Make default defer time in the future?

When looking at my tasks for the day, I like to set defer times so my afternoon and evening tasks stay out of my way in the morning.

Often, I’ll want a defer time of something like 3:30pm for example. To do this, I need to enter “3:30pm” in the defer box, which is longer than I’d like. Does anyone know of a good way to shorten this?

I’d expect “3:30” should be good enough, but this actually sets the time to 3:30am which is in the past. I think when something is ambiguous it should default to a future time instead of a past time.

“15:30” seems to work, but since my system is setup to show a 12 hour clock, it gets confusing mixing the two formats.

Have you tried changing your default defer time? If you go into Dates and Times on the Mac, you can set it for your favorite time. Then, if you sync with the same account on iOS, it starts to use that time. I like that trick as I’m not much of a morning person, so 5pm is a bad due time for me. I like a 9pm due time default, so I changed that too.

Keep in mind though, if you set it to 3:30pm instead of 12am, your deferred items in Today aren’t available status until that time you set. 12am is the default defer time because it works great for the Today widget users who are relying on seeing everything for the entire day. As you try out defaults, weigh the advantages and try tweaking your today settings a bit to get the best results.

I hope that works for you! I’d enjoy more shortcuts to enter the hours too. You might want to send our support humans a suggestion for how you’d like to enter times if it is something you feel strongly about and the default setting isn’t granular enough for your needs. Give them a few examples of what you’d find useful to set the time. You can reach us at Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the tips lanettetest. I do defer a lot of tasks days in the future, so for those 12am is perfect. I’ll give some more thought to how this would work in my ideal world - perhaps I’m unusual but I’ve got some key times in the day that I use very often in Omnifocus (8am - time I get in the office, 4:15pm - end of the work day stuff, 6:05pm time I’m arrive at home etc.) Maybe I should just make keyboard shortcuts for those outside of Omnifocus :)

I’m sure I will still be surprised though when I occasionally manually type an hour, such as 3:30, as a defer time only to realize later that the item was deferred to 3:30am. Maybe Omnifocus should know when I’m sleeping!


I agree, zwall. When you type 3:30 with no date, it defaults to current day – it should also default to a time in the future, if one exists.

E.g., at 1:30p entering “3:30” should default to 3:30pm.

It’s reasonable that entering “3:30” at 4pm could default to 3:30pm (in the past, but next closest for current day), if there is a valid use case to support that, but this isn’t the case that is causing confusion.

I wanted to share my workflow with this:

I am using a combination of keyboard maestro, alfred and omnifocus. For smaller things like change project I have a custom maestro keybinding but for other things I trigger them through alfred.

For example, I have a macro called Move to Afternoon that opens the inspector, jumps to defer date and then enters 3:00pm.

For my workflow, I select all tasks I want to delegate, hit cmd+space to trigger alfred and type km Move To A and hit enter. Bam, all my tasks now have a defer date of 3pm.

The only problem is that sometimes the inspector has a different layout and some fields are at different positions. That makes it very difficult for keyboard maestro to select it 100% reliably, but in most views for normal tasks it works. Projects and groups don’t work.

And here’s the macro for download: