Is it possible to enter natural language task in iOS (question applies to MacOS version also...)

So can I say - “Send email to Bob on Monday” and have iOS profile the fields such that the due date is next Monday and task description is “Send email to Bob”.

I searched and could not find it and was rather surprised…
As an example, Fantastical is a a MacOS application that does this so elegantly.

Thanks for the help.



It’s possible - though a little tricky (see this thread) to have Siri enter tasks via Apple’s Reminders. That would get the task into OF’s Inbox. Does that help… it gets you some of the way there?

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Thanks @MarkSealey for the link.

Siri is less than reliable for me as of now. Therefore I find it faster to create tasks using OF force touch interface.
I was hoping that there is something like this bullt into OF iOS and OF Mac version. Hopefully OF team is working on it!

I second this feature request - something along the lines of functionality of creating a calendar event in Fantastical where you can type in a new task and it will automatically parse the due date, project, etc. from the entry field.

On iOS and when using an external keyboard (I use an iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard), there isn’t a quick way to tab between fields like there is for OmniFocus for Mac so this would be huge. As it stands now, it is an awkward mix of tapping on the screen and keyboard input.


I agree completely that this needs to be a feature. It’s really the only thing that I can think of that Omnifocus cannot do that it should be able to do. I have used both Todoist and Wunderlist in the past and both of those have natural language input. I love Omnifocus but really hope that they are working on this feature.

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after using it with Wunderlist, todoist and others - it quickly becomes a must have. Please do this

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I’m considering a move to OF from Wunderlist and am currently giving it a full test drive on the free trial, but the lack of natural language functionality may be a deal-killer. Have spent a couple of hours over a couple of days trying to get an answer, but it’s been unclear because it looks like OF has implemented the parsing functionality for URL’s and text passed from other apps:

See “Drafts Inbox” section:

It looks like you can even paste TaskPaper strings with tags into OF? Whatever the case, I can’t get it to recognize those tags when I enter the text directly. Not sure if I’m missing something. In any case, if the functionality exists, it needs to be better documented (and marketed). If it doesn’t, it seems like it should be pretty straightforward to implement at this point, with the parser already there for TaskPaper formatted text. I wouldn’t mind using “@due” type tags, though I’m not sure if that’s representative of the user base at large.

It also looks like OF parses natural language inputs from Siri Reminder requests. Why not implement it for direct text input in your own user interfaces? Strange:

To record a new Inbox item with Siri, try these phrases:

“Siri, remember to…” records a task to the system default Reminders list. OmniFocus grabs it from that list if it’s the one you have chosen to capture.

“Siri, remind me to…at (date and time)” records a task to the default list, and assigns a due date.

In iOS 8, you can now use “remember to” and “remind me to” somewhat interchangeably. If you specify a time after either of these phrases, it will be assigned as a due date.

“Siri, remind me when I get to (or leave)…” records a task to the default list with a contact location attached. If you choose a specific location, make sure it matches an OmniFocus context location.

I think Siri passes it off to Apple Reminders. The Reminders app parses it into separate categories (task name, date, time, etc.). When Reminders has broken the spoken input down, it saves a reminder item. Then OmniFocus will see the Reminder and import that. OmniFocus isn’t doing the parsing.