Following-up on my previous post about using Drafts to create new GitHub issues, here’s another action I built and use all the time.
This allows you to create multiple tasks in OmniFocus with defer dates, due dates, and tags in one step.
It does this by parsing a compact, easy-to-write syntax that I’ve adopted from other OmniFocus actions and tweaked to my liking and then converting it into TaskPaper format, which can be “pasted” into OmniFocus in one go. This removes the need to confirm each individual action separately.
Yes, you could also do this by writing your tasks in TaskPaper format directly, but I find its syntax (while innovative!) a bit cumbersome for quick entry. The format this action uses isn’t as feature-rich, but it does everything I need and with less typing.
Each line in your draft becomes a new task in OmniFocus, with the exception of “global” tags and dates, which I’ll describe later.
Each task goes on its own line and looks like this:
Some task title @defer-date !due-date #tag1 #tag2 --An optional note
The defer date, due date, tags, and note are all optional. If you use them, the only requirement is that they come AFTER the task’s title and the “–note contents” must be LAST.
The defer and due dates support any syntax/format that OmniFocus can parse. This means you can write them as @today, @tomorrow, @3d, @5w, etc. If you want to use a date format that includes characters other than letters, numbers, and a dash (-), you’ll need to enclose it in parenthesis like this: @(May 5, 2019) or !(6/21/2020).
Global Defer/Due Dates:
By default, tasks will only be assigned defer/due dates that are on the same line as the task title. However, if you add a new line that begins with a @ or ! then that defer or due date will be applied to ALL tasks without their own explicitly assigned date.
Similarly, if you create a new line with a #, then that tag will be added to ALL tasks. If a task already has tags assigned to it, then the global tag(s) will be combined with the other tags.
Full Featured (and contrived) Example:
Write presentation !Friday #work Research Mother's Day gifts @1w !(5/12/2019) --Flowers are boring Asparagus #shopping #personal @2d
You can install the action into your own Drafts.app from the action directory.