Siri to Omnifocus

Mar 20, 2015
Joe Buhlig
~2 mins

I don’t have a daily commute but I still find myself in the car having ideas from time to time. I don’t want to lose those ideas, but I shouldn’t be typing into my phone or writing things while I’m driving.

I use Omnifocus as my list manager for Getting Things Done. Naturally, I want to collect things into the Omnifocus inbox as easily as possible. But when I’m in a situation where I can’t use my hands to write or type, I need to do it with my voice.

The Setup

Thankfully, the team over at OmniGroup figured out a way to dictate tasks into Omnifocus using Siri. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Create a new list in Reminders

    Open the Reminders app on your iPhone and tap on New List at the top. You can name your new list and also give it a color. I recommend naming it Omnifocus. This will make it easier to manage later.

  2. Turn on Reminders Capture and choose your new list

    From the home screen of Omnifocus on your iPhone, swipe down and you’ll see a toolbar at the top. Tap on Settings and scroll down and go into the Reminders setting. Turn on Reminders Capture and select your newly created Reminders list from the options.

  3. Invoke Siri and ask it to remind you of something

    That’s it! You’ve got it set up. Now you can invoke Siri and ask it to remind you to do something. Siri will add it to your list in Reminders and Omnifocus will pull the item from the list and add it to your inbox.

Tips for dictating tasks

  1. Choose your list

    If the new list you set up isn’t your default Reminders list, you’ll need to tell Siri where to add the item. “Siri, add… to my .” Otherwise, the item will end up on your default list and Omnifocus won’t be able to find it. You can change your default list from the Settings app of your iPhone.

  2. “Remind me to…”

    This is the most common version of dictation that I use with Siri. Since I have my default list selected in Omnifocus, I can simply say “Remind me to take out the trash” and “Take out the trash” ends up in my Omnifocus inbox.

  3. “Remind me to… at

    If you have a reminder with a due date, you can use this version. Siri will add an alert to the reminder and Omnifocus will translate that reminder into a due date for the task when it lands in your inbox.

  4. “Hey Siri…”

    I love this feature! Since I mostly use this when I’m driving and I typically use my iPhone for directions, I normally have my phone plugged into the car. When your iPhone is plugged in you can invoke Siri by simply saying “Hey Siri.” You don’t need to pick up the phone at all. Just start talking.

Note: This requires you to turn on the “Hey Siri” feature at Settings > General > Siri > Allow “Hey Siri”.

Dictating tasks into Omnifocus has made life a lot easier when I’m traveling. I don’t have to worry about getting things off my mind when I’m driving. I can always speak it into Siri to make sure I don’t lose that amazing idea.