Auto-Parsing Tasks in OmniFocus on iOS

Back in 2015, I had an idea. What if it was possible to email (manually or auto-generated) a task into OmniFocus and have it automatically end up in the correct project and context? And if that’s possible, can I add all the dates, notes, duration, and such to the task as well? It turned out that it was possible! And I built a little script and method for doing exactly that.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This is great! I wasn’t aware of these scripts for the Mac, but since I use OmniFocus exclusively on iOS it has now bubbled up and hit my radar. One comment (and I saw this noted on the original 2015 post in a comment) two sequential hyphens frequently get converted to an em dash automatically and in fact, iOS seems to cause both Mail and Omnifocus to do this if you have Smart Punctuation enabled in Settings > General > Keyboards. I don’t know if this is a default setting, but I had it enabled and couldn’t even force either Omnifocus or Mail to create two hypens until I disabled it. I also have not experimented with actually sending tasks in this format in an automated way, so maybe using Drafts or some other method of generating the email would bypass this.

Yes. This is one of the difficulties of this type of scripting. It’s a bit of a challenge, but it’s the cleanest delimiter I found for it. Typically, folks are using Drafts or some sort of automation tool to generate the titles as opposed to typing them in manually. I’ve also seen TextExpander used to create the double hyphen.