Question Concerning Defer Dates & Behavior

I have three items that I had setup that have their date & time set to this morning at 8:30 am. At 8:00 am I looked at my Forecast and I see these items under “Today” under the Deferred section (I have “show Deferred” turned on). This looks proper to me.

Then the clock moves forward and it’s 8:45 and I look at my Forecast and it reads the same. This does not look proper to me. Don’t understand why, once the day and time was passed, that the items did not move out of the “Deferred” section.

I exited OmniFocus and re-entered it, thinking that perhaps it just wasn’t picking up on the new time. But when it loaded the items were still listed in Deferred (they are still listed under deferred for today).

So, simple question: is this expected behavior? I am attaching a screenshot to help. Thanks.


Yes, this is expected behavior.

You’re absolutely right in saying that the items are no longer deferred once their defer date has passed. However, in Forecast, we give you a slightly different spin on deferred items: the Deferred section includes all tasks whose defer date falls on a given day. This is so that, once a task passes its defer date and becomes available, you can still see it on that day and act upon it.

We hope this choice helps folks with a couple different workflows:

  • If you want to knock out tasks as they become available, you can do so right from Forecast, rather than having to go track down those tasks in other projects or contexts as they pass their defer date(s)
  • If you want to assess how much was added to your plate today, you can check Forecast at the end of the day to see how many things became available and are still incomplete

Does that help explain the behavior you’re seeing?


Are there any plans to include the deferred item count in the calendar on the left? I hate having to add a due date just to see the count in the calendar. :(

Thank you for your response. Yes, I understand what you are saying and I see the rationale behind it. I need to think on it more, as I am sure a lot of smart people came up with this system and I just need to grasp how it conflicts with what I am intuitively expecting.

I went in this morning and those items are no longer showing up (which seems in line with what you described). However, without the benefit of deeper thinking, all I can say is that this is at odds with what I would expect. Now that the period for completing these items is open (past the deferral day/time, but before the due day/time) I would expect these items to show up every day; not as due mind you - but as available.

But, and I mean this sincerely, I realize a lot of thinking goes into this and I understand that sometimes what we think we want will actually lead to more problems; unforeseen problems to the layman like me.

But, in the matter of this question I have what I sought - which was to understand of this was a bug or by design. Thank you again for your timely response.



I agree with kisertn. It would be nice to have this as an option, for the user to decide what works best for them

Thank you Teki for explaining the rationale. I think there are some of us that would like an additional choice on Forecast that says “Show all deferred items with past start dates”.

The issue becomes, if you miss the chance to update your Deferred Items, you then have to go and micromanage, find them, create a perspective, something, when the easier solution is to just include a new choice in Forecast.

I know it is not saw easy as that, but as a user, it would save me a lot of time managing Deferred tasks that I did not address on the day assigned.

Count me in as well. I’d love to see past deferred tasks in Forecast (with a count). Or then have them daily moved forward to Today.

Otherwise, how do you track past deferred tasks?


Have you tried using a perspective to group actions by deferred date? It will group according to past deferred dates as well as future defer dates.

@lucasburke Ah, yes, that’s an option (or rather a workaround). Still, hope deferred tasks would not disappear from the Forecast view once they become available.