Past defer dates in forecast view

Anybody else wish the forecast view would show past defer dates the same way it does past due dates?


This is a serious deficiency of OF3—you can’t schedule taks. You only have due dates and defer dates, you don’t have any way to plan your week in the app.

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Yes me. This was a problem and therefore I set up an perspective to show me the passed defer dates. I also wrote the support about it and all they said was that they are considering it.

With OF and the forecast tag this problem seems to be less problematic but still it is there. The more I use OF the more I see problems or unlogical behaviors of the app.


I suppose it’s illogical for what you’re trying to use it for, but it’s not illogical for its intended design.

Defer Date is not meant to represent when one does a thing, it’s a condition for availability, pre-determining when that availability occurs.

In this way an action with a past due date is treated in exactly the same way as an action with no defer date; they’re both equally available (with the sole exception of deferred things being optionally shown in Forecast on the day they become available, really as kind of an FYI, I think).

If something absolutely has to happen on a particular day, a Due Date is probably more appropriate or, like you said, deferring and using a Forecast Tag if it doesn’t have to be done on a given day but it is desirable to.

Hope that helps!



It does. I guess I’m just thinking of the forecast view different than the app intends.

I’m this instance, I like the way things handles this better. Things with a start date show up in the today view on that day. If not completed, they continue to carry over into the today view every day.

Due items act similarly, but if past due they are red.

I need to shift into a different way of thinking of the forecast view.


Yes, totally agree. One thing @abcdef said that only struck me now: we can’t plan on OF!!

That’s true! If I want to plan my next 15 days and have a overview of what I’m going to do each day, I have no way of doing that, unless I create artificial tags for each day, and each week and so on!

The only thing that has now been remedied is that we can at least plan the day. But that’s it, we can’t plan more than one day without resorting to crazy and time consuming workflows.

Why are you using OF instead of Things, any reason? I’m looking for alternative, I’ve been trying tick tick, but Things look much prettier, I might give it a shot.

To be perfectly honest, I’m using them both. Each has features that I like. Things 3 is such a beautiful app. It has many features, but it’s lack of any type of saved search or filters (perspectives) is frustrating. It’s also maddening that it will not allow you to complete a repeating task early. I’m also on a pc primarily at work, and OF will eventually have a web based solutiion. I dont’ see Things 3 adding this. I’m also still kind of afraid of the company cultured code. There was such a huge gap between v2 and v3. Was is 5 years or so?!?! They have been having rapid development since v3, but I’m skeptical that it will continue. Maybe it took years to create that beautiful of an app. Where as OmniGroup has been around for years and continually improve their app. They don’t have 5 year gaps.

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So if it had saved searchers, would you be all-in in Things?

Possible… a couple of the other things still bother me… .but like I said… I am sort of using them both still… which I know is crazy

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Hmmm… I have a different philosophy about his. I use OF as a bucket holding every task and project. I look at my calendar and see that I have 30 minutes before my next meeting. I go to my bucket of tasks in OF and quickly grab a couple of tasks to work on.

I don’t plan tasks. I schedule time blocks that are available in openings between appointments. I designate the next 60 minutes to working on a project or in a context (work in the warehouse context or my computer context).

I’ve found that I have no real control over my schedule. I might have walk in clients that will keep me busy and I won’t have time for my OF3 tasks. Or I might have a precious 2 hour stretch where I can actually get something accomplished. Or I suddenly have to pick up my daughter after she suddenly fainted during physical education class and had to take her to a doctor.

Planning my day doesn’t work as well for me. I list the 3 to 5 tasks I want to do today and try to find the time to get them done.

Maybe some folks are blessed with having complete control over their schedule and can plan. I wished I was one of them.

But that’s why OF is not my calendar. It’s just my bucket holding all of my projects and tasks.


I think it also depends on what your life allows you to do. I don’t have the kind of job or lifestyle that permits me to plan much beyond tomorrow, because priorities change, meetings get called, kids get sick, whatever.

So for me, I like that I’m not held to rigorous planning, and like @wilsonng, I will use my calendar to dedicate time where time needs to be dedicated.

Apart from that, my focus (ha) is on available actions and, if I don’t like some of those options, I defer them out or put them on hold to, by process of elimination, make my available actions a manageable and appealing list of things.


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I’m interested in hearing how you and @abcdef plan your day. Maybe this will shed a light on how it can fit into your workflow.

I’ve e always believed that a person needs to choose a workflow and make it work for them. But an app migh ijtroduce a new workflow that feels completely foreign but takes time to understand. There were some workflows that I definitely wasn’t ready for. I didn’t take to them for years until I finally accepted it. Heh, just ask my wife…

I currently plan my days, weeks etc using physical notebooks. But now that @abcdef said that, I realize that this was that something that always bothered me in OF and I could not find words for it. I always hoped to abandon notebooks, but couldn’t—OF was just a repository of tasks.

I completely agree, I made a perspective as well.

@heyscottyj brings up a good point about enabling a tag. Also Scotty when you defer items, remind me do you assign dates or just dates deferred you’d revisit completing them?

@bananas1 we can plan to some extent on OmniFocus 3, based on Due Dates and Deferred Dates that are today or upcoming.

I like @wilsonng’s thoughts on the matter, more of a rolling with the punches. Something I’m learning slowly is that if you’d like (I’m slowly turning to this) that Due Dates are things that “I will die or my life will be terrible if I don’t complete this”.

I defer to a date at which point I want to consider a action as an option for action. Every day, I review all my available actions, defer ones I don’t care to consider, Forecast Tag the ones I’d like to focus on next, flag ones that are important, and probably also mark some as complete that I haven’t marked off yet.

If I wish to make sure a particular thing gets my attention at a certain time, I may defer it and Forecast Tag it (maybe flag it, too?), but if something really has to be done at a certain time, it has a due date. I have many actions that are deferred to a particular day at 6:00am, for example, and that are due at 3:00pm that day (because I have to be at the library to return my library books on time, but I’m not going there until they day they’re due, so there).

But I am very strict about due dates. Those are only must do actions that have real consequences if not done, and not just “gee I really hope I do x” sort of actions.


Scotty but we can see by your description that you clearly want to do something that you can’t — schedule!

You are resorting to the forecast tag, flags, or other types of tags to do that.

This inability stems from the fact that OF has only defer dates and due dates. You can’t tell OF: “I intend to do this this on wednesday”, unless you create tags etc for that.

I see what you’re saying, but I generally do not schedule. What I listed above (defer and Forecast Tag) is rather a corner case.

I tag day of to plan my day, but I wouldn’t call that scheduling. I’d say that’s selecting. And I won’t be sad if a particular thing on that list doesn’t get done (it wasn’t due, after all).

If I do need to schedule something, like something absolutely needs to occur at a time, it’s on my calendar. If something has to be done on a day, then I use OF and mark it due.

What you call “resorting to tagging” is what I see as “how I plan”. To me, it isn’t a workaround; it’s how I work.


By schedule I mean precisely what you said, planning, not putting on calendar.

This what I used to do to “plan” on OF, just to go back to my notebook and make proper plans. If you have long term goals, this approach of planning each day by looking at what is available and selecting things to get done is risky.