How to hide subtasks in perspectives, omni3

I’ve seen this question asked but not answered, and Omnifocus 3 has come out since it was asked so I’m going to ask again: Is there a way to set up subtasks or perspectives, so that a Task shows up in the perspective, but not all the subtasks?

E.g. I have a Weekly Review project, with groups of subtasks (Get clear, Get current, Get creative are the tasks, with subtasks beneath). I don’t want to see all of the subtasks listed in my WorkDay perspective on Friday, even though they are due that day, because they clutter things up.

I saw reference to something like a ‘master task’ or ‘focus task’ or something in an omni video from someone, but didn’t yet know i needed it, and now can’t find that vid. But it led me to believe that there is a way to do this. Tips or help please??

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Perhaps using the filter “None: is not a project or group”. That is going to show you either projects or groups.

You can you “is not a project or group” in your Workday perspective but that will hide all sub tasks some of which you prefer to see.

What you can do is filter out the review project entirely from Workday by assigning a tag such as “review” to the whole review project then excluding it from Workday. You then just need to create a repeating Meta Task (one which just references a series of other tasks or a project) to “Do weekly review”

Make sure that meta task does appear in your Workday perspective and links to the weekly review project.

This is a very good way of decluttering what can be large lists, I had this system to make sure I checked certain perspectives, like “communications” or to work on predefined large projects such as “Continue developing XYZ web app”. I could then focus on a perspective which only had my communication tasks, or the project to develop the web app.


Thanks, I have one question. If one week I just check the Meta Task off without checking off the referenced review project, I guess the latter does not itself gets checked off. ¿right?

This means that when you get to the meta task the following week and link to the review project, you will find two instances of it waiting for you?

Yes the project will just sit there… if you are planning to do this you probably need to make the project repeat so many days after completion rather than on set days. I would recommend the project is set to repeat on a set day and if you don’t do it just drop that instance, that way the project will reappear on the correct day and not be sitting in the system.

Thanks again. So, if I understood well, I have to check both the meta task and the review project instance to maintain them in sync.

I read another way of hiding subtasks, I guess more friction, which is assigning a ‘subtask tag’ to all of them and then instructing your perspectives not to show tasks with that specific tag. I guess I prefer the first method, though what I’d really like is to have real project nesting in OF so I can manage subprojects with the same functionality as projects. Must be difficult because this has been asked many times and has not been implemented.

How would the feature you propose solve the problem ? Could you share your ideal solution ?

Thanks for asking. I didn’t think through a detail solution, I may give it a try if you’re interested, but I can tell you now some rough ideas based in what I miss today in my normal OF use.

  • I wish I could nest projects whithin projects and have OF treat each subproject as a project entity, meaning I could see a full inspector view for that subproject, where I can set status, type, due date etc independently of the ´father or sibling’ projects (for instance, I could have a sequential subproject inside a parallel project, or a paused subproject whithin an active project). But at the same time, the ‘father’ project would still hold the relations, as opposed to having each subproject as a separate, non related, project.

  • I wish a task that contains an action group below was considered complete when all subordinated tasks are complete, as it happens with a project.

  • I wish perspectives would handle subprojects as they do for projects. i.e. if I have a setting of show me just the first action for a sequential subproject, I only see the first action, instead of every task in the action group, plus the name of the container action group as the end task.

  • I would like to be able to specify defer and due dates for each subproject as a means to be able to set parallel and sequential action streams inside a project

I don’t claim for a full functionality of a project manager sw to be included in OF (like microsoft project (or I assume, OmniPlan), but Routines and checklists are the simpler type of use cases which would benefit from that (and do not need a full fledged project manager sw), like the aforementioned weekly review, or maybe packing lists of several compartments and/or bags to be packed for the same trip.

Today we have to use folders (which also do not have any functionality per se) to hold several projects and/or Tags to identify the different compartments to be packed and change between several perspectives to be able to see what we want to see in each phase of the packing project.

I hope I make sense with this,

Of course. Thank you for that. We can start from there. If you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a couple more questions since I’ve had some OF friction in my daily use.

Suppose you tag the parent project with “@errands” tag; would you like the subproject to inherit that tag ?

Isn’t that the current behavior when you set “Complete with last action” ?

Would you like to disable due and defer dates inheritance ? If the parent project has a due date, that date would be automatically inherited by that “subproject”.

I seldom use folder in my day to day usage; mainly for grouping my Checklists and Templates. I would like to see more “outline features” in OF

I think that would be useful, but again we have the issue of defer/due date inheritance.

Suppose you tag the parent project with “@errands” tag; would you like the subproject to inherit that tag ?

No. I use tags as contexts, not as project types, so each action can have different tags

Isn’t that the current behavior when you set “Complete with last action” ?
Maybe you’re right.

Would you like to disable due and defer dates inheritance ? If the parent project has a due date, that date would be automatically inherited by that “subproject”

Inheritance is not a problem, and can save some time, but I should be able to change it at a task level if I need to.

Ah, that makes sense. I wondered about that.

I think this is a nice idea. I would also like to pause a group of tasks. One question: would you include every subproject in the “Review” ?

No. I would review the main project and all subprojects as a single entity

They only inherit tags if none are specifically added… ie a clients project may have the clients name as a tag but the tasks inside can be tagged independently. If no tag is assigned the tasks will inherit the clients name tag otherwise not.

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You certainly can have sequential action groups inside parallel projects (or the other way round). You can’t pause action groups no, but you can put a defer date on the first sub task (in sequential). You can also just move the sub project order around as things change. Nothing is set in stone, projects evolve and change all the time.

One alternative is to create a specific folder for a project if its large and instead of using action groups and one monolithic project break the project up into smaller more focussed projects which you can then pause rearranged tagged as needed etc.

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