It seems that I am constantly extending the due date on tasks that I don’t get done. (I have 10-fold more stuff that is urgently due than can be done. I guess what I am trying to do with OF is track all that I am not finishing, so I can prioritize what is overdue…)
It just dawned on me that it might work very well if I could set the due date to NEXT SUNDAY or NEXT whatever, and have OF automatically role over the specific data when I miss the deadline. That way, for example, all the task that I should do on a Sunday will always be due NEXT Sunday, etc.
This is not the same as REPEATING a task every Sunday. I want it due next Sunday only, until I mark it completed.
I can’t see any way to do this. Shouldn’t be hard to program. Is there a trick?
In addition to @DrJJWMac’s flagging, use the Due perspective to see all the flags with real due dates. Work on those first. Then go to the Flagged perspective to work on the tasks that have no real due dates but you’d like to get them done within the next few days.
Putting artificial due dates is really a false alarm. This applies in OmniFocus and just about every other task manager program you use.
This is actually what I do at the moment. But I’m wondering if there is any way to plan ahead. It annoys me that I see a specific task, think “I want to do this on day x” (has to be done by day x+y, y>0), need to leave it unflagged, must keep in mind to flag it for day x.
I could use defer dates. But I prefer to use defer dates like you proposed for due dates: “Use them ONLY […] because something external to the task demands […]”
I have this problem as well. I still occasionally have the bad habit to set due dates in such cases. Then, I find my Forecast view with lots of Overdue tasks.
Sitting today to make a rigorous schedule with what I want to do tomorrow is fortune telling not intelligent planning. Also, I am responding to an illogical fear when I think that I must remind myself about what I want to do tomorrow because I might otherwise forget about it tomorrow.
The better option is to make routine use of a daily review, as noted by @wilsonng. Flag the tasks that you want to do ON that day. Otherwise, leave defer dates to set on tasks that cannot be done UNTIL the given day and due dates to set on tasks that must be done BY the given day.
+1 to @wilsonng’s defer+flag approach. I use this all the time, where my “Today” perspective shows due or flagged things, but only due or flagged things that are available. In this way, I can flag things and defer them so that they appear in this perspective only on or after the Defer date.
I also try to keep my “Today” list to five things or less. More and I’ll be unsuccessful as other/unplanned stuff comes up, and I’ll be doing the date adjusting thing too much.
Based on the replies so far – and also on the currently adjacent thread titled “What do YOU have in your Context list?” – I’ve currently concluded:
I have been overusing due dates.
A lot of people are doing what I asked for using Perspectives: i.e. they have perspectives “Saturday” to remind them of all the stuff they should try to get done on Saturday.
But, I currently get very good use out of Perspectives that are physical-based (i.e., Colleague 1, Staff 2, Yard, Errands, etc.). Since OF doesn’t allow assigning multiple perspectives to a task, I can’t also use Perspectives in a temporal way.
Now I realize that the “Review” view that OF added fairly recently (and that I hadn’t taken time to understand) is very close to the temporal perspective that I want. I will try implementing this. The only limitation that I see is that the timing of reviewing is specified only with “Next Review” by calendar date and “Review Every” day, week, etc. If only I could specify review by day of the week, or day of the month, etc. would might be perfect.
I should clarify that that is <5 thing specific to the day :) Although, I have taken to using a separate checklist referred to by a single task (“Complete morning routine”, for example) to avoid over-cluttering my OmniFocus lists (where yes, I used to have 10-12 tasks as part of my routine in the morning that took up the list before I got to the rest).
On further investigation, this doesn’t seem to be much use because “next review” dates can only be assigned to projects, not tasks. It seems like contexts defined by temporal criteria is the only real option; and it seems to be what many others currently do. Unfortunately, because a task can only have one context, switching to time-based contexts would undo my current system of physical (people, place) based contexts.