How best to store reference lists?

In my unnamed former GTD app, there was a feature that I have not found an equivalent way of doing in OF2.

I could create “reference lists” for things like “Places to Go”, “Books to read”, etc. These would be treated as someday/maybe lists that I could then drag-n-drop list items into Inbox when I decided to act on them.

A word of caution, I am an OF newbie with OF2 being my first time using Omni product so I am green on OF terminology.


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If you want to keep them within OmniFocus, a “single action list” is probably what you’re looking for. This is a type of project (the others are parallel and sequential) where there’s no sense of a “first available” action – you might work on them in any order.

(Some people also choose to keep these lists in a separate app, since they’re more vague ideas, not something you expect to get done in the near future.)

PS For the sake of being overly clear about forum etiquette as we start this new space, it is generally okay to talk about other GTD apps by name, if you want to, when it’s relevant to the conversation. (If you were just advertising them, not adding value to the discussion, that would be poor form.)


Agreed, I’ve been storing reference lists as single actions, with the context set to someday/maybe so the lists don’t always appear as available. I do have a “review reference lists” task which occurs every couple of weeks to make sure I glance at them. Reference lists I’ve found most valuable are things like

gift ideas (separate project for each person)
ideas for fun family events
books to read & movies to see
restaurants I’d like to try


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If you haven’t already done so, You can create an ‘action group’ within a Project to hold the lists. Lots of ways of doing this, but Organise --> Add Aunt or Add Child (depending on which way you are going) followed by drag and drop is probably the easiest. Action Groups can be single action lists, parallel or sequential.

If you have lots of lists you can put them in a Reference folder.

An alternative to keeping each item on the list as a separate action within an action group would be to just put them in the notes section for a single action (I use a * to represent a bullet point)

I have used both approaches, for me the choice of which one to use is the probability of it becoming a project/real action. e.g. Bucket list items I hope to do this year are actions (that might become projects I actually decide they are happening) and the bucket list itself (just goes in the notes).

The current very low data density of OF2 means that it is more likely that I will use notes to store them.

One final point is that if your lists are ‘checklists’ then there are some superb template scripts for OF1 (I haven’t tested them on OF2 yet) that are great for storing and re-using infrequent checklists (when repeating actions aren’t appropriate)