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Ubiqutious task entry -- anywhere, anytime Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I just completed a mad plan to enable me to add tasks to my OmniFocus inbox from anywhere, anytime, even if my Mac is unavailable (which it usually is). This is not for the faint of heart, but it isn't that hard to set up if you're fairly geeky.

What I did was set up a Twitter account to capture OmniFocus tasks. I then used Griffin's Proxi application to monitor that twitter account. Upon receiving a new tweet, it posts said tweet to OmniFocus.

Here's how:

Go to and create a new account for your tasks. (You COULD use your regular Twitter account, if you have one, but that will cause all your new tasks to get sent to all your friends -- probably not ideal.)

You'll probably want to click "protect my updates" in the Settings area. That will ensure that nobody else can twitter to you. (You will NEVER tweet to this account from another twitter account, only from your own, so it's quite safe from other folks sending tasks to you.)

Then install Proxi, and create a new Twitter Monitor trigger. Set whatever you want in there, I have a filter of "screenname" just in case something goes weird and I get a tweet from another account. Do as you like.

For the action, just set up an AppleScript that says:

Tell Application "OmniFocus" to tell default document
parse tasks with transport text("MESSAGE")
end tell
Note that MESSAGE should be dragged and dropped from the variables pane, and that you must manually enclose it in quotes.

You may also want to add a screen message or growl notification task to alert you that you got a new task. Totally up to you.

From Twitter, you can just post to the "What are you doing?" screen to "tweet," and thereby give Proxi a new task to send to OmniFocus. (Yup, universal web-based task entry.) You can also set up an IM account and/or an SMS interface, so you can set up new tasks via either service.

For even greater fun, sign up for the Jott service and add a Twitter link. Now you can phone up OmniFocus to add tasks!

If you want to email into Twitter (especially handy for those of us using Gmail who can't take advantage of scriptable mail rules), try EmailTwitter.

For any and all of these interfaces, the text will be parsed using the same rules as the mail rule or Quicksilver script, so you can direct to > Projects, @Contexts, etc. (SAYING those things to Jott on the phone may be tricky, however)

The best part is that all of this inbox-filling-fun can happen asynchronously from your OmniFocus usage. There's no need to keep your Mac on serving a web interface or anything. As soon as your Mac boots up/wakes up, it'll pull in all the waiting tasks from Twitter.

The potential downside is that all of this stuff is sent plain text and shared with a variety of services. If your tasks have anything sensitive in them, you may want to consider jotting them down in a notebook and entering them later.
this is great ! thanks so much for sharing .. I never thought of using twitter : ) and yes , it is hard to get Jott to understand the symbols ; )

I find I have to speak slowly and clearly for it to understand anything .. but I usually can tell what I was trying to remember .

Jott also works great with Google Calendar .
I finally got aroud to setting this up but it doesn't seem to be working .
I set up a twitter account .. protected it etc .. added the custom applescript with the variable " message " dropped in and enclosed in quotes , omni focus never gets an update ?
I assumed that proxi has to be kept open ?

ok .. got it working and got it to work with Jott also :D awesome !!

Last edited by ext555; 2007-12-01 at 11:37 AM.. Reason: change in status
Nice work -- that's pretty darn sweet!
CTO, The Omni Group
This is really promising and would work wonders for me except for the fact that the Twitter trigger in Proxi doesn't allow you to check direct messages for an account.

This basically means that I can't use my normal Twitter account to send a direct SMS message to my "task bot" account and then have Proxi grab those messages and send them to OmniFocus.

I have a few possible workarounds for this which I'd like to try out. I'll report back here at some point, but for now, Proxi's Twitter monitor won't do the trick.
What did you do to get it working? I seem to be having the same problem.

Nevermind. I had to set the twitter trigger to only watch for posts from friends.

Very nice hack!

Last edited by jgrafix; 2007-12-31 at 06:38 PM..
Originally Posted by iNik View Post
For any and all of these interfaces, the text will be parsed using the same rules as the mail rule or Quicksilver script, so you can direct to > Projects, @Contexts, etc.

Following a change in the Omnifocus Applescript library, you may need to amend your Applescript slightly to:

tell application "OmniFocus" to tell default document
	parse tasks with transport text ("[Message]") without as single task
end tell
(No need to drag [Message] from the Proxi values list as long as it is pasted as above, in square brackets)

You will then be able make use of the full "parse tasks" syntax

[From Omnifocus, see Help/Release Notes/Archive/November 2]

including not only:

- Specifying due dates (in flexible formats)
(precede with #)

but also:

- including several tasks in a single twitter.
(begin additional tasks with --)

and finally, of course:

- appending notes to tasks
(just add additional lines, or split a single line into title // note with a pair of forward slashes)

Last edited by RobTrew; 2010-10-10 at 01:44 AM.. Reason: Delta: Nov 2 --> November 2 (to facilitate search)
Oh wow, this is absolutely what I was looking for.

I have a shiny 24-inch alum iMac at home, yet I work on Windows at work.

And the Jott idea along with it sealed the deal. I will have to try this when I get home.

One question (since I haven't installed Proxi yet or configured everything):
Does Proxi spit out garbage on the screen or anything when grabbing the tweets? My wife uses the Mac and I don't want her to freak out if OF or Proxi spits a bunch of stuff on the screen at her.
This is soooo cool. I will try this today (just wrote a note myself about it). :)

Originally Posted by bozarthj View Post
Does Proxi spit out garbage on the screen or anything when grabbing the tweets?
No - only if you specifically ask it to emit notifying growls or text messages - otherwise it's a discreet process.

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