Adding Priorities (other than Flagged) to tasks

Already submitted this as a feature request.

I think it would be great if one could add priorities to tasks, rather than just flagging them. Generally, I use a flag for things I really want to stand out. Or maybe I want to put together a really peculiar kinda grouping for a while. BUT, I would like to add priorities (say, a 1-5 scale—whatever).

This would come in way handy for my daily tasks as, when I look into my Today list and sort by priority, the #1 priority comes up on the top (I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS FIRST TODAY), and the rest go down the line. Generally, I will add a 1, 2, 3 etc. to them, which works, but it would be nice to have that built in.

I would figure it could be nicely and unobtrusively implemented with little bars or Roman numerals or whatever in the circles.


Adding new information to tasks would require a change to the data format, which we’re intentionally staying away from until we’ve shipped 2.0 on all platforms. (We don’t want to break syncing with 1.0 until 2.0 is available everywhere.)


What I do in the absence of this is add #1 or #2 (or something else) to the tasks. Then I can create perspectives that search for those text strings (OF2 just released a fix so this now works in the perspectives). I have a #focus textfield for the more important things. Overall I find that I spend too much time with arranging things into priorities so in some way I find it good that OF doesn’t allow for it. Put your urgent projects at the top in project view also caters for this in context view (the tasks with the same due date/time will be ordered by the project order).


The #1 2 etc and then creating a perspective sounds like a decent idea, but as far as I can tell, I can’t build a “and/or” type of search string in the find text box. Am I missing something, or is it not possible? Your #focus tag might be an okay workaround too, so I’ll have to try that out.

As far as too much time, that wouldn’t be a problem for me. Creating this priority list is something I would do once at the beginning of the day. If something has to change, that’s okay, but it wouldn’t require me to go back and reconstruct a wholly new list of priorities; I would just de-prioritize whatever had to change and continue with the list.

But, I will try the #focus angle or something similar and see how that works.

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Just to note (for future release), priorities is done relatively well in Todoist, with colors (though I still think maybe 1-5 inside the circle might be better). There is also the ability to filter by priority. This is pretty much what I’d like to see in OF2: a hierarchy of priorities, where one can just set up whatever is priority for the day (more than one item can have the same priority), then just set up a Perspective to view all things with “priority.”

[Added: maybe just popping into Forecast would show those priority-marked items, too. I don’t know–I’ll leave it up to the Omni-geniuses to determine what’s best, but I like the thought.]

That would make it easy to create a day’s task list, organized in descending order of importance, and without assigning tags in the notes, or flags, or arbitrary due dates or whatever else to craft a perspective.

Again, I know this won’t happen for the V2 launch, but an idea for the future!

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FWIW, I don’t have too much use for contexts (I can do anything from anywhere these days), so my contexts are “high”, “medium”, “low”, etc. It’s not perfect, but good enough in my case.

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+1 for adding some for of priority to tasks. I’ve tried the context option, but this starts to get mixed up with actual context. adding text strings to the task name could be an option, but it become rather fiddly quickly. Having the ability to add this perhaps to the note field with a drop down (where by not modifying the underlying data structure) could be a good enough workaround.

For reference, here is the megathread requesting this feature -

kcase, Followup on your comment about not changing the data format. It sounds like you maybe have added something to 2.X that will make it easier to change the data format going forward?

I’d be fine with having no priority if I could rearrange the items in my Forecast view. However, I can’t do that (unless I’m missing something).

Forcing a priority would presumably push those items to the top (maybe not). I’d be perfectly content with no priorities if I could manually rearrange the list of items I have in Forecast.

Have you tried showing deferred tasks and then setting deferred times to the tasks to make a task order in Forecast?

That’s not a bad idea, but it certainly isn’t ideal. I’d rather just be able to drag and rearrange the order, though your suggestion could work if the ability to do what I want isn’t added any time soon. Thanks.

I was hoping that OmniFocus 2 might have a way to prioritize. I’m in favor of “handles” on the side of each task in a perspective that would allow me to move it up or down in the list. Once I’ve created a perspective, I’m still left with tasks within that perspective needing to be prioritized into do this first, second, third, etc. I’ve tried putting a “1,” “2,” etc. in front of each task which then sorts it in my order if it sorts by name. However, in addition to the time involved in adding these, I then have to remember to remove the numbers at the end of the day. Too much added work for something that should be built in.

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This is a feature of high interest to me. It is, however, not simple to determine the “best” way to do it. For instance, how do you prioritize things over “all time” versus “priorities for today” which may be set daily? Or, how do you balance priority levels so that a higher priority with a distant due date weighs against a lower priority with a closer due date against a high priority with no due date, etc.? Also, how does a priority appear if it’s a top priority within a project, but other projects have higher priority? Etc. etc. Nonetheless, it’s very worth doing some requirements engineering, use case scenarios, etc. because this does seem to be lacking. Flagging is better than nothing, but such a binary system is very limited.

By the way, in the absence of an actual feature, I would really like to see some documentation from OmniFocus on ways to do this that complements their product design.

I’d like a way to optionally enable other flags in preferences. The default system is flagged or not flagged, but we should be able to enable other flags ion the preferences for priority. Clicking the flag button by a task will then toggle through the currently enabled flags:

Priority A
Priority B
Priority C
…and then it loops around to the beginning.

It should be possible for any of the flags to be enable or disable depending on what the user’s needs. There could be ABC flags for using the ABC methods, or 1,2,3 flags for other forms of priority, and even flags for indication energy level as well as priority.

This way, in the morning you go to ‘Plan’ perspective, and flag the tasks you wish to complete that day, giving the most important tasks an A flag, and less important tasks B or C flags. You can than go to your ‘Execute/Do’ perspective, which sorts them by priority to see not only what to work on, but also what to work on first.

This would have several advantages:

  • It would work very well with the Asian Efficiency workflow.
  • It wouldn’t increase the complexity of the existing UI, and wouldn’t change anything for current users.
  • Advanced users could enable it if desired.
  • It would be highly customisable depending on the users needs.


“Adding new information to tasks would require a change to the data format, which we’re intentionally staying away from until we’ve shipped 2.0 on all platforms.”

You have. So…?

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It seems that the groundwork for such things will start happening soon. From the 2015/2016 blog post:

On Mac, OmniFocus will also be getting more control over style settings, allowing more font and color choices such as switching to dark mode. We’ll continue to improve syncing, turning our attention to changing the file format to improve conflict resolution for synced edits and to allow backward- and forward-compatible syncing as we introduce new features to OmniFocus.

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I am so tired of that tired old Asian Efficiency article.

Using ABC for context is not the same as proper priorities.

Please integrate Priorities soon!