Struggling with a Today view: using Flags, Due and Defer Dates

I am struggling with creating a perspective of tasks to work on “today”, how does everyone else do it? Here’s my ideal setup:

  1. Use flags to select tasks to work on today (no need to assign due or defer dates)
  2. Use Due dates to set tasks due on dates in the future
  3. Defer dates to set tasks to start on dates in the future

I only want tasks to show that are either flagged, due soon, or deferred to today.

The reason I use both due and defer dates is because everyone says use due dates sparingly, only for things that must be done on that day. So I use defer dates for tasks that don’t need to be done on that day, but I want them to show up when that day comes.

Now I could just choose the Available filter, but that shows all tasks WITHOUT defer or due dates too, or due dates too far ahead.

The only solution I can see is to use EITHER due or defer on ALL tasks so they wont show in the Available filter. But I don’t want to because I will have to keep changing the dates everytime they they arrive. I would rather choose what to do today, rather than choose what not to today.

I would just like to see tasks that are either flagged, due today, or deferred to today, but I cant find the right settings.

Does anyone know?

Thanks a lot

I guess the problem is there is no filter for Due, Deferred and Flagged, only Due and Flagged. So I cant use that as Deferred wont show. Then using Available status instead means tasks in the future show up, and those without due/deferred dates.

Surely there must be a way to show only flagged, due and deferred? I mean due AND Deferred would be needed to viewed for today, not just due? Everyone would want Due AND Deferred showing in their perspective wouldn’t they, else they will miss the deferred tasks for today if they aren’t in there.

I must be missing something obvious!

You should be fine with a perspective setting “Due and Flagged only”. One of your first repeating tasks every morning most probably is (if not yet: should be) checking the forecast perspective. Here you find all task deferred to today. Flag those task if you want indeed work on it today and your are set.

Your Today view now include: already before today Flagged task + Due task + further Flagged tasks which have been Defered to today tasks.

That would work, but its an extra check of the Forecast view. It would be good not to (I dont really use that view, dont need it - if I had a real “today” or “available” view), and have the deferred tasks already in my “today” view, because I did defer them to today after all.

The only other way is to use due dates instead of deferred dates, so going against the advice of using due dates sparingly.

You can set all defer actions together with flag, So these items will appear in your " Due or Flagged" filter perspective.

But then future deferred items will show which defeats the object. They should only show on today.

Ah no, deferred AND flagged items do NOT show in today! I was mistaken… so this may work, must have missed that setup! I will give this a go and see if it works OK. I think it will work.

Edit: only issue I can see is if I forgoet to flag an item when deferring it. I will miss it then, it wont appear in today.

I suppose if my workflow is flag items I want to work on (no defer date), and if I cant do them, or they need to be deferred, then defer them already flagged. Do not set defer dates on tasks that are not flagged. Still… its open to error.

I might misunderstood what you want, in a rush. But here goes.

Set a perspective filter by due or flagged. And filter it by remaining.

This should let you see due, flagged and deferred item that is due. (which is in 24 hours or more depending on what you set on preference)

Also, if the above doesn’t work - you can see deferred task on forecast by clicking the see deferred item view. It’s two step instead of one but it’s a solution i can think of right now.

Edit: okay, looks like the above aint gonna work for you, just checked it myself. Sorry.

Here’s the only way it’s going to work. Flag your deferred items. Or add both deferred and due date.

That way it will still pop up in the above perspective when the time comes, but not before

Thanks @ryanfuse but this shows all tasks deferred in the future though, not just todays.

But @stephen advice seems to work OK… which is what you suggest but set filter to Available. And make sure the deferred tasks are flagged. Deferred flagged tasks wont show in the Due and Flagged filter.

This looks to be working now, just have to remember to make sure deferred tasks are flagged. Thanks!

Only one other thing I need to do which is UNFLAG tasks with a Due date. Because its a Due or Flagged filter so future Due items that are flagged are showing (or defer flagged due items to the due date, but seems wrong to use both due and defer date on same task?).

Can’t understand the reason you flag the due tasks.
Your “today” perspective consists of either flags or due soon items, that’s OK, no need both.
If you want only due today’s items show in your perspective, can set “due soon” to 24hour in Preferences.

I am struggling with creating a perspective of tasks to work on “today”, how does everyone else do it?

amityweb, I have posted your question twice now, once in the beta and once on the release of OF2 with no good answer.

In OF1 I enjoyed creating a Perspective called “Today” and using keystrokes to access it. I can’t understand why OF2 won’t offer this functionality. However, if I understand your questions correctly, the information your looking for is in the Forecast view, in the “Today” part of the calendar.
Perhaps the next version of OF2 would provide the ability to Take A Snapshot of the “Today” view in FORECAST. That would be one way that would work.

As of now, I use Apple-4 which works if you leave that Perspective in the Today position.

Personally, I wouldn’t get involved w/ the Flag/Unflag setting as a workout for the simple reason that you mention - it’s easy to forget.

Hey there,

I got my workflow as follows:

I got three AOF (Areas of Focus): Personal, Work, Music&Arts and Routines/Habits. In those I got several subfolders etc w/ projects/SAL.
What I do (according to the AE Premium Posts): I got three “Plan-Perspectives” for each AOF.
For instance I got my “Plan: Personal”-Perspective (which is in project, NOT Context-View). I only see available tasks.
After my “Vision-Review”-Ritual, I know what is important in my life, I go ahead and flag task which are essential to me.
My work-perspectiv is called “Today”. There I see everything what is flagged or due. And this perspective includes BOTH projects (one-off goals) and my Routines (“Make Music”, “Call Mom” etc.).
I find this very helpful, since I ONLY see things which are important TODAY, above all including my Routines as well (which btw. are very, very good for creative persons).
ASSUMING I get all my flagged done and I got more time, I go back to my Planning Perspectives again and flag more.

For getting rid of the problem, that (repeating) tasks stay flagged (and the chances are high I forget it) I got a reminder-ritual, which tells me to unflag routine-tasks before completing or I add a TextExpander Snippet at the end of the task (unflag before completion).

Hope that helps.

Its specific to me, and not related to the Today view, forgot to mention this.

Its because I have a perspective called All Tasks, in which I want to list All Tasks that are NOT planned already. So tasks that do not have a flag, due or defer date. Problem is, there is no way to exclude tasks that have a due date. These will show. So the only way I can think of doing it is to also flag them, then filter by Unflagged tasks.

I use this All Tasks perspective to go through and decide what to work on next. I don’t want to see flagged, due or deferred tasks and couldn’t think of any other way to do it.

Be so much easier if OF add more filters to cater for with and without deferred dates and without due dates.

I’m relatively new to OmniFocus and I would also love to see more possibilities and more flexibility in setting up Perspectives. I’ve tried to setup an identical view like amityweb and failed. Thus I appreciate the tip to additionally flag every item with a Defer Until date - but I see this merely as a workaround. Surely it would be much better if we could do more with Perspectives than today. In general I miss not only filter options but more flexibility to sort items as well…

Also it seems the “only” way to hide an item with a due date before it becomes due is to set a Defer Until-Date on the same date too. I think it would be nice to have maybe a checkbox for this like ‘Don’t show until Due’ so I don’t have to maintain two dates. The side effect of two identical dates is in particular that I see the item twice on the same day in the Forecast view as soon as I check ‘Show deferred items’ (which I would like to set otherwise). This is really weird…

Hi amityweb - just saw your questions about defer dates, and thought I mention this…I use Cotler Reed’s “OmniFocusDailyMaintenance” applescript which automatically adds a flag each morning to any Deferred items that have todays date. This is quite handy, as I don’t have to flag them manually. Also if I miss taking care of some of today’s deferred items, I know that I can easily find them in my Flagged perspectives or projects folders.