Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Mac

The Techie Scheky series offers tips and tactics for being more productive and creative through technology (especially with a Mac).

After talking about how I take all of the varying types of tasks in my life, I thought I’d run through the various ways that you can create tasks in OmniFocus using their Quick Entry or Quick Clipper. This post looks to show you how to create one or multiple tasks using Quick Entry, how to create a variety of tasks using the Quick Clipper and how to make Quick Entry in OmniFocus work with Evernote.

A Must Have For Productivity! I recently upgraded from OmniFocus 2 to OmniFocus 3. At first I was a bit disappointed. Stylistically the app doesn’t look much different than the previous version until after a few days later when I realized that there is so much under the hood. Omni Group leads hands-on talks leading up to OmniFocus 2 announcement. OmniFocus for Mac goes free until OmniFocus 2's debut. OmniFocus 2 is a now a universal app with support for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now a Universal iOS App! OmniFocus for iOS brings the in-depth task management features of a desktop app to. The OmniFocus Web Add-On Subscriptions exist for customers who already own a standalone app, but wish to add web access. ⚠️ An existing license for OmniFocus for Mac or iOS is required for the Web app to work.

Too lazy to read? I’ve got you covered!

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Quickly Creating Tasks in OmniFocus

Single Tasks

When setting up OmniFocus, go to preferences, select the General tab and set the Quick Entry shortcut. I use Control-Option-Space as suggested by David Sparks. From there you can quickly capture a task and add it to your inbox or fill out any relevant information including the project this action is related to, the context, a start or due date and any notes you might want to add at this time. You can also use the setting to add estimated time. Once complete, select save and your task will be added to either the inbox or your selected project.

Multiple Tasks

I also find that Quick Entry serves as a great place to do a brain dump. If you just want to get everything out of your head, use your keyboard shortcut to evoke the Quick Entry box and start entering your tasks. Once you’ve entered as much information as needed for each task as needed, type Command-Enter and you will get a new entry line. Once you’ve cleared your mind, hit save and all of your tasks will be added into the proper locations.

Using The OmniFocus Quick Clipper


Oftentimes, you are going to want to add text from a website or a specific file to your task. OmniFocus makes this easy with their Quick Clipper. Start by going into your preferences menu, go to the Clipping tab and select your shortcut. Again, per David Sparks, I use Control-Option-Command-M. With a little extra help, it can also create links that take you back to emails in Mailplane and Mail.app or notes in Evernote.


Once you set a keyboard shortcut for the clipper, you can create a task that includes any highlighted text from just about any application.


While this only works natively in Safari, you can highlight text, use the clipper and not only will it add the highlighted text, but a link that takes you directly back to the page. This is great for creating tasks that require you to reference a webpage at a later date. Sure you could just use a bookmarklet, but I love having the direct tie in between the task and the site.


Flappy birdobey games unblocked. Oftentimes you’ll need to use one or more files for a task. Simply highlight file(s) you’ll need, use the clipper and links to the files will be added into your task. If, like me, you work between two computers, you can save files in Dropbox in order to have links work seamlessly across computers.

Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Macbook

Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Mac


While you can add The OmniFocus Clip-O-Tron 300 to Mail.app directly from the Clippings Preferences inside the OmniFocus preference menu, I’m not a big fan of Mail.app. Thankfully for all of us Gmail folks out there, the team over at Mailplane came up with a great solution. It’s a plugin that allows for all of the functionality of the clipper in Safari, except instead of linking to a webpage, it links directly back into your email message. Every time I have a message that I cannot follow up on immediately, I use this clipper to create a follow up task in OmniFocus. It’s by far the easiest and fastest way I’ve found to defer email for response at a later date.

Scanned Document

Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Mac Download

Paper and I have a contentious relationship. I suck at it and it hates me. So part of saving my sanity was finding a way to properly store reference materials in a way that they could quickly be called up for use at a later date. While my love affair for my ScanSnap 1300 (affiliate link) and Evernote is a post for another day, it does play a major role in getting paper off my desk and into my system. When scanning something that requires follow up, I scan it in, right click the image on the main Evernote page (or by selecting Note menu option from the actual note) and select “Copy Note Link”. From there, evoke Quick Entry (or the Clipper if you select the note name in Evernote) and paste the link into the notes field of your task.

Shawn Blanc came to the rescue with a solution for all of you Keyboard Maestro or FastScripts users out there.Bonus: One minor inconvenience of both the Quick Entry box and Clipper is that they only work when OmniFocus is open. Thankfully

While this may not cover everything in your own personal workflow, I can tell you that just about anything digital and even most of the paper on my desk is out of whatever inbox it came from and into OmniFocus in a way that empowers me to take action at a later date. It’s helped me clean up my life and get more done; hopefully some of this will help you do the same.

Have a better way? I’m always interested in hearing one!

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Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Mac

In our lives, as tasks build up, stress tends to build proportionally with the number of them that are present in our memories. In addition to worrying about the time needed to finish these tasks and the skills required to accomplish them, many of us are stuck worrying that we will forget what we needed to do in the first place! For those of us that need a bit of a hand in writing down and categorizing our everyday to-do list, the team at Omnifocus has produced a remarkable software product that allows a person to put tasks into a system that gives them the ability to prioritize, categorize and organize their tasks in a way that seems logical to that person. The best feature of Omnifocus is that it allows the user to personalize the system in a manner that seems the most logical and useful to them. This makes it much easier to keep track of what needs to be done. Another good point is that, unless your computer malfunctions or you happen to lose your laptop somwhere, the to-do list isn’t going anywhere. Therefore, you don’t even have to remember where you put the to-do list itself!

Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Mac Os

Omnifocus has made their layout simple and easy to understand while providing ample ways to categorize your tasks. The system is set up with a two dimensional style of format. For example, a user may have a category labeled “Shopping List” and another labeled “Repairs”. Within each task a user writes in these categories, there is a drop-down menu that allows that user to put each task in another category, such as “Errands”. This allows the user to click on the Errands category in the alternate view and see all of the things that he or she needs to buy while shopping. The user can switch back and forth between these views by simply clicking the “mode” button in the upper left hand corner of the Omnifocus window. After a task is completed, the user may delete that task by clicking in the box to the left of the task. A check mark will appear and a horizontal line will appear through the task so that the user knows that it has been done. To remove all of the finished tasks from the list, the user must simply click the “clean up” button at the top of the screen.


The feature of Omnifocus that allows the user to clear his or her mind of the tasks at hand is called the Inbox. Tasks may be added to the Inbox by pressing the enter key, which opens a new space for a task to be written, as well as the drop down box for the two dimensional categorization. Another feature at this screen is the Context tool. This button looks like a small piece of paper with a paperclip on it. When it is clicked, it allows the user to write any additional notes that need to be taken for future reference.

Hands On: Omnifocus 2 For Macbook Pro

Another interesting feature of Omnifocus is that it allows you to see a library of all of your tasks at a given time. This may be accessed by clicking on “Library” on the toolbar in the left hand side of the window.

In conclusion, the Omnifocus software allows a user to accomplish many organizational tasks that would not be readily possible with just a pen and paper. While the good, old fashioned pen may be a good way to keep track of less important lists, there is also the possibility of losing that list. In addition to this, Omnifocus accomplishes what many other task managers do not: competency without complication. Omnifocus is easy to use; therefore it does not require the user to spend much extra time learning how the system works. With Omnifocus on hand, your mind gets a much needed break and your tasks are safely recorded for the time when you are ready to look back at them.