2019-03-13 – Automating OmniFocus 3 Using Siri Shortcuts: Advanced

Learn advanced ways to use Siri Shortcuts to create sequences of actions, integrate with other apps, build flexible templates, and much more.

2024-03-28 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 the Automating OmniFocus 3 Using Siri Shortcuts: Basics and Automating OmniFocus 3 Using Siri Shortcuts: Beyond the Basics sessions.

We review a few of the basic techniques and principles, including how to install Siri Shortcuts, and then delve into some of the advanced ways to use Siri Shortcuts to automate OmniFocus and complementary productivity apps.

We also explore some advanced ways to create OmniFocus projects that draw from multiple sources and delve into practical strategies for using Siri Shortcuts to help keep your OmniFocus database up-to-date and relevant. Featured apps include Drafts, Bear, and Launch Center Pro.

Session Overview

Watch this session and learn techniques and best practices for:

  • Using Siri Shortcuts to create a sequence of OmniFocus actions between a specified date range, on specific weekdays, and specific months.
  • Making optimum use of Magic Variables.
  • Using OmniFocus’ ability to perform date calculations within Siri Shortcuts.
  • Creating project templates within Siri Shortcuts based on existing OmniFocus projects and Mac project templates.
  • Conveniently making use of lists and TaskPaper templates stored in Drafts.
  • Creating an action in OmniFocus and a corresponding note in Bear, with links between the two. This same technique can be applied to other note-taking apps, including Evernote and Agenda.
  • Using Siri Shortcut’s Dictionary feature to conveniently combine lists and TaskPaper-formatted text from multiple sources.
  • Creating OmniFocus projects and actions based on appointments in your calendar.
  • Using Launch Center Pro to obtain details of URL schemes for thousands of apps.
  • Using Launch Center Pro to automatically keep your OmniFocus database up-to-date and relevant using date and location-based triggers.
  • And more…

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

Additional Resources

  • Automating OmniFocus 3 with Launch Center Pro 3 — Watch our Launch Center Pro tutorial to learn more about using Launch Center Pro to trigger Siri Shortcuts based on dates and locations.
  • 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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