A while back, David Sparks offered up a video showing how he uses TextExpander to dramatically speed up entry on repetitive tasks in OmniFocus. He was also generous enough to share his snippets. While I use the hell out of them in both the Quick Entry and Clipper on my Mac and have created many of my own, these timesavers have been limited to the OS X as OmniFocus and TextExpander do not work together on iOS.
Thankfully, with the introduction of Launch Center Pro, we (finally) have a solution. You can use the URL Scheme that OmniFocus has provided to create similar pre-formatted snippets.
What the hell are you talking about?!?
Okay, some of you are probably with me, but many may not be. Simply put, if you commonly create repetitive tasks (e.g. Follow up on, Email Jen about, Set Meeting with Bob regarding), you can dramatically speed things up using Launch Center Pro. Still not with me? Here’s a video showing you how it works:
All I’ve done here is create a new group in Launch Center Pro called OF Actions. This allows me to have 11 rapid-fire actions for my most commonly created tasks. Rather than 11 unique actions, I’ve actually created duplicates for most that include whatever I have on the clipboard. This way I have a version that duplicates the Quick Entry field and another that emulates some aspects of the Clipper (you can find more on how I use these on the Mac here).
While you can easily tweak these and make them your own, here are my current actions:
- New Task from Prompt – omnifocus:///add?name=[prompt]
- New Task from Prompt w/ Clipboard – omnifocus:///add?name=[prompt]¬e=[clipboard]
- Follow Up With – omnifocus:///add?name=Follow%20up%20with%20
- Follow Up With w/ Clipboard – omnifocus:///add?name=Follow%20up%20with%20¬e=[clipboard]
- Set meeting with [name of person or team] re – omnifocus:///add?name=Set%20meeting%20with%20[prompt]%20re%20
- Set meeting with [name of person or team] re w/ Clipboard – omnifocus:///add?name=Set%20meeting%20with%20[prompt]%20re%20¬e=[clipboard]
- Email [name of person or team] about – omnifocus:///add?name=Email%20[prompt]%20about%20
- Email [name of person or team] about w/ Clipboard – omnifocus:///add?name=Email%20[prompt]%20about%20¬e=[clipboard]
- Look into – omnifocus:///add?name=Look%20into%20
- Look into w/ Clipboard – omnifocus:///add?name=Look%20into%20¬e=[clipboard]
- Plan new project – omnifocus:///add?name=Plan%20new%20project%20to%20
To create these, all you need to do is add a new action to your group, name your action and then add the url I’ve provided above. It will automatically add the OmniFocus icon, but as you can see, I’ve tweaked this for easier recognition.
Some may wonder why I’m not using an additional prompt at the end to finalize my task entirely in Launch Center Pro (while others are likely questioning my sanity right about now). My reason for this is simple: by adding an extra space at the end (you do this by adding %20) and jumping into OmniFocus, it feels very fluid to me. OmniFocus opens quickly and the cursor is placed at the end of my snippet so I can just keep typing. You may want to experiment with adding an additional prompt (for example, the email url would now become omnifocus:///add?name=Email%20[prompt]%20about%20[prompt]), but I’ve found that flipping over to OmniFocus feels faster.
While I’m certain that I’m just scratching the surface of what can be done here, it’s a great start for anyone looking to use Launch Center Pro to speed up the creation of repetitive tasks in OmniFocus. If you have any ideas on how to take this up a notch, leave them in the comments below.
Update: Great additions from Nick Wynja on how to use Launch Center Pro to access specific areas of the OmniFocus iPhone app.