Task Management and Your Calendar

In relation to my OmniFocus talks and screencasts, I often get questions and e-mails about how I incorporate my calendar events.

I don’t.

In my mind, calendar events and task items are two separate and distinct things. Put simply, tasks are things I need to do and calendar items are places I need to be. The only overlap is when I have tasks relating to a calendar event. For example, if I have a meeting with you tomorrow at 10 AM to finalize plans for a death ray we are building together, I will have some tasks in OmniFocus to prepare materials and designs in advance. (Since these items would need to be done before we met, they are excellent candidates for a due date.)

In contrast, if I have an appointment with my optometrist to get fitted for a monocle, there are no related tasks and it would not appear anywhere in OmniFocus.

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20 Comments Task Management and Your Calendar

  1. contact@ericdobson.com

    I frequently integrate Calendar events as 'waiting for' tasks or by setting a start date for the next task. Since there'd be at least three steps in your example: schedule appointment, get prescription, and pickup finished monocle, I'd create a 'Purchase Monocle' project and account for the appointment one way or another.

    Reply
  2. contact@ericdobson.com

    I frequently integrate Calendar events as 'waiting for' tasks or by setting a start date for the next task. Since there'd be at least three steps in your example: schedule appointment, get prescription, and pickup finished monocle, I'd create a 'Purchase Monocle' project and account for the appointment one way or another.

    Reply
  3. contact@ericdobson.com

    I frequently integrate Calendar events as 'waiting for' tasks or by setting a start date for the next task. Since there'd be at least three steps in your example: schedule appointment, get prescription, and pickup finished monocle, I'd create a 'Purchase Monocle' project and account for the appointment one way or another.

    Reply
  4. contact@ericdobson.com

    I frequently integrate Calendar events as 'waiting for' tasks or by setting a start date for the next task. Since there'd be at least three steps in your example: schedule appointment, get prescription, and pickup finished monocle, I'd create a 'Purchase Monocle' project and account for the appointment one way or another.

    Reply
  5. contact@ericdobson.com

    I frequently integrate Calendar events as 'waiting for' tasks or by setting a start date for the next task. Since there'd be at least three steps in your example: schedule appointment, get prescription, and pickup finished monocle, I'd create a 'Purchase Monocle' project and account for the appointment one way or another.

    Reply
  6. ed@smartstartmn.com

    But what about tasks that are time-sensitive? If we are holding a conference to show off our death ray, shouldn't we have a series of tasks that must be accomplished to build & test our death ray and have marketing materials prepared for our conference, all of which would have different due dates that would be on a calendar?
    Or would these reside only in Omnifocus' forecast (calendar) function?

    Reply
  7. ed@smartstartmn.com

    But what about tasks that are time-sensitive? If we are holding a conference to show off our death ray, shouldn't we have a series of tasks that must be accomplished to build & test our death ray and have marketing materials prepared for our conference, all of which would have different due dates that would be on a calendar?
    Or would these reside only in Omnifocus' forecast (calendar) function?

    Reply
  8. ed@smartstartmn.com

    But what about tasks that are time-sensitive? If we are holding a conference to show off our death ray, shouldn't we have a series of tasks that must be accomplished to build & test our death ray and have marketing materials prepared for our conference, all of which would have different due dates that would be on a calendar?
    Or would these reside only in Omnifocus' forecast (calendar) function?

    Reply
  9. ed@smartstartmn.com

    But what about tasks that are time-sensitive? If we are holding a conference to show off our death ray, shouldn't we have a series of tasks that must be accomplished to build & test our death ray and have marketing materials prepared for our conference, all of which would have different due dates that would be on a calendar?
    Or would these reside only in Omnifocus' forecast (calendar) function?

    Reply
  10. ed@smartstartmn.com

    But what about tasks that are time-sensitive? If we are holding a conference to show off our death ray, shouldn't we have a series of tasks that must be accomplished to build & test our death ray and have marketing materials prepared for our conference, all of which would have different due dates that would be on a calendar?
    Or would these reside only in Omnifocus' forecast (calendar) function?

    Reply
  11. michael.dorestoafrica@gmail.com

    Don't forget to stop by your local haberdashery and pick up a nice top hat to go with that monocle! Better pencil it in…

    Reply
  12. michael.dorestoafrica@gmail.com

    Don't forget to stop by your local haberdashery and pick up a nice top hat to go with that monocle! Better pencil it in…

    Reply
  13. michael.dorestoafrica@gmail.com

    Don't forget to stop by your local haberdashery and pick up a nice top hat to go with that monocle! Better pencil it in…

    Reply
  14. michael.dorestoafrica@gmail.com

    Don't forget to stop by your local haberdashery and pick up a nice top hat to go with that monocle! Better pencil it in…

    Reply
  15. michael.dorestoafrica@gmail.com

    Don't forget to stop by your local haberdashery and pick up a nice top hat to go with that monocle! Better pencil it in…

    Reply
  16. whpalmer4+macsparky@gmail.com

    Ed,

    those tasks are things that need to be done by a certain date, not that need to be done on a certain date. You need to have the death ray done by the date of the demonstration to the world leaders, so constructing it is an OmniFocus action with a due date. You are demonstrating the death ray by obliterating the UN building on Saturday at 3 PM, during the football game, so that goes on the calendar.

    Reply
  17. whpalmer4+macsparky@gmail.com

    Ed,

    those tasks are things that need to be done by a certain date, not that need to be done on a certain date. You need to have the death ray done by the date of the demonstration to the world leaders, so constructing it is an OmniFocus action with a due date. You are demonstrating the death ray by obliterating the UN building on Saturday at 3 PM, during the football game, so that goes on the calendar.

    Reply
  18. whpalmer4+macsparky@gmail.com

    Ed,

    those tasks are things that need to be done by a certain date, not that need to be done on a certain date. You need to have the death ray done by the date of the demonstration to the world leaders, so constructing it is an OmniFocus action with a due date. You are demonstrating the death ray by obliterating the UN building on Saturday at 3 PM, during the football game, so that goes on the calendar.

    Reply
  19. whpalmer4+macsparky@gmail.com

    Ed,

    those tasks are things that need to be done by a certain date, not that need to be done on a certain date. You need to have the death ray done by the date of the demonstration to the world leaders, so constructing it is an OmniFocus action with a due date. You are demonstrating the death ray by obliterating the UN building on Saturday at 3 PM, during the football game, so that goes on the calendar.

    Reply
  20. whpalmer4+macsparky@gmail.com

    Ed,

    those tasks are things that need to be done by a certain date, not that need to be done on a certain date. You need to have the death ray done by the date of the demonstration to the world leaders, so constructing it is an OmniFocus action with a due date. You are demonstrating the death ray by obliterating the UN building on Saturday at 3 PM, during the football game, so that goes on the calendar.

    Reply

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