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How do you set up bills? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Right now I have the due dates of all my bills set up in ical. Unfortunately, I can't tell by looking at ical if I've paid a bill or not. So I'd like to set up my bill paying as a project, with each bill as a repeating action. However, I would still like to look at my "money" calendar and see when everything is due. Is there a way to do both through omnifocus, or should I just have my tasks in OF and due dates in ical?
 
I set up a bills context and put repeating actions in there (I have a project that's just for bills too, but that's not functional, only helps to organize them). Each action has a start date (usually about five days before a bill is due so I'm reminded about it a little ahead of time). Each action's due date is the due date of the bill. My bills are pretty regular so I don't have to modify the due dates very often, and since I have five days before the due date when a bill shows up in my action list I can usually adapt if a bill is due a day sooner than usual or something.

I don't have bill due dates in my calendar anymore. I just no longer need them. It works really well for me. I see the bills pop up regularly so I never miss them and once they're paid, I complete them and they disappear from my list until the next cycle.
 
Okay, this may or may not be helpful, but my bank as absolutely stellar online banking; I actually just take care of all this stuff on their website, once a month. I log on, say who gets how much on what days, and they actually print and mail the checks for me and/or do the electronic funds transfer on the schedule I define.

So, rather than track each bill separately, I have a designated spot where I stick all my bills as they come in. I then ignore that spot for 27-30 days out of the month. :-)

The only thing in OmniFocus is a task that repeats 30 days after the assigned date that reminds me to grab stack 'o bills, log on to said website, and handle everything all at once.

So, if you can do the arranging that's required on the front end, you can really simplify this task down into a very small chunk of time and a single task in OmniFocus.
 
Having just moved all my to-do items from RememberTheMilk into OmniFocus, I'm finding bill payment to be my one hang-up. RememberTheMilk, for all its faults, has a wonderful feature that lets you export items with due dates as an iCal events calendar rather than as to-do items; this lets me easily get a handle on when my bills are due vs. my paydays. (Unfortunately, I can't afford to leave all my bills until a single day per month; someday, perhaps!) Without that financial "landscape" in iCal, I feel blind. :-/
 
Why not use a "due items" perspective to keep an eye on bills? It's not a calendar but shows a concise list of items coming due grouped with nice headings and even exact due dates if you turn that column on.

I used to keep all my bill payment dates in iCal, but since moving then into OmniFocus and using a due items perspective, I feel like I have a much better handle on things without all the additional clutter a calendar often brings.

As for exporting to iCal events instead of to dos, that's been discussed before on this forum. Unfortunately, it's not really clear how items should be displayed.

-Dennis
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
Why not use a "due items" perspective to keep an eye on bills? It's not a calendar but shows a concise list of items coming due grouped with nice headings and even exact due dates if you turn that column on.

I used to keep all my bill payment dates in iCal, but since moving then into OmniFocus and using a due items perspective, I feel like I have a much better handle on things without all the additional clutter a calendar often brings.
The "due items" perspective would be fine, except that I need to keep track of when my bills are due with respect to my paydays. With iCal, I could eyeball this and know exactly what I could afford to pay at what point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadling View Post
As for exporting to iCal events instead of to dos, that's been discussed before on this forum. Unfortunately, it's not really clear how items should be displayed.
It probably helps that RTM is a simpler app; it just exports each item as an all-day event taking place on its due date, and sets the title to the title of the to-do item. I'd imagine that a similar OmniFocus feature would have to take into account the longer text areas (truncation?), which date to use (due? start?), and that due dates have time resolution (do you show midnight items as all-day events?). Hmm, it definitely doesn't look as simple an item to implement as it did at first glance.

An idea just occurred to me: I created a "Get paid" as an item in OmniFocus, and it shows up alongside the other items in the "Due Items" perspective. It's not perfect (I don't get to see more than one upcoming payday at a time, and it's weird being "warned" about something I don't have to act on), but it's something for now.
 
In terms of the OF actions, I have a very similar approach to MEP. All bills go into the single-action list entitled Bills, and have context of Internet (since all the bills I have can be paid electronically). Start date a few days before they are due, and the due date set to the day before they are due. Most of them are also set to automatically repeat, and when I get sent the physical bill I just check that the dates match up.

In terms of the actual money management issues, I use a program called Moneydance. It has a little calendar section where you can put in pays etc and schedule bills. I record all monetary transactions in here (so I also have a repeating daily task in OF to record any spending). While it isn't a cocoa app, I like it; i've tried a few other cocoa apps like iBank, but I hated them.
 
 


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