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I was hoping that someone could help me figure out if this can be accomplished. I have not been able to figure it out. If it can't be accomplished what features would I have to request in order for it to work.

I have a group of actions (marketing campaign) that I repeat every week. The action group looks somewhat like this:
  • Weekly Marketing Campaign - <insert date>
  • Download Prospect List
  • Mail Merge
  • Mail Letter #1
  • Mail Letter #2
  • Mail Letter #3
  • Archive Prospects

So the timing on the tasks varies. The entire group needs to repeat on a weekly basis, no matter if the previous group was completed or not. Then tasks 1-3 are due on the first day that group is created. Task 4 (Mail Letter #2) needs to happen 10 days after task 3 (letter #1). Then the last two tasks (letter #3) need to be due 10 days after task 4 (letter #2).

Please let me know if I did not explain this properly so that I can clarify.

Thanks for you help in advance!

Cheers
Joe
 
OmniFocus never creates a repeat of a task or project until you've completed the first one. There's also no way to make one task's deadline depend on when an earlier task was completed. So this can't simply be set up the way you describe. (And those are the two features you need to ask for.)
There may be some way to make your project work with existing features, but I'm not thinking creatively at the moment. Anybody want to chime in on that front?
 
I'm sure that someone will come through with something much more elegant, but here's something that sort of works...but only if you're willing to consider your weekly marketing campaign is really one, ongoing project and you'd probably want to add the date to the tasks when they're auto created.

Set each of the actions up as a repeating action with a repeat of 7 days from the start date. I'm thinking that you'd have the start date and the due date of each action be the same date. It would look like this:

11/1 start due - DL Prospect List - repeat 7 days from assigned (repeat #1 11/8)
11/1 start due - Mail Merge - repeat 7 days from assigned (repeat #1 11/8)
11/1 start due - Mail Letter 1 - repeat 7 days from assigned (repeat #1 11/8)
11/11 start due - Mail Letter 2 - repeat 7 days from assigned (repeat #1 11/18)
11/21 start due - Mail Letter 3 - repeat 7 days from assigned (repeat #1 11/28)
11/21 start due - Archive Prospects - repeat 7 days from assigned (repeat #1 11/28)

Since it would be in one project/single action list it would be ugly and confusing unless, when something became available, you typed in the start date or the week number or whatever. So there would be that manual aspect. And I'm not sure if having everything appear and be due on the same day is what you want...but since it's always the same...it's not like it's a surprise. I suppose you could have all the tasks start the same day, and just have the due dates roll as suggested. I don't know which you'd be interested in based on your post.

Hope this either helps or gets you thinking or gets someone else thinking and posting. Good luck.
 
Yes, you can do this. There are a few sticking points, however, that make it not as convenient as one might like.

Getting the date into the project name will require some sort of assist. Some sort of script to fix them up, or maybe just doing it by hand every time.

The stickier bit is the repeating without previous project being completed, as OmniFocus triggers the repeat off the previous item being marked completed, which will never have happened here because your project is longer in duration than the time until the next one starts.

Here's my approach. Download and install Curt Clifton's Populate Template Placeholders script. Build up a template project for your repeating project. Don't bother trying to set up repeating at all. You'll simply put in a handful of them at a time, and in the last one you set up, you'll add an action to put in the next bunch. With my example, setting up another one is a simple matter of selecting the template project, a click to run the script, and entering two dates. Curt's script does the rest, and as you'll set a start date in the template (which the script will adjust), you won't see the future ones most of the time.

A note or two on my example:

I set my templates to be dropped so they don't show up in my usual views.

It wasn't entirely clear to me if you wanted hard start dates on the later actions (to make sure letter #2 went out exactly 10 days after letter #1, and no sooner). If you put dates in your template with Curt's script, the populated versions will have dates set to be the same dates relative to the start and/or due dates. I entered the dates in the templates as +10d, +20d, etc. but they show up as 10 and 20 days from the date that I created the template.

So, if you do something like this, it won't be automatic, but neither should it be too onerous to set up. The following week's campaign will start whether or not you've completed the previous one. You get the date in the project name without doing any additional work. Curt's script will allow templates with multiple input parameters (this example only has one), so you can do fairly elaborate constructs. Thanks, Curt!

 
 


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