OmniFocus: Only Include Relevant Tags in Perspectives

When I give multiple tags to tasks it is easy to have a cluttered view of things in custom perspectives. The only partial solution is to group by “Tags (sorted),” but this makes for a very fragmented perspective with way too much and information.

What I’d really like is to be able to only have a perspective include certain tags and just ignore the others.

For example, let’s say that I have two tags: a “Home” tag which indicates a context needed to complete the task, and “High Priority” to show its importance. I would ideally like to have two separate custom perspectives: one for ‘contexts’ and the other for ‘importance.’

Take the former for a moment (a custom perspective focusing on ‘context’). As things stand now, there’s no way to group by only those tags and not every tag a task with those tags also happens to have. I could list the task twice under separate “Home” and “High Priority” groupings and manually collapse the second. (However, if I created a counterpart perspective I would constantly be collapsing and expanding multiple tags because the settings are unhelpfully remembered across perspectives.) The only other option is to only list tasks once, but for each unique combinations of tags to have its listing. This is not very useful to quickly check what tasks I could accomplish at “Home” in a single list and hide distractions.

Again, what would be helpful is to create a perspective that lets me select certain tags to include (like my ‘contexts’) and to simply not group tasks based on other tags which would be irrelevant to that perspective. For this example, a perspective to just group by the tags which I explicitly include as part of the perspective and ignore any others.

The lack of this ability has prevented me from getting into a Forecast tag, because adding another common tag like that would kill the usability of several custom perspectives that are important to me in this way.

I hope I made this clear without going on too long.

I think @SpivR hit the nail on the head.

I appreciate the feedback. I am sorry the original post was hard to follow. We I changed the tags from “any” to “all” the task list became empty because the none of the tasks met “all” of the tagged requirements. I will attach some screenshots.

The first represents what I am trying to accomplish with one of my perspectives…to see the day separated into blocks of time. It works if each task only has one tag.

The second screen shot is what happens if you add additional tags to each task…so that those tags can be used in other custom perspectives.

The third screen shot is what happened when I changed “any” to “all” for the tags. It resulted in “No Items”

I appreciate any feedback.

What happens if you de-group and sort in project order?
It seems you now sort both by project and tag.

Can you screenshot the inspector view?

Great question. I have tried sorting by tags and tags/combined. I will attach the inspector view related to the screenshots.

which of the three screenshots is this?
Ah… I just got what you are trying to do… Let me think on this :slight_smile:

I’m grateful for the help. Thank you for taking time to think through it.

The issue is with the sorting options. When all are in respective projects it’s easy: group by project, sort by tags. But I gather that’s not what you want to achieve…

Correct. The end result completely changes when grouped by project. The idea was to use the tags to create a really unique perspective (like the first screenshot). It is possible if you use only one tag per task. The tasks can be in any project, and they will appear in a very clean organized way…if you only have one tag per task. However, if you add multiple tags to the task, then the view becomes cluttered and more complicated (in my opinion).

I was hoping that there was a way to use only the tags that are relevant to this perspective and filter out or ignore the other tags.

I’ve tried to work around it, but can’t find the solution… Hope someone else does!

If I am understanding what you are trying to do then the following should help…

You need to create a new tag. perhaps named today, with sub tags of early, morning and so on… like your first screenshot.
All of your other tags cannot be included in the today tag.

Create your custom perspective. Use the settings in my screenshot.

Hopefully this gets you close to what you want, the side bar will include all the extra tags. However the main view will only have the today tag with its sub tags.

Grouping by specific tags is not (yet) possible in OmniFocus - but I know it’s been asked for, because I asked for it myself! I would suggest you use the Contact Omni menu item to send them this as a feature request.


Thank you for the feedback. I attempted this, but it did not resolve the issue I was having. It was worth the try. Thank you again.

Thank you Rose. I did as you suggested. It seems to defeat the purpose of assigning multiple tags if you cannot group by specific tags in a custom perspective. I hope to see this functionality soon.