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Scripts for creating and opening project folders and notes

OmniFocus is Omnigroup's excellent planning and task management application. Although it has good facilities for keeping notes on projects and tasks, I find that I often need to refer to file system folders for projects that contain other supporting documents, and it's often useful to manage substantial project notes in a separate OmniOutliner document in the project folder. It would be nice to be able to get to these resources quickly and easily during project planning. You can drag their links into each and every project notes field, but that's awkward and I don't particularly like the way the link icons disrupt the text in the notes fields in OF.

So, here are two simple Applescripts that 1) open (or create) a project or group folder with the same name as an OF project/group that is selected or contains the selection and 2) open (or create) an OO notes file called "• <projectname>.oo3" in the project or group folder (this sorts to the top of the folder if you sort by name). In addition to quick access to external folders and notes files, this provides convenient access to a notes file in group folders that can target the group; group notes are not supported within the OmniFocus application.

What the scripts do

Both scripts assume a folder named "Projects" located in the Documents folder of the current account. This can be changed by editing the paths at the start of the scripts. The scripts create and use a folder hierarchy inside the Projects folder similar to the project hierarchy in the OmniFocus sidebar. If any of these folders don't exist for the current project, both scripts will offer to create them with an option to cancel. If an OO notes file doesn't exist in the folder corresponding to the selection, the notes script will offer to create it with an option to cancel. Both scripts base the names of the group folders, project folders, and notes files on the names of the targeted project and its containing group folders in the sidebar. A project or group is targeted if it is currently selected (main window or sidebar) or contains a selection or the cursor in any of its tasks or notes. The scripts will not replace any existing folders or files.

Usage

It's convenient to put the scripts in the ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/OmniFocus folder and then to add them to the OF toolbar using Customize Toolbar in the OF View menu. I've given the scripts a couple of icons that look OK to me (borrowing an OO document icon for one). You can also turn on the system Scripts menu on the right side of the toolbar using the Applescript Utility and choose the scripts from that menu.

To open a folder with the same name as a project that is selected or contains the cursor in any of its tasks or notes, click the Project Folder script icon on the OF toolbar or choose Project Folder from the system Script menu. To open a project group folder, select the folder in the OF sidebar and then click/choose the Project Folder script. To create a new project or group folder and open it, select the project or group in OF and then click/choose the Project Folder script. Note that if you make a new group in OF and move existing projects into it, you can create the new group folder in the correct location using the script but you will need to move any existing project folders into the group folder manually for the script to find them.

To open an OmniOutliner notes file on a group or project that is selected (or contains the cursor in any task or notes field), click the Project Notes script icon on the OF toolbar or choose Project Notes from the system Script menu. The script will open an existing notes file in the appropriate project or group folder, or will create a new file if none exists (with an option to cancel). If any folders in the OF sidebar hierarchy leading to the notes file don't exist, the script will offer to create them with an option to cancel.

In general, you should not need to create group or project folders or notes files manually. Just select a project or folder in OF the first time you want to open a project folder or notes file and click/choose the desired script to create the folder/file along with any additional folder structure needed to hold it. Subsequently, click from within OF when you want to open it. The goal of these scripts is to manage an organized set of project folders and associated notes that are easily accessed from within OF, in conjunction with using OF. It's also convenient to create an alias to the main Projects folder and particularly active projects folders in the Finder's favorites list so that you can open them quickly if you don't happen to have OF in front of you.

Download

OFProjectFolderAndNotes.zip (132K zip file). The scripts may be used and redistributed freely.

This page was last edited 5 years ago by harrison. View page history
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