Using AppleScript to quick add Things3 to Fantastical3

Warning: Sadly this no longer works from the Things menu bar due to sandboxing. You can still run this script outside of Things, and it will work just the same.

Calendar blocking (the process of marking of pieces of time in your calendar to work on a given task) can be a real productivity booster. Not only does it help you in planning out your day it also creates a visible representation of what you have done in a week.

Because I already keep track of the things I want to do in the amazing task app Things3 I added a simple workflow to copy over selected todo’s to my calendar app of choice Fantastical. This keeps the content of my todo’s consistent and removes a lot of friction with daily and weekly planning.

Adding custom scripts to Things3

Things has a great option to add custom script to the menu bar of the application. This is done by:

  1. Quitting Things
  2. Creating the directory ~/Library/Application Support/Cultured Code/Things Scripts using the Terminal:
     $ mkdir ~/Library/Containers/com.culturedcode.ThingsMac/Data/Library/Application\ Support/Cultured\ Code/Things\ Scripts
  3. Change to the dir using:
     $ cd ~/Library/Containers/com.culturedcode.ThingsMac/Data/Library/Application\ Support/Cultured\ Code/Things\ Scripts  
  4. Now you can add custom scripts to this directory

Creating the script

In the directory ~/Library/Containers/com.culturedcode.ThingsMac/Data/Library/Application Support create the script addToFantastical.scpt:

Purpose: Add a selected ToDo to Fantastical
  - Initial version

on run
	tell application "Things3"
		set title to name of selected to dos
		set description to notes of selected to dos
		set eventLength to " 1 hour"
		set input to (title & eventLength) as string

		tell application "Fantastical"
			parse sentence input notes description
		end tell
	end tell
end run

Get a copy at GitHub

More information about adding scripts can be found on the official support page

Running the script

The script can be accessed from the things3 menu:
Menu Bar item
Menu Bat item - context

Warning: When you run these script’s for the first time macOS will ask you for permissions

Running the script will:

  1. Copy the name and note of the current selected todo
  2. Open up Fantastical in quick add mode
  3. Add a event with the name of the todo using the note of the todo as extra content and will set a 1 hour duration of the event

You can customize the script if you like to change the duration of the event or to add the event to a specifiek calendar. For more information see the Dictionary page of the Fantastical app in the AppleScript editor.

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