How is it useful to have OF actions on the calendar?

Just curious – how do you find it any useful to see OF events in the calendar?
Personally I find it useless, but maybe someones insight can bring this feature to actual use…


Moved this post to a new topic since it wasn’t really related to the topic of the thread it was currently in. I don’t personally put OmniFocus actions on my calendar, though, so someone else will have to jump in on that if they’re so inclined. :-)

I never understood the concept of combining Calendar and Todo items. IMHO, places-to-be and stuff-to-do are two entirely different things that should be managed separately. But, after all, they really are in the same place… on your phone. And now with widgets all you have to do is drag down the Notification screen, and voila!

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I think some users were thinking of scheduling their tasks more than anything else. I wished I had that kind of control over my schedule. I oftentimes get walk-in clients and will have to do a task at another time. I’ve give up task scheduling as a result. I just create a time block and just focus on one project or series of tasks.

@kamil The original purpose for pushing OmniFocus actions to a calendar was so that folks could view their OmniFocus actions on their Razr, Blackberry, or original iPhone (before the App Store).

I think some folks still use it to view their upcoming deadlines on platforms where they don’t have OmniFocus.


I and many other would prefer much better calendar integration, including an option of publishing defer dates, for example, rather than due dates, which many people use less or don’t use. And is there still that silly 2-week limit for due dates? Also, integration could be more sophisticated than publishing due or defer dates as a calendar. There are other forms of calendar integration – see e.g. Busycal’s integration with reminders. OF should make these an option, even if not mandatory.

So often, when I raise this issue, I get a lecture about how OmniFocus isn’t meant to be like a calendar, etc. etc., etc. But it depends on what you use calendars for. I don’t really want to debate whether I’m thinking about calendars in the “wrong” way. I’d just like a widely desired feature request to be implemented in some way. It’s not very hard. Less sophisticated apps do it all the time. And for users who don’t like it, they don’t need to use the option.

P.S. Re the comment “I never understood the concept of combining Calendar and Todo items. IMHO, places-to-be and stuff-to-do are two entirely different things that should be managed separately.” Yes, that is your humble opinion, but not everybody agrees. Omnifocus respects many ways of self-organization, so why not accommodate those of us who would like to calendar-and-to-do integration as well? BTW, you seem to define calendar items as “places to be.” That’s not what I or many other people use our calendars for. Calendar’s have lots of uses, and better Omnifocus integration would serve many of them.


I agree. It would nice to see my calendar and see what projects I am starting that day, so i don’t book appointments on those days. Similar to Franklin Covey.

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the omnifocus official position, along GTD lines is as follows:

To summarize: the calendar tells you where you need to be and when. In the gaps between those blocks of time, OmniFocus tells you what you want to get done, and it can help you figure out what’s the most important thing to do in that block of less-scheduled time.

there appears to be some movement away from strict separation of context and calendar. GTD’s insistence on context/energy etc is being somewhat superseded, looking at people like mike vardy, cal newport, and steve mcclatchey. bottom line, with cal and steve anyway, is schedule everything.

personally, i want to use OF as my trusted collection system for all actions, but i want to be able to see my scheduled appointments and only today’s must-do/will-do actions in one place, namely my combined calendar/to-do list, so for example all appointments and scheduled project work in a calendar such as busycal, with today’s flexible to-do’s showing up from a designated OF custom perspective in the to-do list on the side.

i’m figuring out how i can do this… if OF sync with reminders was 2-way, that would be a start… otherwise i need a rule, or a way of syncing only selected perspectives with busycal or fantastical 2.

anyone figure this out yet?

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can we please pick this back up ?2ways sync etc… I desperately need!

If not what are suggested workarounds to schedule things?

I prefer selectively “importing” calendar items into OF.

While drag/drop on the iPad from calendar to OF mostly works, the iOS calendar app blocks dragging for read only calendar items like invites to other peoples meetings. To get around this I use the workflow app (which will become the siri shortcuts app in iOS 12) to create OF tasks from selected calendar items.

I do this importing as part of my daily/weekly review, and then work entirely from OmniFocus with everything showing up as I like it in my tags, perspectives and forecast view.

Also, if I’ve got, say, a meeting next Wednesday then I can convert my imported task into a project and add sub-tasks for things I need to complete for before the meeting.

I’d love an option to select a calendar item in the OF forecast view and create a task from it, populating the due and the notes (replicating what my workflow does).

However I’d be wary of any kind of sync because of the corner cases. I once wrote a program that created a subscribable calendar from OmniFocus tasks and it raised more questions than I ever resolved:

  • What happens to my tasks if somebody else deletes the calendar item?
  • What if the calendar item has repeats or a repeat schedule that isn’t supported by OF or vice versa?
  • What if the calendar item is read only and I change my synced task?
  • Do all tasks with a due or start go into the calendar? It could generate a lot of clutter.
  • What if there’s only a due or a start on the task, where does that go in the calendar?
  • Do tasks with a due/start on different days create timed calendar events that span days (it looks awful in the calendar!)
  • Which tasks sync with which calendars?
  • Timezones. OMG.
  • etc. etc.

That one feature would require a whole chapter of the manual, and it wouldn’t be light reading!

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It can be helpful to see that, on a day, as well as events you have tasks. the Forecast view on OF provides a version of that, but many people start with their calendar to see what’s coming up. It can be especially useful for tasks that have a time constraint (must be done at a certain time e.g. because someone
/something is only available at that time, cannot be done before a time, must be completed by a time)

All a matter of personal working style

I absolutely love and use this feature for my Due dates =)

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