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-   -   With Omnifocus/iPhone do I need iCal sync anymore? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=9594)

Dan 2008-08-26 09:44 AM

With Omnifocus/iPhone do I need iCal sync anymore?
 
I've been using OmniFocus since last year (alpha) and got used to syncing it with the To-Do items in iCal.

Now I have an iPhone and OmniFocus for iPhone, which does a great job of keeping itself sync'd with the full program on my Mac using my .Mac (sorry, MobileMe) account.

My question is: What (if any) reasons are there for continuing to sync OmniFocus with iCal?
Thanks!

MacBerry 2008-08-26 10:27 AM

I'd be interested to hear what benefit it had before - given that (presumably) iCal and OF were on the same machine, what were you using the resultant todo's in iCal for? Maybe you were syncing with some other mobile device?

The only use I can see if you now have an iPhone would be if you need someone else or another app/device to see the todo's generated in OF. I use it to delegate todo's to my assistant (who also happens to be my wife!!!), and to receive todo's from her (yes I know - giving my wife permission and the method to add todo's directly to my inbox makes me insane!!). She doesn't use OF, and even if she did, wouldn't want her copy to be completely in sync with mine, so we sync certain contexts to iCal calendars.

Mark

Dan 2008-08-26 12:25 PM

I used to sync with a Treo 650, which is why I used iCal. When I upgraded to Leopard, iCal and Address Book would no longer sync with the Treo, in essence forcing me to get an iPhone (I was going to anyway).

MacBerry 2008-08-26 01:31 PM

[QUOTE=Dan;45716]I used to sync with a Treo 650, which is why I used iCal. When I upgraded to Leopard, iCal and Address Book would no longer sync with the Treo, in essence forcing me to get an iPhone (I was going to anyway).[/QUOTE]

Really? So Apple took you down a path that would result in you buying an Apple product? Surely not :eek: How very Microsoft () of them ;)

Seriously though, I didn't realise the Treo stopped syncing in Leopard. The 650 is Palm OS right? I thought you could still sync Palm OS with Leopard?

Dan 2008-08-26 01:41 PM

Leopard iCal would sync calendar entries only. Contacts and to-dos stopped syncing. Apple & Palm are supposedly "working out the issues."

I could've bought Missing Sync which no doubt would have done the trick, but I was ready for a change anyway.

So unless I want to start sharing to-dos with someone else, I should stop syncing OmniFocus with iCal altogether.

jdh 2008-09-04 08:43 PM

Yes, syncing with iCal is otherwise only necessary if you want to actually [i]see[/i] the tasks in iCal itself.

I sync a few selected contexts with iCal -- mostly household type stuff. This is partly because I don't necessarily fire up OF on the weekend just to check these routine tasks off, and I've also recently started sharing that task list with my wife via BusySync.

The iPhone's Calendar application has no to-do support [i]anyway[/i], so you're not going to gain anything iPhone-related by syncing your OF info into iCal. At best, you'd have your tasks available on the web via MobileMe, but this sounds rather irrelevant if they're already on your iPhone (and in a much more useful format and organization).

MacBerry 2008-09-04 11:14 PM

[QUOTE=jdh;46485] At best, you'd have your tasks available on the web via MobileMe, but this sounds rather irrelevant if they're already on your iPhone (and in a much more useful format and organization).[/QUOTE]
It's not possible to get to the MobileMe web interface from the iPhone anyway.

Mark

jdh 2008-09-05 03:56 AM

That's right also... I wasn't really thinking about using MobileMe on the iPhone in this case, but having access to it from secondary computers at work or school.

I work at a number of different clients, and don't always pull out my MacBook when I'm there, so sometimes MobileMe is useful for updating my calendar (it's faster and easier to type a few new appointments into a web browser than entering them on the iPhone). For [i]tasks[/i], however, I don't really see the usefulness, since there are better ways to handle new task entry (ie, "collection") into OF anyway.

pecko 2008-09-21 04:42 AM

There's one think iCal can do which OF can't on both Mac and iPhone... Alarms. With this native to both iPhone and Mac you don't need the iCal app open to have an alarm remind you of your next task.

Also it would be good to plan a particular day of various tasks in iCal based on the due date and time allocated in OF.

Unfortunately iCal's tasks don't handle time and only allocates a "day" due date.

jdh 2008-09-21 04:58 AM

Well, you can set an alarm for a task based on a time, so the due time from OF could be reflected somehow in the alarm time setting.

Again, however, this would only be practical on the desktop and not the iPhone, since iCal [i]tasks[/i] don't show up on the iPhone. Ergo, the alarms feature there would not be particularly useful unless you create your OF actions as calendar [i]events[/i] (appointments) rather than tasks. I don't think OF can do this natively, although I seem to recall that somebody posted an Applescript around here somewhere that could do this.

Mixalis 2008-09-23 09:36 AM

I stopped syncing with iCal because of frequent duplications and other errors which I put down to the sync process. I manually deleted all task data from iCal (not, of course, calendar information) and now avoid the iCal sync button. Since then I have had much greater data integrity within OF desktop. I can see no particular reason to continue syncing with iCal except, perhaps, for the iCal alarm function as mentioned by jdh.

Jd47 2008-10-10 02:44 PM

I think Alarms is an essential piece that is missing. It could work like this..

OF could add a checkbox field called Alarm. If you had a time-dependent task, you would check the Alarm box, add a due date/time and it would get added to an OF Calendar. With iCal subscribed to the calendar these items would appear in iCal as 5 minute events with an alarm.

Then you can keep all these tasks in OF, rather than adding them directly into iCal as one-off events. Thoughts?

Brian 2008-10-12 01:54 PM

If you install [URL="http://growl.info/"]this free system plugin[/URL], I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. :-)

mkoistinen 2008-10-17 07:54 AM

Off topic... Apple antics
 
[QUOTE=MacBerry;45721]Really? So Apple took you down a path that would result in you buying an Apple product? Surely not :eek: How very Microsoft () of them ;)

Seriously though, I didn't realise the Treo stopped syncing in Leopard. The 650 is Palm OS right? I thought you could still sync Palm OS with Leopard?[/QUOTE]

Yeah, when Apple released the iPhone, they removed one of the coolest features in OS X - it's Bluetooth integration for many, many phones. I know it sounds cynical of me, but they removed the feature because they didn't support this on the iPhone and didn't want this cool feature to be available for other phones, and not the iPhone. :( This is in addition to the loss of syncing as mentioned by the OP. I have an iPhone, so it doesn't affect me that much, but it really put a dull spot on Apple's shiny image for me.

vano 2008-11-20 03:42 PM

Hi all,

I am a happy OmniFocus user, but the iCal Alarms feature is a real missing feature. I actually came across this thread while looking for a solution.

Think of it this way. I want to set Alarms for the 'Hard Landscape' / AKA Calendar events directly from within OmniFocus just as it should if one follows the GTD methodology. I don't think this is something far-fetched and I think it is within the expectations - specially when the app is so complete and so in-line with the methodology.

Grawl and other tricks won't do. Why? Because many people would be using iCal events within iPhone (my case) and/or other automated which rely on iCal.

It would be great if the Omni guys plan this as a feature to add.

Thanks for the great work guys!

Ken Case 2008-11-21 04:34 AM

[QUOTE=vano;51308]Think of it this way. I want to set Alarms for the 'Hard Landscape' / AKA Calendar events directly from within OmniFocus just as it should if one follows the GTD methodology. I don't think this is something far-fetched and I think it is within the expectations - specially when the app is so complete and so in-line with the methodology.[/QUOTE]

I don't put any of my "hard landscape" items in OmniFocus: I just put them directly on my calendar (where I can also view my other appointments for that day).

Is there a reason it would be helpful to be able to do this inside OmniFocus instead of entering them directly on your calendar (which has a much better interface for scheduling "hard landscape" appointments)?

JKT 2008-11-21 10:02 AM

Yes - it is a distracting pita to have to switch to iCal (whose interface has got significantly worse in Leopard for quick entry of events [I]and[/I] alarms) when it would be much simpler to do this in one app, i.e. OmniFocus.

A built-in calendar view that you could also synch to iCal (so that the info can then be synched to e.g. the iPhone) would be an ideal solution.

CatOne 2008-11-24 08:08 PM

Brian beat me to it. You can set a due date/time in OF, and Growl will fire a notification box. You can elect to have it disappear normally (after 5 seconds), or stay up there until you click it away -- just like an iCal alarm.

jkuenzer 2009-01-13 06:29 PM

[QUOTE=jdh;46485]Yes, syncing with iCal is otherwise only necessary if you want to actually [i]see[/i] the tasks in iCal itself.

I sync a few selected contexts with iCal -- mostly household type stuff. This is partly because I don't necessarily fire up OF on the weekend just to check these routine tasks off, and I've also recently started sharing that task list with my wife via BusySync.

The iPhone's Calendar application has no to-do support [i]anyway[/i], so you're not going to gain anything iPhone-related by syncing your OF info into iCal. At best, you'd have your tasks available on the web via MobileMe, but this sounds rather irrelevant if they're already on your iPhone (and in a much more useful format and organization).[/QUOTE]

For the most part, I agree with what you're saying. [i]However,[/i] what if I want due dates for projects, tasks, what have you, that I'd like to appear in iCal?

If I've got OF for iPhone, there's really no way to sync those sorts of things with iCal, is there?

Brian 2009-01-14 04:23 PM

iPhone applications are not allowed to touch each other's data; Apple has actively worked to prevent applications from doing so. OmniFocus for iPhone can only access files inside the small sandbox that the iPhone OS allows it to use.

jdh 2009-01-15 04:00 AM

Brian is correct that there is no way to do this on the iPhone itself for the reasons he describes.

That having been said, you can sync between OmniFocus and iCal on your desktop, and then sync the respective components to your iPhone. As I've noted earlier, however, OmniFocus itself only syncs to iCal as [i]tasks[/i], and these do not sync to the iPhone Calendar, as it does not provide [i]any[/i] task support.

The only way to get items that would work for your iPhone Calendar would be to sync OmniFocus items to iCal [i]events[/i] (ie, scheduled appointments). You could use either all-day or timed events for this purpose, and even set alarms that would go off on your iPhone. Unfortunately, OmniFocus does not provide this ability itself, so you would need to use a script to do this. I'm pretty sure I saw an Applescript somewhere around these forums that can accomplish this -- you would simply run the script on your desktop and it would take your items from OmniFocus and turn them into iCal events, which would then in turn sync to your iPhone in the same way that any other calendar event does (via iTunes or MobileMe sync).

Personally, I'm not a big fan of having the majority of tasks in my calendar, as I find it clutters things up too much to use my calendar [i]events[/i] as a task list (that's what I have OmniFocus for). I [i]could[/i] however see the value in having certain [i]specific[/i] milestones appear as "All-day" events, perhaps at a top-project level (ie, a scheduled project completion date being highlighted in the calendar). Selective posting of deadlines to all-day events [i]would[/i] be a nice feature to see built-in to a future release of OmniFocus.

ssh 2009-01-21 06:18 PM

[QUOTE=jdh;47552]Well, you can set an alarm for a task based on a time, so the due time from OF could be reflected somehow in the alarm time setting.

Again, however, this would only be practical on the desktop and not the iPhone, since iCal [i]tasks[/i] don't show up on the iPhone. Ergo, the alarms feature there would not be particularly useful unless you create your OF actions as calendar [i]events[/i] (appointments) rather than tasks. I don't think OF can do this natively, although I seem to recall that somebody posted an Applescript around here somewhere that could do this.[/QUOTE]I find that the Growl integration works even better for this for me...


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