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iCal Sync - maybe someone can shed some light in my dark Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi there

I have some problems in understanding the ical sync:

1.
I need to sync manually (on my mac), this is not done automatically, i.. every 10, 20 or 60 minutes?

2. Tasks get in the tasks list (which I'm not using) and not in the calendar itself. can I change this?

3. It's all based on the due date, any way to change this, i.e. available date)?

4. It get's synced to ical without a notification setting (e.g. 15 minutes before, etc.). Where can I change this? I want to get alarmed on my mac

5. how does all this play with iphone, especially with IOS V4?

thanks to all in advance

Andre
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by f0rd42 View Post
1.
I need to sync manually (on my mac), this is not done automatically, i.. every 10, 20 or 60 minutes?
That's correct, the iCal sync does not happen automatically. There is some support in the Applescript dictionary for triggering an iCal sync, so in theory you could write a little script to be fired off at the appropriate interval from an iCal repeating event. If you aren't editing today's tasks, however, I question how much utility you would really get from syncing every 10 minutes.
Quote:
2. Tasks get in the tasks list (which I'm not using) and not in the calendar itself. can I change this?
Yes, that's also correct. A bit of history is helpful to understand why the feature is how it is. The iCal sync support predates OmniFocus for iPhone, and was intended as a way to get context-based actions onto mobile devices that supported syncing with iCal. That way, you could pull up a calendar for the context you were in and see the available tasks for that context.

It doesn't use the calendar events because for most people, OmniFocus isn't a calendar, and actions are not strictly scheduled. A task that has a start date of tomorrow, and a due date of a week from Friday but is only going to take an hour or two to do how do you meaningfully represent that on a calendar? Remember, an OmniFocus start date represents the earliest time at which you could work on that item, which is not necessarily the time at which you will start working on that item.


Quote:
3. It's all based on the due date, any way to change this, i.e. available date)?
No options for using other dates.
Quote:
4. It get's synced to ical without a notification setting (e.g. 15 minutes before, etc.). Where can I change this? I want to get alarmed on my mac
No direct support for this with iCal sync, but see below for alternatives.
Quote:
5. how does all this play with iphone, especially with IOS V4?
If you have the iPhone OmniFocus app, it plays much better! Which is good, because the iPhone calendar doesn't show the task list that OmniFocus iCal sync populates...

With the OmniFocus iPhone app, or the OmniFocus desktop app as of 1.8 (not yet released, but you can run the "sneaky peek" version from http://www.omnigroup.com/omnifocus/download/sneakypeek if you are eager to get this functionality) there is a feature which populates a calendar called OmniFocus Reminders with zero-length events corresponding to the due dates of actions in the next two weeks or so. These events will generate notifications from the iPhone calendar, and you have a number of choices of how far in advance the notifications should be, although they are unfortunately "one size fits all" in that you don't get to have 5 minutes warning for one, an hour for another, etc. Again, you don't get notifications for start dates, only due dates. You need to be using the OmniFocus syncing to some sort of webDAV server for this functionality to work, as it creates and maintains a calendar there.

There is also an option for using the new local notification service provided by iOS 4. I haven't used it, so can't say much about it, though there have been some forum threads where people who have describe their experiences.

On the Mac, if you have Growl installed (http://growl.info), OmniFocus will send notifications to your screen of actions/projects transitioning from unavailable to available, becoming overdue, etc. It is possible to configure Growl to leave those notifications on the screen until you click on them to dismiss them, and as a bonus, clicking on the OmniFocus icon in the notification will take you to OmniFocus and show you the item in question. I like to have the notifications for "due soon" and "overdue" items stay on my screen, with the others disappearing after a few second.

As always, if there are features you would like added or changed, use Help->Send Feedback to get the request to the developers, as forum posts are not an effective way of doing so.
 
ok - i'm back on the OmniFocus/iCal integration bandwagon and I must say, i am looking forward to a substantial evolution of this feature!

One of the great things about the reminders feed is there is no "sync phase" involved and events show up on iCal on my desktop which is really great! now what is a bit awkward is I have to sync to my iOS device to get the feed updated and put in a enh request that this feed work even when I'm only using my desktop

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
It doesn't use the calendar events because for most people, OmniFocus isn't a calendar, and actions are not strictly scheduled.
I highly disagree with this. I use a combination of 3 methodologies, Franklin-Covey, GTD and Mission Control. How calendar events would be useful is:
  1. Franklin-Covey - Stephen Covey refers to putting "big rocks" in your compass and creating time for "what matters to you most" in your calendar. All the other "unbound" actions are the "little rocks" that just fill in the gaps of your week.
  2. GTD - David Allen speaks of "day-specific next actions" I would love to see "all-day" events get generated in iCal as well
  3. Mission Control - I've been invited to schedule "accomplishments" and get related to how much time I *really* have available to me. I would be happy to have time-bound events just like I describe above in the first bullet for FC.

now as an added bonus, I would love to be able to move and adjust events on iCal and have that reflected back to OmniFocus. I let the developers know - what we really want is the best of both worlds - the two-way sync and the benefits of the calendar feed!

now if someone can invent a resource leveling mechanism to tell me what resources I need to accomplish "available tasks" any given day (esp those that are scheduled and time-bound), this would be a dream come true - keeping my fingers crossed :)

btw - thanks for sharing about upcoming improvements!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarut View Post
GTD - David Allen speaks of "day-specific next actions" I would love to see "all-day" events get generated in iCal as well
In my understanding, DA separates quite clearly calendar from task list, including for "all-day" events (i.e. actions that need to be accomplished on a certain day, IMO equivalent to what some people think of as "Today List").
I'm definitely in favour of minimizing any iCal further interaction, and I'm almost at the point of not wanting due dates in OmniFocus! ;-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by f0rd42 View Post
Hi there

I have some problems in understanding the ical sync:

1.
I need to sync manually (on my mac), this is not done automatically, i.. every 10, 20 or 60 minutes?

2. Tasks get in the tasks list (which I'm not using) and not in the calendar itself. can I change this?

3. It's all based on the due date, any way to change this, i.e. available date)?

4. It get's synced to ical without a notification setting (e.g. 15 minutes before, etc.). Where can I change this? I want to get alarmed on my mac

5. how does all this play with iphone, especially with IOS V4?

thanks to all in advance

Andre
I believe that you can only get tasks into a task list on iCal, not the Calendar portion (which I would have found to be useful). There is a way to have tasks appear in iCal the day they are due. I believe this is done through the iPhone version of OF (I am not in front of my OF for the Mac, so I could be wrong). It is in the OF for iPhone settings under the Dates section - Calendar Export.

Good luck.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypotyposis View Post
DA separates quite clearly calendar from task list, including for "all-day" events (i.e. actions that need to be accomplished on a certain day, IMO equivalent to what some people think of as "Today List").
that is correct. one of the things I feel that was done right (IMHO) in the Outlook plug-in was allowing a next action to either go to your task list as a context (ie. @Phone) or attach it to a day-specific item in the calendar.

I've tossed Outlook since I saw the light of OmniFocus back in 2007 and have not turned back since.

however, that said, I really do miss this functionality. there is something to be said to having full integration.

the iPad app is a step closer with the forecast view - i have to give them kudos for this!

what I'm dealing with is making sure the promises I make to people do not step on time bound events/appts - it is really critical when I look at my calendar, there is an awareness of the day-specific actions so I can plan accordingly.

this is my 2 cents as I set up the week as we speak!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarut View Post
that is correct. one of the things I feel that was done right (IMHO) in the Outlook plug-in was allowing a next action to either go to your task list as a context (ie. @Phone) or attach it to a day-specific item in the calendar.

I've tossed Outlook since I saw the light of OmniFocus back in 2007 and have not turned back since.

however, that said, I really do miss this functionality. there is something to be said to having full integration.

the iPad app is a step closer with the forecast view - i have to give them kudos for this!

what I'm dealing with is making sure the promises I make to people do not step on time bound events/appts - it is really critical when I look at my calendar, there is an awareness of the day-specific actions so I can plan accordingly.

this is my 2 cents as I set up the week as we speak!
I see what you mean -the implementation of the DACo whitepaper for Entourage kind of allowed for this as well. What I'm hoping for, though, is that iOS 4 on iPad with fast-app switching will make it easier to play nicely between calendar + OF. IMHO apps that try to do both calendar and to-do lists on mobile devices tend to not perform exceptionally in one or the other area.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarut View Post
ok - i'm back on the OmniFocus/iCal integration bandwagon and I must say, i am looking forward to a substantial evolution of this feature!

One of the great things about the reminders feed is there is no "sync phase" involved and events show up on iCal on my desktop which is really great! now what is a bit awkward is I have to sync to my iOS device to get the feed updated and put in a enh request that this feed work even when I'm only using my desktop



I highly disagree with this. I use a combination of 3 methodologies, Franklin-Covey, GTD and Mission Control. How calendar events would be useful is:
  1. Franklin-Covey - Stephen Covey refers to putting "big rocks" in your compass and creating time for "what matters to you most" in your calendar. All the other "unbound" actions are the "little rocks" that just fill in the gaps of your week.
  2. GTD - David Allen speaks of "day-specific next actions" I would love to see "all-day" events get generated in iCal as well
  3. Mission Control - I've been invited to schedule "accomplishments" and get related to how much time I *really* have available to me. I would be happy to have time-bound events just like I describe above in the first bullet for FC.

now as an added bonus, I would love to be able to move and adjust events on iCal and have that reflected back to OmniFocus. I let the developers know - what we really want is the best of both worlds - the two-way sync and the benefits of the calendar feed!

now if someone can invent a resource leveling mechanism to tell me what resources I need to accomplish "available tasks" any given day (esp those that are scheduled and time-bound), this would be a dream come true - keeping my fingers crossed :)

btw - thanks for sharing about upcoming improvements!
I have registered with OF forum for only one reason - to support the very strong comments on Calendar integration.

Our business life is structured around milestone meetings, deadlines, other events.

Without Calendar list of tasks is disconnected from reality.

Hope that OF team will soon appreciate this.

Without Calendar and Exchange this software is a tool for students and housewife.

I have to purchase Pocket Informant now.
 
 


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