Automation in OmniFocus 2.14 (released 2016-04-26)

Will support for project templates ever be built into OmniFocus as a native feature? Yes, project templates are definitely planned as their own first-class feature: there’s clearly a general need that would help a lot of customers.

But project templates are just one practical application of automation; people can dream up all kinds of automation workflows, and some of those workflows will be so tailored to a person’s particular situation that it wouldn’t make sense to try to build them all into the app as native features.


r257474 is now available:

OmniFocus 2.14 TestFlight — April 18, 2016

  • Add URLs — Added an estimate parameter to the URL scheme (e.g. “/add?estimate=2h”).
  • Automation and Dates — (For real, this time!) Dates used in automation can now combine absolute and relative date forms to get at a final result. For example, TaskPaper content can now say @due(2016-07-01 -3m) to indicate that something is due 3 months before 2016-07-01. (This makes it much easier to generate dates from a template project.)
  • TaskPaper — Fixed some bugs (including a crash) with parsing of TaskPaper projects which use a colon suffix rather than a dash prefix.
  • TaskPaper — Fixed a hang introduced in r259434, encountered whenever importing TaskPaper content that doesn’t use projects with a colon suffix for its top level. (Apologies!)
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Excellent—Thank you!

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How difficult would it be to add a parameter to bypass the entry confirmation? I have a few Drafts actions that add tasks to predefined projects/contexts and it would be helpful it if would (given said parameter) return me to Drafts without needing to click save in OF.

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Bypassing the entry confirmation would be easy. Making sure that the bypass wasn’t accidentally abused (click on some random link on a webpage and have it add spam to your OmniFocus database without ever prompting for confirmation) is where things get a bit more challenging.

Any thoughts on how you’d want that to work? Perhaps some control that lets you grant bypass permission to specific apps?


That, or Drafts uses a “key” parameter that has to be included in order to greenlight the bypass.



Should this work to make tasks repeat in a taskpaper file?

  • A Project
    • Task 1 @due(1d) @repeat(7d)
    • Task 21 @due(3d) @repeat(2w)

Doesn’t work for me.

Works great now, thanks!

Ah, that makes sense!

No, sorry, it’s a bit more complicated than that:

- Repeat tests
	- Repeat M, W, F @repeat-method(fixed) @repeat-rule(FREQ=WEEKLY;BYDAY=MO,WE,FR)
	- Repeat S, S @repeat-method(fixed) @repeat-rule(FREQ=WEEKLY;BYDAY=SU,SA)
	- Repeat 3 days after completion @repeat-method(start-after-completion) @repeat-rule(FREQ=DAILY;INTERVAL=3)

The easiest way to see how to set up repetitions is to set something up the way you want it in OmniFocus, then copy the pre-configured project (or individual task) to the pasteboard. (You do this by tapping on the project to view its details, then using Share > Copy.)

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Your support for repeating tasks is fabulous!

Couldn’t be said better. I need both :)

Ah, that’s great. Thanks!

Ken I’m sorry for reposting, can you answer anything about his these questions?

  1. As you know, Taskpaper mainly uses column (:) to indicate a project and Editorial use it to fold projects. Is there any way to make it work with OmniFocus URL scheme?
  2. Could you create a reference webpage of the evolution of the URL scheme, as your team update it?

DId you see the release notes about this? Projects with colon suffixes should be working now.

Yes, I’ll post that shortly (and link to it here as soon as it’s available).

Bug report. This template:

- Project: @parallel(false) @due(«due»)
	- Sub projects @parallel(false) @autodone(true)
		- Out  @repeat-method(start-after-completion) @repeat-rule(FREQ=DAILY)
		- of @due(«due» -50d)
		- order @due(«due» -49d) 
		- items @due(«due» -49d)

Produces a sub-project with the list of items out of order. (Order -> of -> Items -> Out)

I can’t get the project parameter to work using the /add url with the latest update.

Does the project you’re trying to use already exist? (The project parameter doesn’t create new projects, it will only assign your task to an existing project. If you want to create a project and its children all at once, I recommend using the /paste action instead.)

Yep, but it’s not a top level project, it’s in a folder.

I copied and pasted the same example project Grey posted into editorial and ran the workflow and I noticed another problem. The notes filed for the sub-task titled “sub projects” contains all of the notes from its siblings.

A new TestFlight build is now available (r259542):

OmniFocus 2.14 TestFlight — April 19, 2016

  • Partial Dates — Dates without years can now be combined with relative dates, e.g. “May 15 -3d”.
  • TaskPaper — Child tasks will no longer end up out of order when their notes aren’t indented.

This build fixes both of these issues.