Working Out Which Tasks Could Be Done By Someone Else


I am trying to find a way to use Omnifocus to determine which of my tasks could be undertaken by a new member of staff. I thought that this would be a nice way to help me see how many tasks could be accomplished by someone else & how much time I could save.

This has proved more difficult than I’d hoped.

I can’t apply a context (IE delegate) because I still have to do the task & I’d like to be reminded of the task when I’m in the right context.

I can’t see how a custom perspective would work because I can’t seem to find a pattern to filter by.

Can you think how this might be achieved?

Ps - would anyone else find it useful to see the duration / total duration of tasks in the Forecast? It’d be great to see how much I’ve got planned for a given day & which tasks fit into the time period I have available on the day

I have an agendas context with things I need to discuss with other people (I guess this could easily be tasks). These people (clients in my case) then have a sub context off the agendas context with their name. This allows me to see everything I need to discuss with anyone during calls or meetings.

I would think this could be adapted to reflect work they need to do rather than items to discuss.

I then have a custom perspective which allows me to see all agenda items grouped by sub context ie people. I also keep the agendas context off my daily dashboard and just have a task to check it once a day.

Hope that at least gives some ideas…


I see how that can help once you know who you want to discuss things with. Unfortunately for me, I still need to undertake the work myself. I think I need a secondary context.

For now, I’m someone that uses due dates & doesn’t use flags. I suppose I could flag everything that I think could be undertaken by someone else for now.

Thanks for giving this some thought.


There are a couple of ways to do this I think. - Certainly worth experimenting with.

As TheOldDesigner suggests master contexts and sub-contexts is one possible solution.

Master context = Work
Sub contexts =

  • Work : Me
  • Work : Fred
  • Work : Sue
  • Work : Julia
  • Work : Phil
  • etc.

A perspective on 'Work" will give you all you need to do, a perspective or focus on Work : Sue will give you sue’s tasks.

A second possibility is to use a [Sue] ‘tag’ in either the title of the task or the notes - then a search on [Sue] will give you her tasks and not [Julia] or [Phil].

In general due dates are a BAD idea (check out numerous threads in the old forums and here for why) for anything that doesn’t come with huge penalties (and even then it is better to have a sub-task with a warning e.g. 7 days to tax filing deadline]

Hope this helps.


Without having due dates, isn’t the forecast view useless?

Can the forecast view work with deferred dates?

I think I understand what you want to do. You want to keep a task in context as your task to do, but you want to mark it as though it could be delegated. You want to be able to review your task list and see the ratio of task you must do versus those that you could delegate (or some such equivalent).

When this is the case, I might recommend that you simply prefix or suffix the task with an appropriate marker. For example, compare these three …

  • get the groceries
  • ➡️ (spouse) get the groceries
  • get the groceries ➡️ spouse

I guess eventually you want to migrate your “could be delegated” tasks to someone. At that point, you can change the context to the person and drop the suffix.

As for (abusing) due dates and expecting everything to fall to Forecast view, this is generally a bad approach. You will end up with a cluttered Forecast view, spend time just postponing tasks that were not really due, get overwhelmed and/or frustrated by the extra effort, and then wonder why you cannot get anything done when it really is due. Imagine your calendar filled with date-specific “events” that are really not date specific at all. You rush out the door to get groceries this morning only to find that you should have waited until this evening. You call up your friend tomorrow at 9am only to find this causes you to miss your dentist appointment at 9:15am. Think of Forecast view as an equivalent “calendar”, except for tasks that must be done by the given date (instead of events that happen on a given date).

I use due dates ONLY when a task must be done by the date specified because something or someone else says so, not because I think it should be so. Otherwise, I use flags to set tasks that I want to do or must do.