Optional recurring tasks in Forecast view?


#1

I’d like to schedule a few tasks that I’d like to do once a day or once a week, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t do them.

Things like,

  • check on the status of a project I’m supervising
  • approve new transactions in YNAB
  • do my weekly review

I think the best way to do these are recurring tasks that are renewed based on their deferred date. My question is: how do I reliably get them in the Forecast view?

If I tag them with my Forecast tag, they show up even when they are deferred, which is a bit pointless, since I can’t do them yet. If I don’t tag them, but configure Forecast to show deferred tasks, then they disappear once they are no longer deferred, which is worse.

What are my options?


#2

Surely a deferred date of today and the same due day ensures that they show up in forecast view on today…

For weekly tasks, they will need to be on the forecast tag.


#3

I don’t want to give them a due date, because they don’t need to be done on that day.

In the past, I tried giving them a due date, and I just ended up with dozens of overdue tasks, which I found stressful and unhelpful.


#4

I find the Forecast Perspective very useful for looking into the future, but tend to use Today and Hot List custom perspectives as I go through the day. Among other things, they automatically surface deferred items as they become available.

I have documented these and other perspectives here: https://learnomnifocus.com/perspectives


#5

What about setting these up as daily repeats set to defer one day after completion, then tagging them with the forecast tag? That’s the workflow I had in mind when we were designing the feature for OF3.

That way, a task should always appear in the Forecast Tag section, but if you complete it, it won’t appear again until tomorrow. You could adjust the repeat interval to match the max frequency for individual tasks.


#6

I think the catch is that forecast-tagged action will appear in Forecast even if deferred until later that day. So if I can’t do something until 5pm, I’ll still see it all day as unavailable, taking up valuable forecast real estate 😎

Indeed, a custom today perspective is a workaround, as noted by @timstringer above.

ScottyJ


#8

Isn’t that due to having set the “show deferred items” option?


#9

Nope, anything forecast-tagged will show on the date it will become available, regardless of the time of day (I don’t show deferred items in Forecast).

Thanks!

ScottyJ


#10

I see what you mean. It is the same behaviour as with items which have the same date for due and defer. Forecast will only show the item in light grey until the defer time has passed, then it’ll turn black. It would be nice if it would do that when the option “show deferred items” is enabled and simply hide those tasks all together when that option is disabled. There is a reason why we set date AND time!

Sadly the issue isn’t new as can be seen from this old thread from 2015: Why do deferred items show up in forecast when it isn’t past the due date?


#13

@dave That’s what I’m doing currently.

My issue is the same one that @heyscottyj pointed out: forecast-tagged actions appear in Forecast even if they are deferred until later today. This clutters the Forecast view with often unactionable tasks. (I had originally thought this was true of all deferred items, but it’s only true of items deferred to later today).

This is the case whether or not the “Show deferred items” checkbox is set.

Is this an intentional feature of the design?

PS. Still getting the hang of Discourse. Deleted a bunch of mini-replies to create this amalgamated version.


#14

This behaviour makes sense to me. The Forecast is for planning your entire day (as well as tomorrow and the future). If I’ve tagged some items ‘Today’, I want them all to appear so that I have in mind everything that I have to do today. Those are items that I have flexibly scheduled for today and raised to the importance of calendar events.

I don’t see the Forecast view as the single view to execute my day. It is best used along with a small set of perspectives for your already curated top items, and you can set those up to show only items available right now.


#15

As @MultiDim guessed, this is intentional—we don’t ever want to hide things from you in Forecast, because it’s supposed to be the reliable place to see everything that’s due on a given day.

“Show deferred items” refers to displaying the section for items that become available on a given day, not filtering due or tagged items.


#16

If there is a way to chain your actions sequentially, blocked items do not show in Forecast, so you can hide things that way.

Just a tip.

ScottyJ


#17

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