Feature Request: have Quick Open learn ala LaunchBar

LaunchBar has a neat feature wherein it learns what shortcut you mean. For instance, if I activate LaunchBar and type in “of”, it will initially show items such as OmniFocus and Open in Firefox, initially sorted alphabetically. However, if I select a particular item multiple times, that item will become the new default. Such a feature would be great with OmniFocus’ Quick Open. If I could hit command-o, type in one letter, and hit return to access my most frequently used projects, it would be super nice.

Well, it would be super nice for you, but not for everyone.

My OF is a fast-changing dynamic collection of projects and tasks. Hardwiring through the Quick Open would reduce its core functionality.

Have you looked into the URL link system in OF? Maybe that and Keyboard Maestro (heck, even LaunchBar) might solve your problem.

You could also make a custom perspective to show the projects you find yourself opening frequently.


I can see your trepidation, but if Quick Open worked similar to LaunchBar, I really don’t think it would affect your work flow. Nothing in LaunchBar is hard coded, it simply learns how you work. All of this is done seamlessly without thinking about it. I simply use my shortcut and it remembers what I’ve chosen. After using the shortcut a few times, if I keep choosing the same item, it drifts to the top of the list. The next most frequent after that, and so on until it starts listing everything else. I’m sure it would be some work on Omni’s part to get the functionality to be as smooth as LaunchBar’s, but if they could pull it off, I think most users wouldn’t even notice it; they’d just feel like Open With automagically read their minds.

I might look into some of your suggestions, but as it stands, typing in a few extra characters is probably faster than coming up with my own system. I do love coming up with new Keyboard Maestro macros though ;)

Custom perspectives are nice and I do use them frequently, but unless I’m missing something, they’re only really useful for doing actual work. If I come up with a new action, I can’t simply add it to the perspective. This makes complete sense, since there’s no way for the perspective to know which project I want my new action to be in.

Are you going to the Project in order to add an Action?

What is the complete workflow that starts “⌘o, {enough characters to select Project}, {return}”?

As you likely know, LB has no access (afaik) to OF and can’t add it to the LB index.

Here is one person’s work-around.

Seems a lot of work in order to not type one or two extra keystrokes.

Here’s a little trick you might find useful:
Put an emoji of some sort at the beginning of your “most frequently used” Projects. Write a KMacro that inserts this emoji (triggered by a text string works for me). Then start the OF Quick Open with the emoji.

Of course, the above involves hard-coding something. And typing more (perhaps easier). That’s going to be hard to avoid, as I see it.

This solution works fine – I use it myself, but with symbols that I don’t use for other things, like ߥ or π.

I object to any feature that limits the search. If there’s a project I look at that frequently, I either add a symbol to make my own shortcut, or I make a Perspective.

Not sure if this was directed to my suggestion of Emoji … but everyone should know Emoji are Unicode. I use them in search all the time. Like @anamorph, I also use symbols that are otherwise useless to me as markers that serve as tags during searches.

No, I was referring to the idea of having Quick Open “learn” to open something through repetition. This would limit the search. Since many of us have rapidly changing project lists, this feature would not be helpful.

The symbols are a nice idea that I’ll explore further. I’ll have to try them on the iPhone as well to see if they cause any problems there.

As far as “learning” in the Quick Open, I’m afraid I haven’t explained very clearly how the learning in LaunchBar works. I guess my best suggestion for understanding what I’m proposing would be to try out the demo of LaunchBar. There is nothing hardcoded to the learning and it in no way would limit the search in OmniFocus. It also would adapt instantly to new projects being added. Simply put, it would make it faster to access frequently accessed projects (with no manual work, including not having to make special names that are harder to remember), and shouldn’t affect the current functionality for all other projects.