Does using OmniFocus means abandoning Calendar?

Folks: I’m working my way through OmniFocus on my Mac, trying it on for size, so to speak. While there are some complexities, so far I am finding it very well suited to my work.

So, here’s my first question: for years I’ve depended on Calendar on my Mac, and it looks to me like adopting OmniFocus essentially means abandoning Calendar. Is this true?

It’s not a deal-killer; Omni’s syncing appears to be equal or superior to Apple’s. But Calendar gives me “Day At A Glance”, for one thing, and it probably gives me other things that I haven’t considered.

Maybe I’m missing something.

I don’t think that’s the case at all.

For me, calendar is for all the things that have to happen on a certain day at a certain time. OF is for all the things I am committed to, but which don’t have to occur at a specific time.

I think trying to get everything everywhere in to one app would be like building a house with only one power tool. Having an array of capabilities and tools at hand is vital for the various different use cases and needs life presents. The key is working out what each this is for (for you), and when you go to each thing in your arsenal.

Just my two cents, but I admittedly have a super busy calendar because of how much my work revolves around others, and so require a robust calendar experience for all my meetings.


I’m coming to a similar conclusion. The original question arose because I found myself entering the same information into two different (but similar) applications. This is not efficient.

For me, calendar is for all the things that have to happen on a certain day at a certain time. OF is for all the things I am committed to, but which don't have to occur at a specific time.

OK, that’s an insight that works. Probably better if the “Completed” and similar fields showed dates without the time of day.

Like me, you probably enter events ‘on the run’, meaning that taking the time to do enter data twice seems inefficient and error prone. This figures into my assessment process. Can I trust myself over the long haul to actually enter the data twice? (it’s rhetorical).

Bottom line: I started this quest to find something to help me mange a growing list of complex projects, and while I’ve looked at just about everything, none are as elegant as OF. None are as pricey, either, I should say.

I’m on to the next big question in my evaluation, which is Contexts. I’ll start a new thread for that one.

Hi, I’m wondering hours & hours - how to show in Apple Calendar Omnifocus Estimated Time of whole task. I want to see in Calendar complete deep work sessions blocks, but I currently can’t set it like I like. Is there some plugins for that? Thank you for response, this thing choking my productivity.

I use the calendar in addition to OmniFocus.

As stated above, use calendar for items that need to be done during a certain time block. Then I use OmniFocus as a bucket list holding all of my tasks and projects that can be done at any time.

On my calendar, I like to create an appointment representing a time block to batch a bunch of related tasks. Batching similar tasks is perfect for time blocks.

  1. Admin work
  2. Work at my computer (context - @Mac)
  3. Work on a particular project
  4. Housecleaning

I will create an appointment (let’s say 9 am - 11 am). Then give it a title or theme (Work on summer advertisement campaign).

When 9 am arrives, I’ll go to my Summer advertisement campaign project. Or I might select one context (@Mac) and work on nothing but computer-related work.

During the holes in my schedule (between time blocks and customers), I can refer to OmniFocus to work on single tasks.

You can also go to Preferences > Notifications to create an OmniFocus calendar. If you assign a due date to a task, it will publish it to your calendar.

wilsongg Can you attach screen? I’d love to work with time blocks - which is convienient in apps-development - it’s possible to using OF create daily flow like this?

It’s possible to merge OF events with Google Calendar?

Posted elsewhere was the comment (I haven’t tried it) that dragging a task from OmniFocus to Fantastical would use the estimated time field for the duration of the ‘event’ in fantastical if the estimated time field was populated.

It works in the default apple Calendar app as well. But it will not copy the duration. Only Fantastical will recognize the task duration.

I replied to your other post about adding a task to Fantastical.

In this post, I talk about just creating an appointment with a theme.

In OmniFocus, I control-click or right-click on a project I want to work on and select “Copy as Link”

I switch to my calendar app and create an appointment with a title

If I get the appointment detail, I paste the clipboard contents into the notes section. This creates a URL link to the original OmniFocus project.

If I click on the link, OmniFocus will open and go to the desired project.

I only use this time block if I am working for a long period of time on a large project. If I have small single tasks, I usually don’t create an appointment. I will do those small tasks (2 minutes - 15 minutes in length) in the holes of my schedule throughout the day.

I think this only works with the Apple iCloud calendar. I don’t recall any integration with Google Calendar,

If you would like to request Google Calendar integration, send an e-mail to Omnigroup Support Humans at for any feature requests or bug reports. They will record your e-mail into their internal database to help prioritize future OmniFocus development.

This does work with Google Calendar if you have your Google calendar loaded in the Apple Calendar app. I use a Google Calendar for work and iCloud Calendar for personal. If I want to block time on my work calendar for an OF project, I select that calendar in the Apple Calendar App then drag the project or task. The calendar app then syncs with Google.

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