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On desktop banner of current action Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi all. I have a hopefully easy question for you all. I searched and searched, to no avail. I am not sure even what the right search terms would be.

What I would like is a sort of desktop banner that displays my current action (maybe the selected current action, or a list of next actions). I'm thinking of something like a widget that sits on the desktop, probably either at the top of the screen or the bottom, probably at the lowest level (below any other windows that might be there). And, it should show on all Spaces.

The issue is that I can get easily distracted and have a difficult time focusing and not getting distracted. If I had some action item that was always on display, I could easily jump back on track without having to switch to the OmniFocus window, and I could see it no matter which Space I'm in.

Does something like this exist? Or maybe even a menu bar widget? Is there a way to make OmniFocus do this, or is there a plugin, or...?

Thanks!
 
Sounds like Growl will do what you want. Search for growl here and see what you think.
 
The script below will display a Growl note listing all selected actions. You can use the Growl system preference pane to configure the notification to be sticky and on all desktops. (An earlier version of this is kicking around on the forums.)

Code:
(*
	This script uses Growl to display a sticky note about what you are supposed to be focusing on.
	
	version 0.1, by Curt Clifton
	
	Copyright  2007-2008, Curtis Clifton
	
	All rights reserved.
	
	Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
	
		 Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
		
		 Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
		
	THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
	
	version 0.1: Original release
*)


(*
	The following properties are used for script notification via Growl.
*)
property growlAppName : "OmniFocus Stickies"
property notification : "Stick it"
property defaultNotifications : {notification}
property allNotifications : defaultNotifications
property iconLoaningApplication : "OmniFocus.app"

tell application "OmniFocus"
	tell front document
		tell content of document window 1 -- (first document window whose index is 1)
			set theSelectedItems to name of every selected tree
			if ((count of theSelectedItems) < 1) then
				display alert "You must first select an item to work on." as warning
				return
			end if
		end tell
	end tell
end tell
set oldDelim to AppleScript's text item delimiters
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return
set theItemsText to theSelectedItems as text
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to oldDelim
my notify("What are you doing?", theItemsText, notification)

(*
	Uses Growl to display a notification message.
	theTitle  a string giving the notification title
	theDescription  a string describing the notification event
	theNotificationKind  a string giving the notification kind (must be an element of allNotifications)
*)
on notify(theTitle, theDescription, theNotificationKind)
	tell application "GrowlHelperApp"
		register as application growlAppName all notifications allNotifications default notifications defaultNotifications icon of application iconLoaningApplication
		notify with name theNotificationKind title theTitle application name growlAppName description theDescription with sticky
	end tell
end notify
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Thank you both. I tried the script. It is nice. Not exactly what I would like, but it'll work until I figure something else out. I would love to have it tie in with some sort of a desktop widget that sits below windows or in a menu bar. The best Growl notification type is called Music Video, but it slides over your windows, and it disappears after a few seconds -- no way to keep it on screen (sticky) and no way to make it below. I could use one of the "bubble" type notifications, but again, that'll sit on top and block my work.

That said, it's better than anything else now, and I'll try it. Thank you. One thing that I am excited about is that this script demonstrates how to get the current actions for possible use in some desktop or menu bar widget, if I can find one.

Thanks!
 
What about GeekTool? Doesn't that allow you to display data as part of your desktop background? I've never tried it myself, but I've heard others talk about it. I'm not sure if it can display the output from an AppleScript directly, but maybe you could use the oascript shell command if necessary.

-Dennis

Last edited by Toadling; 2009-08-25 at 09:24 PM.. Reason: Added link to GeekTool site
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
What about GeekTool?
Oh wow. That is cool in so many ways! Thanks. I'll attempt cobble together this and Curt's script.
 
Aha! It works perfectly, exactly as I had envisioned. Thank you three for your suggestions. All of your advice, put together, equals very happy.

It's actually pretty cool. It updates automatically, displays whatever actions are selected. Change the selection, and automatically, the pane updates. Here's a screenshot:

Click image for larger version

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If you want to do this too, follow these steps:
1. Open ScriptEditor.
2. Paste this code into it.
Code:
(*
	This script works with GeekTool to display the currently selected actions in OmniFocus. This script is modified from a script originally designed to display the currently selected actions in Growl.
	
	version 0.2, by James A. Jones
	version 0.1, by Curt Clifton

	Copyright  2009, James A. Jones
	Copyright  2007-2008, Curtis Clifton
	
	All rights reserved.
	
	Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
	
		 Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
		
		 Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
		
	THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
	
	version 0.2: GeekTool modification
	version 0.1: Original release
*)
set newline to ASCII character 10

property iconLoaningApplication : "OmniFocus.app"

tell application "OmniFocus"
	tell front document
		tell content of document window 1 -- (first document window whose index is 1)
			set theSelectedItems to name of every selected tree
			if ((count of theSelectedItems) < 1) then
				display alert "You must first select an item to work on." as warning
				return
			end if
		end tell
	end tell
end tell
set oldDelim to AppleScript's text item delimiters
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return
set theItemsText to theSelectedItems as text
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to oldDelim
set output to ""
repeat with selectedItem in theSelectedItems
	set output to output & selectedItem & newline
end repeat
output
3. Save the code to a file in your ~/Library/Scripts directory as GeekFocus.scpt or something like that.
4. Install GeekTool
5. In the preferences pane for GeekTool, drag the Shell window out to your desktop.
6. In the preferences window for the Shell window, in the Command field, specify "osascript ~/Library/Scripts/GeekFocus.scpt"
7. Change the update frequency to something reasonable that won't cause too much CPU overhead. I set it to 10 seconds. I changed the timeout to 5 seconds.
8. Change the dimensions, font size/color, and anything else to your hearts content.
9. Enjoy.

Last edited by fathom; 2009-08-25 at 11:59 PM..
 
That's great. Thanks for sharing back. I may have to finally give GeekTool a try.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 


This is totally sweet, I stuck it in my System menu bar.


I think the way I'll manage this is putting OmniFocus on it's own "space", and just switch over and update the selected action when I finish something off.
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Last edited by xmas; 2009-08-26 at 03:26 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmas View Post


This is totally sweet, I stuck it in my System menu bar.


I think the way I'll manage this is putting OmniFocus on it's own "space", and just switch over and update the selected action when I finish something off.
How the heck did you do that?!!!! That's even better!
 
 


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