Syncing OmniOutliner Pro GTD Lists to an iPod

I wrote an AppleScript to sync my next action lists for all my on-the-go @contexts (namely, @agenda, @anywhere, and @errands) to my iPod. Feel free to use it, modify it, and share your modifications.

Here’s what I wrote about it in the script file:

This script depends quite a deal on how I (currently) use OmniOutliner Pro, so I need to tell a little about that first.

I keep an .ooutline file for all my ongoing projects. The top-level items all represent projects – one of which holds all my non-project, single next actions.

I really liked Fraser Speirs idea to use the named styles as ‘tags’ for @context. So I have six named styles called ’@powerbook,’ ’@at home,’ ’@errands,’ ’@waiting for,’ ’@anywhere,’ and ’@agenda.’ I then tag each row representing a next action with any of these.

One thing to know about OmniOutliner is that it by default promotes the named styles to the parent row if all the children have the same one. So if you have a project with only one action/row, the named style you apply will be set for the parent, in the ‘slot’ for all the children’s common named styles. So in order for this script to work, you need to turn off the ‘Format > Automatic Level Styles’ option.

Now, to get this script to work for you, you need to change the contexts listed in the property on_the_go_contexts below. List all the names of the named styles representing next actions you want synced to your iPod. These will end up in a separate text file named according to the context.

You need to enable disk mode on your iPod. Then, when you have plugged it in, choose ‘Export to iPod’ from the scripts menu in OmniOutliner Pro. You can place the script in your toolbar for easier access (run ‘Customize Toolbar’ from the ‘View’ menu).

Good luck.

Update: Sorry, the Fraser Speirs link went to Apple due to an accident in cutting and pasting. Fixed now.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on March 11, 2005. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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