Update 07/19: Now with OmniFocus task notes

Update 07/20: Fixed unintentionally re-used task note

I shared my Rapid Log Shortcut for Agenda the other day, and it serves its purpose, but I am an OmniFocus user, and so really, my rapid logged tasks need to land there. As such, I have been fine-tuning my Shortcut for use with it, and with some bonus features.

I won’t rehash too much about what I already posted, but this Shortcut:

  • Asks for input
  • Takes input, line by line, and appends it to a Daily Agenda Log
  • If the line of input starts with - (a dash and a space):
    • The appended line in Agenda becomes a checklist item instead of a bullet
    • A task is created in the OmniFocus inbox with that line’s name
    • That appended Agenda line is linked to the task created in the OmniFocus

Here’s what is bonus cool, though:

  • The task is created in OmniFocus using TaskPaper addition
    • This means your task could include something like @due(tom) to show that it is due tomorrow, and the OmniFocus task created will honour it
    • … but that content is stripped from the text appended to Agenda for elegance
    • @flagged is the exception, because if that is added, the Agenda line will be prefaced with a 🔶 to indicate the flagged state
  • You can include tags inline as #tag1 and #tag2 (no spaces), and they will be honoured by OmniFocus
    • The Shortcut parses those in to TaskPaper format @tags(tag1, tag2) accordingly
    • You can write tags inline in TaskPaper format too, of course
    • None of that content is in the Agenda line appended (again, elegance)
  • You can also include +(Project Name) inline
    • This will become the project to which the task is added (instead of the Inbox)
    • This is a search of Projects in OmniFocus, and the first match returned, so use clever keywords
    • Spaces are allowed for multi-word names/searches
    • The use of a + here is a nod to todo.txt, which used + as the signifier for projects
      • In case anyone cared?
    • Still, elegance
  • Lastly, you can use // as a notes delimiter (that’s a space, two slashes, and a space)
    • Everything after that delimiter will be added to the notes field of OmniFocus
    • This content will be ignored in Agenda (assumed that this is in service of noting the task, not the journal)

Read about TaskPaper notation you can include →

There is no enforced order here, so one could totally thoughtstream the entry (which I do). For example:

- Call Marie about the budget #Urgent @flagged +(budget presentation) @due(fri) #Calls // The budget presentation is on our shared folder

Metadata does not need to be entered in a particular order.

I find that by rapid logging this way, I capture my commitments in OmniFocus, but I also diary that capture in Agenda, and also give myself the freedom to capture non-actionable things I have discovered or know.

I’d love to hear what you think!


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5 thoughts on “Day Automation: Rapid Logging with OmniFocus

  1. There’s a problem with task notes. If you add a note to one task, it gets carried along to any later task that doesn’t have an explicit note. I found adding an “Otherwise”->”Set variable Task Note to [nothing]” to the note-handling “If” statement can stop that.

    I would also suggest adding a line about using @defer() and @due() to the detailed comments on the shortcut’s extra features. Some of us don’t remember website instructions well.

    Other than that, a very useful shortcut.

    • Ah! Added a fix (each repetition sets the Task Note value to null). And great idea about linking TaskPaper reference – I have done that in the post.

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I really appreciate it!

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