CSV input to get lists into OmniFocus?

I have long Excel lists that I’d like to import into OmniFocus. Omni suggests using TaskPaper to do so, but (after searching a lot) I cannot find documentation on how export CSV to TaskPaper. A flat list would be good, but importing with other columns such as due date, etc. would be terrific. How to do?

Show works where tell fails – we would need to see a sample of:

  1. Your input CSV, and
  2. the output TaskPaper pattern that you would work for your purpose.

(To get the latter right you will probably need to experiment with OF a bit)

Thanks for a quick response!

I am attaching a small .csv (this forum doesn’t allow CSV as an attachment so it’s a TXT.
The actual list would be hundreds of rows long, and could be put into any format Excel can export if that makes the import to TaskPaper better.

I don’t know what TaskPaper output pattern would work–I am in the review process for organization software and have not committed to OF yet, so I can’t experiment. Just trying to establish if getting the Excel list into OF will work at all…

Omni says: “OmniFocus includes support for copying items to the pasteboard as TaskPaper text. You can also paste TaskPaper text into the OmniFocus outline.” And, “In the Mac app, this is done using the Copy as TaskPaper option found in the Edit menu…”

Omni themselves says to experiment with formatting. I just need to know for sure if I can get the CSV into TaskPaper, since nothing in the TaskPaper documentation refers to the process.


List Example.txt (357 Bytes)

Mmm… your sample list does’t appear to be CSV …

Is that the example you intended to attach ? It doesn’t seem to contain any commas, and I’m not sure whether it contains separated values or not …

If you don’t need to capture values for any special OF fields, and just want to import each of these text lines as a separate item in OF, then I think all you need (for a TaskPaper format) is to search and replace to prepend a hyphen (followed by a space) at the start of each of your lines.

Thank you

and, of course, if there is any task-subtask indentation that you need, or any project vs task distinctions, then you can:

  • tab-indent your TaskPaper list to give it parent-child structure
  • end any ‘project’ lines with a colon, instead of starting them with hyphen + space