Defer date without due date

Hey!

This is a usability question as I am in the process of building my own perfect workflow. Majority of actions (95%) I create have a due date hence I can keep track of them (or be reminded) via Forecast perspective. However, when an action has no due date, it doesn’t appear in Forecast and I don’t have an easy way to keep track of those. How other people address this issue or what would you suggest for that?

You can change the Forecast perspective’s view options (eye icon) to show deferred items. It will only show those deferred to that day (no past actions). Does that help?

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From the message subject I assume your tasks without due dates have defer dates. A few other things you can try if you have the Pro version:

  • Create a perspective that is grouped by Defer Date. This will help you catch those tasks where the deferred date has passed and they no longer show up in Forecast. It can also be used for planning.
  • If you really want to see all tasks without due dates, create a perspective grouped by due date. One section should be “No due date”.

When you say “Keep track of”, do you really mean “don’t completely forget”? If so, I recommend using the Forecast view as nostodnayr suggested along with the review feature. In case you aren’t familiar with the concept: Set the projects to review at some interval (perhaps every few days or however short so you always feel on top of everything), then briefly scan all tasks in the project, including those with defers or no due date. This is a core concept to many task management systems that provides many benefits.

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“show deferred items” sounds like a nearly perfect option except for one caveat. If the action has both, defer and due date, it is shown twice. Is this the intended behaviour?

Yes, that’s the expected behaviour for how the Forecast perspective presently works.

I think the thing to remember is that Forecast is not necessarily intended to be your daily working perspective. Its purpose is to let you see what’s happening in your system and decide how to act.

For example, I check my forecast first thing in the morning (or the night before), decide if the deferred items are actionable, flag/unflag/defer as necessary and then work from my daily work perspective.

If you don’t have pro, this working perspective could be your flagged perspective, or the today widget showing flagged and due items.

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I do have pro version actually. For both, iOS and Mac. What would you suggest to use for daily working perspective?

Since you’re just starting out building a workflow, I recommend looking at the free webinars on this page.

They represent some of the main best practices for implementing OmniFocus. David Sparks and Dr. Dini are two of the top names.

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There’s always a lot of talk here (a thread just a couple days ago) on building working perspectives; I can try searching for “Today” here for some more ideas, too. As for mine, I have a perspective that shows due and flagged items. You could group and sort it to the way that best fits you.

Like @anamorph mentioned above, definitely check out Dr. Dini and David Sparks’ work. In particular, Dr. Dini’s book was really helpful for me.

Thank you everybody for your input. After thinking about about my workflow and its approach, I realised it was too complicated so I found a way to make it simpler. None the less thank you again for your feedback!