Preventing tasks with inherited due dates from showing in Forecast

Hey, team! Looking for advice or a workaround.

According to this thread and this thread, tasks with due dates automatically and always show on Forecast and tasks must inherit sooner due dates from container items.

Trouble is, if I have a project due (e.g., “Philosophy Paper”) with myriad tasks (“Outline paper”, “literature review on modern logic”, “literature review on history of scientific philosophy”, “set meeting with professor”), all of those tasks show up alongside (and, in fact, before) the project in Forecast.

This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I think. If a project has dozens of tasks Forecast is suddenly cluttered with things that don’t have a real due date – yet it’s still super important for me to be able to see that the project is due on a given date, as there are real consequences if I fail to submit my paper on time.

Any advice or clever workarounds?

I could incrementally defer the project’s tasks, but that seems like a lot of yak shaving.

I can imagine creating a similar perspective that shows incrementally due-or-deferred tasks without the calendar alongside, but replicating the way Forecast shows due and deferred tasks in other perspectives doesn’t seem to be possible.

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I personally have a project without a due date and one task in the project of the same name which has the due date. This works for me.

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Ha, this is why I asked the question – that’s a solution that was hidden in plain sight. Not sure why I didn’t think of it!

I still think it’d be better if there was a way to control this using task/project metadata, but I’ll use that for now. Thanks!

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Realistically though, if a project is due on a date everything that is to be completed has to be done for the project to be considered completed - which is why OmniFocus works the way it works.

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There’s definitely a logic to it. My challenge is that a lot of my projects involve ambiguous task-pathways to see them to completion. Realistically, the only task that needs to be in a “Write paper” project is “write paper”. Meeting with the professor, constructing an outline, and exploring certain lines of research are all optional, so - at least in my interpretation - they don’t really have due dates, either.

This is probably just a different-approaches issue where I’m the outlier.

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I can offer a few different approaches.

  • Create an @Admin project. In that project, have the task “submit paper” with a due date. Link the note field to the detailed project flow. Do not put a due date on the main project.

  • As already noted, put one task in the detailed project flow that is the due date task “submit paper”. Keep due dates off of all other tasks and do not put a due date on the main project.

  • Decide that sub-actions within the entire project flow will have artificially imposed due dates. Build a project workflow so that portions of the project are either completed or deleted (discarded) by certain dates.

  • Apply a context based tag to the task “submit paper” (e.g. “close” or “submit” or “complete”). Create a perspective that shows only the context-tag of interest.

  • Use a separate app to track due dates on the entire project. Do not put a due date on the main project in OF.

Each of these approaches could be blended, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Forecast is hard-wired for one job … show everything that is due by a specific date. Absent that OmniGroup allows a user to personalize this behavior, you have to find some other way to achieve what you want.

You are not an outlier in facing this issue.


JJW

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Thanks, Jeffrey! The Admin project is especially neat. I do like the thought of having a “table of contents” using notes and intra-app links, too.

Much appreciated!

I have one of these in each of my top-level folders. I have a perspective that searches for the phrase @Admin> and I use this perspective to review my overall administrative tasks for the folders.


JJW

Hello, I ran into the same problem and I am solving it how @rosemaryjayne solved it. I wrote an E-Mail to the support. Here is their answer:

"We have open feature requests in our internal development database to…

- Hide items that have inherited a due or defer date from a project or action group, and…

- Implement ⌘-Delete as a shortcut for deleting items

I’ve added your +1 to both of these and attached your email to them for our product team to read. While these features aren’t currently scheduled for a release, we’ll keep these requests open for consideration as we map out our OmniFocus development plans in the future."

Still, this approach feels very unnatural and a development in this are would be very good!

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I’d like to see hierarchy in Forecast view, maybe with the due container (project, action group) collapsed, but so I can open it if I want to see what it contains. Haven’t bothered to write it up as a feature request yet. Wait, I just did. Now I guess I’ll submit it.

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Anybody know a good workaround for the OP’s issue, only for defer dates instead of due dates? If a task or project has a defer date, all tasks within inherit this and appear on that day in Forecast under ‘defer.’
One possible workaround could be to only give the first subtask the defer date rather than the container, but this would only have the desired effect if the container is marked ‘sequential.’

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Hide On Hold projects in forecast view

If you put a project on hold, it’s tasks will still show up in the forecast view. The reasoning is that even though the project is on hold, its tasks still have a due date.

If you prefer not to see those tasks on the forecast view, disable them using ‘omnifocus:///change-preference?ForecastIncludesProjectsOnHold=false’. Use ‘omnifocus:///changepreference?ForecastIncludesProjectsOnHold’ to restore the default
setting.

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For those who are interested: A smiliar topic is being discussed

Here - Stop Child tasks to inherit Due Date of Action Group

Here - Preventing tasks with inherited due dates from showing in Forecast

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This is a very poor solution, you should see how it is in Thing 3: your project appears there then you just click on the project to focus on it.

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There’s no sane solution right now, you need to add irrelevant fake tasks to porrly get around that.

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This answer should be a signal that OF is not working well. If someone wants do something as simple as checking their project, instead they have to do a bunch of work arounds to do that, this means this is a design flaw!!!

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totally describes my feelings, I have everyday I am using Omnifocus and the forecast view.

(Apologies for repeating myself here. I thought about merging this thread with the “Stop Child tasks…” thread but then realized that they present slightly different concerns that are probably worth keeping separate.)

We think it’s important for OmniFocus to consider child items due whenever the parent item is due:

If all the items in a project aren’t meant to be due, then I’d suggest only putting due dates on the ones that actually are due at that time. If you’re just trying to get a project itself to show up in Forecast, then I suggest applying your Forecast tag to the project: that tag won’t be inherited by child items.

(The Forecast tag wasn’t an option when this thread was started, which is why this wasn’t mentioned before: it was introduced in OmniFocus 3 which shipped for iOS last month.)

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Thanks for the insight, Ken. This was and is one of the biggest roadblocks for me, but I never considered whether it made sense in the first place. So your point is well-taken!
As an aside though, could it perhaps be possible to at least show Project and belonging tasks in a hierarchical fashion? Sometimes the unwieldy list of due Tasks mixed with their projects on the same level is hard to make sense of. If it is tasks and subtasks, the confusion is even greater since there is no project reference there at all that combines them.