Can a perspective hide or exclude inbox items?

I have a perspective that is grouped by context. I’d like to exclude inbox items from it.

I could set it to focus on every project, but that will break as soon as I add a project.

I’d love it if perspectives would have an “Exclude” as well as a “Focus” setting, and that I could put “Inbox” as the thing to exclude.


I guess your better way would be working with Folders.

If all your projects would always be inside one (or more folders) your perspective could be focused on such folder(s) and therefore, all new projects would be always considered IN the perspective while your Inbox items would be always OUT.
Hope it’s clear. If not, just shout :D

In my case, I have some perspectives focusing only on my Life and/or Work folders (details here, if you are curious)

As for the suggestion of having exclusions, I like the idea and have submitted a feature request suggesting that for contexts and projects. This is similar to this other thread here about contexts. I suggest you also submit it as a feature request (email to as email is the only official way for doing so. The more the votes the better our chances are to see it eventually becoming a feature.

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Good ideas, @ediventurin!

Another approach might be to look at how you’re using your inbox. I never assign anything in my inbox to a context without also putting it in a project. In that way, I Organize (capital O for the GTD workflow) all at the same time.

If, in fact, you are already doing this, then you just need to include all Contexts in the perspective (so that No Context) is excluded.

Hope that helps!



The only problem with the contexts approach, @deturbulence, is that you’re back to square one whenever you add a new context. I know, not the same as adding a new project, but still.

As for using the inbox, agreed. But it seems to me @amy is interested in not seeing actions sitting on the inbox while working on the referred perspective. I can easily relate to that :-)

In fact, I’ve been there and, while exclusions are not added as a feature, Folders are my answer :D

@amy, after the great contribution from @deturbulence above, I guess you have enough for some trials on your own. Do send that email, thiugh. Please ;-)

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That’s a good point about additions, @ediventurin, but I think once a system matures, significant additions/subtractions of contexts happens pretty rarely.

The other way of addressing that is using treed contexts. If you add a “top level” context to a perspective, all of its children will automagically be included, too. So clever grouping allows for room for future changes or additions to contexts.




I’m pretty happy with how I use my inbox. It’s for quick notes, without having to think about how I fit it into a project structure — I do the Process/Organise steps the next morning in one go. I like working this way because it means there’s no barrier to writing something down that I have to do.

Yeah, that’s the goal. I have a “Do” perspective, which shows me all available tasks, grouped by context. In the morning I go through and defer anything I know I’m categorically not going to touch today. Then I work from that perspective.

The inbox items get in the way, because they’re not actionable yet. Currently I’m just collapsing the “No Context” group, but I was hoping for a better way.

I will do. Omni are bound to be sick of my support requests by now — they usually relate to obscure edge cases of AppleScript. (I’ve got an Apple engineer who gets the other half of them!)

I try to keep all my projects inside a set of about nine folders — but I have a few freestanding ones (like Miscellaneous or Shopping List), and I frequently accidentally create projects at the root level, especially when I’m creating projects via the quick entry box or when processing the inbox. I don’t really want to go for this approach, because I’m fallible and if I got it wrong some actions would fall through the cracks.

Thanks for everyone’s suggestions!


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Great rundown, @amy! Since you are really just looking to exclude “No Context” stuff (I wasn’t sure if your inbox items had contexts or not), I would make perspectives that include only specific contexts. Again, this will mean they need updating if you regularly add/remove contexts, but nesting them can help with that.

I have encountered the same limitation as you with respect to projects in folders/at root. I find I “file” projects in to folders as part of weekly review/cleanup, as I also make projects when I process inbox and/or use quick entry to define projects. WHY CAN’T THIS JUST READ MY MIND :)



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I totally annoyed myself with the whole projects not in a folder thing, so ran some quick tests:

If you make a new project as by stating , it will actually create the project in the named folder. Bonus marks: if the folder doesn’t exist, OF will create it. Like this:

Hotlist : Test

… makes the project called “Test” inside my “Hotlist” folder.

So I made some keyboard shortcuts for my common folder names followed by a colon and another space to help me file projects as I create them.

@amy and @ediventurin I have no idea if this helps here, and I’ve probably gone wildly off-topic, but I thought I’d share. This may not be news - I’m kinda filing this under “why didn’t I notice and think about this sooner?”.



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Instead of deferring almost every task all the time, why not have a Someday/Maybe Single Actions List (SAL)? Create an SAL with the status set to “On Hold.” Label it something like “Not Now, Maybe Later” or “On the Backburner.” These are tasks I am not going to be working on today. Every task in here is on hold.

Then create another SAL with the status set to “Active.” Label it something like “Today’s Available” or “Today.”

Put all of your tasks that you will not be doing today into the “On Hold” SAL. When you visit perspectives that show available tasks, you won’t see anything from the On Hold SAL.

When you are ready to activate a task, simply move the task from the Backburner SAL to your Today SAL. You can either drag and drop or just assign it from the project popup menu or inspector panel.

I hate constantly deferring stuff to some arbitrary date into the future. I just put everything on hold and then drag and drop certain tasks to the “Active” SAL.

If I know something can start on a particular date, I’ll just leave it in the Active SAL. For example, Christmas shopping season traditionally doesn’t start until Black Friday. I’ll just create a task in the Active SAL and set the defer date to whenever Black Friday is.

If the task does not have any real defer date, just put it into the On Hold SAL.