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watchit 2010-04-10 06:27 PM

repeating actions that self-complete
I have a number of all day to do items in iCal that repeat every month to remind me of things that lapse on a regular basis... for example: when the quota on my broadband account returns to zero, when the free movies on my cable subscription lapse, etc. For them to be useful but not annoying in OmniFocus it would be great if there was an additional type of "Repeat every..." in the action inspector: a repeating action that just self-completes or rolls over and starts again when it reaches the due date. I don't want to have to complete each one, they're just there to remind me that I'm going miss out on taking advantage of something if I don't use it. They're quite low level in the scheme of decisions but there seem to be more and more of them, and I'd like to have them in OF but not if they add to the things I have to click to complete.

Craig 2010-04-10 07:02 PM

What do you not like about iCal handling these events?

watchit 2010-04-11 01:24 PM

iCal can easily become cluttered if there's too much in it and I pay more attention to OF and am less likely to miss something in OF.

Arild 2010-04-12 02:26 AM

Why not set iCal to send you email alerts or something? You can set several different alerts, also for recurrent tasks. What you want to do is not really implying "actionable items" in my view, so I doubt OF is the place to put it.

watchit 2010-04-13 03:33 AM

iCal has limited screen real estate and I want it to remain uncluttered. What I want to do are actionable items... when they become within the set due range I take the action of deciding whether to to something about the implied advantage they offer.. or not. When they drift past the due date, they are off my radar until I take the action of making a similar decision next time. The whole idea of GTD is to bring actionable items to your notice when they are actionable within a given Context. I just don't want to have to go to the bother of clicking them as completed unless I have actually completed something.
For example, today was old computer gear recycle throwout day. It won't come around again for another 3 months. I only want to know about it when it's due, so I can decide whether I have some IT junk that is better off recycled than causing pollution in land fill. I find there are dozens of these sorts of these recurring items in my work and private endeavours. I don't want them over-populating Apple's limited time-based app and I don't want to have to click a whole lot of things that are not completed just to have another one pop up in its place. Productivity apps are about saving time and effort so it can be use more efficiently. It's no big deal... but it would be nice :)

Craig 2010-04-13 06:28 AM

I'd make a calendar in iCal to put stuff like this in, build in the alarms you want, and then hide (uncheck) the calendar so it doesn't clutter your interface.

watchit 2010-04-13 07:20 AM

Thanks for the suggestion, Craig, but the last thing I need is another calendar in iCal... along with the several dozen I've set up there in sync with OF contexts and published as ics to make up for OF's current lack of group collaboration functionality. But more importantly, I want these sorts of recurring items in OF because it has Review capabilities. I don't want to have to troll through endless calendars as part of my review process.

curt.clifton 2010-04-14 06:52 PM

Use Help-->Send Feedback to get feature requests in the Omni database. In the meantime, you might consider creating repeating actions in OF for these and using a Starts Today review perspective. You'll still have to check off the items, but (as you said) it would allow you to review them in OF where you review other projects and actions.

If I was taking this approach to reminders, I'd name the tasks something like "Notice that broadband quota reset". That way I have a concrete action and can check it off. (In practice, I keep a hidden Reminders calendar in iCal for these sorts of things, but I understand why you're averse to that.)

watchit 2010-04-15 04:57 PM

Thanks Curt. That's kinda how I've got them set up at the moment, with a variety of Next Review intervals. I just don't want to have to click them as completed.... lazy, I guess :)

whpalmer4 2010-04-15 05:27 PM

If you were to put some unique identifying mark on these actions (such as putting the string "TAG:AUTO_SELF_COMPLETE" in the notes field), it wouldn't be too difficult to put together an Applescript that looked over your database and marked them complete on the date they are due (or the day after, or whatever suits your needs). Then you put a daily repeating action in iCal that runs that script, and you've got it...

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