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Is there a way to focus on items that start on certain day? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The way I use OmniFocus, the start date is everything. Sure, if there's a due date I'll enter it, but most of the time I'm more focused on the start date to tell me whether this is something I have to think about now or later.

So for example, when I have that thought on a Saturday morning of something that will help a project at work I'll quickly enter an action with a Monday start date. That way it's not showing for me on Sunday when I'm focused around things I should be doing in my personal life, unless I plan to work that weekend.

I typically work with my Perspectives set to "Available." So as I'm playing Scarlett O'Hara and deciding to think about that tomorrow, I want to make sure I'm not piling too much on tomorrow.

I want to be able to define a perspective that shows me what will start on a specified date. I can group or sort by start, but then I have to scroll through those items that don't have a specified start date and "start in next week" doesn't help me plan for Monday.

Any ideas?
 
It won't give you a perspective, but you could use Rob Trew's Where in OF to show you all of the tasks which start on a particular date (or range of dates). It would give you a list of the projects which contain those tasks, you can select some, all, or none of them, and then it brings up a view focused on the selected projects, with the matching actions selected so they can be easily spotted. Trivial to then bring up the inspector and set the flag for the bunch.

A typical search you might use for this might be:

tasks where (start date ≥ <dte1>) and (start date ≤ <dte2>)

(the script will prompt you for values for thing enclosed in <>)

The intermediate results of the search look like this:


Last edited by whpalmer4; 2012-07-17 at 10:32 AM.. Reason: Update link
 
Thanks. But can I say...yikes. How un-user friendly can you get? But I guess it's better than nothing.
 
Well, we might have to agree to disagree on the user-unfriendly part.

You can also go to context mode, group and sort by start date with the start date column shown and scan down the list...
 
I think Rob Trew would be the first person to acknowledge that he hopes Omni will bake a prettier version of this functionality into a future of version of OF. In the mean time, this script definitely allows you to do some cool stuff. It also saves these queries, so you can re-use them. I wish there was a bit more documentation, as I feel like I'm mostly scratching the surface, but it definitely adds some functionality that I find useful. I do wish OF had the option to shift between ascending and descending sort orders (so you could see the newest or oldest date at the top of the list, depending on what sort of info you are looking for).

KS
 
Well, for example "Skip sub-selection to select ALL immediately (ESC key)" .... huh?!?

And when you start a new search and change your mind, the only way out of the box that pops up is a button marked "Esc" I know this isn't an official product or project of Omni, and I'm grateful that another user put the time into making this for the community. But it doesn't let the Omni folks off their obligation to provide this functionality in a user-friendly way.

Yes, it's really useful. But clunky. That's all I'm saying. :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by judisohn View Post
Well, for example "Skip sub-selection to select ALL immediately (ESC key)" .... huh?!?
It gave you a list of matches. You might not want all of them, so it gives you that dialog and lets you select all, some, or none. You can click that button to get all of them, or you can press the ESC key to get all of them if you prefer using the keyboard to the mouse/trackpad. It also documents that behavior right there in front of your eyes, so you don't have to remember that it is the ESC key. Both the inexperienced user and the experienced user in a hurry are accommodated.
Quote:
And when you start a new search and change your mind, the only way out of the box that pops up is a button marked "Esc"
Pressing the ESC key is in fact a standard way to abort many operations on the Mac. Ever started dragging some files in the Finder, only to decide you didn't want to do that? Hit the ESC key. Dialog box or sheet that you don't want? Hit the ESC key.
Quote:
I know this isn't an official product or project of Omni, and I'm grateful that another user put the time into making this for the community. But it doesn't let the Omni folks off their obligation to provide this functionality in a user-friendly way.

Yes, it's really useful. But clunky. That's all I'm saying. :-)
What obligation? There's no more obligation to deliver that feature than there is that Apple deliver some really cool way to control my iPad from my iMac. It may be an obvious extension of what is already there, but no promise to deliver same was made prior to money changing hands. Now, as it turns out, the Omni folks are pretty accommodating of such requests in the grand scheme of things, at least if you follow their recommendations about how to ask for changes (use Help->Send Feedback), and many other users ask for the same feature. But they've already given you the means to look at your list of tasks and spot the ones starting on Monday, as I described in my second post. If you want to skip to a certain point in the list, bring up the search box with cmd-F and search for a date. For this particular task, Rob's script is perhaps overkill, but it gives a nice jumping off point for considerably more complicated searches.

The fact that something like this can be implemented by a third party script is a blessing, because time spent by Omni delivering built-in versions of this functionality is time they can't spend building other functionality which is not amenable to solution by Applescript (an example would be kingsinger's wish for optionally reversing the sort order).
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsinger View Post
I wish there was a bit more documentation, as I feel like I'm mostly scratching the surface, but it definitely adds some functionality that I find useful.
Have you tried the assisted editing feature? With that, I find most of my questions are not so much about how to use Where in OF, but rather the semantics of the OmniFocus data model. What would I look at to determine if a project was nested inside a folder with the string "work" in its name, for example.

Rob likes a good puzzle, and so do I, so feel free to post your "how do I search for this" queries, as well as your "hey, look at this really cool search I did" posts! Who knows, Rob might even enjoy updating documentation, if you tell him what needs expansion or clarification :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Have you tried the assisted editing feature? With that, I find most of my questions are not so much about how to use Where in OF, but rather the semantics of the OmniFocus data model. What would I look at to determine if a project was nested inside a folder with the string "work" in its name, for example.

Rob likes a good puzzle, and so do I, so feel free to post your "how do I search for this" queries, as well as your "hey, look at this really cool search I did" posts! Who knows, Rob might even enjoy updating documentation, if you tell him what needs expansion or clarification :-)
I'm not sure I really saw any documentation at all. Maybe that's my bad, and I missed it.

Some of it is more like I wouldn't even know what to ask for, since I'm not entirely sure what is possible. Basic stuff like, find me everything with start date between x and y days, that's pretty straightforward. But it seems like there's definitely more deep stuff I'm probably missing. That's all I'm saying. Sometimes documentation changes your consciousness of what is possible. That's more where I was coming from with that comment.

To that end, I'd love to hear about ways that other people are suing this great applescript.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by judisohn View Post
Well, for example "Skip sub-selection to select ALL immediately (ESC key)" .... huh?!?
Yes, I've been finding that annoying too :-)

I think it may be fixed and simplified as of WhereInOF732

(It was a work-around for a bug in the behaviour of choose lists launched from the OF toolbar - the OK button didn't automatically have focus, so you couldn't just select a target and hit the return key.

I have noticed, however, that the focus bug can be fixed by wrapping user interactions in

Code:
tell application id "com.apple.systemevents"
    activate
    ...
end tell
You should find that the new version(s) are now much simpler at that point).

On documentation - I can't promise to find time (I won't document the whole OF applescript library and its possibilities) but I will certainly think about any particular suggestions ...

More generally, if you would like OmniFocus to include these saveable boolean searches and shortcuts as a built-in feature, so that I can retire this script, then you need to build up the request count through OmniFocus > Help > Send Feedback

My personal feeling is that raw out of the box, without an accessible query language, our dear OmniFocus is a slightly eccentric database - very cooperative in the capturing and zen-like hiding of our data, but not quite so helpful when we want to find it again ...

Rob

--

Last edited by RobTrew; 2012-07-17 at 07:10 AM.. Reason: Updated link to Where in OF
 
 


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