I love OmniFocus. It is an indispensable app for me and a great Mac app. For managing and organizing to-do lists and personal projects, there is nothing better. Being a great Mac app means adopting behaviors that users expect, conforming to macOS UI/UX paradigms, and for the truly great mac apps it means being scriptable. I want to share two AppleScripts that I wrote for OmniFocus to automate one of my common workflows.

I will eventually write a blog post on my OmniFocus “philosophy”, how I use it, and why it is the best app for to-do’s and projects. But, for now I will be brief.

For me everything goes through OmniFocus. Some people email themselves to track things, some people keep 50 tabs open in their browser to “read later” — not me. If there is something I need to do or remember, it goes into OmniFocus to get organized, prioritized, and/or scheduled. If I need to follow-up on an email I will create an item in OmniFocus then move the email out of my inbox. If I have many tabs open in Safari but not enough time to read them, they get sent to OmniFocus — and that is what this post is about.

I am often in a situation where I have a number of tabs open in Safari. I may be reading a collection of blog posts about how to implement a new iOS API, or I may be researching something I need, like new running shoes. I cannot always complete the task in that moment and I want to revisit it another time, or I want to save all the links for later. If they stay in Safari (even as bookmarks) they will be lost forever to me. I need to save them into OmniFocus. So I wrote an AppleScript to do that. Well, two scripts actually.

The first script will collect all of the open tabs in the front-most Safari window and create a new inbox item for each tab. For each item, the title is set to the web page title and the notes field contains the full URL. Suppose we have 5 tabs open: omnigroup.com and four other tabs for Omni’s different apps. Here is the result:

OmniFocus inbox

OmniFocus inbox with an item for each Safari tab

The second script is similar, with a slight variation. It creates a single inbox item instead of one. The item title follows the pattern “First_Tab_Name + N other tabs”, for example “The Omni Group + 4 other tabs”. The item notes field contains a list of all the tabs, including the title and URL. Here is the result:

OmniFocus inbox

OmniFocus inbox with a single item for all Safari tabs

Having these two variations is convenient and the one that I choose depends on the context of what I am doing. When the scripts finish, they post a notification.

AppleScript notification

AppleScript notification

I have found these to be extremely useful and they save me a ton of time. If you are an OmniFocus user, give them a try. All of the code is on GitHub. Enjoy!