live in business schools, but they can be useful for just about anyone who wants to visualize a project’s progress. It’s also better used if you couple it with OmniGroup’s other apps :

  • OmniFocus for managing all the tasks associated with a projet
  • OmniOutliner for writing a hierarchal outline to describe the project to others
  • OmniGraffle for creating a diagram of all the project’s component

OmniPlan is typically great for businesses or in industries such as web or software design, architecture/engineering, event planning, and such. But here’s my attempt to try to come up with examples of the types of more common projects that could benefit from OmniPlan coupled with those apps.

  • Organizing the season for the sport team you coach
  • Writing a complex research paper for a course you’re taking
  • Planning a big event such as a wedding or an anniversary