FocusGTD and Android 6.0 (marshmallow)

Android-6.0-MarshmallowSince Android 6.0 is out finally it seems that a lot of people are using FocusGTD with it. Unfortunately the HTTP stack that I am using (apache-http-client) seems to have problems with the latest OS update.

Due to this fact and since google is deprecating apache-http-client, I decided to move over to okhttp.

Unfortunately, this means that I have to rewrite most of the networking code including the WEBDAV stack.

As part of this re-write, I have already released a bit of code as open source

So if you are one of the users using Android 6, rest assured that I am actively working on this, however the complexity is quite high so it will take a bit longer.

FocusGTD is now live

FocusGTD for Android
FocusGTD website image

After a lot of work I have finally published the first public version of FocusGTD. It is now live on the Google Play Store.

FocusGTD is a GTD application on Android that synchronizes with Omnifocus(*) and Omnifocus2(*) on the Mac and iOS. It will manage your tasks, projects, contexts in your pocket and remind you when actions become due.

Features:

  • Manage your tasks in Projects and process them based on  Contexts.
  • Get reminded on tasks when they are due
  • Synchronize with Omnifocus(*) on Mac or iOS using OmniSync Server (*) or your own WebDAV share.
  • Quickly create tasks into your inbox and process them later when you have time.

* FocusGTD is in now way related to OmniGroup.

Also I have created a web site where I plan to put FAQs etc in there: http://focusgtdapp.com.

There is also a support community on Google+ in case you have questions or feature requests.

Here are the links:

If you are already in the testers group and like FocusGTD I would be grateful about constructive reviews on the Play Store. I plan to continue enhancing the application with new features. Also please use the community to provide feedback and get support in case you run into problems.

Outlook to Omnifocus2 – take 12

Cursor_and_Searching__Drafts_

This is the 12th installment of my little OmniFocus script which will turn Emails into tasks. This version has only been tested with the release version of OmniFocus2. It will most likely not work with OmniFocus 1. For OF1 please use the latest version here.

Changes:

  • Corrected file extension of generated email to (.eml) as suggested by Adam (thanks a lot)

Features:

  • fix for empty subject lines (provided by Paul and Peter)
  • added mail headers (from, date) to content of the note (provided by Paul)
  • does not rely on a separate jar tool anymore and should therefore be more compatible with older Mac OS versions. (courtesy of someone on the omnifocus forums whos name I forgot unfortunately)
  • configuration options
    • delete mail after turning it to an omnifocus task
    • target mail folder for moving the processed mail (note that this does not work in combination with mail deletion, please choose either delete or move)
    • bring omnifocus to the front
    • put cursor into a specific field in the quick entry panel
    • open quick entry panel (or just add the task silently to inbox)

Install instructions:

  1. Double click the zip file to extract it
  2. Copy the contents of the zip file to <userhome>/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Outlook Script Menu Items (you can do this even easier by opening Outlook, selecting the script menu item “About this menu…” and then click “Open Folder”. Update: on the latest version of Outlook this location is now <userhome>(Library/Applications Support/Microsoft/Office/Outlook Script Menu Items (thanks Mike for noting that)
  3. that’s it

Note to non-english office users:

Your Outlook Script Menu Items folder is in a different location. Please go the route via „About this menu“ explained in point 2!

Usage instructions:

  1. select a mail in outlook
  2. open the script menu and choose  ”Send Outlook to Omnifocus” (see screenshot) or alternatively just press CTRL+O (o, not zero)

Configuration instructions:

So if you want to tweak the settings of the script, bring up the file in the outlook menu items folder and double click it.

This will open AppleScript editor (if it does not, then you can try right click and choose Open with…). In applescript editor you will see a configuration block on the top of the file. Change the values as documented in the script, save it and you should be fine.

Note that a few settings rely on other settings to be configured (i.e. currently omnifocus activation will only be invoked if the quick entry panel is switched on). If you find those restrictions too cumbersome, let me know and I will look into that.

Download

SendOutlookToOmniFocus2-v12.zip

FAQ

Q: When I click on the email in Omnifocus2 then TextEdit (or some other mail program) opens, what should I do?

The problem is that the script will save the file with a „.elm“ file extension. Most often this extension is not registered with Outlook. So once TextEdit opens, copy the file to your desktop. Then Open the Info Panel (CMD-I) and then choose „Open With…“ -> Outlook. Finally click „Change all..“.

Q: I am getting weird errors (Omnifocus got an error: Can’t get <FCDo>). Whats wrong?

Looks like you have the standard version of Omnifocus2. In order for applescript to work you need the pro version.

Q: I am getting errors where Outlook is stating that the email is broken?

My current theory is that this will typically only happen on app store versions. Please post your findings in the comments so that we can learn a bit more about this problem.

Outlook to OmniFocus2 – take 11

Cursor_and_Searching__Drafts_

This is the 11th installment of my little OmniFocus script which will turn Emails into tasks. This version has only been tested with the release version of OmniFocus2. It will most likely not work with OmniFocus 1. For OF1 please use the latest version here.

Changes:

  • I have created an updated version of the script as recommended by Adam (thanks a lot @Adam).
  • Please give me feedback if this fixes your problems. On my system v10 works just as well.

Features:

  • fix for empty subject lines (provided by Paul and Peter)
  • added mail headers (from, date) to content of the note (provided by Paul)
  • does not rely on a separate jar tool anymore and should therefore be more compatible with older Mac OS versions. (courtesy of someone on the omnifocus forums whos name I forgot unfortunately)
  • configuration options
    • delete mail after turning it to an omnifocus task
    • target mail folder for moving the processed mail (note that this does not work in combination with mail deletion, please choose either delete or move)
    • bring omnifocus to the front
    • put cursor into a specific field in the quick entry panel
    • open quick entry panel (or just add the task silently to inbox)

Install instructions:

  1. Double click the zip file to extract it
  2. Copy the contents of the zip file to <userhome>/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Outlook Script Menu Items (you can do this even easier by opening Outlook, selecting the script menu item “About this menu…” and then click “Open Folder”. Update: on the latest version of Outlook this location is now <userhome>(Library/Applications Support/Microsoft/Office/Outlook Script Menu Items (thanks Mike for noting that)
  3. that’s it

Note to non-english office users:

Your Outlook Script Menu Items folder is in a different location. Please go the route via „About this menu“ explained in point 2!

Usage instructions:

  1. select a mail in outlook
  2. open the script menu and choose  ”Send Outlook to Omnifocus” (see screenshot) or alternatively just press CTRL+O (o, not zero)

Configuration instructions:

So if you want to tweak the settings of the script, bring up the file in the outlook menu items folder and double click it.

This will open AppleScript editor (if it does not, then you can try right click and choose Open with…). In applescript editor you will see a configuration block on the top of the file. Change the values as documented in the script, save it and you should be fine.

Note that a few settings rely on other settings to be configured (i.e. currently omnifocus activation will only be invoked if the quick entry panel is switched on). If you find those restrictions too cumbersome, let me know and I will look into that.

Download

SendOutlookToOmniFocus2-v11.zip

FAQ

Q: When I click on the email in Omnifocus2 then TextEdit (or some other mail program) opens, what should I do?

The problem is that the script will save the file with a „.elm“ file extension. Most often this extension is not registered with Outlook. So once TextEdit opens, copy the file to your desktop. Then Open the Info Panel (CMD-I) and then choose „Open With…“ -> Outlook. Finally click „Change all..“.

Q: I am getting weird errors (Omnifocus got an error: Can’t get <FCDo>). Whats wrong?

Looks like you have the standard version of Omnifocus2. In order for applescript to work you need the pro version.

Outlook to Omnifocus2 – take 10

Cursor_and_Searching__Drafts_

This is the 10th installment of my little OmniFocus script which will turn Emails into tasks. This version has only been tested with the beta versions of OmniFocus2. It will most likely not work with OmniFocus 1. For OF1 please use the latest version here.

Changes:

  • updated the script to work with Omnifocus 2
  • unfortunately bringing Omnifocus to the foreground after adding the task does not work

Features:

  • fix for empty subject lines (provided by Paul and Peter)
  • added mail headers (from, date) to content of the note (provided by Paul)
  • does not rely on a separate jar tool anymore and should therefore be more compatible with older Mac OS versions. (courtesy of someone on the omnifocus forums whos name I forgot unfortunately)
  • configuration options
    • delete mail after turning it to an omnifocus task
    • target mail folder for moving the processed mail (note that this does not work in combination with mail deletion, please choose either delete or move)
    • bring omnifocus to the front
    • put cursor into a specific field in the quick entry panel
    • open quick entry panel (or just add the task silently to inbox)

Install instructions:

  1. Double click the zip file to extract it
  2. Copy the contents of the zip file to <userhome>/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Outlook Script Menu Items (you can do this even easier by opening Outlook, selecting the script menu item “About this menu…” and then click “Open Folder”. Update: on the latest version of Outlook this location is now <userhome>(Library/Applications Support/Microsoft/Office/Outlook Script Menu Items (thanks Mike for noting that)
  3. that’s it

Note to non-english office users:

Your Outlook Script Menu Items folder is in a different location. Please go the route via „About this menu“ explained in point 2!

Usage instructions:

  1. select a mail in outlook
  2. open the script menu and choose  ”Send Outlook to Omnifocus” (see screenshot) or alternatively just press CTRL+O (o, not zero)

Configuration instructions:

So if you want to tweak the settings of the script, bring up the file in the outlook menu items folder and double click it.

This will open AppleScript editor (if it does not, then you can try right click and choose Open with…). In applescript editor you will see a configuration block on the top of the file. Change the values as documented in the script, save it and you should be fine.

Note that a few settings rely on other settings to be configured (i.e. currently omnifocus activation will only be invoked if the quick entry panel is switched on). If you find those restrictions too cumbersome, let me know and I will look into that.

Download

SendOutlookToOmniFocus2-v10

The beta is getting near

progress

After a lot of work and tremendous help from some of the testers the application is shaping up reasonably. The app still looks pretty crappy from a visual perspective but I believe that the synching should be pretty reliable at this point and it should not destroy your data on your Mac.

Therefore, I have added the next set of testers. All persons who got invited will receive an invite to the google community (Focus GTD alpha Testers). Please review the very first posts in this community on how to download the app.

So whats the status?

What works

  • Synchronization via Webdav (mostly tested with OmniSync-Server)
  • Creating, Editing, Deleting tasks
  • Viewing task notes
  • Reminders
  • Browse by project, folder, context

What does not yet work

  • Editing of projects, contexts, notes
  • Deleting projects, contexts
  • Nested contexts
  • Configurable default reminder time (it will always assume that the default reminder time should be tomorrow 9am)
  • Standalone operation (the app still requires that you have Omnifocus on the Mac which will clean up the sync files now and then)

FAQ

My synching is very slow. Especially the very first sync.

This could happen in case you have outdated clients (or you have uninstalled Omnifocus or FocusGTD from a few devices and now Omnifocus does not dare to delete older files since it wants to retain them for these clients. Go to Omnifocus Sync preferences and unregister all clients that you are no longer actively using.

Synchronization_Preferences-2

This allows Omnifocus to delete all old files and create a new more recent snapshot. In practice this often means that FocusGTD has only to parse 20 files instead of 400.

I would like to participate and make suggestions and/or follow the progress of the project

If you are a registered tester I can give you access to the trello.com project that I am using. There you can get a realtime view of what is happening. This is also very useful if you want to report bugs. Let me know your email address and I can invite you to trello. Otherwise if that is too much involvement for your taste you can also leave a comment here on this post and I will try to incorporate them as soon as I can.

Why the heck is it taking so long?

Synchronization is a very complex topic. Also Omni uses a somewhat unusual approach to synchronization which makes it even more laborious (on the other hand it seems to work pretty ok for their apps except for the fact that its not very fast). Also I do have a day job since the revenue from FocusGTD is still not paying my bills, so my available time is limited. I considered outsourcing some of the development but this would be a bit early (also I think that the group of potential customers is somewhat limited).

The work goes on

A short status update

progress

 

I have been working for quite some time on supporting nested tasks and statistics (4 tasks remaining, 2 overdue, …). This turned out to be more complicated than initially anticipated. Basically it opens up a can of worms, but the first version with support for this is out and in the hand of testers. There is still quite some work ahead of me but I will gradually include more testers as the app becomes more robust (and more feature complete).

Getting close

focusgtd-editI know, I know, it has been a LONG time without any updates. However, I have been quite busy implementing the application and making the synching process more robust. Right now I am nearly at a point where some daredevils might be able to try and play around with the application.

What is it?

A GTD application that can sync with OmniFocus for Mac and iOS. It is in no way connected to OmniGroup (although I did ask if they were ok with it).

What works?

  • Editing existing tasks
  • moving tasks to other contexts, projects
  • checking off tasks
  • creating new tasks
  • synchronizing changes to the server (it should work with any web dav, but only tested on omni-sync Server).

What does not work?

  • deleting tasks (there is a DEBUG option but this will not get synched to the server, its just a means to correct any misbehaviour of the app)
  • a lot of the UI doesnt work, there are a bunch of action items which don’t do anything
  • creating folders, contexts
  • task detail editing (such as reminders, repeats, ..)
  • UI is still terrible, its just stitched together really since I have been working on getting the backend of the code to work reasonably, if anyone has graphical skills, I am all ears :), the navigation will most likely change, right now its oriented on the iphone version, but I think on Android it can be made better.
  • the app cannot be used without omnifocus at the moment (it relies on an initial sync state to exist)
  • the app wont compact sync files on the server, it relies on desktop omnifocus to do this job

Should I consider becoming an alpha tester?

  • do you know how to back up a webdav share?
  • do you mind if your data might get lost?
  • do you mind having weird elements show up in your omnifocus at unexpected places?
  • do you mind the app crashing?

If you answered one of these questions with „yes“, then this might not be a good time for you yet.

For the remaining persons (i.e. the daredevils out there) I will probably allow approx 10 testers into an „alpha program“, who can participate in the development of the application and might get their feature requests and improvement suggestions implemented.

Disclaimer

If you are really serious about signing up you have to agree to the following

  • I won’t be responsible for anything bad happening to your phone nor your data
  • You are doing this on your own free will
  • You will not get any payment for testing (sorry, but I dont even know whether I can make back my invested time.

I don’t care. Where do I sign?

If you really agree with all the caveats and you swear that you will not sue me for data loss or anything else bad happening to your phone or OmniFocus data, then you can leave your Google Plus Email on this form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1V4oJN5LrTUmOc960reO7ReWJDp291qEXvfDTHa2oiaU/viewform

I will then invite you to the alpha testers community and add you to the list of testers who will be able to download the app from google play (so I guess your G+ mail also needs to be registered with Google Play to work).

When will I get the build?

That depends, I guess I will still need the remainder of this week to clean up the most pressing issues, but I would expect to launch the very first version by the weekend.

 

Update 30.06.2013

I have now more than 12 registered Testers. So for the first iteration this will be enough, so I wont invite any more testers until the app is further along. However, you can still keep on registering and in case I have the need for more testers I will add the first ones on the list. Note that in order to register you need to provide an Email address that is a valid Google+ account.

One small step

FocusGtd Progress

Yay, finally, I am able to create properly formed upload files which means that the app can now at least upload checked tasks and OmniFocus for Mac properly recognizes them. It took far more time than I had initially expected, but finally this part is done. This does not mean that its completely done but at least the basics are in place.

The next steps is going to implement the basic UI for the application, and eventually I need to make it pretty. So there is still some time until I have something to show in public but this was a very important and complex step and therefore an important milestone.