Sal Soghoian and OmniFocus Voice Commands Video Interview

A few months ago, I did an extended Friends of Dave interview with Sal Soghoian about the new voice commands for OmniFocus. This has been in the MacSparky Labs for a few months, and several members have been using this cool feature. This is one of those things I wanted to make sure everyone can see, so here it is.

I put a lot of content like this in the MacSparky Labs. I’d love to have you join.

Links from Video

Omni Automation Plug-Ins for OmniFocus

Installing Plug-Ins

Script Security

Omni Automation

Omni Automation in OmniFocus

Omni Automation Controls in OmniFocus

OmniFocus 4 Beta for Mac

The OmniFocus team has been hard at work on OmniFocus 4 for some time now. Recently they announced the public release of the Beta for OmniFocus 4 for Mac. There are several significant improvements coming with OmniFocus 4:

Feature Parity

With OmniFocus now built around SwiftUI, Mac, iPhone, and iPad features are essentially in sync. Generally, you get all features everywhere. For example, you can now get location-based tags on the Mac for the first time.

New Design

The new design is lighter than previous iterations of OmniFocus. There’s more white space, and the UI is much cleaner. Nevertheless, it still feels like a flavor of OmniFocus. 

You can read more details and sign up for the beta here.

OmniFocus Voice Control Tutorial with Sal Soghoian (MacSparky Labs)

This month’s Friends of Dave interview is a special one. Sal Soghian (formerly with Apple, now working with the Omni Group) spent an hour with me doing a walk-through on how to set up and start using the new Javascript-based voice automation in OmniFocus. Sal has, in essence, created an entirely new user interface for OmniFocus, letting you fully control the app with your voice. Moreover, you can add your own custom commands. In this video, I share my screen and Sal walks me through the entire setup process. Watch this video with the current version of OmniFocus installed on your Mac and you’ll be voice-controlling within the hour…

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

Automating Dates in OmniFocus (MacSparky Labs)

The Omni Group has written its own flavor of JavaScript to automate its apps. These new automations will work on Mac, iPad, and iPhone. In this video, I take one of the Omni Group’s new JavaScript automations that can assign and adjust defer and due dates in OmniFocus. I then use a Keyboard Maestro trick to combine and simplify the various keyboard shortcuts for each action. If you use OmniFocus, you’ll find this useful. And even if you don’t use the app, the Conflict Palette technique shown here can help you out …

This is a post for MacSparky Labs Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

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?

Automating OmniFocus (MacSparky Labs)

One of my favorite features with OmniFocus is the way you can automate it with AppleScript. I have a few scripts I’ve hacked together that let me automatically move defer and due dates in OmniFocus. I use the scripts via Keyboard Maestro. Here’s a video demonstrating how I work them. You can download the scripts and Keyboard Maestro Macros below…

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

Task Manager Survey – The OmniFocus Baseline

I’m starting a new series where I’ll be looking at some of the most popular task managers. Before getting started, however, here’s a look at how I’m currently using OmniFocus with my setup and favorite features. This feature set will be a baseline of sorts while I look at competing apps… This is a post for MacSparky Labs Early Access and 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.