HomeBusiness BuildingUsing OmniFocus for recurring tasks

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m not the most organized person in the world. Ask my husband. On second thought, don’t mention it to him. No need to start THAT conversation again! We are truly as different as night and day when it comes to organization. I recognize this deficiency though, and do what I can to minimize the effects by having technology help me where I can. As a Mac and iOS lover, I have used OmniFocus by OmniGroup for awhile now (Mac, iPhone and iPad), and although I constantly ignore alarms and notifications, eventually OmniFocus manages to get even ME back on track. That’s actually high praise, in case you weren’t sure!

I learned a new OmniFocus trick recently that I thought I’d share with you.

As a member of The Daily Marketing Coach, I’m often called on to accept a team challenge that is geared towards helping me become more consistent in my business marketing efforts. We’ve recently started an Instagram challenge (I’m dzanre on Instagram if you want to come see my activities there), and my task is to consistently post 4 new Instagram posts per day. This, of course, makes someone like me a little anxious. It’s not that I can’t find four interesting pictures to post each day that revolve around my life and my work. It’s that I will get lost in other work that distracts me from eating and bringing in the laundry before the rain (snow again this weekend!) comes if I don’t set reminders for myself. So, I will surely get distracted from consistently posting my Instagram photos! Forewarned is forearmed, so I’m focusing on how to be successful.

So I learned a new OmniFocus trick. I need to set 4 daily tasks to post on Instagram. Easy you say! Just set a task to recur every day! Hold on. Let’s step back a minute. Remember how I said I’m unorganized and forgetful! While I FULLY intend to meet this challenge, those of you reading this who have the same difficulties as I do will nod when I say there is nothing more demoralizing than looking at a to-do list that has 5 past due reminders stacked up for the same task because you forgot for a few (okay 5) days to get the job done. OmniFocus has me covered. For recurrence, OmniFocus will allow me to set a new task with a due date based on the day I complete the first task. Check out the image below.

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As you can see, the recurrence here is based on “After Completion” and not a fixed day. The following image will show you more of the recurrence options.

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On the iPhone app you will see a “defer again” or “due again” option. Currently both the Mac and iPad versions show “start date” rather than “defer again”. In one of those rare instances, OmniGroup chose to update the iPhone app first, and the Mac application is currently in beta for the version 2.0 updates. In any event, if you have a project that takes multiple days to accomplish and should start again in 5 days from the time you finish the current instance, you would use the defer/start option. In my case, the task is due every day, and so the next instances should be “due again” one day after I mark the current instance complete. Whew!

What productivity tools do you use to keep you on task?

Danita

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