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Potential new Omnifocus user with questions Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Dear all,

I have been looking for a GTD app during the past month, and I was more or less ready to buy all versions of omnifocus (well, at least iPad and desktop), but some questions linger in my mind regarding my needs and what omnifocus offers:

1. I love keyboard shortcuts for instance, and I would rather write stuff such as " Task1 ^tomorrow at 5pm #project 1 @Context " than click on multiple buttons to add tasks and contexts. Is that possible?

2. I need to be able to add events/tasks/lists by email (including due dates, projects, contexts…), and preferably, from different email addresses. This is really key to me (as I think it is the quickest way to add a task pretty much anywhere), and I have been unable to find a definite answer. By what I understand, it is not possible if I only have the iPad version.
However, if I have both the ipad and desktop version, I am not sure.
Would I be able to send an email to an Omnifocus address from my work email address (I am on windows at work and I use outlook) or from my personal gmail address, when I am, say, commuting?
My goal is to be able to write something along the lines of what is written above, i.e., "Task1 ^tomorrow at 5pm #project 1 @Context " in the subject line and that it creates task 1 in Project 1 with @context with a due date tomorrow at 5pm.

Thanks for your help! I would really like to be able to do that so that I can start using Omnifocus :-)
 
No one can answer these questions? :-(
 
My experience here is too limited ...

Some of your questions may also already be addressed in other threads. For example, I would be surprised if a search on the forums did not turn up a lots of recent postings already with tips/tricks on integrating mail with OF.

--
JJW
 
lillumultipass, we spend as much time as we can manage on the forums after our other duties are complete, but we can't really guarantee that a person from a particular team will be able to respond. If you need a rapid response from someone knowledgeable about the app you're looking for help with, you can always mail our support ninjas and they'll get back to you by the end of the next business day.

Regarding keyboard support: it's possible to enter an action solely from the keyboard on the Mac, but my understanding is that the situation on iOS is essentially the same as mentioned in the final post of this thread. (I'm not an engineer, though, so it is possible that someone will chime in later with updated info. )

Regarding email support: the Mac app currently includes integration with Apple's Mail app which can process messages sent to you and turn them into actions. Check the "Processing Mail messages into actions" page in the help menu material for more details.

Similarly, the options we have in the iOS apps are more limited, but we're working around that by adding a feature to our Omni Sync Server which will let folks add things to their database by sending or forwarding a message to a mail address we provide with your account.

You'd need to sync your data with the server for this to work, but it means any device that can send mail can add tasks to your OmniFocus database. The feature isn't ready to roll out yet, but the Sync Server team is working on getting it there as soon as possible.

Hope that helps!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillumultipass View Post
No one can answer these questions? :-(
First, it's important to note that this is not an official Omni support channel where your questions are guaranteed to be answered. Omni does provide the forum, but it is intended as a user forum where Omni staffers contribute as time permits. If you need a guaranteed answer from Omni, or to make a feature request, you want to email them directly (in this case, omnifocus-ipad@omnigroup.com) or call them (1-800-315-6664 or +1-206-523-4152).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lillumultipass View Post
Dear all,

I have been looking for a GTD app during the past month, and I was more or less ready to buy all versions of omnifocus (well, at least iPad and desktop), but some questions linger in my mind regarding my needs and what omnifocus offers:

1. I love keyboard shortcuts for instance, and I would rather write stuff such as " Task1 ^tomorrow at 5pm #project 1 @Context " than click on multiple buttons to add tasks and contexts. Is that possible?
Yes, it's possible if you have a Mac running OmniFocus and have set up the email-to-OmniFocus linkage and you are willing to wait until the next time the Mac is running the Apple Mail application to get the new item injected into OmniFocus. There is also work afoot at Omni to support doing this through the Omni Sync Server, but there's no date by which it will be available.

In OmniFocus for Mac, see the built-in help for "Processing Mail messages into actions" to see the details on configuring this feature and the format of the messages. It's pretty close to what you did:

Task1 >project 1 @Context #tomorrow 5pm

You can create multiple tasks from a single email. Unfortunately, you cannot create new contexts or projects (the flip side of the coin being that you won't file actions in projects accidentally created by typos, never to be seen again).

Quote:

2. I need to be able to add events/tasks/lists by email (including due dates, projects, contexts…), and preferably, from different email addresses. This is really key to me (as I think it is the quickest way to add a task pretty much anywhere), and I have been unable to find a definite answer. By what I understand, it is not possible if I only have the iPad version.
However, if I have both the ipad and desktop version, I am not sure.
Would I be able to send an email to an Omnifocus address from my work email address (I am on windows at work and I use outlook) or from my personal gmail address, when I am, say, commuting?
My goal is to be able to write something along the lines of what is written above, i.e., "Task1 ^tomorrow at 5pm #project 1 @Context " in the subject line and that it creates task 1 in Project 1 with @context with a due date tomorrow at 5pm.
See above. You can send the email from any address so long as you've whitelisted that address with OmniFocus for Mac, and the message is in plain text. It won't be processed until Mail on the Mac running OmniFocus retrieves the message and hands it off to OmniFocus, so ideally you'll be able to leave it running during the hours where you might be doing this. If your Mac is a laptop that spends much of its time asleep in your bag, it isn't going to be quite as convenient.

There are a few things of which you should be aware if you're planning to use this approach. The Mail app only processes rules for email which hasn't yet been marked read, so it may be worth the trouble to set up another email address to serve as the destination for such emails, and do NOT configure any of your devices (except the Mac running OmniFocus, of course) to use that account.

Also, even though an incoming email is immediately processed into an OmniFocus action, you may not see that action on a remote device for a while. OmniFocus writes out any changes to the sync server a minute after they are made, by default. So, you send an email at t = 0, at some random amount of time later the various mail servers deliver it, the Mail app fetches it, and it is sent to OmniFocus, which writes it out to the sync server a minute later. That might be as short as a minute + a few seconds after you sent the email, or it might be many minutes later. I did three test messages while writing this post, sending from my MobileMe account to my Gmail account, and two were delivered instantly, but the other one took 6 minutes, despite my repeatedly clicking the Get Mail button. Go figure. Once OmniFocus has written it to the server, the OmniFocus app on the device you are using needs to fetch it from the server. This happens whenever it does a sync, such as 1 minute after you've made a change, every hour thereafter, or when you tap the sync button. Best case, your local device syncs just seconds later and the new actions appear. Worst case, your local device just synced, you aren't making changes (which would force another sync) and the new actions don't appear until nearly an hour later. Personally, I don't often bother putting something in OmniFocus that I'm planning to do immediately, but your practice may differ, and in that case, you may wish to force a sync after a minute or two to propagate the new action(s) to the local client sooner. Or, you could try entering the item directly :-) If you can type with any proficiency on the iPad, the smart matching of projects and contexts significantly reduces the amount of tapping you have to do, to the point where I only use the email approach for injecting stuff that is already email or web page references, though for entering a substantial number of actions the Mac will probably be faster.

I use this stuff in a number of ways. I rarely do the email to create a task because all of my devices run OmniFocus and it is easier to just enter it directly, though occasionally I'll be using someone else's device and then I will fire up the webmail interface for my email and send in a new task. If I'm reading the Omni forums away from my desk on the iPad, I'll use the "Mail Link to Page" option in the sharing button in Safari to capture forum posts to which I want to respond but don't want to do from the iPad (answer too long to type while walking around, need to test something on the Mac or attach screenshots, don't have time to compose the response at the moment, etc.) I also forward all of the email Omni sends me in response to bug reports and feature requests into OmniFocus to make it easier to keep track of whether they are waiting for something from me. For the most part, it works pretty well, but as you might expect when combining software from two or more parties, only one of which is actively working to make the final result happen, there are the occasional rough edges.
 
First, thanks a lot for all your answers and explanation.

So, with regards to email:

1. I did setup another gmail address to which I have tried to send emails adding the +Omnifocus. it works quite well and I really like the fact that you can add many actions in a single mail. However, the fact that Apple Mail must be functioning is clearly a huge drawback in my opinion, as my home laptop is usally idle during my working day. But I guess I can live with that until you implement the server function.

2. I also tried the send to omnifocus method, but the link do not seem to work with Gmail for instance. Additionally, unless I am mistaken, it is not possible to add multiple tasks with a single email adding more lines starting with --.

With regards to keyboard shortcuts and adding tasks, I was not clear enough I guess. My question was more about adding tasks within Omnifocus Mac using the same syntax as in emails, e.g., Task1 >project 1 @Context #tomorrow 5pm. But actually, I guess the quick entry is almost as fast, except maybe when one wants to add both a due and a start date...

Anyhow, I have started the plunge: I bought the iPad version!
I will think about the desktop and iphone version later on.
Thanks again!
 
 


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