Repeating Events 'Defer Another' vs 'Due Again'

If a repeating item has both a defer date and a due date, am I correct in thinking that using ‘Defer Another’ and ‘Due Again’ have the exact same effect?

In both cases, when the item is marked as complete, a new instance of the item is created with the Defer Date and Due Date pushed forward by the amount specified by either “Defer Another” or “Due Again”.

Is correct that the difference between the two types of Repeating events is only evident when an item has only one of the ‘Defer Until’ or ‘Due’ date set?

Yes. In OmniFocus 3 you’ll only be prompted whether to repeat based on due or defer if an item has one or the other but not both. Sorry for the confusion!


I like and rely on the fact that both the defer and due dates get bumped forward for a recurring task based on when I mark a task as completed.

I really hope that functionality isn’t removed in OmniFocus 3.

(In my post I was just curious if I was missing a subtle difference in the current behavior.)

i have some tasks that are deferred but doesn’t necessarily need a due date.

For example, if I cut the grass today, I can defer it to another 4 weeks. Cutting the grass doesn’t really need a due date for me.

I would put due dates only if there are financial/personal/social consequences. Some items could be paying my taxes by April 15th, buying a birthday gift for my wife before her birthday, or finishing a contract by a due date before late penalties occur.

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Out of curiosity, how do you keep track of what things have become active instead of deferred on a given day?
(In your example, what perspective or view do you use to notice that you need to mow the lawn again?)

I find using both the deferred date and due date useful for this.

I use the deferred date to defer the task to the date I want to do it with an early time in the morning.
I set the due date for a time on the same date in the evening.

That way the task shows up in the Forecast as something due that day, but doesn’t show up in the forecast until that day. (Because it really is something I don’t want to have to think about or worry about until that day arrives)

OF is a very rich tool, so lots of different workflows are possible. I’ve only been using it for about six months, and will probably always be learning more about how to use it better in a way that works for me.

I’m interested in @wilsonng’s response, but for me, it doesn’t matter when something becomes available, it only matter that something is available.

I review my list of available tasks daily, so I always see what my options are, regardless of when they became available. To keep that list manageable/reviewable, I (further) defer anything I’m not going to take action on, flag the things I want to hit up right away, and leave the rest as available next actions for when the flagged stuff is done or for the next sweep of available tasks.

YMMV, just thought I’d share an approach in case it is useful. I don’t find Forecast useful for general working out of, myself. I use it almost exclusively to monitor and manage due dates.



well, let’s see what I can do here…

I have the Forecast perspective set to show deferred tasks.

Forecast deferred

When I wake up in the morning, I always go to the Forecast to see what was deferred to that day.

Here’s what I can expect for March 6th.

I can see that I have 2 tasks deferred to March 6th - balancing my checkbook and creating a monthly statement for a big contractor labelled “GRT.”

Because I always check the Forecast every day, I’m aware of tasks that are deferred up to 5 days into the future. If I really want a task to be high priority, I’ll put a due date. I have OmniFocus set to subscribe to a calendar. I can see this in my calendar app.

This allows me to stay aware of any due items in my calendar app. I’m usually on top of this by checking Fantastical or Apple Calendar for due dates.

I have several context perspectives that are focused on a specific context. In my life, my main contexts are @app (anything that requires my Mac, iPad, or iPhone), @office (anything that can be done in the office), and @house (anything that can be done at the house).

This is my @office perspective.

It shows all available tasks that are available and it is focused on office work.

When I’m at the office, I can see everything that is available today. I don’t really care about when a task is available. If it is available, it’ll show up here.

Looking at the Forecast perspective (with Show Deferred set to ‘on’) allows me to peek into the future and see what tasks are deferred. I generally don’t care about when a task is available until it shows up in @office, @app, or @house.

Yep, that’s what I think too!

Thinking like two peas in a pod!

I never work out of Forecast either. It’s more of a planning perspective. I see into the future of what gets deferred and what is due soon. I’m working out of my Big Rocks perspective, @app, @house, @office, or @admin perspectives but never working out of the Forecast perspective.

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This definitely isn’t going away! In fact, we’re making this type of repeat the default and adding “fancier” repeat schedules (right now the “fancy” weekly repeats are only available for the Repeat Every… type). The thing we’re removing is the requirement to choose a due- or defer-based repeat if the difference is immaterial.

I have a Tickler perspective that is set to group items by availability, and I collapse all the sections except for Yesterday, Available Today, Tomorrow, and Within the Next Week. I use the deferred date by analogy to a paper tickler file: If I decide I don’t want to be bothered by something until a given date, I defer it, and then when I scan the Tickler perspective I can decide whether it’s time to attack the task or kick it down the road again.

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