Project Setup with Craft, OmniFocus, and Shortcuts (MacSparky Labs)

Some of the labs members are interested in Craft. Good news! I’m using Craft for some of the Labs back-end. Here’s a Shortcut that builds out a new project using Craft and OmniFocus along with some basic training in Craft…

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Level 3 (Early Access) and Level 2 (Backstage) Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

Creating OmniFocus Templates with Keyboard Maestro (MacSparky Labs)

For a long time I’ve been adding OmniFocus template projects using Shortcuts. I have a few other automations that involve project creation with Keyboard Maestro, which got me thinking about adding templated OmniFocus projects via Keyboard Maestro…

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Level 3 (Early Access) and Level 2 (Backstage) Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

OmniFocus 4.0 for iPad and iPhone Now in Beta


Yesterday the OmniGroup announced the open beta of OmniFocus 4.0 for iPhone and iPad. This new version will represent the most significant change in the OmniFocus user interface ever. I’ve been on the private beta, and I dig it. This new version will give you much more control over the way the application looks and quality-of-life improvements across the board. There are new inspectors, easier navigation, and a much-improved outline view. All of this while maintaining the full set of OmniFocus tools. 

This new version is written entirely in Swift UI, which will give OmniFocus some real flexibility going forward. Also, this is the most complex app I’m aware of being developed in Swift UI. The Omni Group is very much at the pointy end of the spear with this project.

The beta is still early, and there are still features and even UI elements missing. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see the OmniFocus team willing to take risks to keep their software on the cutting edge. At this point, the beta is only for iPad and iPhone, but I expect the Mac will be getting similar treatment in the future.

The usual warnings go here about running beta software. Be careful. Back up. Don’t use it if you’re worried about data loss. I’ve been running the version 3 public release alongside the version 4 beta with no troubles thus far. 

These changes to OmniFocus mean I’ll be making a new OmniFocus Field Guide. It will be a new version and built from scratch with the new version 4. Expect it once the OmniGroup releases version 4 for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Packal Alfred OmniFocus Scripts

OmniFocus is an amazing productivity tool, but getting access to your data could be easier. The Packal Alfred Scripts can really help. These scripts let you search and jump around your OmniFocus projects with just a few keystrokes. They’re fast, they work great, and they’ll save you tons of time.

Once installed, you access your OmniFocus data via Alfred with (dot) codes. For example, “.f” gets you searching your OmniFocus folders. Since I have a separate folder for each client, this makes things really easy. There are a lot more though:

.i – inbox
.p – projects
.c – contexts

There are more commands but the above are the ones I use most. You can download the scripts and get the details here.

OmSave — OmniFocus Plugin for Safari

Recently, I discovered a clever Safari plugin for OmniFocus users called OmSave. You’ve always been able to create links to Safari pages in OmniFocus, but this plugin takes it a step further to a customizable template. I wasn’t sure at first whether it was a gimmick or useful. After spending a few weeks with it, however, I find it firmly in the useful category.

How OmniFocus for the Web Works

The Omni Group is sponsoring MacSparky this week, so I guess you can take this with a grain of salt, but I continue to be impressed with OmniFocus for the Web. For a web implementation of an iOS application, it has a lot more power than I expected. I didn’t realize the way they were pulling it off.

They are running Objective-C and Swift on Mac servers that then output to the web. This isn’t a simple web application. This is a Mac application driving to the internet. The OmniGroup explains in further detail at Inside OmniFocus.

“Looking Forward” OmniFocus Perspective

There is a growing thread in the Mac Power Users forums about custom OmniFocus perspectives. Since it’s Sunday, I though I’d share one of my favorite Sunday perspectives. While I don’t use a defer-date management system for my tasks these days, I do use defer dates on flagged tasks. This perspective shows me all of those tasks on their defer dates going forward. It’s a great deal for a little weekly planning on Sunday.

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