The lovely folks at OmniFocus have added some excellent support for using Siri to add tasks to the OmniFocus Inbox. And it doesn’t even require to mess around with sending emails to get it done. It only requires a very simple bit of setup – literally adjusting one setting in the OmniFocus iPhone app, to make this work.
In the OmniFocus iPhone app, you just go to Settings, scroll down to ‘iCloud Reminders’, turn it on, and enter your Apple ID. And that’s it, you’re done. From then on you can just ask Siri to remind you of XYZ task, give it a time or location if you like, and that task will show up in your OmniFocus Inbox.
If you specify a time and date for the reminder it will slot into the right date in OmniFocus – so for instance any reminder I add for today or tomorrow will appear in my ‘Due’ perspective. If you add a location Like Home OmniFocus will try to match that to a context.
I’ve found that sync of these Siri-added Inbox items is still a little flaky. They get to the OmniFocus Inbox on the iPhone app before they hit the iPad and Mac versions most of the time with sync setup in OmniFocus. It looks to me like until the iPhone app is synced up properly, the other two won’t catch up even if you force manual syncs.
Despite the little bit of flakiness, this is a very (very!) welcome new feature for Omni Focus. As soon as I started using Siri I knew it would be great for creating tasks quickly, but I had no desire to use Apple’s Reminders app – as it’s just far too basic for the way I use tasks. And it looks like that’s how the vast majority of OmniFocus users felt. Here’s a slice from the OmniFocus blog post on adding Siri support:
As soon as Apple announced Siri, everyone who owns OmniFocus for iPhone let us know just how much they needed these two tools to work together.
We could have said “Yay, Siri and OmniFocus can work together” and gone back to our long-term projects. Instead, a couple engineers got to talking “You know, if we… and then the server… and…” “Wow, I think that would totally work!”
I made the switch to using OmniFocus on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone back in June – and I couldn’t be happier with that decision. The app across the board has all the features I want, gives me views and perspectives that keep me focused on what’s most important at all times, and the iPad app is a particular gem, just superb to work with.
I hope that as Apple adds more support for Siri integration with 3rd party apps that OmniFocus will refine and improve the ways the two work together – but it’s already very encouraging to be able to use Siri for throwing task into OmniFocus.
If you want a little more detail on this subject, or to look at a couple short demo videos on the new capabilities, check out this OmniFocus blog post.