Tips for using Siri with OmniFocus (was: OF Siri Integration not working)

“Hey Siri, remind me to…” doesn’t seem to populate my OF inbox anymore (which it did with the current iPhone config and OF 3). Couldn’t find any support articles updated for OF 4. Has anyone encountered / solved this? TIA!

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  • Use a physical activation button for Siri.
  • Without saying “Hey Siri” try saying instead “Tell OmniFocus”.

When you activate Siri, you can say something like “in OmniFocus” to direct the task to OmniFocus.

If you activate Siri and say, for example, “Remind me to call John”, a new item will be added to the Reminders app. If you instead say, “Remind me to call John in OmniFocus”, a new action will be added to the OmniFocus inbox.

You can also specify a due date using Siri. You could, for example, say, “Remind me to call John by 5pm in OmniFocus”. An action will be added to the OmniFocus inbox that’s due at 5pm.

If you don’t want to have to say “In OmniFocus” each time, go to OmniFocus Settings > Automation > Reminders Capture and enable Reminders Capture. Then, choose the Reminders list that you want OmniFocus to draw from. Items added to this list will automatically be imported into OmniFocus. If you choose the default Reminders list, activating Siri and saying something like “Remind me to call John” will add the action to OmniFocus via Reminders.

On a side note, consider creating one or more automations in Shortcuts to capture things into OmniFocus. OmniFocus has excellent Shortcuts support that accommodates a wide range of use cases. For example, I created a simple, two-line Dictate to OmniFocus shortcut that prompts me to speak what I’m capturing and adds the result to OmniFocus. One way to run this shortcut is to activate Siri (e.g. by saying “Hey Siri”) then say Dictate to OmniFocus.

I hope this helps!


Another example with shortcuts. “Shopping” is a shortcut that asks “Where?” and you dictate a tag (e.g. “Grocery”). Then it keeps prompting you for items until you say something like “Done”

Whoops, sorry. I forgot that it calls a subroutine:

Thanks @timstringer for the explanation.

I do end the Siri request with “in Omnifocus” but what I seem to have found is that if the description is too long, the whole task will be put in Reminders rather than OF. For example, recently I said something like this to Siri: Create task called Read article on human subject data Ari Shapiro in OmniFocus". Instead of adding to OF, it added to Reminders. Now, this isn’t exactly what I said, but it was something a bit of this length if not a bit longer.

With regards to the Shortcut, do you have to manually press on the Shortcut or can a verbal command activate it? I haven’t used Shortcut in this way. The only Shortcut I have developed are ones in which I select and press (with my finger) to interact with. In any case, I’ll look up your Shortcut and may be able to find the answer to my question.

Edit: I just tried beginning the command with “In Omnifocus…” and this seems to work! I had thought that the “in Omnifocus” part has to come AT THE END of the command. This changes things if “In Omnifocus” can come at the beginning as I wouldn’t even have to create a Shortcut anymore.

Further edit: It looks like if my command is long, even beginning with “In Omnifocus” will STILL send the whole thing to Reminders and not OF. So, this is still not reliable… :(

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You’re very welcome, @chomni.

Using Siri to add tasks can be a bit tedious and unpredictable, which is why I tend to favour shortcuts. One way to run shortcuts is to activate Siri and say the shortcut’s name. For example, “Hey Siri, Dictate to OmniFocus”.


@timstringer, excellent. Good information for me to know that it’s the title of the shortcut that’s needed for Siri. Thanks! I’m experimenting.

My commands, or rather names of the task, do tend to be long if I’m dictating them because the situations I’m using these is when I can’t actually get to my phone such as when I’m driving and I’m needing to ramble a bit in order to make sure that I get the details I want after either I heard somethin on the radio I want to get to later, or a thought popped in my head that I need recorded.

So for example, a long name could be: “Read that article mentioned on NPR that talked about human subjects data, Ari Shapiro was host”. Obviously if I were able to type AND were not driving, the whole thing could be a lot shorter, but I need the details in order to go back to the task to more properly formulate them later.

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When I say “Tell Omnifocus” siri attempts to send a text message to my omnisync email address. So no go there.

Thanks for the input on this Tim.
I’ve tried “…in omnifocus” but siri replies with “I don’t have an app for that.” However, the Settings>Automation>Reminders Capture did the trick. Many thanks!

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Another way… Invoke Siri, say the words “OmniFocus New Task” and wait. Or for quick input say, “OmniFocus New Task” + “Your task title”.

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Can’t get it to work - see my shortcut & thoughts? Thank you

Another way… Invoke Siri, say the words “OmniFocus New Task” and wait. Or for quick input say, “OmniFocus New Task” + “Your task title”.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for me at all. Siri does hear me say “Omnifocus New Task”. On the Watch, it asks me then “What do you want to be reminded about?” I say something, for example, “testing”. Siri then says it has added that to my reminders. And yes, it added it to the Reminders app, and not OmniFocus.

Is the “Process Physical In-Box” a project?

When you invoke Siri, do you say afterwards “Dictate to OmniFocus”?

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So kinda in line with this topic but not really fully on topic…

I get that the title of the Shortcut is the voice command we say after we invoke Siri. Currently my title for adding to Omnifocus is “Add to Omnifocus”. However, after I haven’t used this shortcut for a while, I forget exactly how I’ve worded the title so for example just yesterday, I kept saying “Add in Omnifocus” and of course Siri did the wrong thing.

My question then is can the a shortcut have multiple commands that could run it? For example, is there a way to edit the shortcut so that it can be activated either as “Add in Omnifocus” or “Add to Omnifocus”? A workaround I can think of is simple duplicate the shortcut and give is the other title, but that’s not a very elegant solution.

Beyond “Add to Omnifocus” and “Add in Omnifocus”, I can see myself saying “Create in Omnifocus” especially if I haven’t used those commands in a long time. You know what I mean?

@chomni – You can create additional shortcut(s) that simply use the “Run Shortcut” action to run the shortcut that captures to OmniFocus. This allows you to have multiple trigger phrases that run the same shortcut. If you make future enhancements to the shortcut that captures to OmniFocus, you only make them in one place.

@timstringer, thanks for the idea! That helps.

Still, it is less elegant of a solution than, say if Shortcuts were designed so that it can have multiple voice triggers. Anyhow, I like your idea!

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You’re very welcome, @chomni. It’s good to hear this was helpful.

It would be helpful to be able to specify alternate names/triggers for a shortcut, as is currently possible with Voice Control.

Screenshot please! Thank you

@Yaaqov – You can use the Run Shortcut action to run an existing shortcut. In this example, OmniFocus Dictate runs the “Dictate to OmniFocus” shortcut (referenced above), allowing “OmniFocus Dictate” to be used as an alternative to “Dictate to OmniFocus”.

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I’m not aware of a way to specify multiple trigger phrases for the same shortcut. The best option I’ve found is to create shortcuts that simply run the main shortcut.

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