Originally Posted by jakeg
I'm getting really confused over the different ways of getting information inside omnifocus.
The new update talks about "a new bookmarklet can send web pages to the Inbox from a web browser". But I can't find any pointers to it. Is this it?
Yes, that is it.
And we also have the clippings shortcut that can be assigned in omnifocus preferences.
Assuming these are the two ways of getting information inside omnifocus, which is better? Or how are they different?
Sorry, I'm just very confused.
There's also the Services menu, which runs the clippings handler, and the Quick Entry window. And as a cousin, you've got the email processing facility which allows you to mail things to OmniFocus!
From any application, you can bring up the Quick Entry window by typing your Quick Entry keyboard shortcut (configured in the General pane of the preferences). This will get you a window that looks like a couple of rows from the outline, and you interact with it just like you would the outline. You can easily drag and drop files into the notes field of a new row, and you can leave the window up to accumulate multiple items before saving. You can even structure the items into an outline. Things to note are the gear menu at the lower left, which allows you to choose which columns you have displayed (and whether they are labeled), and the tricky way in which you adjust the column widths: switch the current application to OmniFocus, bring up the Quick Entry window, bring up the column headers, adjust to your preferences, click the Save button. Unless OmniFocus is the front application, you won't be able to adjust the column widths.
Clipping shortcut and Clip-o-tron 3000:
If you are reading some email, or a webpage, or content from a handful of other applications that have built-in clipping handlers in OmniFocus, you can use the clipping shortcut to process the data into a convenient OmniFocus action. Generally, whatever you have selected will be used as the action name, and the note will have the URL and selected text. If you have installed the Clip-o-tron 3000, and select a Mail message in the list of messages, invoking the clipping shortcut will copy the entire message into the notes field, use the subject as the action name, and also include a link to the original message which can be used to jump directly to it from OmniFocus. You can control whether attachments are included via a Terminal command (more convenient UI on the way).
If you have some text selected, there will be a Service in the Text section of the services menu called OmniFocus: Send to Inbox which runs the clipping shortcut. It may also be found in the contextual menu gotten by right-click or control-click. Again, same effect as doing the clipping shortcut, but possibly more convenient.
The clippings shortcut system has a preference for whether the action is immediately created in the Inbox, or in the Quick Entry window (which allows you a chance to edit, assign context/project/dates, etc. before saving). This preference is found in the Clippings pane of the preferences.
Using this is similar to doing clipping from the browser, though it always dumps you into the Quick Entry window. You can use the bookmarklet when you want to edit, and the clipping shortcut when you do not if you set the preference mentioned above to put clippings directly in the Inbox.
OmniFocus can be configured to handle some incoming email from the Apple Mail application and convert it to actions. See the help for Processing Mail for the details. Note that if you have it set up, you can just email a URL to the magic address and it will turn into an action in your Inbox. This is convenient because most browsers have a shortcut for "mail current page" and in particular, the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch have a button you can tap to mail the URL of the current page. If you've got several things you want to send to OmniFocus, this is faster than launching OmniFocus to save each one and relaunching the browser after each trip to OmniFocus, though you don't get a chance to edit each one as it is sent to OmniFocus that way. You can also learn the command language the mail processor provides to let you create actions from scratch, or assign a project or context or dates to something you are emailing.
So, they all do similar things, and there is no one best way. Try them all out, and use the ones that you find most convenient. I use them all, with the straight clipping shortcut probably getting the most use. Hope this helps cut through some of the confusion!