One of the things (ha) that I miss since adopting things as my task management system is the notion (no) of defer dates. I’d love to be able to look my Anytime list to see tasks as options for me, minus those that I have actively decided “not right now” to.
Thanks to the Shortcuts support in Things, I was able to devise a simple workflow to implement the concept of deferring tasks to a later time for being viable options (not necessarily due on or starting on that date, just off my radar until then).
There are several components to this workflow:
- A tag called Defer
- A Shortcut to defer tasks with (though it is easily enough done by hand, too)
- A Shortcut to “clear” deferred tasks (more on this in a bit)
- A rule: trust my dates in Things
Basically, the logic is this: any task on a date but tagged with Defer is known to neither be due on the date it is set to, nor necessarily starting on that day. So, it’s as simple as “set the date and add the Defer tag” to a given task(s). My Defer Things → Shortcut guides this (using selected tasks).
On a day on which there are deferred tasks, they appear in the Today list, of course, and identified by the Defer tag. The Clear Deferred Things → Shortcut “clears” these, by removing the Defer tag and setting the start to Anytime, thus making them available options as tasks to work on.
As I write this, it all seems rather elementary, but it is really helpful for me to push off tasks I know I’m not committed to (but don’t feel comfortable about throwing into the deep box of Someday).
I’d love to hear if anyone else finds this useful as well!