How to separate regular tasks from ones I am waiting on?

I am trying to do something very simple. I want to be able to separate regular task from tasks I am waiting on. So I want to be able to enter tasks without a context. Then give certain of these tasks the context of “Waiting”. So far, so good. Then I want to create a perspective that list all these tasks except the ones that I am waiting on.

I know I can give all the ToDo context and list them. Thus, I oould change the ToDo context to Waiting. But that means I have no way to use the context for other things. Also I want to minimize the effort of entering simple to-do tasks.



I guess this should do the trick: First, put the “Waiting” context to “On Hold” (status in the inspector window) and then change you perspective to only shows available tasks. This should filter away all “waiting fors” and display todos only.


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If you want a Context based Perspective, view the default Context Perspective, then menu:Perspectives/Add Perspective… Select all the Contexts but then unselect the Waiting Context. In the Perspective settings window at the bottom click Add Current Sidebar Selection. That should do.

If you want a Project based Perspective use the Focus feature.

Don’t know why the Focus feature doesn’t work with Contexts but that’s another story.

It does work with Context based perspectives.

With a single Context selected with a Context based Perspective showing the Focus toolbar icon doesn’t do anything and the View menu item says Focus on Selected Project and is grayed out–for good reason since I’m highlighting a Context, not a Project. This is what I mean by Focus does not work with Contexts.

If I look at a Project based Perspective (like the default Projects) and Focus on a select set of projects, then switch to a Context based Perspective, the Focus is honored. The View menu item now says Unfocus.

Project and Context are both attributes of the tasks so logically they should both be eligible for Focus; the OP is right, it should not be this hard to create a Perspective that focuses on both Projects and Contexts.

I understand you wish you could “focus” on a Context this way, but… I sense some confusion here

  • If you select a single context, you are already kind of “focusing” on that context, so no need for the focus button to work
  • Focus, as a concept, is based on Projects in Omnifocus, so you can set your focus to a single project and work through it ignoring the other projects you have. Hence why you can, even on a Context based perspective, select a Project and Focus on it. That’s what I was trying to say.

Focus does work on Context based perspective.
If not the way you like, maybe you could consider sending an email to the Omni support team, submitting your desires as a feature request ;-) — Help>Contact Omni will give you the correct address and fill in some data already ;)

Hope I made it more clear now :D

** edited
Oh! And if you are creating custom perspectives, note you can scroll down a bit and you will find “Sidebar selection” just under the “Focus section”. If you 1st select some contexts and then click “Add current sidebar selection”, I guess you will achieve your desired outcome.

example: my “Communications” perspective below has focus on some folders and selects 2 of my contexts.

Your edit is a snap of what I posted initially above. Works. But wouldn’t it be easier to view all Contexts, select-all, unselect Waiting, and hit the Focus button? I’m not confused, but I think the panel you show with Focus and Sidebar Selection and a needlessly restricted Focus toolbar button is confusing. I’ve been using this for so long I did not realize there was a layer of complexity that is just not needed until this post appeared. Feedback sent.

Shall we agree to disagree? I find it very simple ;)