How to use Repeat correctly

I have been using OF for couple of years, but till today I can’t seem to find the good solution to this. I hope someone can shed some light for me.

Say I have an action that is due on every end of the month, eg “Pay bill”. So I set the due date to be last day of the month. Then I set it to repeat “Every month”.

I don’t want to be bothered by the action until 1 week before, so I set the defer until 1 week before end of the month.

Since I have repeat in place, the “defer until” is also set for next month. So far so good.

Now here comes the problem: Say today is the 1 week before due date, the action item becomes available. But I’m not able to pay it today as I’m travelling, so I change the “defer until” to few days later. Problem is, the same is also reflected in next month’s repeat setting. Which means to say, if I happen to forget about it, when next month comes, the action will not be made available 1 week before, instead, it follows previous month’s setting.

I hope I’m making sense, and if you see what I mean, please tell me what would have been a better way to deal with such situation?

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I have the same problem, which is why I have stopped using Defer. So I am also very interested in this topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

I also often want the ability to defer an action instance without changing the default recurrence settings for that action, exactly as you describe.

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Agreed. This would be useful.

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I experienced the same problem. I’m used to the design of Things that allows me to defer (“schedule”) an instance of a repeating project without changing future lead times.

This actually something I do nearly daily and have been using a hybrid of two AppleScript (in one AppleScript). I mark the action as complete so it then makes the repeat happen at the right time next month. Then mark it as not complete which doesn’t remove the new action OF already created. Then I move the action to the new start date I want.

I personally moved all my AppleScript over from QuicKeys to Keyboard Maestro and have shift+option+command+number pad to trigger each of the deferred actions. So modifiers+0 equal today mod+1 = tomorrow, 2 = two days etc.

Here is a link to 13 of these AppleScript already made and also included the Keyboard Maestro macros. You will have to relink them to whatever location on your mac you keep the AppleScript.

http://reference.StudioPrime.com/forums/OmniFocus/OF2/Start_In.zip

I have several other AppleScript that I use that are similar to changing the defer date but also changes the due date as well. I use that more for daily personal actions for when I am on vacation or too busy that week to do something. Similar to marking them as complete and deleting them but a bit quicker since you can choose how many days you defer them by.

I got a similar scenario but with “Due date”, and solution is the same.

Suppose I have an action which must be done on December 25, then January 25, February 25 and so on.
But this month I had to complete this action on December 28.
So, the sequence is going to be shifted - January 28, February 28 and so on. Too bad ))).

I use a workaround:

  1. Today is December 26, I can see I have no time to complete this action.
    Anyway, I mark this action as completed - and the next action date “January 25” is created.
  2. Then, I unmark this action - it becomes available again.
  3. Set a new date “December 28” for this action.
  4. Clear all “repetition data” for this action.

So, on December 28 this action is marked as completed, and the next action will be still for January 25.

1 Like

This is an awesome solution! Thank you! It’s so simple, yet solves the problem.

you’re welcome ))

What I started doing was something suggested by wilsong:
Don’t worry about the defer date. Leave it at one week. Set that project to be reviewed every month starting on your defer date, set to a daily review. Once you complete it simply move the review date another month.
I ran into your same problem way too many times and became frustrated. This is working out great. In fact I went thru and modified my reviews for important projects to every few days or weeks etc instead of changing defer dates like a mad man!!!

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I tend to set a task reminding me to create the task. So I might write a task that says “Pay bill or schedule time to pay bill” with a defer date for the 25th of the month repeating monthly. If I can pay it, I’ll pay it and mark it complete. If I cannot, I will mark it complete so that it will appear again at next month’s 25th, much like ildar does above, and then write a new singular task with its own specific defer date.

I wrote a plugin for this. It is quite handy! It duplicates the selected task and check it off. Then removes the repeat on the new task. :-)
of-Duplicate-repeat-task.omnijs (1.1 KB)

I don’t quite get this. Can you explain? Then I have to go to the Review perspective to look for my next actions?

Neat! I’ll give that a run…

This is because Things generates a “new” instance of the task each time it repeats. This allows you to defer or move or do anything to that instance without changing the “master”.