Stop Child tasks to inherit Due Date of Action Group

How can we stop Child tasks to inherit Due Dates of an Action Group? It drives me crazy since 1 year!

It has been discussed several times in the forum, but the solutions were to give a due date only to the child task in the action group, so my forecast does not get messed up.

I did so, but now I have an other problem. When I am in the project view I have to expand an action group to see its due date. I is so damn annoying. Why OF does not make this an option for us. Why do they have to play the “I know what is good for you Developer.” I wrote an E-Mail with this reuqest, but it seems like nobody else is having this problem, so it is not being Adresse.

I ended up now writing the date in front of every action group, so I don’t have to expand and collpase it anymore when I am in the project view. And also I created a chid task with the same name for every project and gave it a due date, so only 1 task shows up in the forecast view.
And I can tell you. Every single day it frustrates me. A lot.

I hope other have this problem as well, because I feel so alone in this forum with this issue.


The way I work is if a project or task is due by a certain date, everything within that (tasks in a project or an action group) must also be completed by then. But my due dates are never “reminder” dates - they’re dates when if this is not complete there will be a consequence.

Why do you not want these tasks to have a due date? Perhaps someone can suggest a workflow that will resolve this issue for you.

Thank you for your answer. For clarification I also have the same issue with defer dates.

Why I don’t want child tasks to have the dates of their parent tasks:

I end up with having 100 of child tasks being due or deferred in my forecast view and thus using focus.

I also wrote the OF support about this 3 months ago. Their answer was this:

_"Thanks for letting us know how you feel about those inherited defer dates! I’ve added your comments to our development database so the rest of the team is aware.

For what it’s worth, OmniFocus applies the defer dates of the parents to it’s children because if you are able to do those tasks, it assumes that the project is also available. If the project is not yet available, then the tasks within it should not be either.

In any case we do have a request to add a setting for children to not inherit the parent start/due date. I’ve added your thoughts to that ticket. Please let me know if there’s anything more I can do. "_

What gives me hope is that they have already a request like this and there might change something if more people could contact them.

The technicality of it is though, those tasks are due when their parent is due, same as their becoming available. If a project is due and I’ve got 100 incomplete tasks inside of it I know I definitely need to see that coming in my forecast because something is seriously wrong. If you are trying to use your Forecast to get an overview then that’s a different use case to mine :)

Hi thank you for your opinion. But would you apply the same logic to all the child tasks in a deferred parents task?

My desired workflow is the following: I give defer or due dates to a parents tasks (e.g. Study on Biology!!) and then I have child tasks, which should not (!) inherit the due or defer date, because what I will do is to jump into the project view to see what I should Study on Biogly. In fact I don’t want to see 100 child tasks I want to study on Biology in my forecast view.

As you pointed out I use Forecast just as an Hard Overview. All the detail work is taking part in a Perspective view.

Desired Workflow:

  1. Give defer date to parent task “Study Biology.”
  2. Child Tasks should not inherit the defer date of parent task.
    2.5 (No I don’t want to create a child Task with the name of the parents task inside the parents task), because I get confused otherwise in the projects view and it is very burdensome
  3. Check my forecast and See the Hard tasks (Study Biology; Look Into Finances; Do the Housework.)

In general for me it is is not important, what tasks I am doing, but rather it is important for me to do some work on the hard tasks.

All in all I don’t see this request as a limitation, because what I am asking for is just to make it an Option that child tasks inherit the defer or due dates or not. (e.g. in the preferences.). So nobody workflow would get crashed with this function its giving its users just a bit more freedom.

For me if something is due everything inside it is due, whether it’s a project or an action group. It feels to me like you’re using your due date here as a reminder to do something rather than as a due date - is that correct? If so then the notifications in OF3 will likely suit your needs better.

Yes, but why do specialize so much on the due dates? The same problem is covered by defer dates.
Also I don’t get your point: If I say “Study on Biology” is due, then it means I definitely have to study on it and it is a reminder and due at the same time! Later I can check what I want to study on exactly (yes I am free to choose what I want to study and yes I want to choose the topic spontaneously) in the project view.
The Notifications in OF3 don’t suite me at all. I need a clear overview in the forecast without much hassle. I appreciate your help a lot, but don’t you agree with me that my request is one which also could help others?
The implementation of this small request would save me and others from tons of frustration and would give the user so much flexibility. Don’t you agree on these facts? Best wishes!

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For me “study biology” would be due on the day of the exam. Though this particular action group in my case would also have a series of time blocks on my calendar which would be the actual reminder - and at the start of each of those I’d review my list of topics and pick one. You see the calendar in the forecast view now which is also helpful.

For me due is “finish this by X or something bad happens”, not “hopefully get this done now/look at it” - it’s a difference in the way we use the app. I have enough of the former kind of deadline that if I tried to add the second things would get messy, and I would have to start trying to remember “this is a soft deadline” or “this is a hard deadline with X consequences” for tasks - which I have done before and results in disaster for me because I mix them up and miss important deadlines.

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I would never ever write the task “study Biology” into my calendar. I just use my calendar for meetings.
Thank you for your suggestions, but sadly none of them are helpful to me.
For instance, lets forget about due dates. Lets say I am giving the parent task “study biology” a defer date, also in this case all the child tasks show up in the forecast view. Do you think alike with the deferred parent tasks?

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Also it is a problem which bothers other users also since a long time. Here you can find the former discussions:

  1. Clear "due within container"?
  2. Preventing tasks with inherited due dates from showing in Forecast
  3. Due dates for projects and their visibility in forecast
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This is such a silly argument, just because the project is due it doesn’t mean you need to see all tasks in forecast—if you see the project that’s enough. If you have a project with 1000 tasks, when it’s due seeing 1000 tasks on your forecast does not add any value and it just cllutters your screen.


@dailyuser you should try Things 3, this is exactly how it works in Things. First they make a difference between scheduling and deadlines, you can schedule something to do at someday and this doesnt affect its deadline, this is something that is not possible in OF. Also, whenever you schedule the project ( or put a deadline in the project) judt the project appears, you don’t get cluttered with all tasks.

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It may not work for your workflow, but it does work for mine, if I see one thing then I know I have one thing to do, if I see 20 then I know I need to do 20 - without clicks. Everyone has their own workflow, there is no right or wrong.

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How do you know you have 20, if you don’t know if all of them have to be done? Not all taks need to be done inside a project. Also, after a certain number, you can’t really see them or count, it gets cluttered. I’m sure you don’t actually do that and use meta tasks.

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Again, this is a workflow set up. For me if a project is due then all tasks inside it are due. If there are optional tasks that can be done afterwards then they go in a companion project, or the tasks that are due are given due dates - depending on the project in question.

You are only forced to do this because of a design flaw, you don’t have other options.


thank you but I still want to go on with OF for a while. I mean I invested 1 year of time into this app and payed a bit to learn and buy it (pro on OS an iOS). I just hope that OF listens to us. My hope is that they will implement it like they did with multiple contexts / tags. Before OF was very sceptical (and also some people blind for progess and improvement) but I hope that the forums will change their mind. I also think that many people never thought about this “problem” deeply so I hope that our forum will encourage them to write to the support.


I too did complain about that at first with omni, but:

By project management design if you make a project due it means it is a waterfall project and that is the terminal date of the whole set of tasks. Then you can anticipate that date with earlier dates for specific subproject tasks.
This is not so easy I know.
Personally I never set a due date for a project, only tasks. You can have one task marking the end of the project, name it “end of project” or such, and put a due date on it. Of course that adds project maintenance and human error and that is why at the end if you do not really have hard deadlines, you are better of IMO with not setting a due date on projects.

What we could actually ask omni is to mark due dates as “inherited due dates” when they depend on some higher level due date.


We think it’s important for OmniFocus to consider child items due whenever the parent item is due:

If all the items in a project aren’t meant to be due, then I’d suggest only putting due dates on the ones that actually are due at that time. If you’re just trying to get a project itself to show up in Forecast, then I suggest applying your Forecast tag to the project: that tag won’t be inherited by child items.


From a theoretical standpoint, the way OmniFocus currently handles due dates is correct. If a project is a desired outcome that can be accomplished by taking a series of actions, than those actions necessarily inherit the project’s due date.

In your example, if you want to pass your biology exam, then all steps to prepare for the exam have to be finished before the exam date.

What I read between the lines of your request is that you are using the due date field of the project to indicate on what day you intent to study. I think there are better ways to manage big creative tasks, for exmple by adding ‘Focus on…’ tasks to your project and use the flag to indicate your desire to take action today.

I recommend you watch the workflow presentation of Kourosh Dini on the Learning OmniFocus site for an in-depth explanation on how to set op focus perspectives.