Dealing with tasks which require followup and updates?

So I’m trying to figure out the best way to structure a project with items which have a changing status and related changing subtasks.

So for example, let’s say I need to contact a bunch of people. If they don’t respond within a week, I need to followup with them. And if they do respond or they don’t respond, I want that somehow indicated for each person.

Finally, at any point, I want to immediately see what’s going on with all of them.

-if no response w/in 7 days, followup

-if no response w/in 7 days, followup

-if no response w/in 7 days, followup

I’m trying to figure out a way, if I click on the project, that it shows me for each of these names what’s going on with them without me having to click on each one. Can I quickly see which still have to be emailed, which need to be followed up with, and if they have any kind of final status (e.g. I noted them down as having responded, or not having responded and I gave up, or whatever)?

Is Omnifocus even the right tool for this kind of task? These aren’t necessarily customers, so a CRM might not be the right way to go. Trying to figure out whether OF can do this or not. Thanks.

Honestly this seems like something Sanebox and OmniFocus would work well on together. OmniFocus for managing the email task, and the Sanebox (which you would CC on the email to or whatever time period is appropriate) part is then automatic - it will only notify you if they don’t email you back. Personally I currently use the @waiting task (@waiting on has due dates for me) - if I’m waiting on a reply and it gets to the due date then I know that’s a follow up task.

This doesn’t seem like something I would do in OF, other than just tracking that i’m waiting on that person. The reminders seem like something that would come up during my weekly or even daily review.

Here’s what I would do… Create your task titled “Speak with Mary” and then put it in a Waiting state so that you see it when you check your Waiting list. If you don’t want to be reminded of it daily, set your defer date 7 days out. Set a due date for 7 days out as well, which means it will appear in your overdue tasks and date-based views when it’s time to follow up with her. If you get to that point and haven’t gotten a response from Mary, update the task title to include “(2)” at the end, to denote that you’ve contacted her twice now, and send your follow-up email. If there’s a point where you abandon the effort (e.g., after four attempts) the updated title will tell you when to just drop the task. If you try indefinitely (hope not) the updating the title is probably not necessary.

Here’s how I handle follow ups in my OF projects. The first tactic is that I track delegated actions rather than individual emails.

I track people and outputs and rely on project and search convention for filtering.

When I delegate a task, I create an action in the relevant project in this format: “Follow up w/ Steve re: excel data for quarterly status report”. I use the notes field to capture log and status changes, such as the date I delegated, and status updates along the way. I use a context called Delegated underneath Waiting. I set defer and due dates. I set the action to recur on the days and frequency that I want to follow up on.

The effect is an actionable item that appears for me on the days I need to take some follow up action, and provides a way to search and collect all delegated tasks by person using search if I happen to be doing a 1:1.

When I follow up on delegated tasks that aren’t complete, I add a timestamped comment to the notes field and complete the action. That spawns the next follow up action on the schedule I’ve set for follow up. The log notes are also copied when this happens. When the delegated work is completed, I turn off reccurence and then complete the action which won’t spawn a new follow up.

My method isn’t streamlined with email and came about because I use Outlook at work which so I try to avoid delegation through email. I rarely find email to be effective at delegating tasks, and the response may come outside email in my case.