I wish OmniFocus would replace the way its Forecast view selects items to display with a user-selectable perspective. Then I could make my own choices about what to include, and OmniFocus would display those items in its handy integrated view alongside calendar events.

I can’t make those choices today. For example, the Forecast view doesn’t allow me to include actions that have a defer date in the past. That is, once an action is past its “start date” and available to be worked on, it no longer shows up on Forecast’s Today tab, or even in the Past tab. This is all the configuration available to decide what the Forecast view should show:

Forecast configuration tab

That’s one place I think Things is better than OmniFocus: If I have an action like “pay the rent (after the 20th of the month)”, the Things Today view will still show that action as something I could and should be doing on the 22nd of the month.

Purists might argue that I’m using OmniFocus wrong. I shouldn’t be leaning on the Forecast view at all, but should be regularly checking my tags and projects to see what I should be doing. That workflow isn’t the right fit for me. I know. I’ve tried it many times. What does work is a nice Today view that shows all my available scheduled actions in one place, along with actions I’ve tagged with “Today” during a review. I have a personal items perspective like that which ends up looking much like Things if I squint at it the right way:

Perspective configuration tab

Notice that the Forecast configuration looks an awful lot like a pared-down version of a regular perspective. If I had a magic wand to wave, I’d remove the “Items” checkboxes from the “In Forecast, include” and “Today includes” sections and replace them with the name of the perspective that would select all the items I wanted to show on the Forecast. Ta-da, done. Then I could customize the Forecast to make it perfect for my own needs. Others could make their own perspective, or use a default that OmniGroup could include to emulate the current behavior. Alternatively, a perspective could gain a “Display as Forecast” checkbox where I could have multiple Forecasts, each with its own filtered view of items. Tell me a separate “Personal Forecast” and “Work Forecast” view doesn’t sound nice. Imagine that you could associate each one with the appropriate focus filter so that they show up automatically when you’re doing personal or work things on your computer. The heart flutters!

Please consider this, Omni Group. OmniFocus is powerfully customizable in so many ways! I’d be delighted if this one last set-in-stone limitation were removed.