Let’s talk about two popular programs: Evernote and Omnifocus. Omnifocus excels at managing tasks but it is weak in storing lots of information. Evernote is weak as a task manager but excels at storing lots of information. If you use them together, they should solve all your productivity problems… right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. You have two separate systems that do not automatically work together. It is up to you to figure out how to do that and this is usually causes problems for some.
For example, if you store something in Evernote, how do you make sure you will revisit that information at some point in time? The obvious answer would be during your weekly Omnifocus review. However, that means you need to create a task in Omnifocus to remind yourself to review that note in Evernote. This is where the hiccup is – that extra step that people tend to forget. Fortunately, we have a script that will automatically transfer notes to your Omnifocus inbox. You will never ever forget information in Evernote again.
- Script that transfers Evernote notes to your Omnifocus inbox.
- Use Lingon to run the script on regular intervals.
- Tag any note with “review” and it will be transferred to Omnifocus.
NOTE: The fastest way to learn Evernote is by checking Evernote Essentials. Written by our friend Brett Kelly (who works at Evernote) he will show you step-by-step how to use Evernote the right way with plenty of examples.
We have written before how to use Omnifocus and Evernote together. You can use Evernote’s Note Links to link from back Omnifocus tasks to a specific note in Evernote. This is already a great step forward and if you want to use the two programs together you need to know this feature. However, like I said before, that extra step of manually creating a task and copying the note link to Omnifocus is what a lot of people forget to do.
I’ve created a script that will create a new task in your Omnifocus inbox each time you want to review something you just stored in Evernote. I have to give credit to Nick Wild of 360 Degrees Media for making the script. He left a comment behind on the Omnifocus and Evernote post that does this. All I’ve done was I tweaked it a little bit but all credit goes to Nick.
Evernote To Omnifocus Script
Here is what this script does:
- It checks your Evernote and it will look for a tag called “review”.
- Each time it finds a note with that tag, it will automatically create a task in your Omnifocus inbox.
- Name of the task is “Review: NAME_OF_NOTE” (NAME_OF_NOTE is the name of the note in Evernote) and adds a link back to the note in Evernote in the notes field of the task.
- Removes the “review” tag from your note in Evernote.
That’s it. This means that each time you want to review a note from Evernote, just tag it with “review” and the script will automatically create a task in your Omnifocus inbox for review that contains a link to that specific note.
Here are the requirements and steps:
- Download the Evernote2Omnifocus script.
- Convert the script into an application.
- Install Lingon v3 (Lion and up) or Lingon v2 (Snow Leopard and older).
- Use Lingon to launch the script for scheduled intervals.
I’ll cover each step in detail. Please read the instructions carefully to make it work. It’s not difficult but you do need to pay attention to details.
1. Download the script
Once you have downloaded the script, extract it and put the script in a folder. You should see a file called Evernote2Omnifocus.scpt (SCPT indicates it’s an Applescript).
I suggest you create a new folder “Applescripts” in your home/username folder. For example, in my case it is /Users/thanh/Applescripts/.
2. Convert the script into an application.
Double click on the script and by default you should have Applescript Editor open the file. You should see something like this.
Now you have to turn this script into an application. It’s very simple.
- File > Export.
- Go to your Applescript folder you created earlier (in my case /users/thanh/Applescripts).
- File format: Application.
Here’s a screenshot that shows how to save the file as an application.
You should now have a file called Evernote2Omnifocus.app (the extension .app might be hidden in your Finder but that’s okay).
3. Install Lingon
If you open the app you just created, it will run and close right away. It does work. Try it out: tag a note in Evernote with “review”, run the app and you should see a new task in your Omnifocus inbox.
The problem is, you want to have this script run on a regular basis – not just once. For this, you need Lingon v3 ($2.99) by Peter Borg – this is the program that will call the script every 30 minutes (or whatever you set the interval to). If you use Snow Leopard or older, you need Lingon v2. Unless you know how to work with Apple’s launchd program that involves editing XML files and editing files for launching programs on scheduled intervals, I highly suggest you get Lingon. It’s much easier to use and well worth the price.
4. Use Lingon to launch the script for scheduled intervals
Launch Lingon and you should see something like this.
Click on the plus icon for a new job on the top left corner.
You will get a screen where it will ask you to save a file in LaunchAgents folder. Type in “Evernote2Omnifocus” and the program will automatically create a file called Evernote2Omnifocus.plist.
What happens here is that the Evernote2Omnifocus.plist will store all the instructions for launchd (the program that comes with OS X) to run the app on startup and on fixed intervals.
Now you will be asked to fill in some info and instructions.
- Name: Evernote2Omnifocus
- What: Click on the Choose button and select the Evernote2Omnifocus app you created in step two.
- Tick the box Every and set the interval to 1 hour (or change it to your liking).
- Click on Save & Load.
Here’s how that looks like:
That’s it. Now the script will run on a set interval and transfer any notes from Evernote to your Omnifocus inbox for review. Just remember to tag your note with “review” if you want to have it stored in your Omnifocus inbox.
Empty your Omnifocus inbox on a regular basis and you will never forget any Evernote note again!
For any questions, bugs, comments and more – leave a comment below.
Update: As Bryant in the comments has noted, if the script’s launch interval is shorter than Evernote’s sync interval, you run the risk of the task not getting linked to the Evernote entry. Evernote doesn’t create a link until it is synced.