2019-01-30 – Automating OmniFocus 3 Using Siri Shortcuts: Beyond the Basics

Learn how to use Siri Shortcuts to create OmniFocus actions and template-based projects with ease, efficiency, and accuracy.

2024-03-29 Update – Apple Shortcuts has come a long way since this video was recorded. Check out the OmniFocus Shortcuts Directory for examples of how OmniFocus and complementary apps can be automated using Shortcuts.

This session, led by automation expert Rose Orchard, is a follow-up to Automating OmniFocus 3 Using Siri Shortcuts: Basics. Rose reviews some of the basics, including how to install a Siri Shortcut and the TaskPaper syntax, then takes us on a deeper dive into more advanced productivity workflows.

You’ll learn how to create OmniFocus actions that prompt you for input and how to create projects based on text-based TaskPaper templates. You’ll also get a taste of how a single Siri Shortcut can interact with multiple apps.

The Drafts app is prominently featured in this session. It’s a natural complement to Siri Shortcuts and OmniFocus and makes creating TaskPaper actions and projects quick and convenient. While there’s an optional paid upgrade to Drafts, everything shown in this session can be accomplished with the free app.

Session Overview

Watch this session and learn techniques and best practices for:

  • Customizing and extending existing Siri Shortcuts.
  • Using the TaskPaper format to create template-based projects in OmniFocus.
  • Using Drafts for iOS to create and edit TaskPaper text.
  • Creating Siri Shortcuts that prompt you for information (e.g. someone stored in your Contacts database, the date of an event, and the destination of a trip) and create a customized OmniFocus project in a specified folder.
  • Using default date values to streamline data entry.
  • Creating Siri Shortcuts that prompt you to choose from a menu of options.
  • Creating Siri Shortcuts that interact with multiple apps (e.g. add a project to OmniFocus and an appointment to Calendar based on inputed dates).
  • Installing and using the OF Taskpaper action group for Drafts created by Rose Orchard.
  • And more…

You’ll find the Siri Shortcuts referenced in this session in our OmniFocus Siri Shortcuts Directory. You’re encouraged to download and experiment with these examples.

Additional Resources

  • OmniFocus Actions for Drafts 5 — The OF Taskpaper action group that Rose Orchard created is available in the Drafts Action Directory. Once you’ve installed Drafts on your iPhone or iPad, open up this page on your iOS device and tap the Install button to add the action group to Drafts.
  • Using Drafts 5 Taskpaper with OmniFocus — This post by Rose Orchard provides more information on using Drafts 5 alongside OmniFocus.
  • OmniFocus TaskPaper Reference Guide — To learn more about the text-based TaskPaper format, check out the Omni Group’s comprehensive OmniFocus TaskPaper Reference Guide.

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