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-   -   How can I sync Start/Due dates to iCal? [A: use "export calendar" instead.] (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=21392)

filmgeek 2011-06-15 07:32 AM

How can I sync Start/Due dates to iCal? [A: use "export calendar" instead.]
 
All I want is the items with a DUE DATE (or start date) to show up on a calendar; NOT any of my other 'todos'

Nothing I can see in the manual (1.4) seems to give enough detail. Any insights?

whpalmer4 2011-06-15 07:50 AM

Good news: nothing is going to show up on your calendar.
Bad news: see the good news :-)

iCal syncing puts tasks into the to do list section, not the calendar proper. However, it does not differentiate on the basis of start or due dates—if an action is assigned to a context which is synced to iCal, it will be synced. iCal does have some UI for controlling how to do items are displayed, which may help (see the Advanced preferences, in particular).

Make a new calendar in iCal and set up a context to sync to it. If you don't like it, just delete the calendar from iCal, with no harm done. I suspect that you will find that the feature doesn't really do what you think you want it to do (because what most people seem to want it to do isn't really what it was built to do). Then, send in feedback to Omni asking them to please hurry up with bringing the iPad's Forecast view to the Mac, because it will likely scratch this itch better than iCal.

filmgeek 2011-06-15 07:52 AM

I figured that. I don't use ical's Todo - and I don't need any info in there (that's what OF for my iPhone & iPad are)

What I want is a calendar with all the DATE sensitive material, a la GTD/David Allen.

whpalmer4 2011-06-15 08:21 AM

Does the Forecast view on the iPad (didn't realize you had one) not accomplish that for you? In what way does it not meet your needs? DA's calendar gospel speaks of three uses:[LIST=1][*]time-specific actions[*]day-specific actions[*]day-specific information[/LIST]
Time-specific actions are just appointments. Check!
Day-specific actions are actions that need to happen sometime that day. Start + due handles this. Check!
Day-specific information is a bit murky and inconsistent: I see it as as a bit of a kludge, myself. The only reason for putting it on the calendar is to have quick access to something related to today yet which may not even be actionable. Quite a contrast with what he says about the calendar on the very next page: "The way I look at it, the calendar should be sacred territory. If you write something there, it must get done that day or not at all." Does that sound identical to "[i]information[/i] that may be useful on a certain date" to you? :-) But in any case, if you managed to stuff it into iCal, the Forecast view can be configured to reveal its presence to you. Check.

If you've got an iPhone and iPad both running OmniFocus, there's really no point in turning on iCal sync; everything it was ever intended to do is done better by the OmniFocus iOS apps.

filmgeek 2011-06-15 08:26 AM

I want [I]one reference[/I] for my calendar. Not two.

iCal has all the days that things HAVE to get done. It also has birthdays, my wifes calendar and holidays.

I'm not looking for two buckets to collect. (Let's just assume I'm strict on the GTD stuff)

Untimed Todo stuff cluttering my calendar would be bad. It's all #2 - day specific actions (anything further than that, #1 has me create the appt.)

I don't need #3 - that's what a daily review is for.

whpalmer4 2011-06-15 09:08 AM

I don't understand your "one reference for my calendar" comment. The Forecast view will show items in your calendar along the bottom of the screen if you configure it to do so. True, it does not allow you to edit all of the details of those items. Looking at my upcoming calendar through the Forecast view, I see among other things: [LIST][*]reminder of anniversary of death of childhood friend[*]"appointment" to listen to an internet radio program[*]Father's Day[*]Meeting of my son's "electronics club"[*]My spouse's school board meeting[/LIST]
Also in that view, I see OF actions starting and/or due on each day in the next week. Nowhere do I see "untimed todo stuff cluttering the calendar", nor do I see actions which do not have a date associated in some way.

It sounds to me like you need to try the OF 1.3 for iPad Forecast view changes...just bring up the Forecast view and tap the eyeball icon to adjust the view options. There's no unwanted clutter, though I sometimes wish I could discern whether an event shown is "busy" or "free" without bringing up the inspector. In any case, it is your best option if you are willing to get out your iPad or iPhone.

filmgeek 2011-06-15 11:21 AM

I love the forecast. It's there when I look @ omnifocus.
I want ONE calendar reference - not two. I do a daily review and check ical. There are elements of 'information only' on my calendar that aren't (and shouldn't) be in OF. I just want my date sensitive material in one calendaring system, not two.

All of the items on your calendar are on mine - but not in OF, unless I watned to amke a call to my childhood friend's wife, needed to register for the radio program, buy my dad a gift etc.

Yes, I like the forecasting, but my iPad isn't with me all the time. iCal is (and OF is; even on my iPhone.)

I'll admit - I'm nit picking. I just want the 'due' items to show up on a calendar.

Brian 2011-06-15 01:11 PM

Filmgeek, it sounds like the "Publish due reminders as a calendar" option in Sync preferences is what you're looking for. It exports your deadlines to a calendar file as part of the WebDAV sync process. (Items without due dates don't get exported to the calendar, in other words.)

Will work just fine with MobileMe, our Sync Server, or any other WebDAV server you're syncing to. Hope that helps!

Brian 2011-06-15 01:12 PM

Reviewing your first post, saw the request for start dates. Not currently supported, but we do have a feature request open on that. Email the [EMAIL="omnifocus@omnigroup.com"]support ninjas[/EMAIL] to add yourself to the request. Thanks!

WebbChad 2011-12-03 03:48 PM

I first want to admit I haven't read GTD. (It's on my Christmas list.) Additionally, I have only started using OF within the last month. And lastly, I'm not sure this is the thread to bring this up. I think it is enough so I will post to it.

If I understand the original post with the Start/Due dates in iCal, I believe the intent is to have my iCal show a task as an event within iCal. If that is true sign me up. If not, read on!

I have tasks as taking only 5 minutes in my forecast and/or within iCal. However, some tasks are not realistic to complete in 5 minutes or less. Take wrapping gifts for charity task(sticking with Christmas theme), I would like to estimate the effort to take 4-6 hours. My hope is for OF to forecast that out enough based on a start or due timestamp. My preference is that I know when it needs done, so back the estimate from there and show/force my hand to complete the task.

Hope that made sense and didn't complicate matters.

whpalmer4 2011-12-03 05:31 PM

[QUOTE=WebbChad;104717]
If I understand the original post with the Start/Due dates in iCal, I believe the intent is to have my iCal show a task as an event within iCal. If that is true sign me up. If not, read on!
[/quote]
There are two routes which OmniFocus uses to publish information to iCal. The original one is the Sync with iCal button that is available for installing in your toolbar (or use File->Synchronize with iCal). This takes actions from your contexts and make iCal to do entries in the corresponding calendars that you've mapped via the preferences in OmniFocus. It does [b]not[/b] make calendar entries. The goal was to populate task information from OmniFocus onto iPhones before there was OmniFocus for iPhone and onto any other devices which could be synced with iCal. Apple has largely pulled the rug out from under this, and Omni does not appear to want to build a replacement (I decision with which I agree).

The second route is another trick done by Omni to make up for deficiencies in the Apple API support for notifications an iOS release or two ago. Because there was no provision for an application to send a notification to the user without assuming that there was ubiquitous internet connectivity, someone at Omni had the clever idea of populating a calendar on the device whenever a sync is done with appointments of 0 minutes duration and letting the calendar app (which could do those notifications) handle the dirty work of notifying the user that something was about to be due. This tactic uses actual calendar events, not to dos, and so some people have used this as a way to see their upcoming due items on a calendar. However, the notification is the same amount of lead time for every action (one size fits all!) and nothing whatsoever is done with start dates. It also is no longer needed for devices running recent iOS releases. Finally, it is only populated for 10 days or 2 weeks into the future, so even if you are okay with the other constraints, it may not show as much of a view as you want.
[quote]
I have tasks as taking only 5 minutes in my forecast and/or within iCal. However, some tasks are not realistic to complete in 5 minutes or less. Take wrapping gifts for charity task(sticking with Christmas theme), I would like to estimate the effort to take 4-6 hours. My hope is for OF to forecast that out enough based on a start or due timestamp. My preference is that I know when it needs done, so back the estimate from there and show/force my hand to complete the task.

Hope that made sense and didn't complicate matters.[/QUOTE]
There's a frequent misconception that a start date is a scheduling of when you will start working a task, and a due date is when you will finish working a task. That's not really what was intended. Start date is the earliest date at which you wish to have an action shown to you as available, and due date is the latest date at which you can complete it without it being overdue. Due date-start date is not generally the amount of time required to complete the task. There's nothing preventing you from using it that way, but the designers are taking the more general view. OmniFocus (and GTD) isn't intended as a scheduler of your work, but rather a tool that allows you to keep track of your work, including when it must be completed, and helps you make good choices about what you work on in the time you are not working on things that must be done at that specific time. If you have a meeting with the boss on Tuesday from 2-4pm, that's what you do Tuesday from 2-4pm. If you have to prepare a document for the meeting, and you think it will take 3 hours, that's something that has a due date of Tuesday 2pm, and a duration of 3 hours, but it isn't necessarily the case that it must be done between 11am and 2pm on Tuesday. You can tell OmniFocus that you want it done by 2pm on Tuesday, and you can also specify that you can't work on it before Monday at 3pm, or that you can't work on it until Joe gives you some document, but OmniFocus will not tell you that you have 14 hours of work to do in a 6 hour period, nor will it choose what you should do next of all of your choices.

The GTD (and OmniFocus) workflow boils down to this:

1) Look at calendar. If there is something to do right now, do it. Go to 1.
2) Pick something to do off your lists. Do it. Go to 1.

I remember someone posting a reference to a web app somewhere that created a schedule for you based on all of the things you need to get done. We discussed it a little bit on the forum here, but I don't remember enough keywords to find it.


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