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Bump for an answer from Omni. Just to confirm recurring (like kGTD) will be in 1.0.

Everything else about OF seems to be coming together pretty well. Repeating/recurring actions would be REALLY nice though.
Originally Posted by BwanaZulia
Bump for an answer from Omni. Just to confirm recurring (like kGTD) will be in 1.0.
Yes, they're coming. From our Download / sneaky peek FAQ page's "Coming soon" section:
  • Repeating tasks
  • Rich text in notes
  • Optional columns for start date, end date, estimated time
  • Printing support
  • Sequential/Parallel task groups

Hmm, I guess those last three are actually in there now, maybe we should update that page. But in any case, yes, repeating tasks are still planned.
thanks for the update on repeating tasks; I'm looking forward to playing with those.

Let me ask you, please, whether you intend to cover both types of repeating tasks. One would be what I see described -- like the 1st of every month to pay bills or every Wed to send out a meeting note.

But what I especially hope for is repeating tasks in a call file. Examples:

1) at home, to change all of the air filters 3 months after they were last changed. It's not the 1st of every quarter, because if I slip one time, the filters are still good for 3 months and can be changed later. My target might be the 1st of the quarter, and that's when it shows up on the list, but it's not a hard date. If they get changed on the 5th, then the next target would be for the 5th, 3 months in the future.

2) networking. I have a couple of hundred people in my network that I regularly contact, and each has their own periodicity. So after I contact someone, they should be reslotted on the list based on the completion date and the periodicity. Along those lines, when a task is repeated, do you plan for any comments that have been recorded as part of that task stay with the task? That is, when I contact someone and they write back, I'd like to record some notes about what we discussed. Now that task would be considered "completed, " I imagine, and it gets rescheduled for the future. If I look at the comments for that task, will it be able to carry forward the notes from the task the last time it was done? (And I'm saying "task" though I haven't seen whether this is better set up as a task in the networking folder or as an action in the networking task. I'm leaning to the latter but would like to hear what others think.)

Chucks comments are brilliant. That is exactly what I need. I've been developing workarounds in task managers for years to accomplish those 3 different types of repeats.

1) The rent is due on the first every month, no mater what. start date and due date are the first of every month.

2) The air filters are ready to be changed 3 months after I last changed them. Start date is 3 months after last completion date. Due date is about 3 weeks later. If I don't finish it by then, the kid's allergies will act up.

3) The professional "keep in touch" call happens a while after the last one. But if I don't get to it that's okay. Start date is 4 months after the last completion. There is no due date.

This is the holy grail. Can you do it? I'd pay double for OmniFocus if you can.

Last edited by johnrover; 2007-06-06 at 08:41 PM.. Reason: revision
Agendus Pro has a pretty nice way of handling repeating tasks. You have the option of setting them as repeating on the same date, same day (ie 1st Monday of every month) or at a regular interval, say every 12 days or 12 days after task is completed.

You can also set up how much lead time you want.

What I don't like about Life Balance is that it won't let you schedule repeating tasks for just weekdays.
Chuck and johnrover are absolutely right about the importance of accommodating these different types of repeating tasks. Once app I've seen for them is Sciral Consistency (mentioned by mprewitt above). I doesn't seem have been updated recently, but it is definitely worth playing with the demo.

The visual representation of such tasks it offers is particularly nice (see the page linked above for a description)

I would love to see this sort of functionality, and a nice visual representation of it, in OF!
I think what Chuck wants is the difference in kGTD in renew vs recur.

In kGTD (and thus I expect OF) if you give something a date and say "recur in 2 weeks" when it is completed it will create another task in two weeks from that date it was due. This would be your "pay bills on the first" example.

The other one is called "renew" and when you give a task a date and "renew in 2 weeks" it creates a new task two weeks after it was completed. So If it was completed two days before or two days after the due date, the new due date is exactly two weeks from the completion date not the due date.

In kGTD you can do days, months, weeks (not sure about years).

Bills: Due March 1st, 2007 - Recur in 1 month
Contacts: Due March 1st 2007, Renew in 3 months

It is VERY handy and I am sure at the minimum those features will make it into OmniFocus through the inspector.

The nice feature in kGTD though was this was written in the note field so you could enter it on your Treo and it would flow back to kGTD.

One thing I do hope for is some sort of syntax for typing them in, in the due field. I'd rather not mess with Inspectors unless I must, and if I could just type something like 'tod +2w' to mean, "Do this today, and every two weeks afterwards", or 'tom ~200d' to mean, "Do tomorrow, and then every 200 days afterwards, but if you do it three days from now, do it 200 days from then, instead." And of course date based ones too.

Oh, and out of everything I've ever used to set dates and intervals, Remind takes the cake.
I second the desire for recurring functionality like that in Sciral Consistency. I care less about the UI but it is an excellent way of supporting a class of recurring action that no other approach seems to handle.

I actually ended up implementing my own little version of Consistency that orders actions as follows:

Every action, like in Consistency, has a minimum and a maximum interval before repeating.

For each action, I calculate a score as follows:

score = MAX(0, 1 + last - minimum) / (1 + maximum - minimum)

where last is the interval since the action was last done.

This is simply a refinement of what Consistency seems to do. They colour based on whether the the score above is 0, between 0 and 1, 1 or above 1.

But calculating an actual score allows my program to order actions and it works *very* well for recurring tasks.

I would *love* to see this in OmniFocus.

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