This is Mac-based. I don’t work from iOS all that much, so this is likely less useful if you work primarily from iOS as it’s harder to do the toggles & re-scheduling from iOS.
I wanted to take a moment to try and outline a recent re-working of my “Today” perspective for OmniFocus.
To preface, I have some higher level goals/routines that I want to do, but generally isn’t the end of the world if I miss these. So while I want to be reminded about these, I don’t want them to be in my face all day long. I was finding it was distracting as I tried to work through my priorities these just aren’t priorities. They’re just things I want to work on as I have a few moments here and there.
- Pickup my guitar.
- Read a chapter in a book.
- Watch a video in a tutorial series.
- Work on writing.
- Move a goal project along.
So I decided to see if there was a way I could get these tasks into my Today perspective, but also be able to “hide” them when I just wanted to focus on the things I just have to do. My first thought was to create two perspectives:
Today: All tasks due today, or flagged and not in my Horizon or Routine folders.
Flow: A perspective of tasks sorted by defer date in my Horizon and Routine folders only.
This got me about 85% where I wanted to be. I could work from my Today list, and then switch over to my Flow list when I wanted to try and advance my goals. However, I thought maybe I could do more and keep these combined and just toggle the tasks.
One of the keys to this is a Keyboard Maestro macro that I use to toggle Available / Remaining tasks across my lists. I created a Hot Key trigger for
CMD+OPT+K that triggered this AppleScript.
I then created a Context –
🌀 Routine – that is put “On Hold”, and I assigned any task I wanted hidden to this context. This is so that all these tasks were now hidden by default.
Then I set defer / due dates for each of these tasks. This is in lieu of the generally recommended flag + defer workflow. I was finding that too busy across many of my lists anyway.
“Due Soon” is set to
24 hours. I used to have Due Soon set to 5 days, but I review upcoming due dates daily when I review my Forecast so this wasn’t that big of a deal.
Bonus: I also setup a “Defer” script in Keyboard Maestro and associated it with
CMD+OPT+CTRL+D. I can then select any tasks I want to move, hit the shortcut, a prompt comes up asking me how many days from the current set date(s) that I want to defer, then I can choose to only update Due date, or both Defer & Due. It will also only change defer date if no due date is set.
- I now have a single list with all of my current day’s tasks and I can quickly show/hide my goal & routine tasks.
- I still get alerts for any missed goals / routines, just in case I have some that actually have to be done (ex. Take out the trash).
- You have to use due dates for some items that aren’t necessarily due, which I know might be a deal breaker for some people.
- Toggling available / remaining will show future deferred tasks that are flagged. I have a daily task to flag any deferred tasks, or defer them again (if I can’t get to it that day).
I’m personally liking this despite the more liberal use of due dates because now I see all the things I’m “trying” to do in the Forecast. I can show/hide the tasks like I wanted, and I can now daily use flags to prioritize. Before I had a ton of routines that were flagged and it just became a mess of flagged things that really weren’t important. I just wanted to do them today. /shrug
In Action Example