Time track / any easy way within (native) OF2?

Just finished a search and I don’t get anything easy for me to track the time I’ve spent working in some task.

There are lots of AppleScripts with black magic integration with third party apps but… we are in 2017… maybe OmniFocus2 should have this ‘present’ for us. I’m a "solepreneur as (looks like) many users here are small business owners how need this feature to help us bill our customers and keep paying OmniGroup to develop and update those Omnice tools :)

well… it’s just me venting…

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It is not even in the 2017’s roadmap, you can come back in 3 month to checkout next year’s roadmap

hope we can see these kind of breakthrough :)

I doubt it will ever come to OmniFocus because it’s not what OmniFocus is for. You’d use OmniFocus to keep an overview on what you need to do (and in some cases when), not how long you’ve been working on a certain task or for a certain project/client. There are other tools for that such as toggl (note the missing e at the end); there is plenty when you search for “time tracking software”. Another option is to use an issue tracker to keep track of all the requests from the clients and the time you spend on it. Most also allow you to send invoices. Invoicing itself is also another story because you may want to send 1 invoice per task or 1 invoice for multiple tasks (also depends on the clients requirements).

Maybe OmniGroup needs to make a new app that integrates it all :-)


Sincerely I don’t know what’s the philosophy behind OF2, I just like most of the features it has but this does not make it the best ever created app without space to improve… Regarding the “it’s not what OF2 if for”; (time track) is one of the most basic features of any manager wants since the invention of the lazy PERT networks. Besides, how do you explain the “Active, On hold, Complete and Dropped” actions? Why do we need that? And lastly, how do you explain the propose of duplicating tasks between apps? So the idea for you is: under OF2 I register tasks; the I measure my progress on another application? I don’t see any logic on that.

IMHO OmniGroups needs to keep up the pace :P

I’d like to see this too. But how many time tracking apps are good at managing projects and tasks ?

OmniFocus is my bucket list holding my projects and tasks. It is the cold storage area where I pick projects and tasks to be worked on at my discretion or as dictated by outside forces. As a calendar scheduler and time tracker, OmniFocus will not easily carry the load.

Active, on hold, completed, and dropped are meant to clarify the current status of a project. It has loose connections to time tracking .

Apps such as Timing and Officetime are better suited for time tracking but inadequate for project and task management.

Maybe one day, the Holy Grail of task management apps will arrive.

If you’d like to send a feature request to omnifocus@omnigroup.com, that will be placed in their feature request database.

IMHO OF2 is simple task management. Project management we have OmniPlan; but I understand your point; there is no such holy grail.

Regarding actions: if we can clarify the project status; perhaps we can measure it. An in fact it has strong connections with tracking; after all “play, stop, pause” are actions totally related with progress and progress is related with time; but its my point of view.

Thanks for the email. I will :)


I think it will simply never happen. GTD and time tracking have completely different requirements and user base. It makes no sense to pair them in one peace of software. However, there are options.

You could use something like Tyme2 for time tracking (http://www.tyme-app.com/mac-2/) which has a pretty good OSA support. Here is list of script hooks in Tyme2: https://www.tyme-app.com/tyme-scripting/ and here is an example of a script binding together OmniFocus, Fantastical and Tyme2: https://github.com/fuxialexander/Applescript

Script will be a lot simpler if it does not involve Fantastical.

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Hi lycopodiopsida, thanks for yoru reply.

I don’t agree with you. Why has OF2 projects? Why can I have project type: single Actions; Parallel, Sequential? Why there is a pause, start, on hold actions? For my GTD understanding these are contexts and I don’t see problems on measuring how long do you spend time in each context.

Keep it simple. I don’t need another app. I just need the analytics because the feature is here.

Time tracking apps exist, because there are self-emploeyed people who bill their customers by hours. This is not something you do for fun (otherwise you would most likely pick a pomodoro timer) and requires some special functionality ("make a detailed invoices for this project including exact list of times and tasks I worked on) and a very different view on projects, including hourly rates, planned budget and so on. All these things have nothing to do with the GTD methodology, which is the raison d’être of OmniFocus.

So, could they integrate all these things in OF? Yes, maybe. Will they? Most likely not, for a number of reasons:

  1. It is easier and better to keep the app barebone and puristic. What will people ask for next? A function to store cooking receipts and search by ingredients? For every weird thing you can imagine you will find at least a couple of people who think they absolutely need it.
  2. There is already a project planning app from OmniGroup.
  3. There is still a couple of features directly related to the GTD methodology people ask for and it makes absolute sense to serve them first.

P. S.: On Hold and Active are not contexts, they are completely technical things inner to OF which should help you to maintain the overview when you have a lot of ongoing projects.

  • I don’t know where did you read I want to write invoices or cooking recipes. I just want insights for how long is a task “active”.

  • Can you point me please to the official document which says “there is no time tracking on GTD”?

  • OFC2 does not forces you to use GTD. In fact whats written in the website is “(…) OmniFocus is flexible enough to be used however you want. Start with a workflow or system you know, like GTD®, or craft your own from the ground up. (…)”; and thats why many people is integrating AppleScripts to extend it.

  • So, two applications:

  1. OF2 or other, “Getting Things Done” app to manage things (tasks).
  2. “Time Tracker” app to measure how long things (tasks) are open.

:) Sorry, I can’t compute this :)

Maybe I am expressing me wrong or you are not seeing my point et al. Keep it simple.

Once again - “Active” in OF is not a current task, and not a flag for a task you are currently working on - in simply makes the task visible in certain perspectives. Read the OF2 docs on project status.

Can you point me please to the official document which says “there is no time tracking on GTD”?

Read the books of Allen on GTD. I’ve read two of them and never found anything related to time-tracking. But you can provide me some citations on that matter, of course.

Start with a workflow or system you know, like GTD®, or craft your own from the ground up. (…)"; and thats why many people is integrating AppleScripts to extend it.

You can craft whatever you want/can with OSA scripting, true. In fact, that is what I suggested (event told you the solution) and exactly the reason OmniGroup supports OSA scripting in their products. But you have to create it with your own hands. I will cite the manual on that matter:

OmniFocus works great as a standalone productivity aid or in conjunction with whatever time- and task-management scheme suits your personal style.

Clear, isn’t it?

So, two applications:

Can’t see any problems there. In fact, only advantages. I don’t need a time tracking app in OF, because a lot of tasks (all personal) do not require any time tracking and I am not billing people for my tasks. For those, which may profit from it I prefer to use a pomodoro-like approach with Vitamin R-2, which, again, supports OF2 via scripting. So, now OmniGroup would have to support a time-tracking functionality and a pomodoro-timer functionality with all bells and whistles. And 3 different things more if 3 additional people join this thread. Because, you know, everyone has other requirements. So, it will most likely not happen, because OSA Scripting exists for exact this reason.

As a summary: I think you are wasting your time complaining about things which will not happen in threads no one from OmniGroup will read. In this time you could already have done some thinking about your workflow and write a simple script.

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We think different.

I take a different approach to this. I usually name my tasks “Do X for 25 mins” , “Clear up your room for 15 mins” , “Draft this PPT for 30 mins”, etc.

I set a timer in my Mac / iPhone and then go to the races. Sometimes I get done early , sometimes I don’t. Depending on the task I budget more time for it. You get better at estimating how much it will take you with time.

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