Faster Numbering of OmniFocus Tasks

I wrote up how I’m numbering tasks in OmniFocus, but I’ve now modified the Keyboard Maestro recipe so it’s just a touch faster.

Here’s a screenshot:

Updated, faster recipe for numbering tasks in OmniFocus
Updated, faster recipe for numbering tasks in OmniFocus

I’ve also since created a separate recipe in Keyboard Maestro for each key Project I have in OmniFocus, each with it’s own .txt file that it refers to. This lets me do


and it’ll spit out “(Admin #7)” or if I type


it’ll spit out “(CRM #15)”.

Numbering tasks in OmniFocus 2 for Mac OS X

I’m using OmniFocus 2 on my MacBook Pro and wanting to ‘number’ tasks because at the end of each week, I print a PDF of the tasks completed and outstanding for a particular client. Task numbers make it much easier for the client to reconcile the work I’ve done with the lists they use.

The problem is that OmniFocus doesn’t have a ‘task number’ function.

Keyboard Maestro and a shell script to the rescue. This allows me to get the next sequential task number. Now all I do is type


and it expands out to the next available task number.

In a nutshell I use the shell script to get a variable from a text file (which is the last task number I used), and increment it. Keyboard Maestro is wrapped around this to both trigger it and make it look pretty.

The shell script itself is quite basic, any improvements you can suggest, please do.

Here is a screenshot of the Keyboard Maestro recipe (edit: I’ve since modified this recipe to be a little faster)

Keyboard Maestro recipe to increment task number
Get last task number, increment it, save it.

This relies on you having a text file named


in your home folder.

The format of this file is just a single line of text as follows:


Short list of software I’m using

Just a quick post of some software that I use, that I’ve just discussed with Seth (he knows who he is).

All useful, but the starting point is better task management, so start with Nozbe. PS: also see remapping the CapsLock key.

How I use Evernote on the Mac

I’m a big fan (BIG) of Evernote. I started out using the free service but couple of years ago upgraded to the paid service. How and why do I use it?

Evernote for me is basically my online and offline, on every device I own, digital filing cabinet.

Anything I want to come back to or refer to in the future goes into Evernote. Because it will OCR photo’s and PDF’s I can search and retrieve anything in a snap.

For example, my mail systems (both Gmail and MS Exchange) have rules set to auto forward all the bills I get into Evernote. When my wife calls and says “Have we paid the phone bill?” or “When did we last pay the phone bill?” I simply open Evernote on whatever device is closest to hand, and do a search. I get a list of all the PDF’s, emails, JPG’s etc that are in there. (When we pay a bill we take a screenshot and send it to Evernote, it get’s OCR’ed and index an is thus findable so so easily). The search in Evernote is great.

This makes me far more productive because it means I know I only need to look in one place to find whatever I want.

Side note: Wouldn’t it be great if I could do the same in a ‘native’ way with things like Act! or SugarCRM (both CRM packages)? (I do but it’s a workaround). Bonus, you can tightly integrate Evernote with Nozbe (Task Management package).

Previously So you bought an Apple Computer…

Disclaimer: Yes the links to Evernote and Nozbe lets them know you got there via me.

The five levels of delgation

I’ve been pointed to Michael Hyatt’s site which lists the five levels of delegation.

Level 1: Do exactly what I have asked you to do.
Level 2: Research the topic and report back
Level 3: Research the topic, outline the options and make a recommendation.
Level 4: Make a decision and then tell me what you did.
Level 5: Make whatever decision you think is best.

Interesting read. Now to apply it….

iCloud folder location

On Mac OSX (Mavericks) you can find your ‘iCloud’ documents in the relevant application folder like this:

/Users/USERNAME/Library/Mobile Documents/CODE_AND_APP_NAME/Documents/

Each application keeps its own documents in a sandboxed folder.

You can make an alias for a file and then move that to an appropriate folder, for example, I’m using Byword on the Mac, iPad and iPhone, thus I want my ‘’ file kept in iCloud. Putting an alias to it on the desktop makes it easy to edit on the Mac. Using GeekTool I can have it automagically display the contents of ‘’ on the desktop, essentially a ‘live’ file no matter where I edit it, even from iDevices.

Too Many Targets
It is without a doubt important to have goals. Every day, without even thinking about it, we have goals. Get up at the right time. Get to work on time. Have lunch.

Then there are the bigger goals. Learn that new skill. Finish that project. Spend more time with those important to us.

Multiple goals, large and small. Important to have them. But what happens when we have more goals than we have time for?

Something has to give. We either spend less time on these goals, or we steal time from some other activity in order to give more time to what-ever we’ve prioritised.

For me, this is a constant juggle. And I don’t always get it right.

Getting ifttt to add to RTM

If that headline made sense to you, then you’re in the right place :)

ifttt recipe for adding a task to Remember The Milk
The ifttt recipe

The problem I had is that ifttt doesn’t by default integrate with RTM.

So I’ve come up with a way that creates a new RTM task for me whenever there is a new item in a particular RSS feed.

We create a ifttt recipe that:

  1. When there is a new item in the specified RSS feed.
  2. Will send me an email with a unique subject line.
  3. Our email program (GMail in my case) has a filter set to look for that unique subject line and then forward that email to our special RTM email address (see this page for help with the RTM email stuff).

I’ve used [RTMwithSOMEuniqueLETTERS] as my subject line so that nothing will accidentally happen.

RTM (Remember The Milk) and ifttt have a bunch of features that I wish the Sage ACT! or SugarCRM task lists would emulate (or buy), it’s this sort of automation that can become very handy.

Tweet about it!

  • Use RememberTheMilk and ifttt together #RTM #ifttt  Buffer