Calendar Events vs Omnifocus Actions


I’d appreciate if somebody could explain the difference between using calendar events and single actions in Omnifocus.

For example, I see people for example having “Doctor’s appointment” or “Daily meditation” as calendar events, whilst I would have always inputted events like these as single actions in Omnifocus with defer/due date.

Is there any advantage to inputting such events as calendar events rather than single actions?

For me if there is a fixed time for something that it has to be done at it goes in my calendar - this would be the doctor’s appointment (I mean, if I want I can turn up at 3pm, but if my appointment was at 10am then they won’t see me…!). For things when I need to get it done “sometime” during the day it goes in my OmniFocus. In the Forecast view I can see both calendar entries and tasks (and the interleaving of them makes it even better with OF3!), so I can see the fixed points in my day vs the other things that need to fit in around those.


I use a calendar event if the due item has to be done at a specific time (e.g. meet with Bob from 1-2pm). However, if the item has a fixed due date (e.g. proposal is due at 5pm on Friday), but can be done at any time before that, I’ll put it in OmniFocus.

For something I want to do every day, but isn’t time dependent, I set it up in OmniFocus deferred to start at 6am, and due at whatever time I want to be reminded to do it.

1 Like

Hey Jamie,

It always helps me to think about what I’m trying to achieve (strategy). Once I figure that out, it’s easier to decide on the tactics.

For example, I wouldn’t want to miss a doctor’s appointment. And I wouldn’t want to schedule anything else for the same time slot. So I’d make that a calendar appointment.

For my daily meditation, I don’t care so much when I do it, but I do care that I do it. So I made it a repeating action in OmniFocus.

What’s your goal?

— Peter

1 Like

Thanks everyone! All your answers have been insightful.

I was just wondering if there was an advantage to these events rather than action.

My ultimate goal is to be there on time of the event, as such, I have always put everything in Omnifocus. If I had a dentist appointment I would add the action “Dentist Appointment @11:30am” with a due date/time of ~1hr before (e.g. due 10:30am) so I can get prepared.

I just thought I might be missing on something by not using calendars, and putting everything in Omnifocus.

Nonetheless, thank you for your time x

1 Like

I use the calendar for all of my appointments, i.e. meetings with people that take place at a specific date and time. Also, a lot of my appointments are shared, so using Omnifocus for that wouldn’t work.

More generally, I also use the calendar for everything where I have to be present, without necessarily having to do something before it (meetings, classes etc). When there is no action but I have to do something anyway (read: be somewhere) that goes into my calendar.

Every to do item goes inside Omnifocus instead. Obviously there is some flexibility, so nothing here is set in stone, but this is roughly how I use things.

1 Like