Using Siri to Add Tasks to Remember The Milk and OmniFocus

iOS 5 on the iPhone 4S lacks an API that allows developers to integrate with Siri, we assume this will happen when Siri is taken out of Beta, but this restriction hasn’t prevented some smart ways of getting data in to apps that you want to use with voice control.

One of these is the Remember the Milk app which is used for task management. Siri by default does not speak to Remember the Milk but thanks to some smart ideas the developers can now let you add a reminder to Remember the Milk.

To get it working you need to connect up your Remember The Milk account with your CalDav account. You then set iOS 5 on the 4S to use a specific calendar as the default. When you add a reminder to the reminders app with your voice, Remember The Milk finds that reminder in the calendar and then adds it to the todo list for you.

To see a demonstration of how it works, take a look at the video below. For those using OmniFocus there is also a solution to this. Skip past the video to read more about that.

OmniFocus is in the same boat as all other 3rd party apps in that Siri will not interface with the task management app. But, some users over on the OF forums have figured a few work arounds. These require that you have OmniFocus running on your Mac. What you do is create a contact with first name Omni and last name Focus. If you are on AT&T you can text a message and have it sent to an email account which OmniFocus on the Mac can then pick up and convert to a task. All you have to do is simply say “Tell OmniFocus Buy Flowers Tonight”. Tell OmniFocus is the same as saying Tell Fred Blogs and a message is then created, emailed, picked up and synced to OmniFocus.

Both solutions aren’t the ideal as we hope for an API so we can simply say “Add reminder to OmniFocus under the Shopping Context”, but at least there are some ways you can use Siri to move beyond its built in restrictions.


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