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-   -   Automatically Generate Recurring Tasks? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=18855)

mikegibb 2010-11-09 04:25 AM

Automatically Generate Recurring Tasks?
 
Is there a way to automatically generate recurring tasks? Let me give you a scenario:

I sell stuff on eBay. When I get an email that something has been sold, I want to generate a series of tasks (ideally within its own project folder). The tasks are something like:

- Find item
- Print out shipping labels
- Box item
- Affix shipping label to box
- Drop item at post office

If I sell 10 items in a day (which isn't unheard of), there is a lot of repetition that I am doing. I'm sure someone has a better way of doing this because the idea of doing it manually for each item sold seems tedious and unnecessary.

Thanks for the help.

whpalmer4 2010-11-09 05:22 AM

I use Curt Clifton's excellent Populate Template Placeholders script for things like this (including the flip side of your business!) One of my templates does the various steps for purchasing something off eBay: payment, tracking the shipment, sending feedback, incorporating the new item into my collection, etc.

It would not be fully automatic, however, as you stlll need to select the template, invoke the script, and copy/paste in the values of the placeholders. I don't know what the sale notification emails you get look like, but maybe one could do a script that pulled out the relevant bits and created the new project with Curt's work and a script that parsed email from reQall as a starting point, if full automation is needed.

mikegibb 2010-11-10 06:08 AM

I've been playing around with this script for much of the morning. I created the template project and included all my actions.

I then created a test project "Sold XX" and ran the script. When I ran the script, I was prompted for a project start date. After I entered the start date, I got the following error message:
[QUOTE]AppleScript reported the following error:
Can’t get text from paragraph 1 to paragraph -2 of "".
[/QUOTE]

I'm sure I'm missing something (I had a hard time understanding this step:
[QUOTE]Select just the root item of the duplicate project.[/QUOTE]

Can anyone tell me where I'm going wrong?

whpalmer4 2010-11-10 06:09 AM

Yeah, that means you want to select only the project name, not all of the included actions.

mikegibb 2010-11-10 06:16 AM

[QUOTE]Yeah, that means you want to select only the project name, not all of the included actions.[/QUOTE]

I want to select only the project name in the template? Or in the test project? I only have a project name in the test project. I don't have any actions in it yet.

whpalmer4 2010-11-10 06:26 AM

Select the template project's name row in the outline, then invoke the script from the scripts menu.

mikegibb 2010-11-10 06:38 AM

That did it. Thanks!

One quick question about due dates -- I included a "Due date is in two days" in the notes section and set the template project to begin today, but the due dates don't populate in the action items. How do I get those to populate automatically?

whpalmer4 2010-11-10 06:57 AM

You set up the template project with all of the start and due dates as if you were creating a project by hand. When you run the script, it takes the due date and adjusts all of the dates from the template, working backwards from the due date you gave when prompted.

mikegibb 2010-11-11 04:09 AM

That did it. Pretty cool stuff.

Thanks.

whpalmer4 2010-11-11 05:59 AM

[QUOTE=mikegibb;88777]That did it. Pretty cool stuff.

[/QUOTE]

Isn't it, though! The one area where it falls short for me (and I should stress that this is OmniFocus that is deficient, not Curt's script) is that there is no good way to put in relative dates. That is, you cannot specify that action B is due 3 days after action A is completed, or action D starts some number of days after action C is completed, etc. I have to resort to things like following action A with an action that says "set due date for action B" and hoping that I do it promptly.

If you think it would be useful to have built-in support in OmniFocus for relative dates, use Help->Send Feedback to get your vote to the developers.


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