Is there a Calendar app that also displays Omnifocus Tasks?

My calendar is my primary task manager, and as such I would like to have deferred and due Omnifocus tasks appear in my calendar. Something like a Day view showing these items

  • All day appointments
  • Tasks - Deferred but Available Tasks and Due Tasks
  • Appointments

I know that most 3rd party calendar apps can display Apple Reminders in this manner, but I did spend a bundle of cash to purchase Omnifocus for all of my devices, so I’d like to be able to use it instead of Reminders. I also purchased the MacSparky Omnifocus Field guide, but it looks like I may have jumped the gun on that purchase.

The problem is that I cannot find the slightest hint that any calendar app can display Omnifocus tasks. Is Omnifocus shunned by Calendar app makers for some reason? It seems very popular based on the Apple sites I visit and podcasts that I listen to, but in reality it seems to be a pariah where integration is concerned.

Btw, I’m aware of an applescript that can copy tasks from Omnifocus to a calendar, that isn’t what I’m looking for. I want actual integration by the application developers.

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Short Answer: No. You can show your calendar events in OmniFocus, but not the other way around.

Longer Answer: This isn’t just an issue with OmniFocus, but most of the 3rd party ‘to do’ apps. Many of them can integrate the official calendar and/or reminders from macOS/iOS, but the databases in OmniFocus, Things, Todoist, etc are not standardized, so there’s no way (or no reasonably feasible way) for, say, Fantastical to show you OmniFocus’ events.

Annoyingly, OmniFocus 2 (for Mac) had a feature gave you a calendar which could be used by any other calendar program, but that feature was removed for a not great reason, as explained here:

Previous versions of OmniFocus could publish a calendar of due items to your sync location in order to provide calendar notifications. The introduction of local notifications in iOS 4, which was released in 2010, removed the need for this workaround. Support for publishing calendar alarms was discontinued in OmniFocus 3.

The problem is that calendar notifications were not the only benefit that people gained from having an OmniFocus calendar. But apparently OmniGroup does not agree. There is a long thread on the OmniGroup forums about it here:

https://discourse.omnigroup.com/t/omnifocus-3-for-mac-calendar-sync/41509

but if you want it back you should contact OmniGroup and let them know. That being said, it’s been gone for long enough that I would not hold my breath for its return.

@RosemaryOrchard has a work-around if you have an always-on Mac. You can find details here:

https://rosemaryorchard.com/blog/using-keyboard-maestro-to-create-an-always-up-to-date-task-calendar-from-my-omnifocus/

However, the easiest way to do this today is to go the other way around, and pull your calendars from macOS/iOS into OmniFocus, see this article for details:

OmniGroup: Showing and hiding calendars in the Forecast view

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Thanks for the clarification of the other apps. I haven’t used anything but Things or OmniFocus for a long time, so clearly some of my info was outdated or just plain wrong.

I really wish that tasks/projects/to-dos had some kind of standardized system behind them like calendars do, so you could switch apps and not have to move all of your items over again.

I’ve come around to really liking the idea of finding something like GoodTask which uses Apple’s stuff as a base and builds on it.

FWIW after writing my previous reply, I wrote a (very polite) email to OmniGroup asking them to consider bringing this feature back. I miss it as well.

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I’m not sure that I’d agree with that characterization of the OmniGroup folks, and I tend to assume that most developers, including Omni, Things, etc. tend to think more like this:

“We have extra features that we want to offer that Apple does not offer, and if we build something on top of their system, it puts us at the mercy of Apple not deciding to just up and change things so that our app breaks with any given update of macOS/iOS, so it’s easier and safer to just not try to build on top of someone else’s product.”

I also think they would prefer a system where it would be easier for people to switch between apps, since it would make it possible to get new users to try things out, but that isn’t an available option.

While I suspect that you may be right that the vast majority of the underlying features are the same, it’s that last 5-10% which make things stand out. For example, a repeating task is easy, sure. But what about an event “A” that isn’t available until event “B” has been completed? That’s a key feature of OmniGroup’s features around the GTD concept of “next actions” where you might outline 10 things that need to be done, but they need to be done sequentially.

That’s just one example.

So, while I would agree that it would be great if some kind of interoperable standard existed, I do not think (and did not mean to imply) that such a standard exists or could be built around Reminders.

One of the biggest things that would have to happen is that Apple would need to agree to some kind of standardization/API for tasks so that developers would not fear that some change Apple might make would break their app on any given day. That’s a big “IF” that Apple is, I think, unlikely to commit to, because it’s not worth the effort for them.

FWIW.

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Leaving aside the “which of the 12k apps to use”

I’ve used the work around @RosemaryOrchard describes here and @tjluoma also referenced:

https://rosemaryorchard.com/blog/using-keyboard-maestro-to-create-an-always-up-to-date-task-calendar-from-my-omnifocus/

It is highly customisable and can be changed to fit your needs.

Not ideal, but I think there’s no app in the world that can fit all usecases

Thanks for the replies, it wasn’t the my Web-search Fu was faulty, the answer was it doesn’t exist.

As I tend to do, I adjusted so I’m going to Todoist and Fantastical together since they have bidirectional syncing of tasks. I didn’t know until today that you can use certain keywords in Fantastical to create a reminder instead of a Calendar event.

There isn’t a “marked solved” button, but this question is solved!

I didn’t want to let go of OF after 6-7 years of time, and money that I put into it, but reality is not always what we want it to be.

RIP my OF app.

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I personally do not want that OmniFocus syncs with calendar app. For me that is the wrong approach.

One of the most demotiving problems for me was that because you are “on top of” all the actions by using OF or any other task application for that matter, I never was able to finish my task list. Every night feeling disappointed about what I did not do, in stead of enjoying all the accomplishments.

So I switched my approach to determine how much time I have left on my calendar (working time - meeting durations) and compare this with my “Today next action” list total durations time. I decide which task to defer from my “Today - next action” list and drag and drop the remaining tasks manually to a free slot on my calendar in Fantastical (nicely linking back to OF task). At that time the calendar is my planning for that day and it is realistic.

This how it shows in Drafts 5 (running the Shortcut “time in flight”) with all the “Today - next actions” with duration time and link to OmniFocus presented:

… even made a widget for my iPhone and iPad with automation to run silent every night.
IMG_0273 !

Here you see a short video of the concept: https://youtu.be/2hp-rdZd3eY

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I recently switched to Fantastical + Goodtask for the same reason, after many years of Things (& dabbling in OF), and it’s been great!

It’s sad to let a system go but can be for the best as our workflows change.

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+1 I love being able to click the Fantastical Calendar icon in my Menu Bar and check off tasks that I’ve completed. I’ve gotten better at checking and completed tasks now that they are easier to access.

Todoist has a Kanban view for projects. I started playing with it today to see if it can replace Trello. I use(d) Trello to keep track of blog tasks and to organize the scripts/services I write into Sprints.

Trello is definitely a better fit for Kanban boards as it has more features, but for some people ( me? ), Todoist’s Kanban might be good enough.

You missed this part.

I saw it, but unfortunately it’s the only way I think

Funny enough, I just started playing with the kanban view in goodtask! I’ve never been a huge Trello fan and am new to the board approach, but I’m hoping it will help me wrangle this too-large book project I’m working on.

I hope the experimentation goes well for you!

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