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Originally Posted by morkafur View Post
What I would expect (need) from the software (as Things does it) is that if I schedule a task's start date, a tasks end date, and a repeat frequency, that that task will show up in the "Due" prospective when it's within the number of dates from the Due Date (as configured in preferences).
But that's *not* what you did. You are reading "due date" and seeing "end date" and it is little surprise that the results don't match your expectations.

"Start date" = first day you can work on this task, or first day you want to see it presented as available
"Due date" = date by which this task should be completed. Not to be confused with the termination of a repeating task! OmniFocus repeating tasks repeat endlessly.

You set up a task with a start date of a few days ago and a due date at the end of October, repeating daily. That means your task is shown as available for action any time after a few days ago, and at the end of October will be marked as overdue if not completed. The daily repeat means that when you mark that task completed, another copy will be made with the start and due dates adjusted by 1 day.

Usually, a repeating task where the time between start and due is ≫ the repeat interval is a mistake, but not always. For example: I want to refill the water fountain used by my cats. It holds water sufficient for 2-3 days, so I put the start date this morning and the due date tomorrow afternoon, with a start again after 1 day. Most of the time I'll do it on the day it appears as a newly started action, but if I don't, the due date the next day will catch it before it runs out. I could just set up a task that repeats every 2 days, but this approach gets me a bigger margin of safety. It's hard to imagine a case where what you specified to OmniFocus (task starting today, due in 5 months, repeating daily) would be desirable, though!
So, for a daily task, there should be a Due task each day for this (daily frequency) task.
Each time you complete the task, the new one is created. OmniFocus allows you to decide whether the new one is scheduled based on when the old one was scheduled, or when it was completed. If you are getting the lawn mowed or your hair cut, you want the next one to be based on when you last completed it (start again or due again). In other cases, where it not only matters when, but how many times you do something, you might choose to use repeat every.
From these postings here on the forum, OF doesn't appear to work this way but I'm not about to change my needs to adapt to a methodology or to this software.
The Start date in OmniFocus is Things' "show in Today x days before" except that OmniFocus allows you to view those actions conveniently even before that date (by showing Remaining actions) whereas Things appears to make you look through your scheduled actions and work out whether any of them fall in your window of interest.

I'm not attempting to convince you to prefer OmniFocus; if you prefer Things, you should use it. I find it usually works better if I understand my choices, though often the understanding comes only after choosing :-)
I agree with many of the OP's points -- especially the lack of multiple tags. Could you imagine organizing a photo collection without tags? Or a large volume of notes in Evernote? OF is essentially a database for tasks -- why not implement tags for it? Seems like it would solve a lot of issues.
Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
... OF is essentially a database for tasks -- why not implement tags for it? Seems like it would solve a lot of issues.

Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
I agree with many of the OP's points -- especially the lack of multiple tags. Could you imagine organizing a photo collection without tags? Or a large volume of notes in Evernote? OF is essentially a database for tasks -- why not implement tags for it? Seems like it would solve a lot of issues.
My experience with tagging photos for retrieval is that unless you spend a lot of time carefully choosing your tags and taxonomy, it's just a guessing game when it comes time to retrieve the images via tags. Otherwise, you have to slap on every tag imaginable, because there are many tags you would recognize as being the same, but the software will not. Possible tags for an image of a sailboat on a lake: boat, sailboat, sailing, <type of sailboat>, lake, <name of lake>, etc. You can't risk doing a retrieval on just one of those tags, because maybe the day you were tagging images you didn't put the tag you're using for retrieval on the image you want. So, for the cost of putting tags on everything, you get a retrieval system you can't really trust to retrieve all the relevant tasks. A heckuva deal, I'll take two! :-)

Now, I agree that for very focused use cases, rather than general purpose retrieval, having a tag facility could be handy. I've got this collection of tasks, and I want to mark all of them with a tag so that I can reassemble the collection at some point in the future. In this light, you could view the flag facility OmniFocus provides as a single tag.
I'm regretfully with the OP. OmniFocus has too much of the database's rigidity, not enough of the pad and pencil's fluidity. I really don't enjoy using it, except that I *do* use it. To paraphrase Winston Churchill on democracy, "It has been said that OmniFocus is the worst form of to-do app except all the others that have been tried."
There's an old saying: "Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it."

I agree with whpalmer4's stance on tagging.

Tagging is a nice feature if you keep the number of tags to a minimum. When a user goes hog wild and puts hundred of tags without really focusing on why you're tagging in the first place.

In Aperture, I only tag photos that I know I'll be wanting. Otherwise, I have rarely used tags on everything.

I'll be spending so much time tagging, I won't be getting anything done.

OmniFocus has a global search function that suits me well enough.

Tagging has somehow become this magical wand that solves a lot of problems. But care should be applied when trying to implementing tagging.

Tagging may solve some problems of organization but not all. If you have carefully crafted your projects and tasks/subtasks, a quick global search should yield your results easily.

I have my tasks organized by folders and projects. I think that should be the first step in organizing one's tasks. Tagging isn't going to cure sloppy project planning.
I'm with Stargazer and bashosfrog on this. I've aways believed in multiple contexts but have understood the arguments against. Tags? Not so much. Like flags, they are a disposable commodity, enabling those of us in the real world to actually get things done. I don't think I'd even want to be sufficiently psychic so that my life could be project planned with no unexpected eventualities! I don't believe there's any need to go OCGTD about tags, in whpalmer4's (hey Bill!) example, #sail would do me just fine. I recall that the OmniFolk stated many years ago that tags would be added, although experience has taught me to take such pronouncements with Lot's wife!

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2012-05-22 at 07:11 AM..
Originally Posted by wilsonng View Post
...Tagging isn't going to cure sloppy project planning.
OTOH, they can help aleviate the pains of reviewing / preparing activity reports.

So rather than a shot against polio, tags are aspirin for a headache. All caveats against (taking) too many still certainly apply.

As someone who has gone between Things and OmniFocus a few times I feel a need to weigh in here. Both programs have great features, both have features that, well, aren't so good. I actually built a spreadsheet comparing the features of each program based upon my needs (a little OCD I know).

Now that Things has a very nice sync solution, for me, the two critical differences between them are Tags and Nested Actions or Folders. Between the two programs I can have one, or the other, not both (without resorting to elaborate duct taped workarounds). Given the choice between those two features, I choose Tags (and therefore Things). I find being limited to a single context useless.

A month from now I may be complaining about the lack of nested folders in Things and find myself back in the OmniFocus camp, bit I'm not so sure. The complexity of OmniFocus is a turn off and I've been using the program for almost 4 years. If I have a complex project, I don't turn to OmniFocus, I turn to OmniOutliner.

Someone earlier commented about the search feature in OmniFocus. My response is that it's terrible and another reason I like Things. In less you are very careful in your filter settings your search in OF, will not be global, and it's easy to miss stuff. Search in Things is better implemented.

I concur with the OP, I really want to like OF, but this sexy looking Thing(s) keeps walking by which I find easier ;)
Originally Posted by DrJJWMac View Post
All caveats against (taking) too many still certainly apply.
This always makes me chuckle, if a few too many tags are a risk, I definitely think contexts should be removed forthwith, so many inexperienced users overdose on them!

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