Creating OmniFocus tasks from a list of dates (I used Excel)


Problem to be solved: I have a list of dates (2x/month) during the year where I need to get into a system and do an approval. This has a 2PM deadline on that date, and I can generally do the approval starting around noon on the day before. I want these all in OmniFocus, so that when I do my review, I know what I’m working around and whether I need the alternate approver to step in. This is a financial matter, so the dates move around in the month depending on holidays and weekends. I have the dates in a PDF file.

I have a solution (described below). I’m curious what other approaches people might use.

My solution: I could copy and paste the dates out into a format with one date per line, with a minimal amount of editing. I decided to paste the dates into Excel and then use a formula to create the Task Paper entries, e.g.

="- Do that approval thing @tags(Personal Computer) @defer("&TEXT(A1,"yyyy-mm-dd")&" -1d noon) @due("&TEXT(A1,"yyyy-mm-dd")&" noon)"

Other thoughts? Thanks.


That formula looks exactly what I would do. If there’s any issues parsing the dates then I would create an extra date column =DATECOLUMN-1 or similar, but excel and numbers are excellent tools for automation!