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How to create a checklist for Daily Routines Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi everyone,

I wanted to share a simple way to make your own daily routine checklists. I make my own schedule and I'm very distractible, so if I don't start my routine at the moment I get up in the morning, it's likely to be noon before I get around to being productive.

My requirements: all items on the checklist must be displayed in the correct order, they must all be shown at once, they must be separate from my other tasks, they must be easy to change, and most importantly, they must disappear when I check them off and reappear the next morning, without fail, whether or not I checked them off the day before. And they must not appear as due, so they don't flood out my truly "due" items.

I think it was the update to 1.6 or 1.7 that made it easy to do this, with the new way of specifying start dates for repeating tasks.

How to do it:

Let's make two daily routines: "Morning" and "Evening". Create a new context called "Routines" and inside that context create a "Morning" context and an "Evening" context.

Now switch to projects mode and create a single folder called "Daily Routine". Inside this folder, make two new single action lists*. Name the first "Morning" and the second "Evening".

Now list your routine items as actions inside these two projects, giving each step the context of "Morning" or "Evening" as appropriate. For example, your list of "Morning" project might contain:

- Shower
- Dress
- Believe six impossible things
- Breakfast
etc.

Also fill out the estimated time for each item, if possible**. Now select all the action steps and in the inspector, where it says "Don't repeat" change it to "Start again" 1 day after completion.

Now go to context mode, apply the following filters: Context Filter (Remaining), Grouping (Context), Sorting (Project), Status Filter (Available), Estimated Time (Any), Flag Filter (Any). Now select the "Routines" context from the left hand sidebar. If all went well, you should see your daily routine items listed in the right order and under the right heading.

Now type control-P to bring up the Perspectives window. Create a new perspective and call it "Routine". Now make sure that Focus, Layout, Expansion, and Selection are all checked.

I think that's all there is to it.


*If you'd like the option to show only the next item of your routine or highlight the first item of each routine, then change your Routine single action list(s) to parallel instead of single action list. Then, to show just the next action in context mode, change the Status Filter to Next Action.

**There's a useful applescript for showing total time required for selected items, and it can help with figuring out how long your routine will take and how much time you'll have left for other projects.


Other Notes:

- The reason for putting your single action lists inside the "Routine" folder is that, besides keeping your projects library organized, it allows you to easily remove them from your other action list perspectives, if desired.

- You can have any number of routines you want, as long as you make a new context for each (and, for organization's sake, a new single action list or project for each).

- By clicking in the sidebar (context mode), you can show the whole day's routines or just morning or evening. By selecting the items and using the Sum Items script, you can calculate the total time they will take.

- You can include items in your routine that repeat only every other day. Just change the "Start again" to after 2 days.

- There's no way to make them only repeat on weekdays, but you can have a separate Routine context for weekends, and when Monday comes around, your weekday routines will be right there ready to start again, with no nagging overdue notices.

Last edited by abh19; 2009-10-03 at 11:27 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abh19 View Post
There's no way to make them only repeat on weekdays, but you can have a separate Routine context for weekends, and when Monday comes around, your weekday routines will be right there ready to start again, with no nagging overdue notices.
Interesting post. I've got a lot of "daily routine" stuff, but haven't split it out like this. Might have to try that!

You can do the "only repeat on weekdays" with a little work, and you hinted at it in your previous paragraph. What you do is make 5 copies of the items in your routine, one for each weekday of the week, starting on that day of the week, and set to start again after 1 week instead of 1 day. The start dates keep them from showing up in an available actions view on any day except the day to which they pertain. I do this with my kid's school-related tasks (packing a lunch, daily reading, bring XYZ to school, etc.) and include the name of the day in the action ("Make snack and lunch (Wednesday)") because it helps keep it clear which day I'm talking about, as they are usually due the night before.
 
If I'm understanding you correctly, the individual action items are set to start again 1 day after completion, but the action list itself is not set to repeat. Is that right?
 
Yes. You don't want the next day's routine tasks not showing up just because you forgot to feed the goldfish. If you have set your default preference for projects and action groups to be automatically marked complete when all of the items are completed, you would want to turn that off for the single action lists here, with the inspector.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eurobubba View Post
If I'm understanding you correctly, the individual action items are set to start again 1 day after completion, but the action list itself is not set to repeat. Is that right?
Correct. As whpalmer4 said. I just wanted to add that the single action list is never marked "complete"—you only check off the individual actions. Since each action repeats independently of all the other action steps, they'll all appear tomorrow again, whether you completed them today or not.
 
Great post.

I'm thinking to use OF for the checklist of actions. And this are greats ideas.
 
I had been wanting a way to create a checklist of routines that I did not want to clutter up other areas of focus and projects. The method outlined here seems to fit the bill. Until now I was using the Habits app on my iPhone but was unhappy about having to check two different apps to keep a check on what I need to attend to.

The only advantage to keeping the Habits app running is that it did provide a nice, graphical summary of how often I had managed to do a task (or skipped it). Is there a way to produce a report from Omnifocus, or export data so that a summary of diligence or negligence can be viewed?
 
Yes! I love checklists for daily routines. This step by step set up to do it in OF is super helpful.

Like Sandi, I would really like a way to visualize the data in some kind of graphical representation so I can see if I'm being consistent with my daily routines.

I discovered the life tracking app called sen.se that will use data from lots of sources as long as I can export my omnifocus data as a csv file or other types of files it accepts. (Don't remember if there are others)

Does anyone know if I can export data specifically on various OF profiles as a csv?

Awesome thread!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDiva View Post
Yes! I love checklists for daily routines. This step by step set up to do it in OF is super helpful.

Like Sandi, I would really like a way to visualize the data in some kind of graphical representation so I can see if I'm being consistent with my daily routines.

I discovered the life tracking app called sen.se that will use data from lots of sources as long as I can export my omnifocus data as a csv file or other types of files it accepts. (Don't remember if there are others)

Does anyone know if I can export data specifically on various OF profiles as a csv?

Awesome thread!
You can definitely export as .csv. I think it takes whatever you have selected in the left side bare. You might also have a look at ofexport. Search the extras forum. It's a command line thing. But it allows you to export in a variety of formats with lots of filtering options.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by abh19 View Post
Now go to context mode, apply the following filters: Context Filter (Remaining), Grouping (Context), Sorting (Project), Status Filter (Available), Estimated Time (Any), Flag Filter (Any). Now select the "Routines" context from the left hand sidebar. If all went well, you should see your daily routine items listed in the right order and under the right heading.
I have OF for the iPad only, and I cannot figure out how to do this step. Is filtering something you can only do with the Mac version? My Perspectives view has some ready made filters but I don't see the option for creating my own or customizing the ones that came with the view.
 
 


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