Removing Duplicate Tasks from Forecast View?


When I click on my forecast view my tasks appear twice; once under “due” and another under “deferred”. This is distracting for me. I would still like to defer my tasks but only view the due ones in forecast. Having each and every task appear twice on my forecast view is really annoying. Is there a way to fix this?


Pull down, click on “View” deselect “Deferred Items”.

I think that is what you are looking for?

EDIT: This is on iPhone, not sure if you are talking about the mac version.

Yes sorry I forgot to mention I was talking about the Mac version :|

Is there anyway to take off the deferred items on the Mac version?

Yes. Have you tried the mentioned (iPhone) workflow? It is almost exactly the same on a mac!
Open the forcast, click the ‘view’ button in the toolbar, deselect “Show deferred items”

You’re a life saver!!! Thank you!!! God they were annoying me so much hehe.

So now you will no longer see deferred items in your forecast - is that really what you wanted? These double entries need to be dealt with in some way, I feel…

One other way to work around the issue is to not join defer and due dates in one task: make it a habit to either want to have the task out of your sight until a certain point in the future (defer) or have a point in the future where you will severely suffer if this is not done (due)… I suppose the two are in a way not meant to be used together…

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You have a good point but the truth is I only use “defer AND due” mainly for two things: My weekly rituals and TV shows.

I don’t want to know I have to clean my bathroom 24 hours before my weekend. It’s a daunting way to start my weekend. As for my TV Show list- there are so many episodes on my watch list and I limit myself to 2 episodes a day so I feel if I take the defer date, it’ll be so distracting while I manage the rest of my tasks.

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I would consider this problem in this way:

Will my bathroom explode when I do not clean it by Saturday evening? Will my spouse explode at me if I do not clean it by Saturday evening? The hyperbole here are to illustrate two cases with an external driving force. I must set a due date, and I have to live with the way Forecast handles it. Absent an external driving force, I have just my desire. I defer the task and put a flag on it when I am ready to handle it.

Again, framed for me personally … The world will not end when I miss a TV show. This is absolutely not something that ever needs a due date. I would put this in a single-action list …

Life’s Little Adventures (single action project list)

  • watch two TV shows (flagged, defer again by 1 day, deferred until whatever time I can start watching)

Disclaimer: You are getting advice on this one from someone who watches “TV” mainly via an Amazon Prime Watchlist where the shows never “disappear”.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Personally, I need an external deadline before I use a due date on a task. Otherwise, I am totally over anxious. I would also be totally confused by the process of trying to duplicate information that I can find directly elsewhere (in this case a TV programming guide) also in to OF. To each his own joys and headaches then. No personal disrespect meant otherwise (despite potential “perceptions” of such).

Glad to hear your problem is solved by other means.


Well anyway, thanks.

In all fairness, many of us who have been following the more “canon” GTD methodologies for a while have adopted the concept of “hard landscape” takes, and if you read through the forums @DOm you’ll probably discover a number of posts like that. A lot of what is on here is as much about philosophy as it is about technical issues, and I know that I’ve personally benefited greatly from some of the alternative ways of thinking and looking at things that folks like @DrJJWMac have provided over the years. There’s a lot of proselytizing that goes on, and if you’re happy with the system you’ve got, you can safely ignore it, but again many folks, myself included, really do appreciate the alternative viewpoints.

So on the basis of that, I offer the following… as I said above, feel free to stop reading if you’re happy with your system, but if you’re curious about some of the other ways of thinking and some of the different ways that OmniFocus can handle things compared to traditional systems, it’s worth at least reading on. To be clear, this system is what works for me, and you’ll find a couple of dozen other opinions around these boards easily. What works for me may not work for you, or anybody else, but many of our systems are a hodge-podge of ideas and influences we’ve gathered from each other over the years.

One of those “GTD philosophies” is the idea of “hard landscapes” – the principle that one should not assign ‘artificial’ due dates to things because that defeats the ‘mind like water’ concept that GTD espouses and creates artificial stress. After ten years in project management and about 15 years of playing with different task management systems, I’ve definitely found this to be true in my own case – add “due dates” to too many things, and ultimately you begin to ignore them completely and the really important things end up getting lost in the shuffle.

This is why I appreciate OmniFocus’ use of Defer Dates. Almost everything I put into OmniFocus uses Defer Dates and Flags, and Due Dates are used only for those “hard landscape” tasks that must be done by a certain date or time. These are tasks that usually involve tangible consequences, whether they be personal or professional.

Of course, when getting started in OmniFocus, it’s easy to miss some of the more powerful flexibility in there and just treat everything as a calendar-style to-do list. This is especially true if you’ve come from about 90% of the other task management systems out there, which pretty much force you into that.

For me, the real power of OmniFocus, however, is in its ability to work with custom perspectives, defer dates, flags, and more in order to fine-tune your views so that you end up with lists of things that need to be done, without creating an inappropriate sense of urgency. For example, my tasks generally fit into one of four broad categories:

  1. High Priority “Hard Landscape” Tasks — These get a flag AND a due date. They may also get a defer date if I can’t start them until a certain point in the future.
  2. Normal “Hard Landscape” Tasks — These simply get a due date. I usually don’t bother with defer dates, as my set of perspectives will result in them not showing up until they’re “due soon” (24 hours in
    my settings).
  3. High Priority Tasks — These get a flag. No due date.
  4. Normal Priority Tasks — No flag, no due date.

In any of the above four cases, I may set a defer date for tasks that I can’t do anything with until a certain time. This is especially true for “flagged” tasks, as I generally work from a perspective that includes all available flagged tasks. Repeating tasks almost always get defer dates and “defer another” repeats. For example, most of my household chores, like “Clean Bathroom” don’t get Due Dates. They get repeating defer dates, with “Defer Another” as the repeat. Some will be flagged as they’re higher priority, others don’t get a flag as they’re “when I get around to them” types of tasks. In either case, they’re never “due” but rather simply appear on my list when they’re available – usually “x” number of days after the last time I did them.

In terms of my daily routine, I end up in a situation where my Forecast View is only used for stuff that is critically important. Stuff that has to be done on that date, or else something bad will happen. Some household chores have ended up there in the past – I used to have a cat that would start relieving herself elsewhere if her highness’ litter box wasn’t changed every second day. As crazy as it sounds, that was a “hard landscape” for me, despite that it might be a routine chore for others. Cleaning the bathroom is considerably less important – I usually like to get to it on the weekend, so it gets a flag, and I try to get to it when I can. For me, however, putting a due date on it results in a sense of urgency that really isn’t appropriate… I may have more important things to do on a given weekend, and don’t need to be nagged or feel like a failure if I didn’t happen to get around to my cleaning.

Beyond Forecast View, I have a key perspective called “Hotlist” that shows me all available tasks that are Due or Flagged, sorted by Due Dates. So the important stuff goes up top, the semi-important stuff is on there. I rarely have more than about a dozen tasks on that list at any given time, and everything there is stuff I expect to get to within the next couple of days, but the beauty of it is that stuff “floats” on that list until I actually get around to it. However, it’s still there nagging me every day, so I don’t forget about it.

The non-flagged tasks only appear in contexts or perspectives that I visit when I’m specifically in those modes. Household chores are the best example of this… Most of these aren’t flagged at all, but when I decide to roll up my sleeves and do some cleaning on Saturday morning, I’ll pull up my “Home” context and see everything that’s available in there. Many of these are still repeating tasks with “defer another” on them, so I may need to wash the bedding every two weeks, and it will therefore only appear on my list if it hasn’t already been done in the past two weeks.

Of course, as OmniFocus uses the GTD methodology, a bit key to this process is the Review section… The system is designed to let you go through your projects on a regular basis to brainstorm and see what you should be doing with them. Each project can even have a different review cycle, so things that rarely need to be revisited can be reviewed every couple of months, while things that are more changeable can be reviewed on a weekly basis.

As one final note, I find there’s a temptation – especially now that forecast mode is in the mix – to try and use OmniFocus as a Calendar. I don’t think it’s well designed to work that way, and there are still things that a traditional Calendar is far better suited to. OmniFocus’ Forecast view even has the benefit of showing you your calendar appointments in the Forecast view, so clearly even Omni recognizes this approach to some degree. Things like TV shows wouldn’t ever go into OmniFocus for me if they’re scheduled items – they’d go into my calendar, with normal calendar alarms if necessary. Similarly, I’ll often block out a couple of hours on a Saturday morning to do “Weekly Cleaning” – that’s not a task in OmniFocus, but rather an appointment for myself. The tasks in OmniFocus are what I do during that timeframe. I don’t need to check off “Weekly Cleaning” but rather the individual things I do during that time.

Anyway, sorry if this is a little long-winded. Take it for whatever it’s worth, and again, feel free to completely ignore it if you’re happy with the system you have and it works for you. I only share for you and others because I know that I’ve gained so much over the years from other people’s perspectives on how to approach things, and I find that even now I’m always rethinking my approach every few months and finding better ways to do things. In fact, life is fluid, and the system that works for you now may not work from you six months or two years from now.


Jdh, I wasn’t upset because I was offered a different viewpoint. I’m the type of person that sits and reads hundreds of articles, books and enrolls in productivity workshops because I love learning new things especially from others. I also don’t profess to have the ideal system, otherwise I don’t come here asking for help but I simply didn’t like the way I was spoken to. Even if it’s seems silly, there’s no need for people to say offensive things when they’re trying to teach you a different view point or correct your mistakes.

In any case, that person replied back objectively and I appreciate that just as I appreciate you taking the time to share this information.

I will re-read it again and I might actually consider using the calendar more since I liked that idea.


Two posts in this thread were flagged as inappropriate by members of the community. I agreed with one flag and disagreed with the other. If a post is motivated by a sincere effort to help, an exaggerated or hyperbolic example isn’t necessarily something that deserves a flag, even if you find it personally disagreeable.

Posts that attack or criticize other visitors or authors, however, should be flagged. I upheld that one. If the author of the hidden post makes an effort to edit that content out of their post, it will automatically become visible again.

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Fair enough, although as Brian points out the use of exaggerated or hyperbolic examples isn’t really abnormal around here, and it’s been my experience that folks rarely mean it personally :)

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Wanted to thank you again. Some of the ideas you put up actually worked for me.

I removed the “due” dates as you suggested and at first I thought that wouldn’t work because I realized that would mean my tasks would be divided between Forecast and Flagged (not to mention the calendar as well). Your “hotlist” inspired the idea of a customized perspective which I included “flagged”, “due” and “defer”. That solved the problem. Now all I do is click on my “execute” perspective and it shows me everything on one list without due dates (but could also include due dates when available).

I didn’t transfer the TV list to my calendar though because although that sounds more reasonable, some of my items there include links to website and I find it easier/faster with OF. I also think it’s easier for me to see all the items in one list. I removed the “due date” from all of them though.


Good to hear that some of that rambling was helpful :)

I think custom perspectives really are a big part of the ‘secret sauce’ in OmniFocus, as the built-in views just really can’t ever possibly cover all use-case scenarios.

OmniFocus is also more about proactively looking at your lists rather than expecting the application to jump up and notify you all the time. I check my “Hotlist” a couple of dozen times a day to see what I should be dealing with next. The only time I really rely on reminders is for either “hard landscape” stuff or location-based stuff (reminding me to do things when I’m in a place to do them). That way I also don’t have a dozen generally unnecessary reminders vying for my attention all the time. I know what I need to do, and I’ll do it as soon as I can.

Once everything is in a list that you know you’re going to check regularly, it becomes much easier to trust the system and let it work for you. :)

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First, I offer my sincere apologies to you @DOm. Re-reading my original post, I see where you could infer that I was making a personal insult. That was never my intent. I have modified the original to fix the problem. As a teacher, I can also administer a bit of self-correction here. I see enough cases where literal translations of my hyperbole cause problems. I should know better to keep their use to a defined minimum or to clarify them properly with real-case situations of direct, personal relevance.

Secondly, many thanks to @jdh for the patience to clean up and explain in detail behind me. He has added the significant depth and exhaustive dimensions to the explanation that my rush-through post sorely lacked.

Finally, a short story.

Once in sixth grade, our teacher told us a story, roughly translated as being about someone who was indeed a very handsome person. He attracted a great many people to be his friend because of how handsome he was. Yet, he was also an evil person. He lead many astray. She asked us what the lesson might be from this. I remember distinctly saying “You cannot judge a book by its cover”. In what then I felt was a very odd reply, my teacher said something akin to “What does my story have to do with books”?

So, while my appreciation for simile was apparently already developed many decades ago, even to this day I still sometimes fail to appreciate the need to ground my often wildly poetic examples properly.



DrJJMac, I shouldn’t have been sensitive about it myself. Don’t worry about it. Sometimes I feel it’s a challenge being a woman :P

I have a question though, jdh offered an interesting method of assigning tasks in Omnifocus. I haven’t assigned any due dates except for deferred date as suggested but I’m curious how do you go about checking those tasks on a daily basis? Do you, for instance, check the deferred ones and then assign a flag to the ones you intend to do on that day?

Thank you for the regard in return.

I assign flags in one of two ways.

One way is based on what I “want” to do for an upcoming period of time. I limit this upcoming period to a reasonable length. IOW, I do not try to flag everything I want to do “today”. Instead, I might flag selectively only those actions that I can foresee actually doing in the next few hours. For example, as I look over my list of “next actions” (no due date and no flag) to answer the question “what could I do now”, I might recognize that I am in the mood to clean the upstairs closet and wash the car rather than to vacuum the carpets. So, I will flag the former two.

The other flag is a “hard-defined” flag. I set this flag on actions that have deferred dates AND that repeat AND that I want to see immediately when the deferred date expires. These are “reminders” that something can now be done. At any given moment, I typically have a lot more of the ACTIVE - SHOULD DO tasks (hard-defined flags) than I have of the ACTIVE - WANT TO DO tasks. For example, my current active list (flagged tasks) has five hard-defined and no want-to-do tasks.

As for the review, I have a custom “Next Actions” perspective that shows only first available tasks that are not due or flagged. The flagged tasks show up in a custom perspective called “Active”. When I have completed all of my DUE tasks, I look at the ACTIVE list. When I am done from working in the ACTIVE list, I move to the NEXT list and flag something.