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Setting up calendar alerts in OmniFocus for iPhone [Retired: use local notifications] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
OmniFocus 1.5.2 for iPhone introduces a new feature that we think a lot of folks are going to like. We've found a way for OmniFocus to notify you about events that are coming due, without the dependency on an active network connection that Push notifications have.

Apple recently mentioned that 40% of the iPhone OS devices out there are iPod Touches; that means almost half our potential customers don't have the always-on network connection that Push notifications depend on. With the new feature, a notification appears on your iPhone/iPod at the appointed time, even if you have no cellphone or WiFi reception. OmniFocus does not need to be running for this to happen; customers using MobileMe or another WebDAV server to sync their data can add OmniFocus-generated reminder events to Calendar application on their iPhone or iPod.

(We have to use an external server to get the information to the calendar app because Apple hasn't added a way for us to do this without talking to an external server. It has to be a WebDAV server due to a limitation in the iPhone Calendar application; it doesn't know how to fetch a calendar from a Bonjour server. Folks who wonder about why we did this instead of Push notifications may want to take a look at this thread for more information.)

If you're not currently syncing via MobileMe or WebDAV, you can either sign up for a MobileMe account (trial accounts are available), or set up an account with one of the free WebDAV providers listed in this thread.

Once you have your MobileMe or WebDAV account information, you can use the steps below to enable calendar notifications.

First, make sure that you have OmniFocus for iPhone 1.5.2 or later installed on your iPhone or iPod Touch. If you're not sure what version you have, scroll down to the very bottom of the Settings screen; we list the version information there. If you see that an earlier release is installed on your phone, use the App Store application to check for updates. (If you see "no updates available" when you check, wait an hour and try again - eventually, the current release will show up.)

Once you have the latest release installed, open Settings from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. (Tap the circular button that looks like the letter "i".)

Scroll down the Settings screen until you see the "Synchronization" section. You should see either "MobileMe" or "Advanced (WebDAV)" selected for your sync method; if you see "Nothing" or "Bonjour" and you're not sure what to do about this, please contact the support ninjas and we can help.

Just below your active sync method, you'll see a "Notifications" section which contains the new option. Tap "Sounds and Alerts". On the next screen, you'll see a "Calendar Alarms" setting. Tapping that will take you to a new screen. On the next screen, you can choose how far in advance of an action's due date you want to be notified. (Example: if an action is due at 5pm, you can be notified at 4pm, 4:30, 4:45, or at 4:55.)

Once you've chosen the setting that works best for you, return to the previous screen, and change "Due Soon Export" to "On". Tap the "Synchronize Now" button that appears.

At this point, you may be prompted to enter the user name and password for your sync server.
Important MobileMe note: if you're syncing with MobileMe, your username is the portion of your or email address to the left of the '@' symbol; don't enter the whole email address. If you're using a different WebDAV server and you're not sure what your user name is, check the email they sent when you signed up.
Once you've entered your user name and password, go ahead and tap the "Send" button. You'll return to the previous screen and see the sync button in the center of the toolbar is now a spinning progress indicator.

Once the progress indicator stops spinning, you'll see that the "Synchronize Now" button has been replaced with a "Subscribe in Calendar" button; go ahead and tap it to send the information to the calendar application.

The calendar app will also need the username and password for your sync server, so you'll see a slightly different dialog pop up where it asks for the info: go ahead and enter it again, then tap the "OK" button in the dialog.
Important MobileMe note: MobileMe user names (and possibly other WebDAV servers) appear to be case sensitive. This means that "username" and "Username" are actually two different accounts.

Unfortunately, the dialog panel that Calendar brings up at this point does something that we consider a bug. When you tap into the username field, the shift key on the keyboard defaults to "on" - unless you're careful and turn the shift key back off, you'll get stuck at this point. You'll fill the panel out, tap "OK", and the panel will come right back because of the capital letter in your username.
Once you send your login information to Calendar, you'll see a confirmation "Subscribe to the calendar" dialog appear; tap "Subscribe".

Finally, you'll see a "The Calendar "OmniFocus Reminders" has been added" dialog. You can tap "View Events" to switch to Calendar and see the events, or the "Done" button to stay in OmniFocus.

One final step - from the Home screen on your iPhone, tap Settings. In the next screen, tap "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". In the Accounts section of the next screen, you should see an "OmniFocus Reminders" entry - tap it.

If the "Use SSL" slider is set to off, slide it to "ON". (If you receive an error message at this point, note the exact text and contact the support ninjas.)

You're all ready to go! From now on, OmniFocus will update your notification calendar each time you sync, adding reminders for any actions which are coming due within the next few weeks. The iPhone's calendar will present alerts as they come due, and the alerts include a link back to the action back in OmniFocus so you can just follow the link to see the details for the reminder. Enjoy your notifications!

Last edited by Brian; 2011-02-17 at 03:48 PM.. Reason: Update instructions for iOS 4
I had problems entering the address of the calendar into the iPhone's calendar. Turns out /DueSoon.ics is case sensitive for the webdav servers I was trying. So if you're using or and it isn't working, make sure you have the case of DueSoon.ics correct
Hi! I had the problem with WEBdav on my domain ( - It syncs normally, and I get a DueSoon.ics file on the webdisk, but the problem seems to be that the webdisk is on a different port (:2078) - so I tried setting up sync with instead, and it seems to work perfectly... So I'm not complaining - it would just be cool if it worked on my private domain as well.. =) (my private domain is hosted at a free norwegian hosting service which features webdisk, as well as mysql/php support, so I use it for both my private blog and for syncing). All the best, and thanks for a great app!
If I add a new task on the Desktop version of Omnifocus, will I be notified on the iPhone ?

In other words, is there any plan of adding this calendar thing to the desktop version, or is it already working ?

Originally Posted by HyperBallad View Post
If I add a new task on the Desktop version of Omnifocus, will I be notified on the iPhone ?
If you sync desktop and iPhone before the notification time, yes, you'll get the notification.
In other words, is there any plan of adding this calendar thing to the desktop version, or is it already working ?
Apparently this is on the list for 1.7, with sneaky peeks due out Real Soon Now.
Omnifocus and iCal are syncing vid iDisk (after manually setting up) and I can see a due item in iCal but am not getting any alerts. I have set reminders for 5min before events but getting nothing.

Also I only seem to see one or the other of the two events for today.
In case anyone is interested this also works on iCal on the mac if you subscriber to the calendar. Only catch is the older style Due Soon alerts set to 12.00 am are off the screen on my mac. I guess that is why it has changed to 5pm.

This is very neat. I'm suprised the companies trying to get the iPhone calendar to talk to syncML servers (like Oracle) haven't tried this trick.

Everything worked perfectly for me. I really like the calendar reminders. I did not want a push notification reminder because it requires a server. But i have one important question....

Do we have to continue having the Mobile me account to use the calender reminders?

will the events in The Calendar "OmniFocus Reminders be pushed to iPhone?
Dominoes, we don't use the push system, but yes, changes to the calendar on the server will make it to the phone.

Basically the calendar app on the phone "pulls" the changes itself, instead of having an external server that "pushes" them to your phone, if that makes any sense.

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