Quick Tasks with due time: limit visibility in forecast?

Hi everybody,

I am trying to figure out how to best deal with quick tasks that have to be completed at a certain point of time, e.g. before I leave office. Some of them are regular, some not. I am thinking of really quick tasks that I must not forget and that cannot be completed much earlier, e.g. putting my pager in the charging station or a final check of next days schedule. If I set a due time, e.g. 6 p.m. (if this is the time I leave my office), then they are visible in forecast the whole day, which doesn’t make much sense.

Any suggestions?

Seems this has been discussed 2015:

Apparently it has been on the wishlist but (sadly) didn’t get sufficient priority.

Assuming you’re using the Pro edition, you could have a perspective that’s shows you items that are due soon (consider showing flagged items as well) and available. Actions that you don’t want to see until later in the day (e.g. "Perform final check of next day’s schedule) could be deferred until the afternoon. And you can set the “Due Soon Means” setting to “Today” if you only want to see items that are due today.

While I find the Forecast perspective very helpful for looking into the future, I rarely use this perspective when getting down to work. I like the flexibility that custom perspectives provide. And having tags in the sidebar (currently only available on the Mac) makes it easy for me to filter the list down (e.g. to see all phone calls on my “Hot List”). I also like that tags are only visible in the sidebar if there’s at least one action that includes this tag. For example, if there isn’t a “phone” tag on the sidebar, I know that I’ve taken care of all phone calls on the list.

I hope this helps!

I agree with all of @timstringer 's points. Forecast, as its name implies, appears to have been designed to plan ahead, having in mind all events with firm dates. You can use it at the beginning of your day to plan it — do I have enough time to get through all my fixed calendar events, my due items and my ‘Forecast tag’ items (which are basically things you would like to get done by the end of the day but can be postponed)?

For performing lots of separate tasks during the day, you are better off designing your own perspective or handful of perspectives that fit exactly the way you work (eg. ‘Available’, sorted how you like it).

The counterargument to this is someone who is lucky to have lots of meetings during the day and has tasks to perform in between them. In that case today’s section in Forecast is ideal for not missing the next meeting and still getting tasks done. You can easily switch back and forth from it.

This is a fantastic yet seldom-celebrated improvement in OF3. Thanks to this I mainly use ‘Individual Actions’ perspectives, which display a filtered tag hierarchy (like many tools with multiple attributes would do). OF2 used to drive me nuts by always showing all the tags in the sidebar!

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Thanks for your suggestion! The point is: I am easily distracted. I do need one single standard perspective that helps me to ensure that I don’t forget these small must-not-forget tasks/dates.

Custom perspectives seems great (I do have pro), but suffers from one problem: I cannot merge them with my Calendar. Most meetings etc. are only in my calendar (thanks to groupwise). Looking at my custom Perspective of Omni and feeling good about not forgetting anything is THE strategy to make me forget my next meeting ;-)

It would be great to be able to create a custom perspective that’s built off of the Forecast perspective - something that shows calendar events inline while also providing the filtering, grouping, and sorting facilities that come with a custom perspective.

I’ll pass this suggestion along to the Omni Group. I encourage you to do the same (omnifocus@omnigroup.com).

Just sent an E-mail!

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Another approach:

Make a new tag called something like BeforeIgo. Set this tag to On Hold.

Create a new perspective that only shows items tagged BeforeIgo and shows Remaining tasks

Make a new repeating task for your Forecast view that reminds you to check your BeforeIgo perspective before you leave. (If you want to be extra slick, copy the link of the perspective into the notes field of the repeating task, and you can open the perspective with one click.)

Tag new and repeating quick tasks with BeforeIgo.

Every day, you’ll see the reminder, and you’ll look at the BeforeIgo perspective. It will contain a list of items on hold, so they don’t show up anywhere else. You can check things off the list, and repeating items will work fine. As long as they are tagged, they will only show up in this perspective.

I do this for Prep and Exit checklists. I have a Prep perspective for all the things I need to do to prepare for something, and then an Exit checklist of all the things I need to do before I can leave.

Hope that helps

I had a similar challenge to the one you listed @mat123.

A couple of months ago I ended up doing the following, which appears to work for me. I have set up Perspectives for certain periods of my day / week (e.g. when I get to the office / start work, when I’m close to leaving, key regular admin tasks at home, and so on) and in the Forecast view I have reminders (Tagged as “Daily tasks” which I show in Forecasts) for “Open” Perspectives so I don’t forget about them. So, for instance, my “work end of day” reminder is deferred until 4pm so it doesn’t distract me until later in the day. And I used a Shortcut in the Note section of the Action so I can just click through to the Perspective.

Working well for me - has reduced the amount of micro managing I used to do, allows more flexibility (e.g. I can do key home admin tasks at weekend when I want) and has helped me be more efficient without feeling I’m always just trying to tick tasks off.

Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll try that. I didn’t realize that it is possible to have repeating tasks without a due date.

Sorry, I don’t get it. I’ve created a new beforeigo perspective as well as a beforeigo tag. As I am leaving office now, I just went through my beforeigo tasks. When I check them, they reappear with a due date tomorrow. Now they show up both in the beforeigo perspective (in spite of being already completed) AND in tomorrows forecast (where I wanted to get rid of them in the first place).

I feel stupid. What am I missing?

Don’t feel stupid, this is an inobvious approach. There’s a bit of a learning curve.

Use defer date instead of due date. Due dates make the tasks appear in Forecast, even if they’re On Hold.
Set the view of the perspective to Available. That will hide tasks with a future defer date
Make sure the Repeats are set to On Completion and Defer Date.
When you complete a repeating task, it should make another copy with a new future defer date. You can see it if View Options are set to Remaining, and you can hide them by setting it to Available.

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with three clicks?

first click: beforeigo
second click: notes
third click: link to perspective

if I don’t touch beforeigo, then the next time, I won’t need the second click.

Is there a way to reduce it to one click (on ios)?


Without defer AND due date, repeat automatically creates a due date.

With defer date and no due date, repeat creates just a new defer date.

That was the secret. Thanks!

Not that I know of. It might be faster on ios to put the persepctive in the sidebar.

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