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sync to iCal as events for due dates? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I tried the iCal syncing, and was totally baffled that it seems to only sync with the task list. I don't get it, why would I want to sync with the task list, when its task listing is inferior to Omnifocus task list?

What I really need (desperately) is for iCal to provide what OF doesn't: to look at a "big picture" timeline/calender view of the tasks with due dates, so I can plan for critical due dates and get alarms to go with them. How could this fundamental issue be missing?

OF is good for organizing tasks without time limits, but without real links to iCal or omniplan I'm very frustrated with how to translate tasks into planning my time, organizing my week based on task due dates, or figuring out when I can tell someone I can fit-in to my schedule of tasks, their project or tasks.
 
This has been discussed at great length among the users and with input from Omni in this thread. In particular, Brian's post #49 may be of interest. If you must create events in iCal from actions synced from OmniFocus, you can drag them from iCal's task list into the calendar.
 
Yes I read lots of threads that were requesting this capability, but no real solution yet, and no commitment to change things either.

Omnifocus still seems like it is geared towards the corporate employee with limited responsibility, and a few home to-dos. Those of us who do consulting work for lots of clients (for example), must have some way to visualize the tasks in a time view, to be able to even tell someone when you can get their work done.

While most of the time (85%), i want to work in a list view - but that 15% of seeing a time view is critical. Dragging tasks from the huge unorganized list of 300 tasks that omnifocus creates in iCal, isn't a solution.

Last edited by tah; 2009-02-15 at 11:15 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tah View Post
Omnifocus still seems like it is geared towards the corporate employee with limited responsibility, and a few home to-dos.
OmniFocus is geared to those who, more or less, follow the GTD methodology of task management. If I understand your needs correctly, what you are wanting to do is more of a time management approach, which is a pretty big departure from the GTD approach to task management.

As a side note, there are plenty of people using OmniFocus that have very demanding schedules, including consulting work, are very happy organizing their tasks with OmniFocus. Personally, I'd be hopelessly lost if I had to go back to compartmentalizing my tasks into time buckets for days, weeks, or months in advance.
 
I don't agree...I use GTD, but have a need to see tasks on the calendar as events as well. There are many people who prefer this...all we want is the option not for it to be a "standard". In the meantime...I am waiting anxiously for this program http://www.busymac.com/busycal.html I do think this and Omni may be the best bet for getting "this" done.
 
If you had a way that you imagined visualizing your tasks you might put together a dashboard widget that does it, like Kurt did with his "where should I focus" widget.

I imagine that a widget that gives a kind of time investment visualization is not going to end up looking like a calendar with tasks fit into the boxes, for the reason that had been pointed out on the other thread - there is an indeterminacy about where you put any individual task. I was thinking that a way that it could be visualized is to show a graph of the rate of adding and closing tasks over the past and near future; a chart of the rate that tasks would have to be completed to meet all future deadlines; something like that.
 
@figman, I respectfully disagree that you are following GTD if you are putting all your tasks on a calendar that do not need to be done at a specific time. Allen is pretty clear on what he feels should appear on action lists and what should appear on a calendar. If all actions are going on a calendar, then all that is left is a series of big daily to-do lists and the beauty of contexts and everything GTD is gone. Now clearly there are some tasks that are strictly time-specific as to when they need to be completed, but how can syncing possibly handle this for all possible situations?

I've also seen many people request the feature to sync action items to a calendar, but I've yet to see anyone describe just how it would/could work. If I have an action that I estimate will take 3 hours to complete, I can start it today at 8:00 and it is due no later than Friday at 5:00, how would that look on my calendar? With an alarm at 4:45 on Friday that it is due in 15 minutes and I haven't started it yet? At 2:00 on Friday (3 hours in advance) when I may not have the context available to work on it? Or will my calendar be blocked out from 8 today until 5 on Friday? Now when I am looking at my daily/weekly review, I can make an informed choice on when I should block out the time(s) necessary this week to work on the task. But I cannot imagine how OmniFocus, or any software program, can sync this task along with all my other tasks and make that choice for me.
 
Its obvious that this software was written by developers who work at a small company, who have the luxury of a "we will sell no wine before its time" mentality. They can task list until they get their software done, rather than have to meet a specific deadline.

@Greg
David allen, tries to get people off of dead-lining every task, he doesn't make-believe that projects or task groups don't have calenderable dead-lines.

There are already start/end dates and durations, as well as sequential and parallel settings for task groups. It has most of the interface for gantt charting already.

How it works:
1. For projects/groups/tasks that have end or start dates add as normal. On sync with iCal these dates become a events, with alarms if set
2. For all other tasks add durations
3. set sequential/parallel
4. Press gantt chart button, and omnifocus visualizes the timeline based on start or end dates and the task durations set.
5. You can now see that given the current projects you have a break in 3 weeks long enough to fit in your new client and actually tell them a real timeline that is realistic (instead off pissing off all of your customers because although you have this cool Omnifocus software, you have no idea when you'll have time to do someones project or when you'll finish).

Last edited by tah; 2009-02-16 at 11:42 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tah View Post
How it works:
1. For projects/groups/tasks that have end or start dates add as normal. On sync with iCal these dates become a events, with alarms if set.
I gave you a specific example of a task example, yet you failed to give the example of how this would be synced to iCal. I assume that since my task has a start date and a due date, based on what you did say, that my task would block out my entire calendar from 8:00 AM Monday to 5:00 PM on Friday?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tah View Post
Yes I read lots of threads that were requesting this capability, but no real solution yet, and no commitment to change things either.
Not only no commitment to change, but a considered decision not to change.
Quote:
Omnifocus still seems like it is geared towards the corporate employee with limited responsibility, and a few home to-dos.
You mean people like Omni's CEO, who regularly describes his intensive use of the program?

Quote:
Its obvious that this software was written by developers who work at a small company, who have the luxury of a "we will sell no wine before its time" mentality.
You say that like it is a bad thing, when in fact it is precisely why so many of us use Omni products! And just because Omni may allow themselves more flexibility with the schedule than a larger company more intent on hitting a publicly announced ship date, I wouldn't assume that they don't end up driving themselves just as hard if not harder.

Greg has asked the question, Ken (Omni CEO) has asked the question, I've asked the question, others have asked the question, but no one seems to have a useful answer to describe how OmniFocus actions should be mapped into calendar events, in general. Some might regard that as a hint that perhaps it isn't a fantastic idea...
 
 


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