Tinderbox Forum

Conceptual Question about Co-management of Omnifocus Tasks

Hi everyone,

In my experience, Omnifocus is great at capture/review and poor at giving clarity for what to do right now. I am pleased to see Tinderbox intelligently imports my OF tasks and their metadata with simple drag and drop. I’d like to drag tasks over to TBX, visually sort and manipulate them in all manner of ways (e.g. using the map view with links, agents and adornments), and then I’d want any task added or completed or detailed (notes area edits) to sync back and forth. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

  • If I made a new task in TBX, it’d go to OF (perhaps the inbox).
  • If I made a new task in OF, it’d go to the map in TBX (perhaps level 0).
  • If I marked complete both apps would know.
  • If I added notes, both apps would know.

I’ve seen this thread and am willing to try out some of the more specific bits (like templates and such to copy/paste as Taskpaper links), but before I do I want to know if what I’m aiming for is conceptually possible. I think I’m asking too much of these programs to talk back and forth w/each other as I’ve currently imagined it. Is that right?


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This is going to be rough sledding.

We’ve got good diplomatic relations with Omni, though, and it’s entirely possible we could hook something of this sort together if there’s interest.

I haven’t done any OF scripting, but from what I know it has pretty good AppleScript support. So you could try something like what I did with the publish to DT, where you actually construct the AppleScript from Tinderbox export code and use runCommand to pipe it to osascript.

I would LOVE to see official support. I’m in the same boat as @beck – big fan of using OF to capture things and manage the day-to-day, but it doesn’t help me see the big picture at all.


If there’s anything I can do to help chart a path forward here, let me know. FWIW, I bike past the Omni HQ on my way to and from school everyday and can easily pop by to test/demo what I have in mind.

I could use this. I frequent set up planners using actions dragged in from OF, and the lack of bi-directional updates is definitely a limitation.

(I’ve lately felt that working with OmniFocus is a dreary sentence, with the only benefit that OmniFocus has input links from many directions. So transferring work from OF to Tinderbox definitely brightens up the day. I’ve attached one of my Tinderbox template files – the OF actions are dragged or copy/paste into the ‘Tasks’ container. This particular file also creates a TaskPaper-format export which I have used to send actions back to OF.)

OF Task Tracker.tbx (128.8 KB)

Thanks for sharing this file, Paul!

Thank you for the file Paul.

I could also use the functionality Beck describes and would like to use it. Like you, I find the actual business of planning and doing work from within OmniFocus rather dreary. It is also very difficult to get a high-level view of several workstreams or detailed work streams with dependencies. Sometimes to get what I need I have resorted to recreating parts of my OF workload in a mind mapping tool or I have created a lot of calendar tasks so that I can visualise the work related to time available. Bi-directional task syncing between TB and OF could potentially make a big difference.

I believe that OmniFocus will this year gain the new Javascript-based Omni automation framework which seems to me might prove somewhat more fine-grained than the Applescript support. Perhaps now is the right time to try to get some support from Omni to integrate syncing with Tinderbox because the project could act as a test harness for their automation integration and development.

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I have just started dabbling with OmniFocus, and I wondered if any progress had been made on the ideas put forward by @beck and picked up by @eastgate. I, too, can see how swapping information between the two programs would be useful, as I am suffering from the “too may trees” problem in OmniFocus.


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