There is this little feature in OmniFocus called: 'Mark Complete when completing the last item’. This give you the option to mark a project complete when the last item is done. It is one of those trick options that OmniFocus provide for you. As I said before OmniFocus is a great tool, but you need to be careful, because there are certain things that if you are not careful will bring you in the down spiral fast; you know the crash and burn one.
Why do you want to click the project automatically. In my book, is because you are absolute sure that there is no way this project will be alive after that, and even if it is, you will have an easy reminder that this project is alive, but for me is only on the first case. In general, I don’t advise people doing this, I don’t think you should automate the thinking process, but if you do, this is a really cool feature.
When I have use this feature. Let’s say I create a project that is called “Buy Groceries for Friday Dinner” This assume that I will not cook, or do anything else than buy the stuff for the mentioned dinner, bring them home, and forget about it. In case of doubt I am really good about the last part, the forgot part.
Let’s get back to the creation of the project. I create the project and add the list of things that I need to buy, in the Context (Errands, or Groceries, or the appropriate one) and when you are done creating, populating, then I go and click on the Inspector (Yes that inspector is kind of helpful and useful.)
I may insist that this is something that you or I should not use all the time, because have the risk that you will have more stuff coming relevant to this project that you will not be able to use, but in many cases is a cool feature.
The problem with automating the process that you should think about, is that instead of be part of a system that will create silence in your mind, and allow you to move faster the chance that things will get back into your head, are incredible high, because sadly, most of this automated process will not take into consideration other factors. For example, I have a recurring task in my system for every monday that reads: Wash baby’s Clothes. It is a recurring thing, and comes every monday. When that happen I need to think and choose, if it’s or not. Sometimes, especially when I was potty training her, I was doing so much laundry than coming monday there wasn’t nothing to wash, others, I made the decision that she didn’t have enough clothes to make a load, and I will wait until next week. The problem is you don’t think about this, and renegociate in a conscious level, is that will get back into your head, and if it is in your head, the only thing that it’s creating is stress and anxiety. (At least if something is in my head, thats what tend to create.)
So we aware of those things you automate, in OmniFocus or anywhere else, you want to automate only those things that are not going to bite you back, and are going to allow you to continue moving as fast as you really need to move.