Is there a way to scan a document to OF3 iOS?

Evernote allows you to scan a document via your phone or a scanner attached to your computer. The document goes right into the Evernote database. Is there a way to do this in OF3 iOS?

It sounds like you might be interested in seeing optical character recognition support, so that scanned text is automatically converted to text that flows into an OmniFocus item. Is that right? If so we have a feature request for that! Please feel free to drop us an email at and we’ll be glad to add your +1 to that request. Thanks!

You can of course Create a task and then add an attachment w camera

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I was hoping to use ScanSnap to scan a Doc and then create a pdf in OF Inbox.

One of the reasons I keep using Evernote in addition to OF

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Just scan it in the app of your choice and send it with this shortcut

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I’m not sure whether you want your OF database filled up with many attachments, specifically if you add them frequently.

You could also use specific software for document management like the above mentioned Evernote or other software like DEVONthink (To Go).

For e.g. with DEVONthink To Go it’s easy to share the unique document ID and paste a URL-scheme to that document ID into a new task by building a Shortcut and make that available in the share sheet. Beside the link to that document, you can also add (part of) the text content of the PDF in your task.

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And here is how to create these links in Evernote: How to Manage both Tasks AND Notes/Reference: Possible Within OF? Or at Least with an Omni Product? Or How?

You can also get the link with an Evernote Shortcut action.

OF attachments are great for including a copy of a photo or document which helps you complete a task and can be discarded afterwards, but I wouldn’t use it to store reference material. Other apps will have better support for organising, searching, and viewing documents.

Why would an attachment in OmniFocus be worse than an attachment in DevonThink? Retrievability and searchability might be two reasons.

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You could write a book in a spreadsheet program if you want, but I would advise against it.

DEVONthink’s core purpose is document management, not task management
OmniFocus’s core purpose is task management, not document management

To some extent you can certainly do both in each application and I’m not stopping anybody, but I think it makes more sense to use each application as much in line with its design. It most likely will result in a better user experience.

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The only counter-argument to that is some people prefer all in one app. But it’s not an argument I’d make, particularly with Automation yoking apps together.

Workflow question here.

I’m going through my paper inbox and I decide that I need to take action on this paper that was mailed to me and might have three pages.

The first option which I kind a like is to open up OmniFocus and add a picture of the three pages as attachments. The thing I like most about this is once I’m done I’ve created a task and I have the reference information Readily available.

The second option would be to feed the 15 pages into ScanSnap and create a separate PDF and then review them and drag them into OmniFocus to create new task. I guess you could also create a link to the PDF so that your database does not include so many attachments. My concern is if you move it in the other app or do something to it there The link is broken.

The downside to doing it this way is you have to look at that piece of paper twice but the advantages that you can search for it and ScanSnap home or once it’s OCR and filed with Hazel you can just do a spotlight search for the Pdf.


Once you complete the task do those tasks eventually get deleted from the database. That would mean you’d lose the document if you did option one.

If they don’t get deleted eventually your database would get pretty large.

I guess some testing is in order, one test will be to scan the documents into Devonthink and then copy the link to that file into OmniFocus.

The second test will be just to use OmniFocus to take a picture and add it as “attachment”and tag it with the tag attachment so that if you need to go back and clean up the database you can find all of the tasks with attachments If necessary.

I will have to check but I think OmniFocus has a way of just seeing the attachments that way if a task is completed you could copy the attachment out into finder.

How do you do it?

Any recommendations?