The Most Meta Macro – Keyboard Maestro

Addendum 2021-07-14:

I’ve simplified the macro displayed below thanks to an exchange with the folks at Stairways Software and Keyboard Maestro over Twitter.  Apparently, you can toggle a menu setting using the “|” key, that key that’s accessible with Shift-\.

In other words, it can look like this:

I think I’ve got some serious housekeeping to do in my Keyboard Maestro macros now.

Original Post:

Ok, so I think I have created my most meta macro yet. It is a key command to start and stop editing a keyboard macro in Keyboard Maestro. I’m not sure what I win, but I’m going to have extra chocolate now…

The Most Meta Keyboard Maestro macro

For extra credit, I started and stopped editing this macro itself several times. 

Access Your DEVONthink Inbox Quickly With Keyboard Maestro

Access Your DEVONthink Inbox Quickly With Keyboard Maestro

DEVONthink’s Inbox is nicely set aside in the side bar:

Inboxes in the Sidebar

Inboxes in the Sidebar

However, there is no smooth process to get there by a key command. And golly-gosh-darn-it, I like my key commands.  Let’s create a method to open the desired Inbox a new window. We’ll use our trusty Keyboard Maestro in this example, but you can use another custom keyboard program if desired as well.1

First,

  • Use the contextual menu (Command-click) to add the desired Inbox to your favorites:

Add Slip-Box Inbox to Sidebar

Add Slip-Box Inbox to Sidebar

Doing so adds the Inbox to your menu – Menu > Go  > Favorites > XXXX:

Slip-Box Inbox added to Favorites Menu

Slip-Box Inbox added to Favorites Menu

Now you can

  • Create a Keyboard Maestro macro to:
  1. Open a new window
  2. Open that window to the Inbox

Keyboard Maestro to Open a window and go to the Inbox

Keyboard Maestro to Open a window and go to the Inbox


  1. I’ve since discovered, through the DEVONthink newsletter, that there is a free key command app called Custom Shortcuts made by Houdah Software, makers of HoudahSpot, which is another program I really like. Keyboard Maestro does a lot more than create key commands and can string two together like we did above. But you may want to give Custom Shortcuts a try and see if it’s your cup of tea. ↩︎

How to Set up Keyboard Maestro for a Steady OmniFocus Workflow

Quick access to our lists is important. It is useful to be able to get at our information quickly and have it stay out of the way otherwise.

Here’s a neat way I’ve been using to access my perspectives lately:

I just type a key command and up comes the palette. I type the number for the perspective, tag, or template I want and up it comes.

I won’t go into great detail as this post assumes knowledge of Keyboard Maestro. If you’re interested in a solid tutorial, consider checking out David Sparks’ Keyboard Maestro field guide.

Setting up Keyboard Maestro’s Palette for an OmniFocus Workflow

Here’s the set up…

  • Create a folder for your Workflow Palette:

Add any macros you want. You can set up a perspective:

a tag by using the copy as link function and pasting into an Open URL function:

or an OmniOutliner Template by opening the specific file:

Notice, I’ve named them beginning with a number. That way, I can:

  • order them in the palette and
  • call them up by a number.

Finally,

  • Create a Keyboard Maestro folder dedicated to palettes:
  • Then set up the action to open the macro group:

Here I’m using the Karibiner system described by Brett Terpstra and David Sparks. That way, I have CapsLock-A functioning as my key command.

A Simpler Method

Now there is a simpler method for just perspectives that is already a part of OmniFocus. You could:

  • Open the Perspectives window (Control-Command-p).
  • Adjust the window sizes as you desire.
  • Select the Show Perspective Settings button:

The drawbacks here are that:

  • The window sticks and is shuffled around like any other window.
  • You can only have your perspectives (not individual tags unless perspectives are created for them and not other files like an OmniOutliner template)
  • Your list includes all of your perspectives, rather than just a top selection.

I’m sure others have other methods of gathering their workflow processes. Feel free to share in the comments!

Note – the Dropped Tasks perspective is one I’m currently experimenting with. It is based on the upcoming 3.4 version, which you can test as well by signing up at the Omni Group.

Get to the Inbox Quickly with Keyboard Maestro

Get to the Inbox Quickly with Keyboard Maestro

OmniFocus has two ways of working with the Inbox:

  1. The Inbox proper (Command-1) and
  2. Quick Entry (Option-Command-Space for me).

Both have their advantages. The Inbox holds all our deferred ideas for processing later. The Quick Entry just lets us add new things while keeping our other deferred ideas aside so we’re not distracted by them. Meanwhile, the Inbox can only be opened while using OmniFocus and Quick Entry can be opened from anywhere using a custom key command.

Sometimes, though, I’d like to get to my Inbox and its list of stuff from anywhere, too.

Enter Keyboard Maestro. I’m a huge fan of Keyboard Maestro as evidenced by the numerous posts I’ve written on its integration with OmniFocus. Check out the list below.

My friend, David Sparks, has just put out another one of his excellent Field Guides, this time specifically on learning and using Keyboard Maestro. (Please note, this may become an affiliate link. But also note, I think his field guides truly are quite solid.)

While watching it, I learned that I could use a combination of a key command and a trackpad stroke to make a combo. So, I’ve rigged a macro to take me to the Inbox by holding Control and swiping up. If you’re interested, this is what it looks like:

Here’s a set of other Keyboard Maestro posts on UsingOmniFocus.com:

Advanced Quick tip – Keyboard Maestro and Saving your Place

Wilsonng writes over at the Productivity Guild a neat Keyboard Maestro script that can show your task in its project without leaving your current perspective.

The issue is that we can lose our place when using “Show in Projects” (Option-Command-r). We leave a custom perspective to go to the Project Perspective and might even forget where we were.

Wilsonng’s set up creates a new tab that you can easily close (Command-w) when you’re done making modifications.

Having used this script for a couple of weeks now, I’m really happy with it.