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Setting up calendar alerts in OmniFocus for iPhone [Retired: use local notifications] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturm View Post
Okay, I'm feeling rather frustrated right now, so I apologize right off the bat if this post seems a bit angry. I just missed my first appointment because OmniFocus did not remind me of it.
OmniFocus is not an appointment manager. If you try to use it that way, you will be unhappy. If you are unhappy, and within 30 days of purchase, contact Omni for a full refund.
Quote:
I am a new OmniFocus for iPhone and iPad user. I do not have it for my desktop PC, since I am running Windows. (Thanks, by the way, for not taking advantage of millions of potential users by not having a Windows version.)
Have you also been writing to Android-only app vendors to complain about their not providing their products for your iPhone and iPad? :-)
Quote:
After having read Getting Things Done twice
Good, do you still have your copy? You might reread the section about day-specific information and calendars. I don't have my copy handy, so I can't provide an exact page number for you, sorry. But here's the skinny: if something needs to be done at a certain time (an appointment), it goes on the calendar. If it needs to be done by a certain time, it goes in your GTD system.
Quote:
I moved my existing system from "2Do" to OmniFocus. Granted, there were only a handful of items in there, as I have yet to dive headfirst into GTD, but a couple of simple reminders would be good enough to test out the software, right?
That might be sufficient if testing a reminder program. Again, that's not what you bought. See below for some reasons why your test might fail.
Quote:
Apparently, I must be stupid because I cannot figure out how to get the app to actually remind me of appointments that I've entered into its system. I tell it I have a consultation appointment starting at 3:00pm today and it is due at 3:00pm today (I still don't understand why there's both a "Start" and a "Due" date/time. Aren't they the same thing?) and it does absolutely nothing to remind me of the appointment ahead of time, even though I told it 30 minutes in the settings of the app.
No, a start date and a due date are most definitely not the same thing. Start date reflects the earliest date/time at which you wish to be shown this task when viewing available tasks. Due date is the date/time by which it must be completed. If I need to write a report for my client who wants to see it at our meeting on Friday at 3pm, the report has a due date of Friday at 3pm. However, the start date (if it has one at all, they are not required) would clearly have to be before the report needs to be provided to the client! You might use a start date to hide a repeating task until a reasonable amount of time had passed after the previous copy had been completed. For example, a repeating task to remind you to get your hair cut might repeat every month, but there's no point in showing you the reminder for the next hair cut immediately after you've gotten it cut. Similarly, if you can't write that report for the client until Wednesday at the earliest, when you are supposed to get some data, there is no reason to clutter up the views of tasks you can work on today.
Quote:
Searching online to find out how to get OmniFocus to actually remind me of my appointments came up with almost nothing; only this thread seems to be somewhat relevant, but then it says "Retired: Use Local Notifications". What the frell is that supposed to mean? What the frell are "Local Notifications"? Nothing I can find in OmniFocus. And if they are something separate from OmniFocus, such as iOS 5's "Reminders" app, then why the frell did I spend $70 on these apps if they aren't going to remind me of my appointments!?
You turn on notifications in the OmniFocus settings page. On the iPad, there's an area labeled Notifications Sounds and Alerts which you tap to access the Notifications settings. Turn Due Reminders Show Alerts on, and the Play Sound option, if you want it to make some noise. You'll also want to check the Notifications settings in the iOS Settings app and make sure it is turned on there (both the Notification Center and the OmniFocus entry in the list). The iPhone is configured similarly, but I don't have one handy to call out any differences.

At one point, the news of a new notification could take some time to percolate through the machinery, depending on your settings and activity, which meant setting a notification for something less than a half hour before it was to take place was a bit dicey. When I tried it just now, I was able to get a notification even for an event I had adjusted just a few seconds prior, but I would still be cautious about relying on instant propagation. In real life usage, most people don't put due dates on tasks only a few minutes in the future.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
If OmniFocus is at the bottom under "Not in Notification Center" you need to move it up.
You "move it up" by flipping the On/Off switch in that app's settings in the Notifications section of the Settings app, btw. No point in causing extra frustration by making you try to drag the undraggable :-)

A bit off-topic, but you might get some benefit from the OmniFocus/GTD white paper found here: http://www.omnigroup.com/blog/entry/...us_GTD_and_You
 
Thank you all for the quick replies.

@CatOne: I don't suppose you could tell me where to find the manual? Since it's an iOS app and not a physical copy of software purchased in a store, I've no idea how to access a manual. Also, I have double-checked that the notifications for OF are, indeed, active in iOS's Settings.

@whpalmer4: All I know is OmniFocus has a setting that it will remind you a set amount of time before a task's start/due date & time. I had it set to 30 minutes, but no notification appeared. And by the way, I had entered the task weeks ago, not minutes before it was to notify my—that would be silly.

So if I'm supposed to use the calendar for time-specific appointments, then why does OF support sending information to iOS's Calendar app? Which, by the way, I am unable to set up. I tap the "Subscribe in Calendar" option under "Calendar Alarms", but it doesn't appear to accept my Omni sync login credentials—it repeatedly asks me for them.

Okay, so if I'm not supposed to use OF for time-specific reminders, then am I supposed to use iOS's built-in Calendar app? It seems like that's an extra step that should be unnecessary. Perhaps I'm thinking incorrectly, but I figured OF should be a one-stop-shop for putting everything you need to be reminded of future tasks & projects.

Lastly, thank you for the link to that blog post & white paper. It seems like that might be something I've been looking for ever since I bought OF.
 
The OmniFocus iPhone manual is available here: http://downloads.omnigroup.com/softw...one-Manual.pdf

(Yes, it's a bit out of date, and we'd like to address that very soon.)

OmniFocus is primarily for projects and actions, not appointments. The Forecast view can show you your calendar events, but they still live primarily in the Calendar app. This is, as whpalmer4 mentioned above, guided by the GTD idea of separating the "hard landscape" calendar events from the "soft landscape" actions.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturm View Post
@CatOne: I don't suppose you could tell me where to find the manual? Since it's an iOS app and not a physical copy of software purchased in a store, I've no idea how to access a manual. Also, I have double-checked that the notifications for OF are, indeed, active in iOS's Settings.
Tap the gear menu, then Help. On your PC, go to the OmniFocus product page (via the link in iTunes) and click on the Manual button, or use this link: http://www.omnigroup.com/ftp/pub/sof...d%20Manual.pdf
Quote:
@whpalmer4: All I know is OmniFocus has a setting that it will remind you a set amount of time before a task's start/due date & time. I had it set to 30 minutes, but no notification appeared. And by the way, I had entered the task weeks ago, not minutes before it was to notify my—that would be silly.
It's before the due date, there is no such option for start date. It sounds like you may have missed a setting somewhere; I find it to be very reliable.

Did you enter the due date weeks ago as well? It's not when the task was entered that is at issue, but when the due date is. In the calendar-based reminders, OmniFocus has to sync that information to a calendar and then the Calendar app has to sync to retrieve it, and depending on your calendar settings, that may not happen very quickly. Your best bet would be to contact Omni support and have them walk through all the settings with you.
Quote:
So if I'm supposed to use the calendar for time-specific appointments, then why does OF support sending information to iOS's Calendar app? Which, by the way, I am unable to set up. I tap the "Subscribe in Calendar" option under "Calendar Alarms", but it doesn't appear to accept my Omni sync login credentials—it repeatedly asks me for them.
This was done so that people without ubiquitous internet access could still get a reminder of an impending due item, back when Apple did not provide a 3rd party API for sending notifications. OmniFocus would create a calendar and populate it with "appointments" corresponding to the due reminders you wanted, and the Calendar app (which being an Apple-provided app could issue those notifications) would alert you to your upcoming "appointment". Again, for trouble-shooting this, your best bet is probably to contact Omni and take advantage of their fine support, which is part of what you get for your money. 1-800-315-6664 or +1-206-523-4152.
Quote:
Okay, so if I'm not supposed to use OF for time-specific reminders, then am I supposed to use iOS's built-in Calendar app? It seems like that's an extra step that should be unnecessary. Perhaps I'm thinking incorrectly, but I figured OF should be a one-stop-shop for putting everything you need to be reminded of future tasks & projects.
The forecast view available in the iPad and iPhone OmniFocus apps makes an effort to integrate the calendar in a read-only fashion for the next week, so that you can see those items in a more convenient fashion. But again, OmniFocus is not intended as a calendar replacement. If you think it should be, why stop there? Why not a spreadsheet, word processor, drawing tool, etc? After you see what you need to do, why not just get to work in the same app?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Start date reflects the earliest date/time at which you wish to be shown this task when viewing available tasks. Due date is the date/time by which it must be completed. If I need to write a report for my client who wants to see it at our meeting on Friday at 3pm, the report has a due date of Friday at 3pm. However, the start date (if it has one at all, they are not required) would clearly have to be before the report needs to be provided to the client! You might use a start date to hide a repeating task until a reasonable amount of time had passed after the previous copy had been completed.
I'm not a very GTD person and bought the iphone version hoping it would help me deal with my hectic schedules.

I was equally confused by the option of setting a start and due date, thinking that it would notify me that "Hey, time to work on task A" and "Hey, task A is due in 24hrs"

I did get the notification for the due date though.

Your explanation did help clarify about the start date's purpose.
Thanks.

Guess I should create another calendar and start putting up my Todo's reminders up.

Edit: After trying, I have to agree its a hassle to set a todo in OF, then open calendar to set a reminder. Why not add an option to set reminder for start dates. Users should be able to select the number of hours, days and weeks to send a notification before the start date.

Last edited by Brian; 2012-09-11 at 11:44 AM.. Reason: cut down on quantity of quoted material for increased readability.
 
 


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