Where Omnifocus meets a calendar

Hi there

I’ve been meaning to ask for help on this subject for quite some time as it is a real sticking block for me in terms of using productivity tools in the most effecient manner.

I use omnifocus to keep track of all the tasks I need to do to complete projects. I have normally anywhere from 7 to 10 large projects, most of which contain smaller projects (I group tasks to represent these).

I also use a calendar to shedule appoinments - those things that will happen on a specific date at a specific time and try to assign a duration to these events.

The place where things don’t work out so well is taking tasks from OF and scheduling them. I am curious to know how most people deal with this. For instance do you take taks from OF and schedule them on the calendar? I frequently do this - e.g. flag a number of tasks during a daily review of my currnet projects, and take those flagged items and block them on a calendar. This works reasonably well, however, I end up with the same task in two places which is not ideal. I have also tried marking a task as completed in OF when it’s moved to the calendar to get around this, but I feel when I do this that I am spending too much energy (and time) managing two systems. I do sometimes end up asking myself why I just don’t use the calendar as the main repository for tasks in the first place - (and obviously answer myself with all the obvious shortcomings of that approach)…

So in a nutshell - my question is, how do you deal with secheduling tasks from OF?

Thanks for any and all input.


I don’t always block out tasks for specific times — it’s only when I have to make sure that I do not allow something to take too long to complete.

When I do, I find it much easier to use the Forecast view by enabling deferred dates in that view. If you are setting it up from the night before, for example, and you go set deferral dates on your tasks e.g. “tomorrow 8am; tomorrow 8am; tomorrow 9:30am” then the Forecast view will show them in that order with the times you have set. You can keep just that day open in OF to help maintain your focus on your schedule.

Of course, you also don’t have the problem of trying to manage things entered in two places.

I’m guessing there’s more about this technique from David Sparks’ Inside Omnifocus video; I picked up the technique from him.