How I use templates on iOS

I’ve devised a way to go about spawning new projects using templates on iOS using the Workflow app, and wanted to share it with you in case adopting a pre-made solution would be helpful.

My job as a therapist has me traveling to almost as many sites as I have clients. When I get a new client, there are a few steps I need to complete that do not need to be deferred, which I have saved as a template, and can be added to the client’s new project. Once the date is set for a first session, many further actions become available, with various defer and due dates that are relative to the date of the first session. (This is true enough to work well enough for me, at any rate.) So, once the date of the first session is set, I can then populate the client’s project with this template as well.

I keep all my templates as action groups inside of a “Templates” project at the top level. This keeps templates consolidated to an easily accessible project. However, you can store your templates wherever or however you like, as projects or action groups; it does not matter.

Before getting to the workflow itself, here are two conventions my templates adhere to for this to work:

  1. Any variables I’d like to manually specify at the time are bracketed like this (minus the spaces): < < variable > >. (I used these symbols because I can easily edit them on iOS without having to look up how to key it in!)
  2. The templates are each deferred to January 1, 2045 at midnight. This will snap to become the specified “predicate date” later. So, any dates in the template are formatted relative to this one. For my example, if something will be deferred to a week after the first session and due right at the third session, that action group in the template will have a defer date of January 8, 2045 12:00AM and a due date of January 22, 2045 12:00AM.

So, onto the Workflow itself!
To run the workflow, I go to the template project (or action group) on iOS and select the share sheet. From there, I hit “run workflow” and select my “OmniFocus Template” workflow.
In the process, it will ask me a few questions. If my template contains anything labelled as “< < something > >” it will offer to replace “something” with something else. Also, and this is the important part, it will ask me for a “predicate date.” For my example, this would be the date of the first session with a client. The workflow will calculate the time difference from your specified ‘predicate date’ to January 1, 2045 12:00AM, and apply this difference to all dates in the template.
The template will be made into a project/action group and deposited in your OmniFocus inbox for assignment to a project or whatever you want to do with it.

It’s sort of a hack, and would need to be revised within 28 years to push the predicate date back, but it’s been super useful for me. I am not sitting in front of my Mac for 98% of my job, so being able to quickly generate a useful client project from my phone is essential, and this is my “will’s” “way” to solve that problem.

Here’s the workflow:


OP updated with an tweaked workflow that will take care of defer dates of 2044, not just 2045 and beyond.

Thanks for this - I’m really looking forward to using it 🙏🏻

Can’t seem to edit the OP, but here is a revised version of this workflow that is more efficient. Shouldn’t work any differently aside from being faster.

Here is a link to a revised version of this shortcut and far superior write-up. I can’t edit the OP of this thread, so here you go: