A "Tagging" Solution via Find Text in perspective

Well, I’m officially very excited about version 2 of OmniFocus. There has been so much debate over the years about whether tagging should be included in OmniFocus. I don’t want to open up that debate again, but I have discovered a tagging workaround that works extremely well for me.

When creating a perspective under filtering, you can now search text. So, you can create a perspective that searches for particular tags, in the example that I am going to use, @waiting

Here is a situation:

You have sent an email to Bob asking for a document. How do you track it?

Based on an improved OmniFocus feature here is what I now do:

  1. write the action “follow up with Bob about document” and assign the @bob context. In the note field write @waiting.
  2. when meeting with Bob, you will see the note OR when reviewing your @waiting perspective, you can see everything you are waiting for.

Some of this works in OF1, but as far as I can tell, until now you haven’t been able to create a perspective around a particular text search.

The perspective will also work on iPhone and the iPad.

I think “find text” in perspectives opens up some powerful new possibilities. As with any type of tagging system, the key is consistency and simplicity. I would be interested in your thoughts and other ideas.



@steve, I agree - however this is also available in OF1. I used to do it by performing a search, viewing the results in the outline and then saving that as a perspective. I think “restore selection” was the magic checkbox which was required to do it (ensure it is checked when saving the perspective) - but it was definitely possible.

With OF2, it is far more accessible and easy to set up, which is a nice improvement.

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I hadn’t realized that you can save a search term in OF1 into a perspective. . . that is cool. I agree the OF2 makes it much easier to set up.

Interesting how different folks use different strokes. I much prefer having the context be @waiting, and the tag be named for the individual. My reason for this is that I often look at the context @waiting to see in one glance what’s out there that I’m waiting for various people to get back to me.

If Bob calls me, I can go to the @Bob perspective (a saved search), but since I use @waiting a lot more than I use any individual’s context, I do it this way. Also, it keeps the number of contexts down.

Anyway, that’s my leaning. YMMV.

Since my need for tags involves people, my version of this tagging workaround is to type a slash before anyone’s name in an Action. Not in the Note field, but in the text of the actual Action. So an action might read “Call /Bob re: meeting” or “Waiting for /Charles to finish the plans”. (Since not every name I enter needs a tag, that’s why I differentiate with the slash.)

This saves me the extra effort of adding text to the Note field. I just search for the text string (/Bob or /Charles) and can save that as a Perspective if I want.

Works reasonably well for me.

My OF2 doesn’t recognize “or” when creating perspective where I want one or the other string to be found…