Skip repeating task?

I have a handful of tasks that are set to repeat at various intervals. Occasionally a day won’t go as planned and I’m just not able to accomplish a repeating task.

Is there a way to skip it? I assume that if I delete the task, it deletes the whole series which I obviously don’t want. I can mark it as complete, which is what I have been doing, but I don’t like that method as it pollutes my list of completed tasks with things that I actually hadn’t done.

How do you handle repeating tasks that you aren’t able to accomplish?

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I forget where, I wish I could remember, but someone once advised adding “Consider” to the beginning of whatever task you might not do, like: “Consider brushing your teeth” or “Consider tying your shoe laces.” That way when you click it, you are not being disingenuous. Just an idea.

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Interesting idea! My issue with that, however, is that you’d have no way of looking at your completed list and knowing which was “considered” and which was actually accomplished!


I simply defer mine for whatever time I think is appropriate. So, if the item turns up today - like “Backup Mac” - and I am on the road and have no chance to connect my external drive, I type “1d” in the “Defer until” section and the action pops up again tomorrow.

Is that a way, you might get what you want?

– ralf

That does work in some instances. One task that I have in mind is “clear inbox”. It’s a physical inbox in my home for paper. I do that every day, and usually am able to do it but there’s the odd time that I’m not able. I don’t want to defer it, I don’t plan on doing it twice the next day, I just want to skip that instance of the task and tackle it the next day. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the suggestions!

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Hi, I see what you mean. I had the same problem. I did away with nearly all of my “Repeat until” items, especially the ones that repeat every day. I replaced them by “defer another” … for exactly that reason.

I still have one, that “Repeats every” Mon, Wed, Fri. In case I miss a monday, I defer it to Tuesday and than to Wednesday and might have 2 repeating items than. I just delete one. The other one repeats as normal. The same amount of work as marking it complete and it keeps my system a tiny bit cleaner. (Although I don’t care about the history of my items)

– ralf

@Mjmottajr mentioned a “considered” task. I think he is referring to this blog post, by Kourosh Dini.

@normc As you will see on the comments (of the post), I follow a similar approach, and use an applescript (which I launch using Keyboard Maestro) called SKIP made by Ryan Davis. You can find more details here.

Hope it helps ;)

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Yes! That was who it was. I highly recommend each and every one of his books, BTW, especially his latest. Really quite good, very applicable to OF.

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True. Put it in a note, maybe?

That looks perfect! Thanks so much. I use Keyboard Maestro and will give that applescript a try, seems like it’s exactly what I need.

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how about iPhone version? Couldn’t run any applescript.

In my case, when on iOS, I just click the task and defer it to a future date.

I also really would like a way to do this. I have a sequence of tasks for going to the gym. This includes preparing my gym bag the night before, going to the gym, putting my workout into, and finally putting dirty gym clothes in the laundry when I get home. This repeats every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Sometimes my life derails due to other priorities, and I don’t make it to the gym for a particular day. This throws all my repeating tasks out of whack. I would like a way to be able to right click on a Task (or group of Tasks) and mark ‘Skip’. This would essentially do the same as marking it ‘completed’ except that it wouldn’t show up in my ‘Completed Tasks’ view. It would simply skip to the next repeating instance.

Can this be done?

This would also solve the problem of what happens when your routing temporarily changes, such as when you are on vacation. Currently vacations cause everything to get into a real muddle.

You should really check out the script linked to earlier by @ediventurin; when set up with a keyboard command it gives me the skip that I’m looking for. It’s become an indispensable part of my OF setup.

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Thanks. That’s awesome. I hadn’t seen the link above but this is what happens when you skim rather than read. ;)

Can it cope with a task that is part of a repeating group of sub-tasks? Presumably, running the script on a sub-tasks means that it deletes the task before the whole group repeats, losing the task from the next ‘cycle’? I would guess it can only be run on the parent task, right?

For those who’d prefer a native solution, I do this on the Mac with a quick [spacebar] [delete key] sequence.

  • space marks the selected item complete (spawning its next instance), and
  • delete immediately clears the selected item from history (leaving the next instance in place)

I also occasionally add “[NOPE]” to the title of tasks that I didn’t do if I want to keep them in my history for some reason

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Hi, gang, I just want to check in here as an “old timer.” Thinking back to OF1, many of us used this type of feature and relied on it starting some 4 to 6 years ago. It was set up by (using a daily task as an example) "Repeat every 1 day, From Completion Date). The advantages of this were that if you missed a day or two, new iterations would NOT appear and pile up; plus, if you DID complete the task, it would disappear for the rest of that day and then the next (new) iteration would loyally appear the next day (I think around midnight or something…there might have been a way to set that).

The case scenario that so many of the threads on this forum ignore when debating this quest for the perfect “repeat task” implementation is what happens when you don’t complete a task? What is the behavior of the task when OF hits the next iteration cycle?

After spending three hours today talking with support, reading the manual, and reading the forums, it seems there is no way to implement this when you populate either the “Defer until” and/or the “Due” fields in the “Dates” area of the Inspector. If a value is set in either of those fields for a task, it doesn’t matter which alternative you use in the drop-down menu in the Repeat section (Repeat Every, Defer Another, Due Again). No matter what, if you DON’T check off the item during the day (for a daily task), it will be red (and overdue) the next day. Speaking for myself, what I loved about “Repeat…From Completion Date” in OF1 was that I wasn’t “punished” by the UX for being a slacker. If I didn’t get 20 daily things done yesterday because I decided to go the beach, when tomorrow dawned, I could be assured that those items would still be there (only one iteration of each) looking exactly the way they had the day before.

The closest thing I can find to OF1’s “Repeat every X from completion date” is to leave everything blank in the “Dates” section for a task in OF2, and set Repeat to “Defer Another: 1 day.” You lose the yellow and red indicators, but with these type of daily/weekly tasks, there usually isn’t a due or defer; plus, with this implementation you regain the old functionality: if you complete the item, it disappears (in the Available view); if you don’t complete it, the task hangs around and looks just the same the next day. Appears to work on the iPhone the same way.

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wow, no response to this? someone on the forums must be either still struggling with this, or have the answer

I was told by Support to use the “Defer Another” setting. Yes, that works fairly well; but you do not have the ability to set it for repeat on just certain days of the week, for example. So I have those set to Repeat and weekdays (for work stuff). I was out sick recently, off my schedule for about six days, and all those tasks propagated somehow. Instead of just having to mark “done” for 6 days x the # of tasks for work days, I had to mark as “done” hundreds and hundreds of duplicates. Not fun.

It still is COMPLETELY beyond me why the options for repeating were so much more customizable in the old version of OF, and OG chose to complete rip out destroy them when this part of OF was recoded for the new major version upgrade.

While there are a couple regressions related to repetitions in OmniFocus 2, we did not deliberately remove any functionality that I can think of.

I am be able to set a defer date, repeat the action, ignore the new one for several days and have it not turn red.

  • Create an action, set its defer date to yesterday.
  • Set its repeat schedule to “Defer Another” “1 day”.
  • Click the status circle to complete it.
  • The newly created rendition of this action has a defer date of tomorrow. It has no due date. It is not going to turn red.

What am I misunderstanding?