In my mind, there are three types of task scheduling which I denote as A, B, and C. ‘A’ tasks are those that have hard deadlines; they can’t be delayed without consequences. These can comprise tasks that are important to life goals such as school assignments, but they can also be mundane tasks such as paying bills. B tasks are tasks that are important to complete but they don’t inherently have any sort of immediacy to them nor is there a concrete due date that they need to be completed by. But because of their importance, you don’t want to lose forget to do them so you give them “due dates” that can be reschedule as needed. C tasks are essentially “someday/maybe” tasks and don’t get scheduled.
Currently in OmniFocus, I indicate A tasks with a flag and due date, B tasks with just a due date and no flag, and C tasks with no flag and no due date. That seems to work for me.
What I’m struggling with however is finding an elegant way in OmniFocus to denote what I might call “try dates” for A and B tasks. The due date is not necessarily the day that is best to complete the task, it’s merely the latest that it can be completed. A task might not be due until Friday, but it would be best to complete it on say Wednesday or Thursday for instance.
The first solution I came up with was to use the Defer Date field to denote when a task should be completed. It sort of works except that if I don’t complete a task on the day I deferred it and I forget to reschedule its defer date, it will completely disappear off the Forecast view the next day and not reappear until the day it’s actually due. And I’d rather use the Defer Date to indicate the soonest a task can be begun or considered available rather than when it should attempted to be completed.
Obviously I wish OmniFocus had a third date field to clearly denote “try” dates and maybe it will in the future (I sent this suggestion to Omni team). In meantime however, do you have any suggestions for how one might best distinguish between “try” and “due” dates in OmniFocus?