Workflow as an OmniFocus Trigger List

A workflow I frequently run to help me remember tasks is my Trigger List workflow. For those of you not familiar with them, trigger lists are essentially prompts you use to help you remember things you may have forgotten.

This workflow is very simple, it has a list of items at the top, goes through each item and asks you what’s on your mind regarding it. Then it takes all of these items and puts them in your OmniFocus Inbox.

I’ve uploaded two “flavours” of this Workflow, one where the trigger word is noted after the task in brackets, and the other where the trigger word becomes the parent task of an action group, with your triggered tasks inside of it.

Trigger word in brackets

Action groups with the trigger word as the parent task

If you need some inspiration for your trigger list the official GTD Trigger Lists are a great place to start – and there are trigger list examples all over the internet.

One enhancement you might make is to have more than one of these workflows – one at home, and one at work. You could also trigger the Workflow to run at a specific time with Launch Center Pro – I do this as it’s one of my tasks which kicks off my weekly review. Here’s the Launch Center Pro action.




Workflow: Menus, Lists & Dictionaries

When should you use a list or a menu. What about a dictionary? If you’re not a programmer and have had little experience with writing for computers in general then this can be a little overwhelming.

Lists

A list is exactly what it sounds like. You have a list of items, and you can choose from them or get a specific item (at an index, so the 1st or 5th item for example). A list gives you what you choose – so if you have a list of animals, when you choose “Cat” you get “Cat” – fairly simple.

You can make lists in a few ways, if you Add to Variable you can get that variable and use Choose from List. You can also Split Text and then Choose from List again. There is also the list action you can add items to – and you follow it with a Choose from List action again.

Menus

A menu is a list of items which contain actions – this is ideal if you want to be able to do different things based on the option chosen (e.g. reminder vs calendar event vs note). You don’t get the text of the menu item after you click it, though you can work around this by using the Text action if you need it.

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/workflow-menus-lists-dictionaries/workflow-menu.jpeg?cropResize=300,300 “Workflow Menu Action”){.image-center}

Dictionaries

A dictionary is somewhere between a list and a menu in many ways. If I choose “Spaghetti Bolognese” then a dictionary can return “ground beef, tomatoes, onion, spaghetti…”. This can have all sorts of applications – and Workflow actually gives you dictionaries a lot of the time when you put the Choose from List action after another, such as Search App Store.
Dictionaries can really help improve your Workflow experience. Maybe you want to have a simple list of people, and when you select one you get that person’s phone number – or maybe you want to get complicated and go crazy. That’s all possible with dictionaries.
A dictionary is a series of keys and values. The key is what you choose, and the value is what you get. There are multiple ways to make dictionaries in Workflow – the simplest way though is to use the Dictionary action.

Tips and tricks

You can order lists, menus, and dictionaries manually using the grab handles on the side of their action blocks. But a list or dictionary can also be sorted by its key using the Filter files action. You can use this to sort the keys alphabetically. This won’t change the list or the dictionary in your editing view, but it will change before you choose or get an item from it.


Siri Watch Face

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/siri-watch-face/apple-watch-siri-face-home-calendar.png?cropResize=200,200 “Apple Watch Face showing a homekit scene and a calendar entry”){.image-right} The Siri Watch face has been an unexpected gem for me – it is limited but still very useful. One thing many people miss is that you can customise the data sources for the watch face – so if you don’t want to see reminders to breathe, or the stocks then you don’t need to.

The Siri watch face only allows you to have one complication, which complicates matters somewhat (pun intended!). I have chosen Carrot weather, because the weather in Vienna tends to stay somewhat stable throughout the day, this means I can turn off the Weather source in the watch face.

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/siri-watch-face/apple-watch-blank-siri-face.png?cropResize=200,200 “Blank Siri Face – Have a Nice Day”){.image-left} What is limiting is that 3rd party app developers can’t integrate into the Siri face – at least not directly. I have managed to get my OmniFocus data into it though – by subscribing to my OmniFocus calendar on my iPhone. This calendar is hidden, and does have the unfortunate side effect of giving me an extra notification when each task is due if I let it get that far – but for me the trade off is well worth it. You can manage the calendars shown on your Apple Watch in the Watch app, under Calendars. I don’t have this mirror my iPhone as I am subscribed to many calendars and toggle those on and off as needed – but I still don’t want birthdays showing up on my watch face as that’s a bit late reminder wise!

Throughout the last year the Siri face has been very successful in providing me the data I want when I want it – possibly because I don’t have many data sources enabled. If you tried it before and gave up on it then I would recommend giving it another shot – perhaps with less data this time.

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/siri-watch-face/siri-face-settings.png?cropResize=300 “Settings for the Siri watch face”){.image-center}


Overlay Contact Information on Wallpaper

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/overlay-contact-information-on-wallpaper/workflow-overlay-contact-information-on-wallpaper.png?cropResize=100 “Overlay Contact Information On Wallpaper”){.image-right} A while ago Katie Floyd put out a call on Twitter looking for a replacement app which can overlay contact information onto your wallpaper for iOS. I thought “I bet you can do this with Workflow”, and I was right! Here’s how it works.

Steps:

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/overlay-contact-information-on-wallpaper/example-before-after-iphone-wallpaper.png?cropResize=500 “The original wallpaper, and the wallpaper with the contact information overlay”)

You can get the workflow here: Overlay Contact Information On Wallpaper


Overlay Contact Information on Wallpaper

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/overlay-contact-information-on-wallpaper/workflow-overlay-contact-information-on-wallpaper.png?cropResize=100 “Overlay Contact Information On Wallpaper”){.image-right} A while ago [Katie Floyd]() put out a call on Twitter looking for a replacement app which can overlay contact information onto your wallpaper for iOS. I thought “I bet you can do this with Workflow”, and I was right! Here’s how it works.

Steps:

https://resources.rosemaryorchard.com/images/blog/overlay-contact-information-on-wallpaper/example-before-after-iphone-wallpaper.png?cropResize=300 “The original wallpaper, and the wallpaper with the contact information overlay”)

You can get the workflow here: Overlay Contact Information On Wallpaper


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