Feature request: "do date"

Not everything I need to do in OF has a deadline. I wish I could label tasks with a “DO” date instead of a “Due” date. The date, and even time of day I wish to accomplish something.

My days are not always deadline driven. Instead of scheduling things with a deadline, I’d love a feature that would help me PLAN MY DAYS by scheduling when I’m going to do it, not when it has to be completed by. Additionally, many of my projects are ongoing. I need to schedule regular work intervals, not deadlines.

There are two new apps out there that are kinda/sorta trying to tackle this issue, but OF is so far ahead in every other respect. They are Timeful (iOS & Web) developed with help from Dan Ariely) and Daymap (OSX). Worth it for OF developers to take a look.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Omnifocus, but the emphasis on deadline vs. scheduling I find frustrating. If OF could find a way to incorporate a “Do” date feature vs. a “Due” date I’d be the happiest Productivity nerd on the planet.

Have you tried using start date?

I use the start date to make it appear on my perspectives showing available tasks.

I’m not really a fan of scheduling specific tasks. I usually just block out times in my day and run away (to a random coffee shop or elsewhere) from the office so that I’m unavailable. I’ll usually put 30 minutes blocks of focus time. I’ll scan OmniFocus for three to five things to focus on and write those down on an index card. Then I work on just those things. It’s too tempting for me to open OmniFocus and scan for 10 minutes to find something I’m in the mood for. The index card forces me to look at just those tasks.

So, instead of “scheduling tasks”, how about scheduling time blocks, choose three to five tasks, and work on those?

I find it difficult to schedule tasks. I have a general idea of how long a task can take. But it sometimes takes longer or shorter. If it is shorter, I can quickly go on to the next task. If it takes longer, then I try to fit the task into my remaining time block. It motivates me to work a little faster and instead of taking a leisurely pace.

I also encounter unexpected events that can ruin my carefully planned day. I still have some structure with the time blocks but I still have freedom to move the time blocks to another hour or day as needed.

I can also have an appointment cancelled. Then I can just move a time block to now and go ahead and work on tasks that were possibly scheduled for another hour.

I’m aware of the “Start date” feature, and I’ll play with it, but I’m pretty sure that it really not what I’m looking for. I want to be able to take items from OF and drag them into a date-based system… and if I don’t get them, no big deal, I can reschedule.

Thanks for the suggestions about “Start Dates” though - I will toy with it.

You might want to try showing defer dates in the Forecast view menu.

I can’t help you with being notified of start times during a day but I have a workflow for start days. I’m assuming you use to be a Things user? I work the same way and things trained me to schedule all my tasks and just reschedule if I don’t get to them. I never used the ‘next’ view. Let me know if that’s what you were looking for

Actually no, am not a former Things user - lack of subtasks made me run away every time.

I played with the Defer date and forecast and none of it is what I’m looking for.

I really want what I initially posed: a “DO” DATE or even better, an easy way to drop and drag tasks into a calendar.

Hmmm, OmniFocus does not emphasize deadlines, but it provides a way for you to have them, if you do.

I use my Calendar for that, and the integration comes in my Forecast view in OmniFocus.