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repeating parents vs children Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I have an issue with repeating actions. Timely example: I have a parent action called "Get tax forms" which starts on 2/15/10 and is due on 2/28/10, repeating every year.

The parent "Get tax forms" has children: "get W-2s", "get mortgage statements", "get student loan interest statements", etc.

My question has to do with the "right" way to assign dates to each of these, and what happens when one of the children is completed:

Currently, I assign the same start and due date to the children as I indicated above for the parent (Feb 15/28, 2010). However, as I complete the children's actions, each child is recreated for the following year (2011), but put under the parent that is still due this year (2010). When I then "complete" the parent action after all of the children are complete, the parent is recreated for the following year (2011), with the crazy result below:

Parent (due 2011)
Child 2 (due 2011)
Child 2 (due 2012)
Child 1 (due 2011)
Child 1 (due 2012)
So, my question is how to organize a recurring group? I've essentially given up on grouping these items neatly together because of this issue. (They are all separate now with no parent.)


OK, I did another experiment where the children do not have their own dates. This means that they show up in my lists without due dates indicated, and the "neatness" of having parents seems obviated. However, the repeating works as I would want it to. Hmmmm.....

Last edited by rhenn; 2010-02-27 at 06:55 PM..
I had a similar issue - once a month at work, I have a bunch of reports that I have to run. Took me a while to figure this out, but the following seems to work:

Set up the parent with the appropriate start and due dates. Make the parent repeat at whatever timeframe you need.

Add the children under the parent with the due dates as needed, but do NOT make them repeat (otherwise, you get the behavior you noticed where the next iteration reappears in the current parent task).

Also, set the parent up to mark complete when completing last item.

This should give you a task which after checking off will create a new iteration of itself at whatever interval you wanted, and the children will be part of that, set to their respective due dates in relation to the parent's date.

Hope that helps.
The general rule of thumb is that either the parents OR the children repeat, but not both. There are also cases where not having the project repeat at all but instead replicating it by hand is superior. For an example of this, consider a weekly task that might occasionally take long enough to complete that the last actions aren't completed before the next week's work needs to start. Another example is one where OmniFocus doesn't currently support the sort of repeating behavior you need, such as something that starts on the 3rd Friday of the month.

For such situations where the built-in repeat support isn't satisfactory, I like Curt Clifton's Populate Template Placeholders script as a means to easily make several copies with start and due dates appropriately adjusted so the projects wink into existence at the right time.

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