Customizable reminders

I was wondering if there are any plans for supporting multiple customizable reminders for tasks?

The scenario where I find this feature very needed is for future projects/tasks that require a good amount of work for completion. Just to give a practical example: by end of quarter I have to deliver a report. That becomes the due date of the project. I cannot work on it until midway through the quarter; that becomes the start date. What I’d need is 1 reminder for 1 week before the start of the project to be careful with how I schedule work for the next weeks so I can easily allow myself to work on this project and another reminder for the time the project starts.

I’m interested to hear if others need this feature too and/or there are ways in which I could address this usage with only OmniFocus.


:- alex )

I’ve set the the review date to 1 week before the start date. When I visit my review perspective (a daily habit), I can see this project on that date. That’s my reminder.

I also look at my forecast perspective on a daily basis (another daily habit). I set the view settings to show deferred dates. The forecast tells me that the project starts today.

If you visit the review perspective and forecast perspective on a daily basis, you’ll be able to easily see what comes up.

You can also set up a custom perspective that groups projects by deferred date. Then you can see the conveyor belt of projects that are coming down the line. Alternatively, you can also group the projects by due date to get another view of your projects.

I’m guessing that you want one of those notification center alerts. But I can’t handle all those notification centers binging at me. As always, e-mail to make sure your vote gets logged in for future feature requests.

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You are right that reminders can be annoying/overwhelming, but I’d use it as a last resort.

Updated: How do you do this?

For me, I look at anything in OmniFocus that is available as available, regardless of when it was deferred to. Anything that has to start on a specific date or be scheduled goes on my calendar (which offers a multitude of reminder settings).

If that is the case, that something belongs on the hard landscape of a particular date, then I think use of calendar may make more sense than use of OF.



Go to the forecast perspective, click on the eye icon at the top of the toolbar. The view settings will have a checkbox to show deferred items.

Some people find it annoying to see deferred items and will turn it off. They might want only due items to show.

If the deferred item has the same defer date and due date, it will appear twice in the main panel under the “Deferred” grouping and then again in the “Due” grouping.

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This is the icon to look for at the toolbar

This is the view settings for the current perspective.

Thanks. I checked that customization panel twice… and missed that checkbox twice.

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Sorry to fork the topic, another approach for a thing that HAS to occur on a specific day is to defer it to that date’s morning and make it due by that date’s end. I do this with a number of tasks that are the first step in a project to make sure it kicks off in a particular way on a specific day, or for routines that have to execute on a particular day (like reporting work I do).

Just wanted to share some ideas. :)



Thanks ScottyJ. I was thinking about this approach but I couldn’t figure out how to preserve the original deadline/due date (as I need that for being aware of the upcoming load).

Yes, for sure. The overall due date can be set for the project, with each tasks having their own due dates to differentiate the activity timing from the overarching outcome deadline.

…and that’s why I love this forum… always looking for different ways to tackle a problem! ;-)


I already suffer the pain of having too many input sources and too many tools involved, so I confess that I’d strongly prefer a single app solution.

(As a potential solution to my original scenario I could use the Reminders app; I already have good scripts for that.)

I guess, but isn’t time-bound things what a calendar is for? Also, OF shows calendar content in Forecast view.

Of course, everyone’s workflows are different, I can only share what works for me. :)

I might also posit that if you have time/day-specific stuff in OF, you’re already using two apps, because couldn’t that conflict with calendar-based appointments?

In other words, how do you know you can achieve OF-stored day-specific things without having it on your calendar (in case your calendar books up).

Again, this is just me thinking out loud, and I have a meeting-heavy work style, so this might be a non-issue for you.


Most of the deadlines I’m having are usually projects with the due date simply representing when I need to deliver. My calendar contains meetings and time slots assigned to specific tasks (based on the current planning).

(Just to be clear: I’m not arguing pro or con this or other processes. I’m here just to learn if others have a better solutions to my challenges).

Not arguing either - love the exchange of ideas! So no need to clarify :)

I may have assumed you were more focused on when to start as opposed to when due.

Another trick I have used is to define milestones for my project and assign them each due dates to make sure I’m progressing toward the overall due date.

Keep the questions and ideas coming!


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When I have a project that I am focused on, I set my review interval to something short - anywhere from once a day to every 3 days or 1 week. This forces me to review the project more frequently. In this way, the review perspective becomes my tickler or reminder to check on the project status.


For your case, I might do this …

  • Set up the Project with a due date the day the report is due and a defer date of one week before the midway point of the quarter.
  • At the top of the report, for the first task, put a flagged task that says
    -> start planning on Project XYZ [propose]
  • For the next step, create an Action Group. Flag it and set it to defer again every few days.
  • Project XYZ Report Cycle (sequential)
    -> collect inputs for report on Project XYZ [research]
    -> develop more on report for Project XYZ [do]
    -> summarize next steps [tidy up]
    -> conclude report cycle [close]
  • After the Action Group, create a final set of task.
    -> complete loose ends on report for Project XYZ [tidy up]
    -> finalize report for Project XYZ [close]
    -> submit report for Project XYZ [deliver]

The notice to start planning will appear when the Project is taken off of deferred status. The tasks in the Action Group will cycle every few days as reminders. Once you are to the point of completing the loose ends, kill off the open Action Group to expose the ending three tasks.



I posted about this a while ago in a different thread here, and I think this is an immensely important feature. I would use it differently, as to remind me to do tasks when I know I have free time, but I can see it working here too.

The best solution I might be able to offer is to set the date when you need the reminder and have the first action be “clear schedule” or something of the sort. Then bulk defer the rest of the tasks to when you originally would have set the defer date.

This may go against your view on what is a project task and what is a misc. scheduling task, but I think that since the act of scheduling is only there because of the project, it belongs in the project.

Hope that helps, but again I’m very much with you on a separate “reminder” section where you can get reminders without something being due.

I use Apple’s reminder app for this. Using the share function links the Reminder to the OF task. This is my way of nudging on something without using false due dates.

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