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Can somebody let me know how to clone a task, so it will appear in several projects? I'm hoping this feature is already implemented. This is the functionality I'm looking for:

1) I've started two simple sequential projects: "order business cards" and "order brochures"

2) task one of these two simple sequential projects is to buy a PO Box, since I can't have my business cards or brochures printed without including this information.

3) I don't want to enter "buy PO box" separately under each project. I want these "buy PO box" tasks to be clones of each other, so that:

4) After I buy my PO box, I'd like to be able to go into my "order business cards" and check off the "buy PO box" checkmark. When I do this, I'd like the "buy PO box" task appearing under "order brochures" to automatically become checked.

Thanks for any advice. I didn't see this in the micro-manual or under any menus; I'd suggest calling this feature "cloning tasks" when it is implemented and/or documented.


Cloning of actions isn't implemented. I'd handle the situation you describe by creating nested projects:

Prepared to launch business (sequential project)
    Buy a PO Box
    Ordered supplies (parallel project)
        Order business cards
        Order brochures
Cloning, or rather making a hard link to a task, would certainly have its uses, also because some tasks can be dealt with in different contexts. For instance, I can buy the famous crackers when I'm running errands alone, and also when I'm with my wife.

With a 'hard linked' task, checking off (or deleting or rephrasing) it would check off (delete, rephrase) all its 'clones'.
What you really want is multiple contexts... not "cloning tasks"
Originally Posted by johnrover
What you really want is multiple contexts... not "cloning tasks"
Amounts to the same thing, really.
Originally Posted by johnrover
What you really want is multiple contexts... not "cloning tasks"
multiple projects, no?
I think what johnrover means is that the benefits of "cloned tasks" can also be achieved by allowing any task to have more than one context associated with it. Good idea, I think.
No it's not the same. I understands what he wants because I'd love the same feature. The way my work is set up, it would be very useful to link the same task to different projects which are connected but different.
Originally Posted by johnrover
What you really want is multiple contexts... not "cloning tasks"
No, no, no, no, no.

Contexts are irrelevant to what I'm seeking. Please refer back to my example. I've got two projects: the first is to create business cards, the second is to create brochures.

Before either of these tasks can be finished, I'm going to have to buy a PO box, because both my business cards and my brochure will contain my mailing address.

For the sake of argument, let's assign an "errand" context to my buying a PO Box. Well, then, what's the point of multiple contexts? You're not buying a PO box twice. Buying a PO box happens to be *ONE* required task that is necessary for the completion of *TWO* different projects.

As such, the most graceful way to handle this is to allow cloning of this task, to allow it to appear simultaneously under two or more projects. This gives two great advantages.

First, if I refine this task within one of my projects, by making it "Buy PO Box *in South Lake Tahoe*," this refinement will automatically appear under both projects.

Second, when I finally buy my PO Box, and click the checkmark of "buy PO Box" under the "create business cards" project, the clone's checkbox under "create brochures" will also automaticaly become checked.

Several participants in this thread have posted alternate solutions to my problem. But if you really understand the functionality of what I'm seeking here, I think you'll find every proposal to be at best a clumsy and frustrating workaround to an important missing feature. I believe that if cloned tasks are not available in the 1.0 release, Omnifocus will (justifiably) be slammed on this point by countless reviewers and users -- it's a very basic and fundamental feature that I think practically everyone will need at least occasionally. In fact, I believe it's by far the most graceful way to handle any situation where performance of a single task is necessary for the completion of two or more projects.

I write all this with the greatest respect and don't wish to flame anyone who has been kind enough to post within this thread.

I didn't mean to suggest that cloning wasn't useful in some cases. I was just trying to suggest a technique that works in many cases. I do use nested projects as I suggested quite often and don't find them clumsy at all.

But I've also often run across cases where several largely unrelated projects rely on a single action. A workaround that I've used is to create an action in one project and a "Waiting For" in the other projects. But this is clumsy and error-prone.

So, I second your request for cloning. I don't personally think it's a make-or-break feature for 1.0, but I would love to see it included.

(As an aside, there's an interesting dynamic set-up by being part of the alpha testing. I tend to be in less of a hurry for the 1.0 release! After all, I already have the goods. But those of us on "inside" should also think of the people who will benefit from the software being released. One of the critical challenges when releasing software is deciding when enough features are present and of high enough quality.)

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