Converting (actions to projects, etc.)

Is there a way to change an action to a project or a project to a folder? Every once in a while I realize that what I thought was a simple action turns into multiple steps that will take more than the day. I use to just click and convert to a project, but I don’t seem to see that option in OF2.

Just a side note, I really like that inspector is open on the side and fits there so nicely.

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We added Edit > Convert to Project back in recently. I don’t think there’s any way to convert a project to a folder.

I’m curious. Why is that? I often have a need to turn folders into projects, or vice versa. Do you have any intent to create this functionality? It was present in earlier versions of the software. And I’m really not sure why you’d want to take it out.


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Just wondering if you could respond to my question below. Why aren’t we allowed to turn projects into folders? I don’t enjoy having to do this manually. Thanks.

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I suppose the question not to be answerable very easily (digestible). I assume it’s because folders are not an integral part of the task philosophy in OmniFocus but rather a sort of “box for projects”. That’s why a folder never can be completed or flagged, or have a due date. It’s just another very very good form of adding planning depth / complexity to the way You look at projects.
While this might help you understanding the technicalities I doubt that it will satisfy your desire for flexibility, sorry. The only remedy I can give is: if all is flexible You end up in planning hell, but this is hard to appreciate without ever making the experience.

I don’t want to sound snarky, but you “aren’t allowed” to turn a project into a folder because we haven’t written code to do that.
Why haven’t we? I’m not 100% sure why we haven’t written that particular feature yet, but it’s rare that we’re deliberately choosing NOT to add a feature. More often, we’re weighing how long it will take to build vs how much we think it will be useful to people vs how much complexity it will add vs how many other features we also want to build right now vs…

One reason I’ve hesitated to respond perhaps is that I can’t find the “Convert Project to Folder” command in OmniFocus 1 and don’t remember it existing. Could you remind me where it was?

If you convert a project into a folder, what do you expect to happen to the contents of this item? Do you want all the immediate children of the former project (action groups or actions) to become projects?

Hi Lizard,

I’d like to respond to your January inquiry.

I am a brand new OF user so I’m still in the process of setting up my system and figuring out what works for me.

I would really like to be able to convert some of my projects to folders as I realized that I had designated certain things as projects, when really they are just containers for projects. It would be preferable to not have to start over from scratch on those items.

For my purposes, the contents of the project-that-should-be-a-folder would all be converted to projects. For the random action that is not a project, there’s an easy button to push to make that happen.

I should note also that I’m using the iPad/iPhone version exclusively at the moment, as I’m between laptops.

If this feature has been addressed already, can you please provide instructions?

Thank you!

I moved a post to a new topic: Project turned itself into a folder?

So, here is why I am interested in this thread. I work on some big projects for events, and end up with dozens of subgroups in that project.

For example: “Open House Event for Sophomores” might be a project, and under that I can have DOZENS of subgroups, e.g. Photography (with many many actions in that); Food (ditto); Staffing (ditto); Advertising (ditto); Handouts; T-shirts; and so on.

One problem with Omnifocus is that when you do a Quick Entry, in the Project field you can find only the main project (“Open House Event for Sophomores”) but you can’t assign anything to the subgroups (“photography,” or “food,” etc.). They don’t show up when you are typing in the Project field of Quick Entry.

In any given day I will be adding dozens of things to this Open House project via Quick Entry, but then I have to go to the project and gather all these QuickEntry items, which are skulking at the bottom of the project, and drag them to their subgroups. I find this highly inefficient. I want to do a quick entry about the Open House photography, and get it right into Open House / Photography there and then.

As a consequence of this inability to assign an item to a subgroup via Quick Entry, I end up making a FOLDER called “Open House,” and then have PROJECTS called Photography, Food, Advertising etc. In other words, what should be a subgroup under a project has to become a project under a folder, so that when I’m quickly adding my umpteen Quick Entry items throughout the day, I can just type in the project field “Open house photo” and it happily finds Open House / Photography.

The downside to this is that when the project is ENDED, and I want change the project status to COMPLETED, of course I can’t BECAUSE IT’S A FOLDER. Aaargh.

So, that is why I am interested in being able to convert a FOLDER to a PROJECT, so that when I no longer need to do the quick entries any more, I want to convert the folder, Open House, to a Project, so I can mark it “completed.”

Of course, if OmniFocus added the ability to assign things to subgroups via the Quick Entry project field, I wouldn’t have to do this clumsy workaround–and it is clumsy, and it is in breach of the philosophy, as OF wrote above, of having a folder being a “box for projects.”


Projects into Folders would be an awesome addition. Does not need to make it too flexible because you could leave this option on the menu bar somewhere away from all the ‘main controls’

REASON. Recently I made a project to apply for a visa for my girlfriend, and also to move to another country. Spent quite a lot of time converting these two projects into FOLDERS. one by one converting them.

OMNFICOUS you are the masters of flexibility and ability to do what we want with your software, this would be a really helpful addition to this near perfect masterpiece of a task manager.

Keep up the good work OF. :-)

I can imagine if a project is solely made up of subprojects/action groups that this could work, but what happens to any actions that are not in an action group?

A folder can’t contain actions, so the choice is ask the user what to do with them (cumbersome) or bung them into a Miscellaneous project (loses context, kind of hides it from the user). I reckon another choice could be to simply delete the loose items, but that’s madness and almost hostile.

I would suggest you give the feature request a thorough think through (about how you’d expect it to work, how it would improve your interaction with the app), and then email support to file a feature request.

Even in the new version on mac of Omnifocus 3, I see the value of having the functionality of being able to convert a project into a folder.

To answer Lizard: it would help to be able to convert projects to folders, even if all the tasks would then be converted into projects. They may seem like a burden if you have large groups of tasks, but most of the time, I do not, it’s just a couple tasks, and if I want this convert functionality, it’s usually partly because I feel the tasks are projects in themselves and need to be broken down further.

I understand my desire partly comes from my experience with 2do, where this functionality to convert between projects, tasks, and subtasks is built-in and central, but I feel it would help me adapt to omnifocus easier to have this ability. It is about automation- rather than needing to do the extra step of making a folder, dragging contents to project, and deleting previous project or folder.

but I think that this can be possible using a script ¿isn’t it?

I see a few use cases for converting Projects to Folders. Let’s assume that in all cases, I realize that the project named “Thing A” is actually more than one project and should be a folder instead.

Case 1) I want top-level projects “Project B” and “Project C” inside folder “Thing A”. Half of Thing A’s tasks should be assigned to Project B, and half to Project C.

Case 2) All of Thing A’s tasks should become projects inside the Thing A folder.

Case 3) Some of Thing A’s tasks should become their own projects, and the rest should be assigned to those projects or to new projects

Unless I’m missing something about what you’re trying to do, I think those can all currently be accomplished on the desktop in OF 3 using the following methods:

Case 1) Create a folder “Thing A”. Rename Thing A project to “Project B”. Create Project C and drag the appropriate tasks into it from Project B

Case 2) Create a folder named Thing A. Drag all of project Thing A’s tasks into folder Thing A to make them projects. Delete project Thing A.

Case 3) Create a folder named Thing A. Drag some of project Thing A’s tasks into folder Thing A to make them projects. Drag the remaining tasks to said projects. Rename or delete project Thing A.

For Folder to Project, can you create a new Project and then drag all the subprojects into it?

Am I missing something about the use cases?