Easily reordering today’s tasks

Recently I had a particularly complex day with a bunch of tasks from across multiple projects that needed to be done in a particular sequence throughout the day. I spent far longer than I wanted micromanaging the due times down to 5-minute intervals for each task so that they were in the sequential order I wanted. And then when I realized I needed to rearrange the order, or squeeze in another task between two tasks already separated by only 5 minutes, it was a huge pain.

You might ask, “Why don’t you get rid of due dates/times and just use a Today tag that shows these tasks at the bottom of the Forecast view? Then you can drag-and-drop to rearrange the sequence to your heart’s content!” Yes, very true, but then I won’t see my next task on my Apple Watch complication. When I’m working on things, I like to switch to my “focus mode” Apple Watch face that is basically nothing but the time and the biggest OmniFocus complication showing my very next task. The only way I know of to make a task appear on the complication is to assign a due date. And the only way I know to make sure the very next task appears there in sequential order in a particularly complex day is to micromanage the times down to 5-minute intervals.

Then out of curiosity I decided to see how Things 3 handles this, and was surprised and delighted to see that it lets me easily use drag-and-drop to reorder today’s tasks, and the Apple Watch complication immediately updates to show the newest first task. No need to assign or tweak times in the awkward spinner picker thing.

So yes, I’m seriously considering switching to Things 3 just for this ease of use. However, I have years and years of investment in OmniFocus and don’t want to jump ship if there’s a way to make this work in OmniFocus.

How do others use OmniFocus to manage particularly complex days where tasks need to be done in a particular sequence during the day, but sometimes you need to rearrange the sequence? Is there no reasonable option other than to micromanage due times?


@Orand I feel your pain. I’m a long time-heavily invested OF user and I am so frustrated with OF3, over a number of things that T3 handles with ease.

But one really huge bugbear for me is…

I actually live my life out on the apple watch (however sad that may seem!). I love the apple watch because it’s so easy to see without pulling out my iPhone. So it makes sense to use your favourite task manager on it.


The OF3 apple watch app is so poor in comparison to the T3 watch version. The watch versions of these respective apps couldn’t be more starkly contrasted with a single day’s use of either. The OF version is so restrictive with only a few commands possible, whereas the T’s version is almost totally as functional at their main app.

I love the T3 watch app. It’s excellent. It’s so easy to manipulate your tasks and add tasks/ notes info, change dates (both start and due) all on your wrist. Absolutely superb.

The OF3 version is positively stone age by comparison. Only checking off tasks and adding tasks/flags. I patiently wait for improvements but they don’t seem to happen. In frustration I shift to T3 and life seems so much easier (on my wrist at least)!

I’ve just been through this cycle again. I’m back with OF. I can’t cope with manipulating my day’s tasks that are jumbled up when I wake up in the morning (even though I’m stuck at home!). If Things could remember frequently used tasks and keep them in a sort of order it would help but reordering 40-50 tasks first thing in the morning is a nightmare! The only option is to stay up past midnight to do it!

I missed OF3 too much. Plus I do use all the features that T3 doesn’t have. So I’m making do with a badly designed and barely functional watch app because the main OF3 app is, in my opinion, far more functional, as opposed to T3’s beautiful & user friendly attributes.

I have always felt OF for watch was ill-equipped, probably not considered very high priority in the development cycle and compared to most rival apps’s versions, vastly inferior. I am so frustrated that the designers seem to ignore it’s development. Surely, they must know what the other app makers can do on a watch?

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I have learned to use my task manager more as a second brain to store everything. Most of the time, I’m using OmniFocus when I am in review/planning mode. But in “Doing” mode, I rely on my BuJo. I look at whatever due tasks and flagged tasks are in OF3 and then write down 3-5 of those tasks in my BuJo. Sure, I have a bunch more due and/or flagged tasks. But I’d rather just focus on the 3-5 tasks in my BuJo.

I do have my iPhone, iPad, and Mac available for quick entry capture but I don’t work form there often.

If I am focused on a Big Rock project for the day or week, I will have an OF3 window open focused on that specific project and work in that perspective only. I don’t want to be wandering around in the OF3 app unless I am in planning/reviewing mode.

My Apple Watch is mostly for notifications. It dings me fior the next appointment and any VIP messages I get from certain people. A lot of people want the Apple Watch to be more than that but I think I’ve accepted its role in my life as an alarm for my appointments and VIP messages.

With that said, I do like T3’s Today but there’s something about my notebook that gives me a sense of focus. It’s on my desk and it’s visible at all times. If I have my Today tasks perspective open, it gives me temptation to visit other perspectives and I don’t want to go there.

Thank you both for your responses. It’s good to hear I’m not alone with this issue of needing greater flexibility to rearrange tasks, and easily see and work through them on my watch.

Out of desperation, I’m now trying something conceptually similar to wilsonng’s copying of a few tasks into the BuJo notebook, but using Things instead. 😊 Today’s OmniFocus 3.7 release makes this easier with the new Shortcut support for Today’s Forecast. I use this to pull all of today’s OmniFocus tasks and send them into Things under Today, allowing me to reorder them easily in Things, and then work from the Things watch app throughout the day, manually syncing up with OmniFocus when the day is done. It’s kind of silly and redundant, but so far I’m liking it.

If I end up using this over the longer term, I might even go so far as to consider developing my own watch app that does nothing but sync today’s items with OmniFocus, basically an alternative OmniFocus watch app with usability similar to Things.


It sounds possible. The database is in XML from what I remember. I think the Android app, FocusGTD reads the database from the Omni Sync Server and deciphers it for their app. So I can see the possibilities here.

Where do I find OmniFocus 3.7? My app says I’m running the latest version – I looked through this forum and the web but didn’t find a 3.7 or 3.7 beta version.

3.7 can be downloaded from the App Store. Release notes can be found here. https://www.omnigroup.com/releasenotes/omnifocus

Yeah that seems to be the way I have gone, using GoodNotes and the iPad pencil as a digital “BuJo” for today’s tasks coming out of OF. I can scribble them down in preferred order, and if the order changes can highlight a few or lasso them and slide them around.

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When I downloaded Omnifocus from the App Store today, the version it gave me was 3.6.3. Still haven’t seen the mysterious 3.7 that has been referenced :-)

Are you talking about the Mac version? Latest for Mac is 3.6.3; 3.7 is only out on iOS.

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Ahh ok. Thanks

Which BuJo tracker do you use? Thank you

I looked at a lot fo different templates and pre-designed BuJos. I started with the Franklin-Covey planner many years ago during my college years. I did enjoy using David Seah’s Emergent Task Planner for awhile.

They were great starting points for me. Eventually, I wanted something that was customized for me. I started reading Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal Method book and used a small A5 binder. In my case, I used something similar to this Levenger Disc Bound notebook.

I would draw my own pages each week but grew tired of this task. Granted, it did take about 4-7 minutes using a ruler and pen to draw my own forms. I did grow tired of doing this and eventually designed something that fit my personal needs.

I used Apple Pages to design my own template. I tweaked it over the next 3 months to find a medium of what I wanted. I didn’t want everything crammed into an A5 page, just the things I needed on a weekly basis. I finally settled on a design. When Life changes, I can tweak it to fit my new needs. I print out on 5 sheets of double-sided paper and used a hole puncher to put it into my binder.

Here is a mock sample of what I did…

Use a Google search to find a wide variety of daily, weekly, and monthly planner pages. Create your own using your favorite drawing program or layout program. In this case, I used Apple Pages. Tweak it over time to fit your needs. Feel free to change it up when circumstances occur.

Designing my own planner page made it easier for me to tweak it over time when needed. I didn’t have to wait for my task manager developer to update the app to fit my needs. This is my workaround. I’ll usually use pencil to fill in my planner pages. I’ll erase and re-order my tasks as needed.

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