In OmniFocus 3 it became possible to set a custom ordering for each tag. This custom ordering could be set and used in the built-in Tags perspective or in any custom perspective whose presentation settings are:
Group and sort: Individual Actions
Group actions by: Tag
Sort actions by: Tags Order
This is a nice feature, but it’s only available in perspectives where actions are grouped by tag.
Now, on the one hand, this limitation is understandable. Sorting by tags order inside other types of groups is going to be tricky. On the other hand, sometimes it really would be nice to use a custom tags order in some other situations.
For example, I have the following perspective:
The Rock tag is a simple leaf tag which does not have any descendants. I assign this tag to some actions, and then I want a perspective which shows those actions and allows them to be re-arranged. However, my Rocks perspective has two flaws:
- The top of the perspective looks like this:
The “Rocks” tag group heading is redundant since every action in the perspective is already filtered to have that tag.
- It’s painful to attach other tags to these actions since these other tags then flood the Rocks perspective.
Ideally, this perspective would have something like the following (hypothetical) presentation settings:
Group and sort: Individual Actions
Group actions by: Ungrouped
Sort actions by: “Rock” Tag Order
There may be some more general solution, but at a minimum perspectives which filter for some specific tag could offer the option to sort by the custom tags order of that tag.
When you click on the ‘Rock’ tag in the left pane, does it not display only that tag group on the right-hand side (giving you what you want, except for the display of the tag group heading)?
On macOS, yes, that would be a good solution here. With an AppleScript you wouldn’t even need to remember to make that extra click.
On iOS, this won’t help. I do actually use this perspective on iOS - it’s a planning perspective and sometimes I just want to rearrange my upcoming Rocks when I am away from my desk. Maybe Omni Automation will offer a solution on iOS.
On Mac, there is an alternative solution given that your filtering criteria are simple. You can downgrade your perspective to the OF2 style, and use the ‘Sidebar Selection’ control to pre-select ‘Rock’. I did it here with ‘Home’ and only that tag group is shown every time the perspective is opened.
Therefore on Mac, your feature request could also be to bring the ‘Sidebar Selection’ feature to v3/upgraded perspectives.
On iOS, this doesn’t work, all tag groups are displayed. I suppose the Sidebar Selection is ignored since there is no tag sidebar and so no way to remove the initial selection.
That seems to work. All of the functionality (ie. re-ordering, etc) seems to still work. However, if you then change the sidebar selection manually, the change will persist across visits to the perspective, even through re-starts. The actual sidebar selection setting in the custom perspective seems to only be used the first time you ever visit the perspective.
So, another decent solution is to just use an (upgraded) OmniFocus 3 perspective and manually set the selection in the sidebar. You’ll only have to do that once.
From what I see in my use, the selection in the sidebar (what OF calls the outline) persists in these conditions:
- the perspective is set as a favourite, appearing as a ‘quick navigation tab’ in the sidebar
and you return to the perspective in the same OF window or tab
I generally work with several tabs open in OF; if I go to a new or different tab (top of screen) and select a perspective, the previous sidebar outline selection is not retained (and so in a v2 perspective any ‘sidebar selections’ settings are applied again). If you use a single OF window/tab and just switch between favourite perspectives, things are simpler and you are sure to have your selection persisted.
Aha, yes, that does seem to be the way this works. That makes more sense.
I don’t currently use tabs and I do favorite all of the perspectives which I ever use. They all fit in the sidebar on my external monitor without any need for scrolling so this gives me an extra visual cue of where I am.
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