“After event” tags

We’re expecting a baby and I found myself making artificial defer dates for around the time of her due date for actions I can only do after she’s born (e.g. adding her to health insurance, making a doctor’s appt., etc.). But babies can be born weeks before or after the due date, so individually guessing and re-deferring actions has been arbitrary and clumsy.

Then I realized I could make a tag called “After the baby is born” that remains paused until… after she’s born. Then I just flip that to active when she’s born and all these actions suddenly become available.

This might be obvious to some people, but I don’t think I’ve come across this use of tags so I thought I’d share it. I don’t know yet what else this would be useful for, but it seems like “I can only do this after this happens” sets of actions come up all the time.

Hope it’s helpful!


I believe I’ve heard @rosemaryjayne mention doing this quite a bit. “After move” or “after pandemic” kind of stuff. Great idea for sure!


We recently provisioned a new server which meant moving a lot of sites, rewriting a few and generally having to balance a lot of stuff.

I created a folder in OF with three projects

  1. “Pre deployment” a non sequential project of things to do before the server went live
  2. “Post deployment” a sequential on hold project of things to check/do after the server went live
  3. “Site rewrites”, a non sequential project with the sites needing work each site in sequential action lists.

These all used tags which did not appear on my today. Perspective like coding, research etc. Every day I had a repeating task to focus on this folder and move it forward which did appear in my today list.

This way my today list remained uncluttered and I avoided artificial due and defer dates with all the overhead that entails. At the end I had a couple of small admin tasks needing doing a couple of weeks into the future these I just moved to other lists and I closed the projects.

This may be an alternative method to using after event tags without having to create temporary tags
and remember when they should be on or off.

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This makes sense, and is more in line with how I’m accustomed to doing things, though I would challenge the idea that there’s any problem with creating temporary tags.

You’re right about the issue of remembering when to activate a tag — I’m not sure what to do about that one. I can either set a reminder on an arbitrary date, but that’s just condensing the issue I started with to a single action instead of many (a big improvement but not a clean fix). This is one of a million problems solved by a weekly review, but if I did those I’d be a foot taller and rich.

One advantage of doing this with tags is the actions can be across multiple projects, which I could imagine being an advantage in some situations. If you had a tag “After I return from Japan,” it would be weird to have “get car washed,” “order new sofa,” and “schedule coffee with Abe” all in the same project.

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I can’t tell if this is a situation where I heard it years ago and it re-emerged unconsciously or if she’s just had every smart idea a person can have about OmniFocus.

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She drops gems all the time. This one probably slipped into your subconscious waiting until you needed it.

Agreed that would be cumbersome, what I do in those situations is add a “consider” tag which tells me to consider doing it but it’s not critical

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Congrats on the baby!

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