Hey Omnifocus, what’s “complete”?

On SimplicityBliss, Sven Fechner writes about how you should regularly Archive your Omnifocus database.

I have a 4.5 MB Omnifocus database and often get a little frustrated when it takes Omnifocus on iOS more than 10 seconds to load. Trimming that down would be very useful to me.

But I have used the Archive function once and haven’t since then. It’s scary to me.

Here’s what it says.


I would do this regularly, every 6 months, if “complete” meant to OmniGroup what it means to me.

In my opinion, Archiving should only touch dropped projects, completed projects, and completed tasks that are part of singleton projects. The last time I attempted this Omnifocus included completed tasks inside of active projects.1

I think that’s dangerous.

I want completed items in active projects to remain after an archive. I want there to be a record that I completed tasks that are in active projects so that I don’t have to do it, or think about it, again. I want that history to be present, not archived. When I do a weekly review the last thing I want to have to do is scan my brain to remember if I completed a task that’s part of an active project. Archiving, as it was the last time I tried it, introduces doubt.

I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have doubt. That’s why I use Omnifocus. And that’s also why I have a big database of my entire Omnifocus history.

  1. I’ve emailed OmniGroup about this before and haven’t tried it since 2010. I tried archiving now to confirm if it still behaves like this, but Omnifocus crashes.