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I'm going to get kicked out of the Omni fanboy club if I have many more days like today :-)

Originally Posted by Brian View Post
We did have that filter available in Project mode, but there was a disconnect between what the filter did (find projects that were due soon) and what folks would try to use it for (to find actions that were due soon).
Well, no, not exactly. I would have agreed with you that the due soon filter pulled out projects that were due soon, except I dusted off a copy of OF 1.6.1 and tried it. It definitely picks out actions which are due soon, even in project mode. This makes sense, as it was part of the action filter; it would have been truly confusing if some settings of the action filter caused it to filter on project state!
That said, a view like the one you're looking for is easy to set up. Here's how <...> Shows you actions that are due soon, grouped by the projects they're from.
There's a problem with OmniFocus' data model that this approach (and the old due soon filter in project mode) reveals. If you have a sequential group of actions, whether a project, an action group, or just a sequence of actions, OmniFocus doesn't do any reasoning about implicit due dates if some of the actions (or the group) have a due date and others do not.

Clearly, if you have a sequence of actions {A, B, C}, with C having a due date, A and B must also be due at or before the same time C is due, in a well-formed sequence. If you tell OmniFocus that {A, B, C} is an action group, or a project, and you assign a due date to it, then OmniFocus will treat them as if they have a due date which is the earlier of their own explicit due date (if any) or that of the containing group. The trouble comes if you just have the actions without such a container. If you ask OmniFocus to show you all of the actions which are due, or due soon, it will only show you those that have due dates assigned! (C, but not A or B)

For an example, take filing a US Federal income tax return. If your actions are

Collect statements
Fill out forms
Mail return (due: April 15)

and you are relying on the "due soon" filter to show you everything that you need to get done, you're going to have an unpleasant surprise when you discover that the one task of the three that showed up isn't the one where all the work is! If OmniFocus looked at the sequence and worked backward through the chain, assigning implicit due dates to the actions without explicit due dates, some of the surprises wouldn't be as great. Without that reasoning, however, you either need to put due dates on everything, or on the containers, or take a more holistic look at projects, not just actions. To be safe, you should only use a "due soon" or "due" view to identify projects that need your attention.