How do you use tasks waiting for Omnifocus 3?

Hello everyone,

I would like to hear how you do to keep waiting tasks. If I send an email that I want an answer for, I do not know when it will respond.

Do I use a hold tag and put it on wait?
I create a project “on hold” wait and look every day everything there?

How do you do?


I’m a fan of creating a “Follow up with person” task deferred to some reasonable date in future. If they answer your question before the date you can just delete or complete the task.

It’s not the only strategy that works, but I like that it keeps things focused on actions you can take.


I have a perspective that shows my Waiting for task.

If I happen to run into someone, I’ll visit this perspective to see if there is anything I wanted to talk about with that person.

I also visit this same perspective at the end of the day as part of my end-of-day review. I look at this perspective to remind myself if I need to create a new task to move something forward. Visiting the perspective daily is a great tickler to keep track of any waiting for items.


I have a daily task to check my waiting tasks – it has a note with an omnifocus:// URL linking to a perspective that shows every task tagged waiting. It takes a minute out of each morning to review.


I don’t just say “follow up.” I leave a note to my future self HOW to follow up.

  • Re-send the emaill with a note at the top, “Any word?”
  • Phone
  • Find someone else to contact (with a note to myself WHERE to find this other person).

I already have @waitingFor and contexts for people I need to talk to frequently. I will assign both @waitingFor and @johnDoe to my “waiting for” tasks as soon as I find the time to fiddle with the beta. That will enable me to see those tasks in both contexts.

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I have an on-hold context/tag simply called “Waiting” with person- or role-specific sub-contexts nested under it, similar to how @tkaufmann explained. I typically use “Waiting” unless it’s for one of the people I regularly interact with, in which case then I use the person- or role-specific context instead. I have a similar structure under a context called “Agenda” for things I need to discuss with someone but am not actually waiting on anything from them, which makes it easy for me to see any of the tasks under these two contexts if I bump into them or have a meeting scheduled with them, similar to how @wilsonng described.

Here’s what they look like:


  • @Bobby
  • @Sue
  • @Operations


  • @Bobby
  • @Sue
  • @Operations

I use these in the morning as I start my work day to see who I need to send reminders to. And if I haven’t bumped into specific folks during the business day, I glance at this once before shutting down to see if I need to send an inquiry to anyone. More pointedly, I look at my Waiting list in the morning to see if I need to harass anyone who isn’t getting back to me.

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I do the same thing. I am not a very good reviewer for the time being, so I am not confident I will review the waiting for context(s) at the appropriate time.

Also, this way I can single out different dates for different “waiting for tasks”. I set these tasks to repeat each x time, so ifi I want to wait longer I don’t have to defer the task again. I do the same with email inbox.

The downside is I do not have a perspective to view them all. I can only view one person (context) at a time. In OF3 maybe with tags it can be accomplished.

I plan to improve my review discipline, so when I’m confident I might change the approach.

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I do an end of the day review to check what happened today and then prepare for tomorrow. The one thing I’ve done is to set an alarm near the end of the day. My workday finished at 630 pm. I have my alarm set to 430 pm to remind me to do the review. That’s the only ay I remember to do it.

I bought the Due app to help me. I set the alarm to 430 pm and nagging set to every 30 minutes. It will snooze for half an hour until I mark it as completed in the Due app. The nagging notification in Due app has saved my butt numerous times and was worth the small purchase price.

I set the reminder time a little earlier than closing time. I don’t want to be in a mad rush if closing time is very close, two hours prior to closing time gives me enough. Sometimes I might have a walk in customer and will need to snooze it for another half hour.

If I don’t have the alarm, I will forget to do the review.


Hmmm. I’ll have to try this to see if this works for me.

I just have a @people tag with the various names nested under for people I am in frequent contact with. For most folks that I don’t interact with a lot, I use the @people tag.

I use an Agenda perspective that is focused on the people tag. It shows all remaining next actions. I look at this Agenda perspective when I encounter people or during my end of day daily review. I can quickly bring up anything I need to discuss easily if I see someone.

I have OF3 set to Dark mode with colored text. The colored text changes based on defer dates or due dates.

If I set a defer date, the task turns grey. I don’t have to do anything yet until the defer date arrives. They can become talking points when I talk to someone butchered is no need for action yet. If I do talk to someone, I can change the defer date to another future date or remove it make it actionable now.

All purple colored tasks are actionable. I can ask about the status of currently available tasks by talking about all the purple tasks.

If a task has a due date, l can’t see it turn from yellow (due soon) to red (overdue). These Agenda items becomes high priority and is often the first issue I bring up when taking to someone.

When I do a waiting for, I add the text “Waiting for:” in the task title.

Waiting for: Jack’s lab analysis results

I might have a defer date to keep it grey for a while. Or I’ll have a due date set on the date I need an answer. I’ll see these tasks turn red.

I’m not sure if I can use a waiting for and an Agenda. I consider waiting for items as part of the agenda anyways.

This seems logical as well, though I typically might capture a bunch of concepts to discuss with someone that I’ll toss under Agenda, but I’m not actually waiting on them for anything, and I don’t necessarily want to wait for it to be the next action in a sequential project. Maybe easier to view it as the potential wait hasn’t started. Of course, there are also instances in which I adjust the context from an Agenda context to a Waiting context if I speak with them and then end up waiting on them to get back to me.

I think the biggest advantage (for me) doing it the way I do is that I use my Waiting list to decide who to follow up with, whereas the Agenda items might sit for days. I don’t necessarily want to wade through the Agenda items each morning when I start my day, preferring to do so throughout the day in meetings or when bumping into someone around the office.

I also have an Agenda item titled “Staff Meeting” which lets me capture things I want to add to the agenda for those meetings.

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I haven’t played around with this yet. If it’s not manually set, this sounds like a smart strategy. I should explore it.

My @waiting for tag covers a multitude of things, for example my invoicing system adds a task to OF evert time an invoice is issued, I also add a task to follow up on mail waiting a reply. I keep SAL for each active client so add it to their SAL rather than using a tag.

My waiting perspective shows the project so its easy to see to who each task relates. In other cases I use a task naming convention in the tasks title for example “waiting on follow up from Hosting Company”.

Running an overly complex tagging system is a receipe for headaches I have found from other apps. “Title tagging” allows for a much cleaner system IMO.

I was considering this and it dawned on me that I don’t see anywhere in the preferences to set colors. Was this a passive function of Dark Mode or did you define the colors you wanted somewhere?



It’s in the Style preferences.

Style preferences

I don’t see colored text as a settings in the iOS version. But I do look at the status circles to see the colors.

The colored text is also available in light mode.