Omnifocus Workflow Time Defaults to Midnight

I teach an editing class at a local university and after listening to the Project Templates episode of Automators, I decided to finally try and automate some of my work in Omnifocus using Drafts and Workflow. But I am running into an issue where all my due dates keep defaulting to Midnight. I have already set the default times in Omnifocus, but this appears to be overwritten when Workflows creates the new project.

Now, if I specifically set the due time, such as Sept 24, 6:30 pm, then everything works as normal for that due time. But it’s when I use a variable for the due date in conjunction with the relative due dates, such as -2w, that the problem starts.

For example, if my class is on Monday at 6:30, and I want to make sure I have the media lined up for my students 1 week before the due date, by using the variable -1w, Omnifocus keeps defaulting the due time to midnight. And if I try to make the in Workflow variable ask for the due date and time, such as October 1st at 6:30 pm, then all the relative due dates with -1w or -1d, default to the actual due date of October 1st.

I am wondering if I am doing something wrong. I don’t want the default times to be midnight. Is there an easy way to change the relative due dates from midnight to a more reasonable hour, such as 6:30 or 10? I have searched and watched and re-watched both David Spark’s and Rosemary’s Omnifocus videos, but both show the due date time and not the due time. So, I can’t figure out whether I’m doing something wrong, or if this is just how Omnifocus operates and I need to simply stop being annoyed by midnight due date parties.

I hope this makes sense and I have attached a sample script of what I am talking about. By the way, Rosemary’s Draft to Omnifocus keyboard actions are fantastic: thanks.

  • Class Week NUMBER :TITLE @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
    • Lecture @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Plan Lecture Material @due(DUE - 2w) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Put Planned Material in OmniOutliner @due(DUE -1w) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Create Keynote (if needed) @due(DUE -5d) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Review Lecture Material @due(DUE -1d) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Transfer Lecture Material for Use in Class @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
    • Assignment @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Plan Assignment @due(DUE -2w) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Put Planned Material in OmniOutliner @due(DUE -1w) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Gather Material for Assignment @due(DUE -1w) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Transfer Material to School Synology @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
        • Transfer Media Material @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
        • Transfer Projects to Each Student Dropbox @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)
      • Double Check Media is Available for Students @due(DUE) @tags(Class Prep)

Yep. I emailed them about this a year ago arguing that the Add TaskPaper to OmniFocus workflow action ought to default to 5pm, the same way it does when you add a due date in the app.

Until they fix this the workaround is to just put “5pm” (or whatever you want the default time to be) in your Workflows. So for the example you give:

Just do: @due(DUE -2w 5pm) and it should do what you want.

I will give this a shot. Thank you very much, Chris for you help.