View durations of events in calendars

Disclaimer: Apologies if this had been talked about before, but I did a quick search on “calendar, estimated time, and omnifocus” and didn’t see an obvious thread. these are similar but don’t have much discussion: (Can task’s estimated time be showed in OF2 calendar?)
(Forecast Timeline for Tasks (and not just calendar events))

Been using OF for some time now and something that I never figured out was if it’s possible to view an event, with it’s estimated duration, on a calendar. Currently, tasks show up as point events in and the calendar in Forecast view.

For example, when I subscribe to the "omnifocus reminders” on, an event only shows up on the exact due time. So a task like “Edit manuscript” that’s due at 5:30PM only has an event on saying “Edit manuscript” from 5:30PM to 5:30PM.

Ideally, if I know “Edit manuscript” takes 2 hours, I should be able to fill in the Estimated Time field for 2 hours and have a 2 hour slot that appears from 3:30PM to 5:30PM in

This is even more useful in the “Forecast” view of the OF Mac app under the Calendar Events section when you’re planning out your activities for the coming days. For example, if I want to see whether I can fit in “Edit manuscript” for next Friday, I might look at the monthly calendar in Forecast view. Let’s say this shows 7 events for that day. These 7 events might occur once an hour but only each take a few minutes to finish. On both and the OF calendar in Calendar Events, however, that whole day would appear completely packed. I’d have to actually click into the Inspect tab to get the estimated times for each activity. Conversely, that Friday could only have one event, say “Go over memo with team” at 3PM with estimated duration of 1 hour. I shouldn’t schedule “Edit manuscript” for this time even though the current calendar views imply that it’s open.

If this function doesn’t jive with the GTD philosophy, can someone recommend another productivity app that has this view? Appreciate your help!

I have run into this as well. I hope someone has a solution.

From what I’ve read, having one calendar for both actions (Omnifocus) and events ( goes against GTD principles. Namely, that calendars should contain “hard events” with fixed start-stop times, and actions are meant to be more open-ended? I guess that makes sense for something like “collect documents for income tax returns” that could occur over multiple days or weeks.

Maybe the ability to view action durations in calendars could be an optional feature for those that don’t strictly adhere to GTD. This probably wouldn’t be the most elegant solution because it could muck up those with multiple day/week actions. Another option could be to only enable this option for actions that do not extend past a single day. Maybe this starts to be too complicated for some users though…or maybe not.

Another thought is to still stick with the current implementation but also have “Defer Until:” date/times show up as point events in the calendar, under a label like “Start: action.”

So in my example from the first post, “Edit manuscript” would have two point events in for next Friday. One at 3:30PM saying “Start: Edit manuscript”, and one at 5:30PM saying “Due: Edit manuscript.” This might be a cleaner way of showing action durations while respecting GTD.

In the meantime, how are other people using and Omnifocus together?