The general purpose of this post is to inform people of a feature request I have sent to OF. If you like the idea, please submit one as well.
So using OF frequently, I find myself using due dates pretty strictly. Basically an action doesn’t get a due date unless it NEEDS to be done then, anything I WANT to get done is put in a different app (Reminders or Due).
Basically what I would like is an additional section for reminders. Not to be confused with a due notification or a deferred/available notification, but a new separate section.
Example: I have a task that isn’t available till Thursday, and it is due Monday at 8 am. Say I would like to remind myself to work on this task Friday at 10 and Saturday at noon. I would like a built-in section under “Dates” that can add reminders so that even though the action isn’t due, I get a reminder so I can possibly work on it. I think this can help a whole lot with actions I WANT to get done, without confusing me on actions that NEED to be done. It is also an app consolidation for those of us who don’t like little tasks that aren’t imperative being confused with much more important tasks.
That being said I think hiding them from the badge count would be wise since it signifies due/overdue actions for me. Though that would make a great changeable option for those who use their OF badge differently.
If I want to be reminded about something at a specific time (e.g. to check into a flight) I simply use the Reminders app. I find Reminders is a natural complement to OmniFocus. I like that I can easily add reminders using Siri or Fantastical, my calendar app of choice.
Also, if your plan is to work on something at a specific time, consider scheduling it on your calendar.
I have been using iOS reminders, it does works as a decent companion. My issue is that I just don’t like having multiple task managing apps dealing with the same thing. Reminders works well for the reasons you mentioned (siri and the ability to be imported to fantastical or calendars 5). This certainly doesn’t break the app, in fact OF works very well without it.
I have submitted a feature request to the omnigroup for this, I just think it is better to have everything in one place. I guess the purpose of this post was mainly to grab people’s attention who are looking for it, in the hopes they will submit a feature request too if they like the idea.
Regardless thanks for the feedback, I’ll edit my post to better reflect my purpose rather than a question. I’m sure someone will find this and find the solution to their problem with your post.
In addition to using Reminders for some things I craft perspectives so that when things are available I see them. With the example given, unless I know I won’t be able to work on this any time other than Friday I will rely on viewing the perspective to get it done. And if I know Friday is the only day I can work on it then Friday is the due date (even though it’s not actually Due until Monday). Between these things I get along very well.
Using Reminders is a good suggestion, but also an implicit admission that notifications in OmniFocus leave a lot to be desired.
You’re basically forced to use the date/time at which a task becomes overdue as a notification date, and that’s hardly ideal. Plus, if you only want notifications for some of your tasks, you have to receive them for all of them.
Honestly, I’d love it if OF added something similar to “Alerts” for calendar events: Completely separate dates for notifications, multiple notifications can be set per task, and individual tasks can have different notifications set from a global default.
In this instance, I would defer the task as you have, but would then book time into my calendar to work on that task at the right time. This task has to be done by a certain date, it has a hard limit, so use your calendar with an alert at the start of the appointment you’ve made with yourself.
I have gotten this “put it in your calendar” suggestion a couple times, so let me explain why I don’t do that.
I use my calendar like I use my due dates, and take them just as seriously. If something is in my calendar, it is getting done during that time and I am not focusing on other tasks. For this reason I enjoy having open time in my calendar because it serves a couple purposes. With a shared calendar, it shows others that I am available to take calls, or be interrupted. If I do need to focus on something I will block it off, but planning every second of your day becomes more work than it is worth at a certain point. If I have 4 phone calls to make by the end of tomorrow, I am not going to make 4 5-minute long calendar events, and then continue to move them when I plan to make the call, and finally stop when I actually make the call.
What I would like in this situation is the ability to set an alert maybe right after a meeting or when someone says hey give me a call sometime between 3 and 4. This way the task does not show as due (because it truly isn’t yet) but also serves as a reminder to do something before I get too engrossed in something else or at the very least put it on my radar as something I can do in the near future. If they don’t pick up, I can move the reminder out however long I need to, or move it to “waiting” context depending on its urgency.
Overall I understand that blocking off time in a calendar can serve as a “reminder” to do something, but the whole point of my ask is to make things what they actually are. Due dates are when something is due, deferring something till when it is available, scheduling something you have to be doing at a certain time, and getting simple reminders when you want a reminder to do a task.
This is the best summary of this ask I have seen. Thank you! Anything less feels like a workaround… To something that should be an easy software solution.
Due ≠ reminder, and calendars should be sacred too. A reminder is a reminder. Next best solution seems to be using “reminders”… One thing I like about that approach is that “omnifocus” alerts carry more weight than “reminders” ones. They have different psychological impacts, which is nice.
Outlook tasks has this feature, you set the due date then set how many hours or days before the due date that you want to be reminded. When the reminder pops up, you can select snooze and set the period you want to be reminded again. This functionality would achieve what you are asking.
I wonder if this will be implemented as part of the Omni Group’s plans for 2017.
“More flexible repeats and notifications (such as “third Thursday of the month” and “keep reminding me every ten minutes until I check this off”)”
Agreed; and reminders is the best current workaround but like you said it is just that, a workaround. Not to mention an extra system gets involved. I didn’t think about the psychological impact of different app notifications carrying different weight though. That being said I would still prefer the option to use it all in one system. Like you said, seems like a simple software solution.
Currently I create a task, assign it to a project, give it a context (if applicable), and then set defer and due dates (again, if applicable). If I want to be reminded I work my way over to reminders, and have to add it there. Adding an extra field to add reminder(s) would streamline my workflow, I’m just disappointed in OF for not giving this more of a thought.