Defer Dates in OmniFocus 2's Forecast

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Defer Dates & Flagging

Since I started using OmniFocus 1.whatever for OS X, I have been a staunch supporter of using defer dates and flagging, while I have mostly shunned due dates. The reason being — this approach works really well for keeping unactionable items out of your purview. Even in OmniFocus 2, this is still the best strategy for organizing your tasks. If you think of every task as a task that has to get done, then the need for due dates falls away. You start setting defer dates, and then you just do everything that pops up as actionable.

Due Dates & Forecast

While I love the defer date/flag style, I get that there are some tasks that have a hard due date. In that case, I find it acceptable to attach a due date, and especially since OmniFocus 2 included Forecast mode, I’ve found myself including defer dates in my projects. Before Forecast mode, looking at due dates was a tedious process. The “Due” perspective you might have created was okay at best, but the Forecast mode that iOS versions of OmniFocus has had and that now OmniFocus for OS X has makes it a breeze to look at the upcoming week or month and see what absolutely has to get done.

Defer Dates & Forecast

What I would urge you not to do is include deferred items in your Forecast. If you’re following the defer date/flag strategy, you’re going to have dozens of upcoming tasks that are being deferred until various days of the week or various times of each day. These deferred tasks will become a serious clutter problem in your Forecast and the reason we use defer dates and flagging is to avoid that problem. So, thanks OmniGroup for including the ability to see deferred tasks in the Forecast, but anyone following the One True Path of defer date/flagging should not go down the dark road of deferred tasks in the Forecast.