OmniFocus and 3D Touch

If you are an OmniFocus and are in the fortunate position of having a 3D Touch enabled device, there are some great things you can do to further speed the entry and manipulation of common functions. 

3D Touch - Home Page

If you force touch on the OmniFocus icon, you will see several options. At the top, you have the familiar “Share Application”, which appears with all apps. Then below, is a configurable perspective you can have as a shortcut (I’ll show you how to configure this later). I have mine set as my own custom Dashboard perspective, although I’m considering changing this to Errands. I use OmniFocus on my iPhone when I’m predominantly on the move and a lot of them, I’m running errands for the family!

Below this is the Home screen and this makes perfect sense. When you go into OmniFocus directly from the app icon, it will show you the last screen you had open and more often than not, you want to go into a different perspective. 

Lastly, we have New Inbox Item. Now as I use Drafts for ALL of my initial text entry into my iPhone, this isn’t an option I use however I can see how this is important for others.

 
 

There is also a pretty sweet Widget available and configuring this is easy. First, within the application, go to Settings -> Today and Watch and you will see that you can choose the Perspective that will be displayed by default. (This is also the perspective that you see as the second option down in 3D Touch). If you want to show a Custom Perspective, then flip the toggle and choose. 

It is as simple as that. Activate the widget as you would for any other, by swiping to the right on your Home screen, then head to the bottom and choose Edit to select OmniFocus from the list of available applications.

Peek and Pop

Finally, we have Peek and Pop which is great. Find a task and then long press. When you swipe upwards, you’ll see some options. You can Flag the task, Reschedule to Today or Tomorrow or Delete the task. 

Some quick tips there that may have lay undiscovered.

 
 

Streaks update includes 3D Touch

Streaks has been my habit tracking app of choice on iOS for several months now. It's so easy to use and the integration with the Health application on iOS is great.

Now, they have released an update which provides:

  • a widget, allowing for quick entry of habits from the Notification Centre

  • the ability to use 3D Touch on the Home Screen to mark a habit as complete.

It's a great update to a great application. Grab Streaks here!

My 3D Touch uses

Well the WWDC keynote has been and gone and I think we can agree that iOS 10 has got a lot of exciting features baked in - not least, the use of 3D Touch to interact with notifications on the lock screen. If you have a 6S/6S Plus, this is going to be a pretty cool feature.

This got me thinking - how much am I using 3D touch at the moment? To qualify this, I went through my home screen and looked at all of the applications that I regular open via 3D Touch. Below is a list of those that I use at least once per day:

Launch Centre Pro

Sitting in my dock, Launch Center Pro is one of my most-used apps. You can select within the app, four 'most-used' actions and I have mine as:

Day One

My journaling application of choice, Day One has some great 3D touch options, especially for adding photos to your entries, something I do daily.

Drafts

I rarely use the bottom New Draft option, as it defaults to the New Draft entry screen when I click the application anyway - however this is a great way to get something into Drafts directly from the clipboard.

Lynda

Yes, I use Lynda a lot! It's on my homescreen as it's a staple part of any commute I need to do. The quick links are very convenient, I LOVE searching directly from 3D Touch.

Music

The Music application may be much-maligned, however I have to say that it hasn't treated me that badly since I signed up to it. Yes, the interface needs (and is thankfully getting) a huge overhaul - but the missing music other people have complained about? I guess I've been lucky. I enjoy Beats 1 and listen to this regularly when I'm out and about and the Search function from 3D Touch works well for me.

OmniFocus

Of course, OmniFocus 2 is my most-used iOS application yet I'd say it's probably the application I utilise 3D Touch with the least. Firstly, I access my Dashboard, which is my 'hit-list' for the day, through Launch Center Pro. All new items are created through Drafts. I do use the Today shortcut though as it gives a good landscape as to what is planned for the day - akin to the Forecast view in it's Mac sibling. I'd like to see a 4th option here, with the ability to define different perspectives or contexts for the selections.

Overcast

You can rely on Marco Arment to work hard on creating an intuitive selection of 3D Touch actions. You can see from the image it's highlighted my different playlists - All Episodes, News Podcasts (for those podcasts that are based on current events and are time sensitive) and the next two podcasts in my catch-all Non-News Podcasts (in this case, Beyond the To-Do list and This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt). Very fast and efficient.

Safari

Safari has some good 3D Touch actions. The ability to open an Incognito window directly from the Home Screen is great when you are shopping and need to keep your purchase history private. Accessing your Reading List and Bookmarks from here is also a useful time-saver.

Slack

I don't use Slack as much as I used to, however I still need to go into it daily and respond to requests and comments. The 3D Touch element here focuses on searching for files, messages and channels as well as having the ability to switch teams. That's not something I've ever done using 3D Touch, however I've leveraged the ability to search from the Home Screen often.

Sleep Cycle

I only discovered this application had 3D Touch enabled by accident a couple of weeks ago! I was trying to move it from my second screen to my home and inadvertantly activated the context menu. Now, I use this exclusively to set my alarm or, if I don't fancy the alarm being set yet still want to track my sleep patterns, I can start it with No Alarm - something that takes several steps within the application itself.

Tweetbot

I use 3D Touch to Show Activity many times a day. It allows me to have other quick touch menu options available to me within the application itself without having to change them (Lists, Search to name but two). Tweet Last Photo is a great shortcut as well.

Workflow

Lastly, we have Workflow. I love this because, like Launch Center Pro, you can customise the available actions. You can see that I had a lot of iOS screenshots here, so I used 3D Touch to run a workflow that automatically detects them and uploads them to Dropbox without me having to do anything else manually. Superb!

I know there are many other applications out there that have great 3D Touch support - this is just a selection of mine that get used daily. I'd love to know how you use 3D Touch.