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Trouble with iCal "Omnifocus Reminders" Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I just bought the omnifocus app from the Mac App Store a couple days ago and I just realized that due dates would not show up on the "omnifocus reminders" calendar in iCal. The first time i tried it it worked and showed up successfully on iCal "Omnifocus Reminders" but all subsequent tasks with due dates will not show up.

I also made sure i clicked the orange sync button in omnifocus and refreshed the iCal calendars and it still wouldnt show up. Tried it with both MobileMe and OmniFocus Sync servers and the results are the same.

Tried it on both my MBA and Mac Mini and the results are the same as well. First time works but all subsequent entries with due dates dont show up.

Please help thanks.
Control-click on the tool-bar and select "Customize toolbar..."

The third row has an icon labeled "Sync with iCal". That's the one you want to use to sync to iCal. Not the orange sync button.

You can also use Command-Option-S shortcut key or use the menu bar File > Sync with iCal.

I got stuck on this once upon a time too.

You might also tinker around with the preferences and make sure to map out which OmniFocus contexts will go to which calendar in iCal.

There is also a checkbox in preferences to sync blocked actions as well....
On a side note, I would also warn you against syncing all your contexts to iCal. You'll be faced with one long list of all your tasks in iCal.

I use BusyCal which allows me to see tasks on the calendar itself as well as in the task sidebar.

The only things I have in BusyCal/iCal are my appointments and tasks that really have a due date. Most often, they are bills such as "Pay my cellphone bill".

I only sync one context called "Critical Now". These are tasks that have to be done on a particular date. I created a Single Action project called "Bills." Then I would start to enter bill due dates such as

Power bill - March 18
Cellphone bill - March 22
Water bill - March 25

I usually set the start date approximately 7 days before the due date. This will let me see the bill in my OmniFocus Nex Actions perspective about a week before the due date. This is a subtle reminder that says I got a bill to pay by next week.

Then I set the due date for each task. Next, i set the context to "Critical Now". I'll go to preferences and map "Critical Now" to a calendar called "Bills" in iCal/BusyCal.

When I click on the sync to iCal calendar, OmniFocus will populate iCal with any tasks labelled as "Critical Now."

Once upon a time, i also thought that I should "schedule" tasks into a certain time. I never really got that to work. Nowadays, I would just create an appointment at a time of my choice (and sometimes not my choice either) and just label it with a project name such as this:

Thursday 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm - "Work on Powerpoint Presentation"

Then I'd refer to my "work on Powerpoint presentation" project in OmniFocus. I don't really care about mapping all the tasks in the Powerpoint presentation project. All I need to know is that I reserved that time block for this particular project.

I also thought it would be cool to see my tasks on a calendar. Even if it didn't have a real due date. When I tried to sync all my tasks over to iCal, I was immediately discouraged. My task list was so long. I didn't even want to look at it.

OmniFocus is much better at task management. It has the capability of filtering out blocked actions and only letting me see available Next Actions. Or I can go to a project perspective and just see tasks for a particular project.

The calendar is better at time management - when you need to keep appointments and time sensitive tasks such as bill payment due dates.

So take care that you don't sync tasks that don't belong in a calendar. Just because you can sync all your OmniFocus tasks over to iCal, it doesn't mean that you should...
Thanks for the tips. Perhaps I wasnt very clear with my first post. What I'm talking about is the "Omnifocus Reminders" in iCal created by Omnifocus when you go to Preferences --> Sync --> Reminders: Publish reminders as a calendar

And right beside that there is a button which reads "subscribe in iCal"

What its supposed to do is automatically create and subscribe to a calendar named "Omnifocus Reminders" calendar in iCal and show tasks with due dates as events under that "Omnifocus Reminders" calendar.

For me it only worked once. Only the first task i created with a due date shows up and all subsequent tasks created with due dates will not show up any more.
What are the due dates on those subsequently created tasks? It only populates the next 14 days, so if your due dates fall outside of that range, it will appear not to work.

If that isn't the issue, you should contact the support ninjas via Help->Send Feedback or phoning 800-315-OMNI or +1-206-523-4152.
aaahhh... sorry, my mistake.

I'm trying to think here. Would the recent forced upgrade to the new MobileMe calendars have anything to do with mucking up the OmniFocus to MobileMe calendars?

I saw a notice from the BusyCal folks that Apple was switching to a new MobileMe setup for calendar syncing. I don't have MobileMe so I don't really know a lot about that. All I heard about was that you would probably have to change your calendar workflow to use the new MobileMe calendar.

Here's the BusyCal page talking about the new MobileMe:

The Omni Ninjas will probably have to investigate the impact of the new MobileMe setup....

Last edited by wilsonng; 2011-03-16 at 06:08 PM..
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
What are the due dates on those subsequently created tasks? It only populates the next 14 days, so if your due dates fall outside of that range, it will appear not to work.

If that isn't the issue, you should contact the support ninjas via Help->Send Feedback or phoning 800-315-OMNI or +1-206-523-4152.
Yep that answered my question. All my subsequent due dates are at least 14 days later. Just tested again with due dates with in 14 days and they all showed up.

Why is it designed that way? Is there any way to change that? My job requires me to plan way beyond 14 days and I need to see the due dates for my tasks so that i know when to or not to book a meeting.

btw thanks guys for helping. :)

Last edited by Randomplay; 2011-03-16 at 11:29 PM..
That reminders calendar was implemented as a way to provide alerts to iPhones or iPods that might not have Internet connectivity that something was about to be due, even if OmniFocus wasn't running. Apple didn't provide a notification service that could be used by developers to do this before iOS 4. By putting pending due events in a special calendar, Omni gets the Calendar app to do the dirty work.

As for why it only goes 14 days out, that seems like a reasonable timeframe likely to cover most people's needs for populating that calendar between syncs, and the calendar needs to be rewritten each time you sync if there are any changes to due dates in that timeframe, so there's a cost to be paid for extending the timeframe too far. It's sort of a happy accident that Apple didn't provide an API for notifications and that Omni had this idea for a workaround; had an API been provided, there probably wouldn't be any way provided to see the notifications in advance as you can with the calendar trick.

You should send in feedback with Help->Send Feedback if you want an option to control the size of the calendar; if enough people are interested in such a feature, it might get more attention than it would otherwise get as a happy side effect of something that is needed by a diminishing group of users.

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