Speed up iPhone syncing with OmniFocus

I recently dropped MobileMe in favor of a collection of other free or inexpensive tools. Today I realized that I needed to find a new host for syncing my OmniFocus files. OmniFocus copy

While trolling around the OmniFocus forums, I found mention of “compacting” the database to speed up sync times. That is just what I needed! In the last few months, the database had gotten so slow that I was rarely using OmniFocus on the phone at all.

So here is what I did to clean it up. First, ensure that all items from the phone are synced to the computer.

  1. On the iPhone, open OmniFocus and proceed to the setting page. Click the big red “Reset Database” button. This will destroy ALL your OmniFocus information on the phone so be forewarned! On the next screen, the phone will display has two buttons. We will come back to those at the end.
  2. Next return to your Mac and open OmniFocus.
  3. Go to the Sync pane in Preference and select “Sync with Nothing”
  4. Click “File -> Compact Database”
  5. Return to the Sync pane in the Preferences on your Mac and setup your syncing again. For me, I just clicked the “Advanced” button and all my setting where there. Click “Sync Now” to start the process.
  6. Now back to the phone. Select the button to setup syncing. I used the “Share Setting” in OmniFocus on the Mac which broadcasts the settings for 1 minute over the WiFi network and that worked great for getting them to the phone.
  7. Once you enter your login credentials, OmniFocus will sync and you are ready to go.

When this is completed your file will be much smaller. Mine dropped form 450kb to 111kb. My understanding is that the program keeps multiple copies in Zip files of your database so it can keep things in sync and the more you have, the slow your sync goes. I’ll be keeping this in mind and will probably reset things periodically.

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