Custom perspectives is not just a shortcut, then?

I know there are no custom perspectives in iPhone, but it’s on my iPhone that I most care about the issue, so I’m posting here.

I have OF on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Pro on iPad, but not on Mac. Everything syncs. In the iPad app, I create a custom perspective which is really just (intended to be) a shortcut to Contexts/Errands/Grocery Store, so I can enter new grocery items from the first OF screen.

However, as you can see in the attached, there is no action entry button (i.e., “+”) in the Grocery Store Context when accessed from the custom perspective (just the add to Inbox button at bottom right)…

…even though I see the “+” when I go to it the long way from Contexts:

Is this expected behavior? Am I not understanding custom perspectives properly? I had hoped to be able to add new items to this Context from the perspectives shortcut on the home screen.

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I think you can’t add a new task to a perspective. You’ll have to tap on the “add to inbox” button and assign a project and/or context to make ti appear in your perspective.

If you are in the projects perspective or context perspective, you will get the “+” button to add tasks directly to the project or context you are in.

If you are in your errands custom perspective, tap the “add to inbox” button. Enter a title, assign a project, and assign the context to Errands. That will make it appear now in the Errands custom perspective. If you assign a context that is not an errand, it will save into OmniFocus but your custom perspective will not show it.

As Wilson Ng says, the context-view custom perspective is a “read-only” view of the database. It is not designed for you to add items.

When you want the behavior specific to a grocery list, I might suggest a real grocery list app in place of OF. When you used the grocery list above only as an example for something else that cannot really be shoe-horned in to a grocery-list paradigm, then I am at a loss for any other suggestions.


Thanks for the replies, both of you.

Yeah, but the thought of a grocery list app outperforming OF in this regard is kind of odd to think about. I really am trying to run all my things-I-have-to-do-or-pick-up through OmniFocus.

Perhaps the devs would consider adding a “+” option so you can add items from within a custom perspective? That custom perspectives would be read-only is surprising to me. (I just double-checked on iPad–same thing, except that there is a “+” button in custom perspectives view… that is greyed out.) I’ll email support with the feature request.

Is this how it works on OF Pro for Mac, too, or are custom perspectives there more than just read-only?

A grocery-list app will outperform OF for more than one reason. For example, the app I use on my cell phone allows me to select common items rapidly from a history list and move them in bulk to a specific active list. When you are in to such things, grocery-list apps can even send you coupon notices, tally prices, and build lists from stored recipe files.

I might be so bold to say, given the power of almost any of the myriad of grocery-list apps, it is the thought of running a grocery list through OF that is kind of odd to think about.


Well, to each his or her own workflow, I suppose. I hear you, though–I’ve seen grocery list apps that integrate with recipes and menu planning; that would be silly to expect OF to handle.

Still, I hope OmniFocus will allow custom perspective views (grocery list or whatever) to be more than just read-only. (I’ve submitted the feature request to support–if it’s already been discussed on the forums, I couldn’t find it.)

I’m definitely open to app recommendations, DrJJWMac. Paprika looks pretty cool.

I don’t like ads, coupons, or other annoyances. I don’t need menu planning or recipe integration. I want a list app that allows me to select commonly-purchased items rapidly, select other items from a library source without typing the entire item text, dump the selections quickly to one-or-the-other of standard shopping lists (groceries, hardware store, drug store …), check them off efficiently or add them back as needed, review purchase before check out, and then clear everything purchased for the next go-around.

With this in mind, I have been stuck on GroceryIQ on my iPhone after trying many different grocery-list apps some years ago.

I imagine that you’ll have some fun trying out dozen or more that are available until you find what you like.


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FWIW, I’m a Buy Me A Pie guy. Great app, free version to try (I think). Love it, it’s great.


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The challenge is that in many cases it’s not clear what this button should do. Suppose the perspective shows actions from 2 different contexts. Which context should the new item be created in?


Great point. It could be really tough to implement.

However, there is at least some possible precedent. If you go to the Projects perspective on iPhone, the + button brings up three options at the bottom of the screen: New Project/New Folder/New Inbox Item. Maybe something like this could be adapted to let you choose which context, in the example you mention?

Your point is well taken, though, either way.

It is a useful idea, and I’ve filed a feature request, but I doubt we’ll get to that any time soon.

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Just to add my two cents to the grocery list idea specifically, I’ve tried other third-party apps for Grocery Lists, but I find myself coming back to OmniFocus simply because I like to keep everything in one “bucket.”

In my case, much of my additions are done on my MacBook, and I have an Alfred workflow that lets me simply type in “buy” as a keyword followed by an item that will then effectively put it right into the appropriate project and context. If I’m doing a more full list (e.g. planning for a shopping trip), then I’ll go right into OmniFocus and pull up the “Shopping” single actions project.

Basically, I treat my “Shopping” perspective as read-only, and use a “Shopping” project to enter tasks. This can be done on the iPhone as well, and a project can have a default context, so even on the iPhone, I simply need to go Projects->Shopping and then start adding away with everything assigned to “Grocery” by default. The few things that might be bought elsewhere can be reassigned on an as-needed basis, but the bulk of my stuff goes to “Grocery.”

Realistically, since my “Shopping” perspective includes multiple contexts (grouped by them, so I can easily see what I need to grab at different places), it would probably be difficult to determine where a new task should be created in that view anyway.

I do this too. Defer Again is very useful in a grocery list too, e.g., I usually buy almond milk once a week, so Defer Again 1 week and bam, I don’t even need to remind myself to get it.

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This is another reason why tasks should be able to be added to multiple contexts.
There are many tasks that I do, that I can do in more then one context.