Convert Reminders Into Org Mode Tasks

I’m a huge fan of Org Mode for managing projects, taking notes and more. Last year I released an app called beorg to give users a way of using Org Mode on iOS.

Whilst I haven’t yet released an update with support for Siri Shortcuts I have started using a Shortcut with beorg. If you haven’t yet played with Shortcuts you can download for free on any iOS 12 device from the App Store.

Currently beorg doesn’t allow you to add tasks using Siri - this will be implemented in due course. What I’ve now started doing though is to add tasks to Reminders (by calling up Siri and saying something like “Remind me today at 11:50 to buy batteries”) and then importing the Reminders into beorg.

Since there is no Reminders sync in beorg (not yet anyway, another to add to the future features list!) I’ve come up with a Shortcut which takes all Reminders not yet completed, converts them to Org Mode tasks and then copies them to the clipboard. It is then a simple matter to paste into a beorg file and I’ve got my tasks. beorg will understand you are pasting Org Mode tasks so you can do this quickly using the outline editor.

Here is an image of this in Shortcuts:

Lets have a quick read through of how this works:

  1. The Shortcut starts by getting all Reminders which have yet to be completed. You might want to limit this to a specific list but then you won’t be able to set a time/date using Siri (very happy to be proved wrong on this!)
  2. Then for each reminder:
    • Grab the title, notes and deadline for the reminder. Whilst there should always be a title there won’t always be notes and a deadline.
    • Create a string (text in Shortcuts parlance) with the deadline converted to an Org Mode formatted date. If there is no deadline this will be empty.
    • If the date is empty set a variable to be the retrieved notes.
    • If the date isn’t empty then set a variable to be SCHEDULED: {DATE} followed by the notes. This will be understood by Org Mode and displayed accordingly in the agenda.
    • Finally create an Org Mode TODO and add it to a list called todos.
  3. Once we’ve got the list of todos we join them all together with new lines and copy to the clipboard for easy pasting into beorg (or just a text document if you don’t use beorg)
  4. Offer the user the chance to delete the converted Reminders. Shortcuts will automatically prompt you to confirm how many reminders you are deleting.

Until beorg has a Siri Intent and/or Reminders sync this Shortcut might be useful to you.

Get this Shortcut