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Frustration: Export Woes Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I am a strong advocate of OF. After buying 7 copies for my team, I am trying to get everyone to use it. In my mind, the missing link is the extremely limited export functionality. I know that somewhere out there in the future there will be a connection between Omniplan and OmniFocus, but I'm getting tired of waiting— I've been using kinkless/OF for two years. This is my all time favorite vintage post.

So where are we with Export?

OmniFocus to OmniFocus Export?
What is this one for? It would be great if I could export a part of a project and have someone else on the team import it. Currently this doesn't seem possible if you export to OmniFocus.

TaskPaper over Plain Text?
1) Why is there export to taskpaper, but not plain text? The people on my team don't want to be bothered with or understand changing the extension from .taskpaper to .txt. Via "get info" I just changed taskpaper to always open with text edit. So, if I want my team to have access to the files in textedit, It seems like I need to do this with every machine. Why not make text edit the default and have the small number of users of taskpaper change their extensions?

Export to HTML
This is actually a cool feature. However, I would love to be able to customize this to be able to use my own style sheet.

This seems like a good universal format, but I'm not sure how helpful it is for the Novice user.

IMHO, here is what seems to be missing:

1) The ability to export to OmniOutliner without having to rely on applescripts. We can import from OO, so this would be a great way to xfer data from one user to another.

2) The ability to send selected rows to email. Currently, you don't seem to get any additional data (dates)

3) The ability to transfer a project or tasks via OmniFocus

In the meantime, what are the best ways of sharing data?


Last edited by steve; 2008-02-02 at 07:34 AM..
Does anyone ever need to export parts of a project to someone else? What solutions are you using?

Here is a concrete example.

A member of my team has planned 5 projects using OmniFocus. On one these projects she has created several actions such as these:

- send images to to Luke (due date)
- follow Up with Luke to get input on images (due date)
- send draft of article to printer (due date)
- get final approval from Steve (due date)
- send final draft to printer (due date)

If there was true integration between OmniPlan and OmniFocus, then I would probably buy her a copy of OP. Even so, OmniPlan seems a little complicated for her needs on this particular project.

Our goal is to be able to communicate the due dates to Luke. He doesn't need to see the whole project. He literally only needs to see the 3-4 actions revolving around images.

At our last meeting she took screen shots and pasted them into a word document to give to Luke. He needed to adjust the dates, so she had to do the whole process again.

If you copy and paste from OF into an email, you don't get the dates or context.

I could really use some help here. Thoughts?

For your second post, what about using shared calendars in iCal as a stop gap until the export options are improved? Would that work?
That is an excellent idea— I hadn't thought of that. In my example, I wonder if the context would be called "Luke" which would be shared. I'm not sure if you can just share one particular project, but that would be cool.
I don't think you can share just one project, but you can share just one context, and if that context is "Luke" then Luke would only see stuff for him from this project, unless he's also involved in tasks for other projects, but then he'd want to see those too, so it should still work, no?
Syncing to ical to share project info isn't effective unless you can share a project. From the silence on this thread, I guess it isn't much of an issue for others. For me, it is putting a great strain on my team adopting OF.
I agree the export and printing functions are limited. I would also like to export to Word and Excel to share with my team AND email parts and whole sections to team members. One idea, I haven't tried it yet, might be to export the CSV and import in a database like Filemaker or Panorama which has far better reporting functions.
Originally Posted by steve View Post
Syncing to ical to share project info isn't effective unless you can share a project. From the silence on this thread, I guess it isn't much of an issue for others. For me, it is putting a great strain on my team adopting OF.
I disagree. I certainly would want each member of my team using OF or whatever personal organizer works for them. If the entire team are already using GTD, then I would have no problem buying OF for each team member that wanted it. If OF makes them more productive, it is easily worth the cost to purchase and implement it - even without workgroup functionality.

I do agree that a workgroup edition of OF would be better still. At a minimum, a right-click to copy selected tasks (including all fields and notes) would be a huge improvement. Since I favor email for assigning tasks (as there is no doubt over what was said and agreed to), the copy & paste thing would be all the workgroup functionality that I actually require (as opposed to want).

I prefer to use Excel for tracking most projects. I'm going to have to report project status anyway, and OF does not have the fields I need to do so. I report project status using Excel and Word; all with little to no data from OF. FWIW, when the size or complexity of the project requires it, I use MS Project, but still create my status reports in Excel and Word.
Just touching base 7 months after my original post:

In summary—

  • Is there a native way to export to OmniOutliner (no applescripts)
  • Why is there export to the proprietary task paper and not the free and universal plain text? Am I missing something?
  • It would be very nice to email a selected context to email

I am not opposed to applescripts, but if this is the way that it is gong to be for awhile, then it would be good if those scripts were on a OmniFocus extras page.

For example, here is the OmniOutliner extras page:

OmniOutliner Extras
Originally Posted by steve View Post
Why is there export to the proprietary task paper and not the free and universal plain text? Am I missing something?
TaskPaper files are structured plain text. You can open them with a text editor (rename the extension .txt if you want).

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