Past defer dates in forecast view

I agree, which is why the Review perspective is so paramount to my workflow. All of my goals are long term, so tracking against them regularly is vital. For me, that’s a very different process from daily planning, though (which is reflective of, but not beholden to, long-term progress).


I don’t know if I want OmniFocus to be a “one app to rule them all.” I use my calendar to schedule time blocks. I might have a free time block between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm and I’ll call it “computer work.” Then I’ll look at my computer context and try to run through as many as I can. I can see another time block at 4:15 pm to 5:00 pm and I’ll try catch up on all the warehouse tasks and orders that I need to follow up on.

OmniFocus is my bucket list holding the tasks. Scheduling goes in the calendar.


I know I don’t.


I followed your discussions and have the feeling that you went apart from the OP desire to show past defer dates in the forecast view.
According to your discussions I have the feeling that you are acting too conservative (maybe because you use OF for so long.) I remember guys debating about that multiple tags would be a nightmare in OF and now in OF3 they became multitag lovers.
Open your mind and don’t be so in love with the app. The app and also the developers should serve you not the other way round.

Having read everything I am still not convinced at all. It rather feels more like OF wants to sell its Pro version where you can set up a perspective to show passed defer dates. (Bad move.)

It’s true that feedback and requests are how software evolves, but I think this isn’t the issue here. It’s that you’re hoping to make OF a one size fits all where it simply won’t. I would love to see a planning feature (like a reverse Review perspective), but planning has different meanings to different people who use different approaches to task management. I have not found the perfect task management app to date.

But you’re right in that you can and should feature request and allow people to vote alongside your request if they agree. So why not just send in the request?

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I did and I hope others will do as well. My hope is just that OF gets more logical and also gives more flexibility to its users. As long as “one size doesn’t fit all” does apply to Apps it also applies to human beings. Apps and developers have to stay on track and their apps have to resemble the flexibility and diversity of human beings and human mind. In this way they can survive longer and be more successful.
So an expression of a new optional feature is just a sign of the app not fitting to all people. The App has to serve us (therefore it has to be very flexible) and not other way round.

In my case the forecast would be too busy. I use other perspectives to se available tasks.

I guess we have the calendar for that.

Don’t see any advantage incuding a full function calendar in OF3,since there are ao many already in the market. Forecast gives you the link between both apps.

Technically, scheduling means setting due dates, and sequencing means determining the order in which you will execute tasks to meet these due dates.

I do not get the concept of scheduling without due dates.

Planning is somewhat more general. May be a previous step to scheduling. I guess the Review process in GTD takes sonewhat care of that.

I would be interested in a more specific explanation of what planning means to you in this post.

I totally agree. Actually for me it was the reason I moved to Things.
(my post wit this request: Add Past Defer to Forecast view)
I will consider moving back to OF (I really liked using it) but for my way of working this is really missing, and I like the forecast view more than perspectives (I simply don’t have time to manage them, once I tried to create bunch of them, but it was overhead for me…)



You must not be using review on a daily basis as recommended by David Allen. The methodology is based on Getting things done (GTD). During the review process I move the dates accordingly.

Typically 15-30 min at start of day let’s you figure out day… and actually plan for week with reviews.


Due dates (deadlines) are dates where somehting must be completed.

Planning or scheduling are dates you choose to do something, which in general will be before the due date, if your taks has a due date.

You are correct. I don’t do a daily review. Here’s why…

I am not writing this to imply that those that are able to do a daily review are less busy than me… I can only tell you about myself.

Typical work day:
-Up at 3:30a
-leave at 4:20a
-working by 6a
-12 hour shift as nuclear control room supervisor
-home at 7p
-dinner with family
-kids bath and bed
-30 to 60 min with wife
-rinse and repeat.

On my days off I would technically have time, but as anyone with a family knows, days off can be busy too.

90% of my Productivity app (things or OF) time (I’m on a PC at work) is done on my iPhone. Maybe 8% iPad, and 2% on my Mac.

I need to be able to get in and out quickly.

I don’t accomplish all my tasks (other than mission critical) every day. I love that Things simply carries these over to the next day. It’s so simple but a truly brilliant idea.

For now, Things is the app that keeps me on top of my tasks. I’m still considering OF 3. I even bought the pro version.

Love this thread. Let’s keep it going… I love all the feedback and discussion.


Once upon a time, I remembered flipping between task managers and spending at least a day moving tasks back and forth.

My task management got smoother when I finally incorporated a review process. It takes me 15-20 minutes. I absolutely make the time for this at the end of every day. Planning for the next day has been critical. I considered my planning not an optional routine, It is an essential routine.

I go through my inbox (e-mail, OmniFocus, physical, etc.) first to process and organize tasks into OmniFocus. This could include seeing an e-mail to cancel an existing work order (update this by making a note in an existing OF task and mark it as complete. Or it could b creating new tasks from incoming e-mails or physical paper in my physical inbox.

Next, I check the Review perspective to look for any projects that pop up here. I have projects with different review intervals. The more frequent a project changes (new updates to a project), the more frequently it appears in here. Projects that are on hold or don’t change as often gets a longer review interval (one week, two weeks, one month, one quarter). I can quickly review the status of any projects and see if I need to update it to reflect current reality.

Then I check the forecast to give me a heads-up of the next couple of days. This gives me a chance to preview tomorrow and the day after. I might look ahead a week just to see if I can handle a Big Rock project.

Finally, I visit my Menu custom perspective which shows all available tasks. I can create my plan for tomorrow by looking at my available tasks and see where I can fit something into a time slot. I might have to update the OS on a couple of computers. While I’m sitting down an waiting for the updates to finish, I can schedule a small task (5 to 15 minute estimated duration) and just knock that off. I might find a 30 minute time slot open between two meetings. I can maybe squeeze a 10 or 15 minute task in there somehow.

I find the time to do the review. The task manager won’t update itself and you’ll find your tasks and projects are no longer resembling current reality. I don’t want to get caught with my pants down when the boss asks me about the status of a project that I neglected or forgot about.

If you have a custom perspective that is set to show all available tasks (deferred to today or earlier) then that shows all the tasks you can do. You can set a defer date to move a task into the future and it will show up in this custom perspective when the defer date comes.

Could you screen shot that perspective?

Let me get my thoughts in order to better explain it. Hopefully in the next week. Busy weekend for the office.

I see. Thanks. So you have a sheduled date and then a due date. I use the defer date to signal that first date when I would like to do something, but I must admit I often oversee it since due dates keep me busy, Maybe one day I’ll be ahead of due dates, but don’t cross my fingers.

OK. I just wanted to see if I could duplicate a Things 3 workflow in OmniFocus 3. I got fairly close. I’ve played with Things 3 on and off throughout the years. So I may miss out some subtleties of Things 3. If you could help me out, I’d love to see if there was anything in the Things 3 workflow that I may have missed. Enjoy reading.


As another Things user who wanted this exact same behavior (past defer dates), I use a few perspectives similar to the ones in your post. One difference I made to Today:

(Simplified logic)

  • Due Soon
  • Has defer date

Individual actions, order by due date.

This is closer to Things’ behavior. It is my one-stop daily review perspective. It catches all of my important things (due soon, due, overdue, wanted to start (deferred)). If I am sick or only have the energy to check one perspective, this is it. It makes sure I never miss anything urgent.

I then swipe-to-tag items I want to do today and have a reorderable perspective for those.

This new perspective has made a long-time Things user finally feel comfortable in OmniFocus.


Thanks for this. I have been banging my head trying to figure out how to find tasks with Defer <= Today. The key was to understand that a task becomes Available when Defer date is reached. What a clunky search query: “Has defer date” AND “Availability: Available” to find tasks with “Defer <= Today”. It would be so much more intuitive if a filter could specify “Defer on or before Today”.