How I developed my GTD Someday/Maybe list

One reason why I want to share this with you is the key point you can break down complex rules into simpler ones and develop them step by step.

When I started with OmniFocus (OF) 3 some months ago I was missing a single someday/maybe list.

The issue with OF was that custom perspectives did either focus on projects or on actions, but not both. I was able to set up a custom perspective for someday projects (projects with status = on hold). I was also able to set up a custom perspective for actions tagged with a tag with status = on hold.

With the release of OF4 this changed with the introduction of the Flexible structure.

Let me try as best as I can how I developed the custom perspective. If you find a mistake, I‘d be happy to hear from you and learn.

  1. Because structure Organized in custom perspectives either focuses on projects or individual actions I started with structure = Flexible.
  2. Initial order = Projects Order was OK as well. Certain items (work) appear at the top of my projects some at the bottom (personal). Why should that change on a someday/maybe list?
  3. Then I set some base rules under an All of the following: root.
    1. All of the following: (general)
      1. Availability: Remaining (-> generally no dropped or completed items)
      2. None of the following:
        1. Contained within project or folder: Reference (-> the Reference folder contains my GTD Higher Horizons and some lists which I want to generally exclude from Someday/Maybe)
  4. Then I focused purely on all single actions which are someday/maybe:
    1. All of the following: (single actions)
      1. Is not a project or group (-> just take actions)
      2. Tagged with any of: list of my someday/maybe tags (-> List of each of the someday/maybe tags. I use a root tag with tags for work, tickets at work and personal.)
  5. So the structure up to now looks like this:
    1. All of the following:
      1. All of the following: (general)
      2. All of the following: (single action)
  6. The result is a list of all someday actions which are located within active projects (single action or other projects)
  7. In order to develop the rules for the someday/maybe projects I disable the „All of the following: (single action)“ node.
  8. For the projects I created a new „All of the following: (projects)“ node on the same level as the single action one of step 7.
  9. Here I just want to see projects and action groups. That‘s why I start with:
    1. None of the following:
      1. Is not a project or group
  10. Then I need the rules to pick the right projects. There are two conditions. Projects on hold and projects with a future defer date.
    1. Any of the following: (-> I want either one. Therefore: Any which equals a logical OR)
      1. Has a project that is on hold (-> on hold: remove the project and of its actions from my active and available topics)
      2. Has an active project that has a future defer date (-> defer date: I don‘t want to or can’t work on the project right now, but after a certain date)
  11. Now, I have a set of base rules with are generally relevant for all items of the custom perspective. I have a set of rules to find the someday/maybe actions and I have another set of rules to find the someday/maybe projects, but I want both to be displayed. This leads to the following structure:
    1. All of the following: (AND)
      1. All of the following: (general)
      2. Any of the following: (single actions AND projects)
        1. All of the following: (single action) (now enabled)
        2. All of the following: (projects)
  12. That‘s it. Now you see on hold projects, deferred projects and someday actions all in a single list.
  13. I use a custom row layout In the view options with Project and Due Date enabled for display.

I hope you were able to follow without extra screenshots.