Working with Due Dates

Hi all,

I saw an older thread on deadlines from the read-only forum (, and I have a question for psdnell, but if he/she is not reading, I would really appreciate if someone else can help me out. In the post below psdnell writes about creating an Upcoming Perspective, and I wanted to know how it can be created. (I have OF1 on my mac and OF2 on my iPhone.)

Thank you.

2012-01-20, 04:34 AM
I’ve just changed the way I use due and flagged which may be helpful.

Until recently I used to have my “due soon” time set to a week.
This was just a knee jerk “seems right” decision I made years ago
and I’ve never revisited that particular setting.

But I’ve always been slightly overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that
shows up when I look at my contexts with a “due soon/available” filter.

I’m now experimenting with reducing my “due soon” time to just 24
hours and generally using a “due or flagged/available” filter
instead. This obviously limits the view to what I’m dealing with
today/tomorrow - but that’s generally what I want.

To avoid being surprised by things, I’ve created an Upcoming perspective
that I check regularly (daily in the morning) that lists all available/due
(not quite the same as the built in due which lists all due) and flag
things I want visible more than 24hrs in advance, possibly adding a start
date if I don’t want them visible right now - if it’s two weeks away for
example. The iPad/iPhone forecast view is a nice alternative.

This is all pretty basic stuff I suppose, but it does cut down the volume
of clutter I see, and as a consequence of this I can get away with
fewer contexts - I did have too many as a way of coping with the volume.

I’m Stil alive :-)

Unfortunately I only have OF2 on my mac and can’t remember enough specific detail and wording of the OF1 Perspective editor to walk you through it.


Thanks for getting back to me,psidnell. May be you can share how you deal with the deadlines in OF2? I am mostly interested in strategies you use on the iPhone.

I fired up OmniFocus 1 and took a first stab at a perspective like the one I think you’re asking for - if those settings don’t give you what you’re after, or if you have follow-up questions, post them here and folks can try to assist.

Hope this helps!

Sorry it took me so long to get back.

My strategy is pretty basic:

  1. Dates (deadlines) always go in the calendar which is no longer a separate universe now we have the forecast view. It still has many advantages such as shared calendars and sophisticated repeats.

  2. Part of my daily/weekly/monthly review is to glance ahead in the forecast view, e.g… a few days ahead each morning, 2 weeks ahead each week etc. Then for calendar items that require some preparation (i.e. can be broken into tasks) at I’ll create those tasks in OF or possibly a project with the same due as the calendar item (I’d love an OF feature where I could select a calendar item in the forecast view and have it make me a task with the same name and due date).

  3. Since (as you mentioned above) I have my due soon set to 24hrs, If i want tasks (or deadlines) to be visible more than 24hrs in advance then I’ll also flag them (which makes it visible now in my contexts) and possibly add a start date (so I don’t see it until the start date).

I currently have an “Important” context Which is pretty similar to the one Brian shows, except that the status is “due or flagged”. This scheme gives me pretty good control of when deadlines/due tasks show.

The reality is that most of my due items aren’t that important and don’t require much lead time (putting the recycling out) but some are more significant - and they get flagged so I see them immediately.

On my phone I flip mostly between 3 views:

  • Forecast - built in
  • Important Perspective (availability=available, status=“due or flagged”) - things that MUST be addressed.
  • Today Perspective (availability=available, status=“any status”) - things that CAN be addressed.

I try to keep my “Today” view under control by looking for things I know I’m not going to look at today and giving a future start date - this is part of my daily review ritual that I do in the morning.

Hope that helps.

Hi Brian and psidnell,

Thank you for getting back to me. I really appreciate the details both of you provide. I find your suggestions really useful and and looking forward to incorporating the perspective and the daily / weekly routines into my schedule.