Using OmniFocus 3 Forecast Tags as a checklist for my 3 MITs or a Daily Routine

This is part 1 in my experiment with Time Management of OmniFocus 3. This article deals with using the OmniFocus 3 Forecast Tags. Part 2 [coming soon] will be focused on time-shifting OmniFocus 3 tasks with Apple Calendar.

Time management is a myth. I can’t manage time because time moves at a constant pace. But I can manage my attention to my project and tasks. I’ve been experimenting with OmniFocus 3’s new Forecast Tags feature and trying to wrap my head around it. I’ve settled on using the Forecast tag for a daily checklist that can help me with my three MITs (Most Important Tasks) or a Daily Routine checklist.

OmniFocus 3 and many task managers are tools that capably store your projects and tasks. Whenever I have a free time slot between appointments and events, I’ll open my task manager and look for a task to work on.

Task managers are not a great schedulers. I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate my calendar into my bucket list of projects and tasks. OmniFocus 3 attempts to deal with this problem by introducing Forecast tags.

My calendar represents my life. I have hard-fixed appointments that are not necessarily within my realm of control. Here’s an example of a day in my life. I have

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The calendar represents my hard landscape. I try to fit my projects and tasks around these appointments. I refer to OmniFocus whenever I have a small time block ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours. I can choose a task from my task list and start to work.

In the example above, I have appointments at 3 pm, 4 pm, and 5 pm. I can consider squeezing in a task at 3:30 pm (after the life insurance meeting) and another task after 4:30 pm (after the teleconference).

OmniFocus 3’s new Forecast perspective gives users a very good Today list by allowing me to see my deferred tasks and due tasks. The Forecast Tag expands on that by letting me add any task that is assigned a Forecasts Tag.

OmniFocus 3’s Forecast Tags

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My Forecast Tag: MIT (Most Important Task)

Forecast tags will make a task show up in the Forecast perspective. Many users have been able to use the Forecast perspective with the Forecast Tag to create a Today list they can work from.

OmniFocus 3 does not have a Forecast Tag automatically assigned. The Forecast perspective will show any task that has a due and/or deferred date.

Forecast with only due or deferred tasks showing

To assign a Forecast Tag to the Forecast perspective, click one the view settings button on the toolbar. Type in the first few letters in the popup menu and choose your tag. In this case, I selected my MIT tag as my Forecast Tag.

Now, I can see any tasks that have been assigned the ‘MIT’ tag in the Forecast perspective.

In my case, I look at my list of due and flagged tasks and tag up to three items as my MITs for the day. Another way to use the Forecast Tag is for a daily routines checklist.

I am currently working on clearing my inboxes and wanted to show the daily checklist in my Forecast perspective. I tagged all of these tasks with the MIT tag. This will show up every day in my Forecast perspective.


Action Items

  1. Define the purpose for your Forecast Tag. I provided the option of either using the 3-MIT approach or the Daily Checklist approach.
  2. Assign the Forecast Tag to your tasks.
  3. Go to your Forecast perspective and assign the Forecast Tag.
  4. Start working on completing your Forecast-tagged tasks.

Using the Forecast Tag was an interesting experiment in creating a Daily Today list. The Forecast perspectives shows deferred task, due tasks, and my Forecast-tagged tasks. This was the first phase of my time management experiments. When OmniFocus 3 was first released, I noted the introduction of the Forecast tag. But I had to settle in first with some of the new changes that OmniFocus 3 introduced (multiple tags being the first one).

I’ll explore time-shifting OmniFocus 3 tasks using Apple Calendar. I looked at the nuts and bolts of scheduling tasks and my experiment transitioning from the OmniFocus 3 Forecast perspective to a dual app approach using OmniFocus 3 and Apple Calendar.

[Coming Soon: Time-shifting my OmniFocus 3 tasks to Apple Calendar]


Question of the Day

What do you have as your Forecast Tag and any? I’d like to see some alternative uses for this new feature.

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