Deferred task with no due date

the deferred task with no due date in forecast mode will disappear from the forecast view once it’s “overdue”

For example, i defer a task to 1st June with no due date. Once 2nd June arrives, the task will disappear from the forecast view.

Is this the correct behaviour?


I believe it is. Going by earlier discussions, during the beta phase, it became clear that “Deferred” really means “Can’t start until” It kind of makes sense that, if you haven’t given a due date, Forecast won’t show after the deferred date. You haven’t missed a deadline (it’s not overdue) and there’s no future date for it.

I think the canonical (GTD) approach is to use Review to see that the task is incomplete, and then act on it by rescheduling the defer date, or setting a due date (or, heaven forfend, completing the task :) ).

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Yes this makes sense. thank you

Unfortunately, the Review pane doesn’t show these until some unknown point in the future. And that is if I choose to use the Review function. Hiding them from a user because they didn’t complete them on the deferral date turns ‘Can’t get started until’ into ‘Must be completed by’. Missing them on a given deferral date doesn’t mean they don’t need to be done - after all I entered them to start with! It just doesn’t mean that have a set deadline. In OF2, I cannot even search to find these missed items. I had to scan each item tonight to find ones that disappeared on me!

I would like it if I clicked on the Forecast date ‘Past’, I could see things I missed whether they had Due Dates or Deferral Dates in the past. Alternatively, have them show in the deferral section for ‘Today’ going forward until (a) I do them, (b) I defer them again, or © I delete them after deciding they don’t need to be done.

An example, I have a expensive perishable item I need to remember to purchase periodically when the current supply runs out. I know I have enough to last 3 more weeks. I set the deferral date 2.5 weeks out. But I don’t have to buy it on that date and I forgot. And now it’s gone in a poof of smoke. That’s such a poor solution, I’ve stopped using deferral dates!

Deferral in OF2 seems to mean, ‘maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t. Remind me on the deferral date then go away and hide in my database on 100s of todos until such time as you choose to surface in the review and taunt me for forgetting about it.’ That seems like a really bad definition.

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@tlharpster in a sense deferred item seems to be gone but it’s actually still there.

Its just gone from forecast perspective. You can basically see the “disappeared” task in the project perspective.

But since this will require mudding through all of my projects, I created a new perspective to deal with this. I call it deferred incomplete. Basically i group actions and sort with defer date, filter remaining, and choose contexts which does not have “on hold” or “dropped” status.

This way, those deferred items that I had missed will show up as “last week”, “last month”, “yesterday” etc. All grouped nicely.

It’s not a perfect solution because it still shows the future tasks, but i just collapse all of them and it stays that way. that means i only see all the tasks that i missed. (plus the overdue ones of course)

@ryanfuse Yes, I can see it within the several hundred tasks in the projects view. But I am finding I have to click on each task to see deferred dates sometimes. In trialing OF2, I’m finding it very powerful but that it requires you to interact with it on a daily basis to maintain your ‘lists’. It’s taking more time to maintain my list that I am getting things done. The handling of deferred tasks especially without the ability to prioritize items is a major drawback.

I created a view similar to the one you outline and it’s very helpful. Thanks.

Hi there, I’ve sent a feature request enhance ment of today. Referencing this forum and a few others. It is a little long winded but here is a copy of the enhancement email I sent.

Functionality/enhancement request -

At the moment Omnifocus for iPad & iPhone can show deferred items in the forecast. However the day the task appears is by due date. I’d like the forecast to show tasks by the defer date first (if exists), If no Defer date show on the due date. The task can have a grey font up until it becomes Due. So that you can tell it is not due yet.

I need a sub-option if you show deferred items in forecast. Which allows me to choose the date that is sorted by.
Therefore if I show deferred items in forecast I then can choose whether to show task by Due date (current functionality) or by deferred date ( in choosing this option the task appears on the day(s) it is deferred.

e.g. Currently (option to show deferred items is selected);
• I have an action/task with a deferred date of the 1st of Feb and Due on the 21st.
o Forecast does not show this task till the 21st.
• I also have an action deferred date 1st of Feb and no due date.
o Task only shows if it is today or in the next few days. Forecast does not show this task if the task was deferred before today or in the future area.
o This is not good, as I intended to start this task/action but it has dropped of the “Forecast radar”.
If you had an option that showed the task by Defer date then by due date, If defer date does not exist then use due date. Using the example above;
• I have an action/task with a deferred date of the 1st of Feb and Due on the 21st.
o Forecast shows task from the 1st of Feb onwards. (perhaps you could use a grey font, till it becomes due)
o Yes it would appear on every day as greyed font until the due date. Then the font goes black.
• I also have an action deferred date 1st of Feb and no due date.
o Task only shows if it is today or in the next few days. Forecast does not show this task if the task was deferred before today or in the future area.
o This way no tasks get lost of the forecast radar. If you only have a defer date and no due date and the task is in the future or in the past (not within today and the next couple of days) it will show in the forecast. Whereas currently the task disappears from the forecast completely which means that tasks can be left forever.
o Currently I have a perspective to deal with this. But I do not want to look at my perspective then at my forecast I would like it all in one place. I suspect there is a reason for the current functionality so that’s why I recommend a setting, so that users can still use it as it currently works.
• The benefit for me is great. I have a task that may be able to be started on the 1st of the month and not due to the 21st. The task takes a couple of days to complete. So I like the fact I’m reminded from the 1st to do the task as I set the defer date for this. If I’m not reminded till the 21st I will not get the task done on time.
I think it is a very good functional enhancement. The way it works currently is hard to manage for me. I want to know about the tasks I intended to start in the forecast by the intended start date. I look forward to you taking my request on board and hearing if you have any plans to deal with this. Of course if someone has a more elegant solution that would be great.

At the very least, I expected that if I choose the Forecast to show deferred items. That all deferred items will appear somewhere in the forecast range. Currently they can disappear if in the past or future sections. This issue needs to be fixed at the least. Do not let us miss our tasks forever.

I’ve had a look over the forums to see hat is there in regards to this;

User with same issue, like me the defered date and forecast does not work as intuitively as we would expect - Deferred Dates: Forecast and Overdue Tasks

Many users discussing the issue. Deferred items and forecast

This is why a setting is in order. Some prefer one way, others another. The thing is a lot of users think of defer date as a start date.

Kind regards