Wanted filtering in custom perspectives: "deferred soon"?

Why isn’t it possible to filter tasks by “deferred soon”, similar to “due soon”? I commonly have a lot of deferred tasks every day and it is so much easier to keep ut if they are broken down into more digestible portions. What I really want, is a perspective where I see only tasks due and/or deferred soon (within 24hrs), grouped by context, sorted by due or defer date (/time).

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I hear you on this. For me, my approach has been to either use the Forecast perspective (ensuring “Show Deferred Items” is selected) or a perspective where next actions are grouped by defer date and sorted by context, enabling me a look in to the future in chunks.

Hope that helps?


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Only when (if) Omni Group changes the behavior of deferred times will they really be able to be used effectively.

Deferring an item in GTD is defined as making it available on or after that date. In OmniFocus, it is available only on the defered date. In reality, tasks are most likely deferred until a date, with the option of a due date after that date.

For example, take a task with a defer date of Mar 15 with a due date of Mar 30. It will show up in OF2 twice: on the 15th and the 30th. The 16th thru 29th it will be missing from the forecast and any view filtering on deferred or due, like a “Today” type perspective.

This relegates the deferred date to being simply a weak form of a due date since at least past due items still will show up in the forecast in “Past Due” after their date. Past deferred will not.

This behavior of dropping a deferred task off my runway level view is why I am struggling with calling OF2 my “trusted system”.

While you’re correct that there is currently no way to make past deferred items appear in the Forecast perspective, it’s not correct that a deferred item is only available on the defer date…the defer date is just the only date that those items are currently displayed in Forecast. Other perspectives that filter for available items should display those deferred items after the defer date.

We do have an open request for including past deferred items in Forecast and I’ve added your comments there for the rest of the team to see. Not all requests will make it into the app, but we do take customer requests into account when planning future releases. Thanks for letting us know it’s important to you!

Currently, when the option to show deferred items in Forecast is enabled, items with a defer date assigned are displayed, under the heading Deferred, on the defer date only. If an item has both a defer date and a due date assigned the item reappears in Forecast, under the Due heading, on the due date.

The best workaround for catching those past deferred items that have disappeared from Forecast, at the moment, unfortunately requires the use of the professional edition of OmniFocus 2 for Mac or iPad, as it involves using a custom perspective that shows available items grouped and sorted by defer date. Hopefully we’ll have a better solution in the future!

If anyone else happens upon this forum thread and would like to cast their vote for this feature, please send us an email to omnifocus@omnigroup.com so we can be sure your comments are captured (we don’t monitor every forum interaction that takes place). Thank you!

I hope this helps!

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You are correct. I used “OF” when I should have used “OF Forecast”. Thanks for clarifying, and thanks for the response.

A clean, built-in way to get to today’s task is the thing I see as the most lacking in OF2. Forecast is close, but just look thru the forums here and count the number of discussions on attempts to get a good Today perspective.

There are many example of perspectives/settings posted here, all with caveats from the originator on where it is not a complete solution, even for them. This is something many users here (I would argue your “power users”) are struggling to make work in OF2.

There is your business opportunity.


Thanks for your replies, folks! I really appreciate your effort.

On the up side, the brilliance of OmniFocus makes it’s few discrepancies very conspicuous.

I am now getting along nicely with the Today-view, after being acquainted with your thinking behind it. I have more of a beef with the filtering options (or lack thereof) in the custom perspectives. I just can’t understand why I don’t have the ability to filter tasks (in custom perspectives) by “deferred soon” and “due/deferred today”.

I’m currently using a “first available” filter, but it isn’t bullet proof.

I think the key thing, too, is to make sure that things you don’t want as regularly seen options/tasks are either put on hold or deferred. In that way, the list of available actions becomes much more meaningful. I use that list as a “menu” of things for the day, then flag the ones I want to pay attention to on a daily basis. A weekly review helps me decide what actions should come out of held states, and the deferral process makes things available again.

Admittedly, I don’t actually use the Forecast view that much, instead using a custom perspective to look at flagged+due (Today), another to look at all available tasks (Next Actions), and another to look at tasks grouped by deferred dates (Radar).

My two cents,



I would really want this too.

A “Defer Soon” option would be so useful to me and bring clarity on the things that I could begin with. E.g If I have a task to cut down a tree in spring, it would be useful just to give it a Defer Date and then pop up under a Perspective using a Defer Soon, when spring arrives in Denmark. Benefit for my GTD would be a much cleaner project list only containing real projects and not projects full it unlinked tasks.

How about creating a custom perspective that filters “Availability” to “remaining,” filters to exclude “Available” (by the “None Following” filter rule), with Group by Defer Date?

Does that give you what you want?

Good luck!