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Calendar Alerts on 1.5.2 :( Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Well, this is a good news/bad news sort of thing. The good news is that the developers agree that the functionality is important. The bad news is the implementation is well wide of the mark. I was one of the ones that campaigned for this. I guess I'm disappointed in how the current implementation works.

Here are my comments:

1. I agree with this article.

2. I don't want EVERY action that has a due date to generate a reminder. I want to be able to specify WHICH ones due and it's a subset. Almost all of my actions have a due date (well, at least half anyway) and this just causes the calendar to be a mess as well as the nonstop alerts.

3. It's a mess on the calendar. These are not appointments only notifications.

This really needs to be done through push notifications somehow. If Omnigroup doesn't want to (understandably) make the investment in servers to manage this, then I'd strongly suggest working out some API through one of the online todo managers (suggest: Toodledo) who already do this and do it well. If OF could cause a todo to be created in the todo manager, they then would send the push notification through their software in the cloud AND on the iPhone. I already subscribe to Toodledo as a pro member and the cost is a whopping $14.95 per year.
Like one of the commenters on that article said, having to use an external server (of any kind) to notify the user of information that's already on the phone is a problem that Apple needs to address on their end.

In an ideal world, you shouldn't have to do anything other than sync OmniFocus in order to get your reminders. Right now, that's just not possible, so we're deploying this feature as a workaround and continuing to ask Apple to provide real notification options.

Push wouldn't work for iPod touch customers, which represent somewhere between a third and half of our potential customers. WebDAV, while having drawbacks, at least works for them. (See my comments on that article for where those numbers come from, as well as comments from Ken.)

Last edited by Brian; 2009-07-28 at 01:26 PM..
Here's what I sent in response to my ninja email response. One simple change would make it much better - a check box to determine if the action with a due time should generate an alert or calendar item.

The other thing you should ask Apple to do is give you access to create a todo in the iCal database on the iPhone and to allow calendars to be selected for display individually (not one or all).


I totally understand why you did what you did and why you did it; I get Apple's architecture.

The problem is really Apple's and that the push notifications are not well implemented - or at least partially.

That said, this solution is really kind of a backdoor approach and it really does crap up the calendar - a problem for me. The implementation you have would be MUCH better if there was simply a check box in the actual action time dialog that would allow me to determine if this action, with a due time, were to provide an alert. There are many cases - if not most - where I enter a due time into the action because that is when it is due and is very helpful when I do my weekly reviews. However, there is a subset of these actions where I want to be reminded.

For example, an action like "Get the boat ready for launching." might need to be done on or about June 15th, but it doesn't need a reminder because it shows up in my weekly review. However an action like "Discuss proposal with Bob by june 1st at 9am." does. I'd not check the box on the first action, but I would on the second.

Make sense?

Finally, and probably most importantly (and would make the high priests of all things GTD happy) would be to solve the problem of having access to software on the iPhone that creates a todo in a time based todo list be separate from the OF list. If you could execute the API for Toodledo or RTM that create a time based todo on these "cloud" based systems, then users could implement that. Their iPhone APPs are cheap (maybe you could create some sort of synergistic deal) their services are dirt cheap at like $15/year and then let them handle the push notifications since they already have the servers. Then, I could look at my actions, make a determination that this or that action needs a push notifications, and then touch a button that drives it into a todo on their service that drives the PN back at their app on my iPhone. Have the ability to go through the list and sync them back to OF. That should be relatively straightforward and alleviate you guys from having to maintain the servers.
... ignore all due tasks with 00:00 as a due - time?

As a quick workaround. In the current form ist unusuable for me, since nearly all of my tasks have a due date...

A checkbox would be perfekt, just like in Toodledo...


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