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Repeating Actions vs. Recurring Projects… Aw Hell, Reocurrence Generally Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Despite my facility with Omnifocus, here's something I can't seem to set up cleanly:

Like Sisyphus, I wish to do the following on a weekly basis, starting date Saturday, due date Sunday…

Project: update computer systems
Action - update Macintosh 1
Action - update Macintosh 2
Action - update Macintosh 3
ad nauseum

Ideally, I want to check off the list of actions, complete the project, and then have the whole kit-and-kaboodle reoccur on the next weekend.

And — just because I'm ornery — I would like that both project and its children have a start date of Saturday so I don't have to see either actions or project during the work week (Assuming I filter by Available)

As there are multiple approaches via compound settings for reoccurrence: Repeat... Start Again... Mark Complete when completing last item + Repeat Project... Repeat Actions...What's the most elegant way to do this?

Last edited by JohnTWolff; 2011-01-23 at 02:58 PM..
 
Welcome to the forums, John! If I'm reading your request correctly, you want the project to repeat - the actions don't need to. Just set the start date and due date on the project as you like, then choose the "Repeat Every [1 Week]" option.

Regardless of when you complete those actions, the start and due dates on the project will advance 7 days at a time. If you want to test this, assign the project a start date of 1/22 and a due date of 1/23, then complete it. Should get you a project all set up for next week.

(You can set the "Automatically Complete" option however you prefer.)

Does that help?
 
My suggestion is that you don't actually have the project repeat, and here's why: if for some reason you don't check off every last item in this weekend's project, you won't get next weekend's project created until you do so (or mark the project complete).

Instead, just make a parallel project or single action list, and have each of the actions repeat individually. Put a start date on them so you don't see them until you want them. The repeat policy would be Repeat Every 1 week (so the dates stay aligned). Start Again is what you would do for scheduling a task that happens a fixed amount of time after you do it the previous time, like a haircut—no point in getting your monthly on the 1st of the month if you didn't manage to get it done until the 15th this month. Repeat Every is what you would use for scheduling a task that happens at a specific time of the month, like paying the rent—you don't get to pay it later next month if you were late this month.

With my scheme, you will still see the project if you look at a project mode view, but about the only time I spend looking at project mode, I'm either adding or editing a project, or doing a review. I spend most of my time in context mode actually executing available actions, and there it will be invisible except when there are actions to do.

Minor pro/con: with Brian's solution, you'll get a completed project for each week. With mine, you won't have any completed projects, but you will have a lengthy list of completed tasks in the ongoing project. If you need to do a report over time, my approach might be easier; if you want to delete the completed work, Brian's might be easier.
 
I have read the documentation and help and the forums, but for some reason I can't get some of these concepts down.

Here are my questions.

1. Is there any difference between Repeating and Reoccurring Projects/Tasks

2. I want to create some Repeating Projects that have associated tasks. For example, every Saturday morning at 6 AM I want a Project called "Weekly Computer Tasks" which will have some tasks associated with it, e.g. make weekly backup, run maintenance script, etc. When I do all the tasks I would like this project to be completed and next weeks Project to appear. No - strike that - I want this Project to go away even if all the tasks aren't completed, or at least I want the next Project to be created.

Getting this right would solve lots of problems.

3. What is "best practice" for where to put these? In a Repeating Projects folder? Does it matter.

4. Sometimes I want a Project where I have a series of tasks and I want the next task to become available x number of days after the last one is done. Example: reading a book for work, or working through on-line lessons, etc. So the project is a one-off but the tasks become due dependent on when the last task was completed.

Thanks for any help you might provide.

Bryan
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Welcome to the forums, John! If I'm reading your request correctly, you want the project to repeat - the actions don't need to.
Actually no, I wish to repeat the pendant actions, as well as the project. Life is rife with projects that require the same steps and occur weekly or monthly. Our bane.

What I'm looking for is an elegant way to clone these steps, in the future, as they are completed in the present.

@ whpalmer4: Checking off repeating actions, however, still leaves the project itself as available.

I want the project to disappear from view when completed on Sunday, and its clone to start on Saturday next, ad infinitum. For the moment I have to manually enter a start day of Saturday, and I'm hopeful that Omnifocus perhaps has a setting to to this for me.

Hope this helps you helping me...

;-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTWolff View Post
@ whpalmer4: Checking off repeating actions, however, still leaves the project itself as available.

I want the project to disappear from view when completed on Sunday, and its clone to start on Saturday next, ad infinitum. For the moment I have to manually enter a start day of Saturday, and I'm hopeful that Omnifocus perhaps has a setting to to this for me.
I understand that. It doesn't work the way you want unless you are willing to risk not getting the next week's project created, or are willing to take on the task of creating the next week's project yourself.

If you don't mind the risk, then you just need to set the project to complete when all items are checked off (select the project, open the inspector, check the Mark complete when completing last item box) and it will do what you want, iff you complete all the actions before Saturday rolls around. If you want a bit of extra safety, you could set up two such projects on alternate weekends, repeating every 2 weeks, which would give you a 13 day window in which to get the work done without potentially interfering with creating the next project.

If you want to be really well insulated against not getting the next project started on time, check out Curt Clifton's Populate Template Placeholders script which you could use to create several months worth of independent projects (1 for each weekend) at a time, all with start and due dates.

Frankly, though, my original suggestion is the most foolproof. It also generalizes nicely to collections of tasks where not everything happens on the same interval. If you want to check on the integrity of those backups every three days or every three weeks, you can easily add an additional action (or action group) to do so without having to add additional projects.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Frankly, though, my original suggestion is the most foolproof.
As that is how I have been doing it so far, it's clear I have met an equally superior intelligence.

;-)

It looks like I'll be sending a request to the support/feature Ninjas, as this should be a bread-and-butter functionality.

Thanks.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTWolff View Post
Actually no, I wish to repeat the pendant actions, as well as the project. Life is rife with projects that require the same steps and occur weekly or monthly. Our bane.

What I'm looking for is an elegant way to clone these steps, in the future, as they are completed in the present.
Well, when you complete a repeating project, the next iteration does clone the actions that project contains. What I was (badly) saying was "You either want the actions to repeat, or the project to repeat, but you don't need to set them both to do so."

As Bill mentioned, the downside of the "repeating project" approach is that the project will only create those new actions if you do them all. Sounds like you guys are on the right track, so I'll be quiet now. :-)
 
Ryan, there's a discussion in another thread which you'll probably find helpful. After I send this response, I'm going to move your post into that thread. Since you guys have similar questions, you might be interested in each others' answers...
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
1. Is there any difference between Repeating and Reoccurring Projects/Tasks
Nope; just two slightly different pieces of terminology in use

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
3. What is "best practice" for where to put these? In a Repeating Projects folder? Does it matter.
I don't treat repeating projects differently from my other ones - in my Work folder or Home folder or wherever - but if it helps your workflow to keep 'em separate, I think that constitutes best practice. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
4. Sometimes I want a Project where I have a series of tasks and I want the next task to become available x number of days after the last one is done. Example: reading a book for work, or working through on-line lessons, etc. So the project is a one-off but the tasks become due dependent on when the last task was completed.
We've got a feature request open on this sort of delayed task creation, but it's not currently supported. If you email the support ninjas, they can add you to that request in our development database; items with more customer interest tend to get higher priority.
 
 


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