Review dates vs. Defer dates

Something of a quandary here:
I’ve been pretty bad about reviewing, so am trying to improve that with careful review intervals + refined perspectives. (I haven’t found the OF Review-based perspective very useful, but am trying.)
I teach, so I have a project per class session, and teach most courses 1x per year. The projects are set to repeat, so when I finish for this year, the repeat is automatically deferred to next year. While I think this mucks a few things up, it makes the most sense to me.

When a project is active, I want to review it weekly. But since a ton of stuff is deferred until that section of the class is closer, I don’t want to have to see all that far-future stuff with every week review (there is a lot of it). Is my only solution here to change the review date every time I complete a project?

Hope that makes sense!

Maybe you can have a project that has a bunch of action groups?

Project Intro to Math 101

Action group: Week 1-3 coursework

  • task 1
  • task 2
  • task 3

Action group:'FIrst test

  • task 1
  • task 2
  • task 3

Action group: Week 4-6 coursework

  • task 1
  • task 2
  • task 3

Then you could collapse all the action groups except the current one. You won’t be looking too far ahead by collapsing the outline to what you need.

You can change the review cycle to weekly to have your projects active. When it is finished, you can set the project review to a future date. Probably 1-4 weeks ahead of the next semester.

I don’t defer+repeat my course projects automatically. Each year, I duplicate the course folder and start over. The main reason is, I have certain projects that do not automatically propagate to the next year. So, I prefer manual oversight.

I might read between the lines and interpret all of your post to mean that you have a schedule that duplicates itself yearly with almost no deviations. That is not my case (hence … see above).

That said, I might suggest that you could be “mucking things up a bit”, but in a different way than you might think. When your projects duplicate themselves identically with no change except start (defer) and due dates, why set a review on them to be more often than the expectation of changing something in them? IOW, why do you bother to set a weekly review on a Project that is set in stone for your foreseeable lifetime at your teaching career? Seems to me, such Projects should be set with reviews at best on a yearly schedule just to “refresh” them before the next cycle.

The focus of a weekly review can then remain to be … What is on my plate now and what is coming up soon. But, you would do this in a different Perspective than in the built-in Review Perspective in OF.

Does this give enough of a different perspective to what you are doing now as a possible way to solve your problem from a different approach?


Great stuff to think about here! My handling of this stuff in OF is, indeed, a little screwy. This is because it become clear that it had to be a choice to muck-it-up either one way, or another (as you suggest). I have a blob of stuff in each project that does repeat pretty verbatim, and then a lot of non-repeating stuff, as well. Most of the non-repeats tend to be tasks within those (repeating) projects. I ended-up just deleting non-repeating tasks when complete, so they don’t re-appear next year.

I know that sounds a little suspect– and some of it is– but I’m also trying to keep the system trusted, while not a time black-hole. Some of these courses are really quite complex, with a lot of moving parts in various locations. The review is essential for them, because there a lot of sequential dates that have to be adjusted. Your idea of a review for that– but without using that actual OF perspective– is actually what I’ve been doing. I was re-visitng to try and tighten that up in all areas, plus see if I could make the built-in review functions (and the review, itself) more useful for me.

I’ll think about how some of these alternatives would work day-to-day, and re-think if there is a better trade-off with one than another.

Many thanks,


Aren’t you overcomplicating your review process by trying to make one feature serve two purposes?

I’m going to think out loud here. I use defer when I have a lower priority task that I’m not going to get done by the original due date. I then have accountability about how long I’ve deferred that task, and ultimately ask whether I ever intend to follow through and complete it. That, to me, is the purpose of defer.

It seems to me that you are using defer as an alternative to thoughtful decision making regarding your review process. Once you finish a course for the academic year, why not change the review interval? Thus, when you get closer to the class, you can change the review interval as you need.

Better yet, you can create two new tasks. First, to decrease the review intervals. This task will be due x months or weeks before the class starts. The second task is to increase the review interval when the class is finished for the year. That is putting the process on autopilot.

Good luck,


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