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I see I can add duration to actions, but not projects. I with this were not the case. Yes, in larger projects the current way makes sense. However, in small projects I would love to be able to make the project have a duration. Any suggestions on how to do that?
Not really. The duration field was added as a way to help people filter out actions that could be done in less than a certain amount of time. If you have 25 minutes before your next appointment, there's little point in contemplating an action that you know will take 45 minutes. On the other hand, if you have three hours ahead of you, it can be nice to select actions that will take more than an hour, so you can knock off something major.

Some people have requested that projects have a duration that is automatically calculated by adding the duration of their actions. The problem with that is that most of us don't specify all the actions we need to complete a project; the "natural planning" method behind OmniFocus emphasizes defining at least the next action for each project, but not necessarily sitting down and defining the entire project. That can be a procrastination technique, after all! Also, people are generally pretty bad at estimating how long a project will take, unless they have a lot of experience. As the saying has it, the first 90% of a project will take 90% of the time, and the last 10% will take the other 90% of the time.
good points. I too rarely use duration for the reasons you said . . . but I was thinking of a few good times when I would if it worked this way.

One other thing I think they should do for sure is modify the duration filter. Right now it is 5m, 15m, 30m, 1h and >1h. I would like to see a 1-4h, 4-8h and <8. Or better yet, let us modify it on our own (and sorry if we can but I do not know how).
You can't modify the duration filter, but you can sort by duration. So if you ungroup actions (you can't group by duration), sort by duration, and filter on duration greater than 1 hour, you can scroll down through increasingly long actions.

Me, I tend to break down really long tasks into more manageable, discrete sub-tasks. The exception is reading long books. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to the review I'm supposed to be writing!
I'm sure you know you can add the duration to Aunt's so that might be a work around and just treat them sort of like projects.

Also check out if you haven't seen this yet.

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