jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

Voicemail to OmniFocus Workflow

I got back from my morning run today and was sitting on the back porch, enjoying the morning air and the feeling of contentment I get after a great run. I logged my run in Day One, and noticed a voicemail from yesterday that I hadn’t dealt with yet.

Lifeserve Blood Center. I’m a regular donor. Or at least I was till I started working from home. My office, when I had one, was five minutes away from the closest Lifeserve location, so it was pretty easy to run down at lunch and spend an hour donating platelets. Now it’s a half-hour to forty minute drive. I had avoided the call.

Feeling as good as I did though it seemed like a good time to listen to the call. The caller had left an impassioned message, and I was moved once again to do something. I decided to make a day of it to head to town and make this part of the trip. But I couldn’t make the call to schedule an appointment at 6:30 AM, I had to put this into OmniFocus to deal with it at the right time. Each voicemail in iOS has a little share icon, and when I hit that icon I fully expected to be able to drop a link to the voicemail straight into OmniFocus. But OmniFocus was missing.

Thinking I had missed it or did something wrong I went through again and searched, no OmniFocus choice. At this point Federico Viticci came to mind and I opened Workflow.

Workflow was probably at the top of my mind at the moment because I had just used it to log my run to Day One. I use the Today View in iOS to launch a Workflow that asks me a few questions, snaps a picture, and pastes all of it into Day One in my Running journal. So far I’ve got 202 runs stored this way.

I knew Workflow had OmniFocus support, and I knew individual Workflows could be saved as action extensions for inclusion in the share sheet. All I needed was an action that could take any input, create a new OmniFocus task, and add the input as an attachment to the task.

Workflow took care of this in one step. Like Dr. Drang once said, “These embarrassingly simple bits of automation are often the most useful.”

OmniFocus ios workflow