I can't find fine-grained view options (i.e. only show flagged tasks <15min in Project_A)

In OF 1 you can focus on a project, and then press ⌘ + SHIFT + V to get the view bar, which I think has been replaced by the “View Options” pop-over (aka “Eye of Sauron”) but the options there are much more limited. Am I missing something? Anyone else figure this out yet?

Other than this, I’m really loving the new OmniFocus.


You can find more detailed options by making a perspective, at least.

Hi Lucas, Thanks for the suggestion. I realize that’s an ok workaround for now but ultimately I don’t really want to go to that trouble or end up with 1000 perspectives.

No need to create dozens of new perspectives! You can create a single perspective and customize it (using the View Options popover) as you go along.

1 Like

I really like that perspectives are easy to update, but I think that a disadvantage of using the same way that @gmc says as essentially the view bar is that now you’ll have to check the settings on the perspective every time you pull it up (“did I limit this perspective to 15 min. tasks the last time I used it?”)

Sounds like it would be helpful to have a perspectives option for whether view options are automatically saved as you go, or whether they revert back to the default the next time you use them. (Very similar to snapshots in OmniWeb workspaces.)

(I don’t think that’s something that we’d want to see delay 2.0 from shipping in June, but it’s certainly something to consider for later!)

Hi @kcase, thank you so much for weighing-in. I appreciate that you are checking and replying (!) here.

The concern raised by @lucasburke is exactly what makes me hesitant - especially if I get comfortable changing my perspective and accidentally switch one to a “project view” thereby erasing the perspective from my iPhone. It would be quite frustrating to find myself locked out of a perspective while I’m away from the computer.

At this point, I’d have to say that I would find this to be a poor change from OF1 to OF2. Obviously, take that for what it’s worth… I will still use OF. It’s still way better than anything else.

UPDATE Yes, Ken, I think that’s probably a good solution!

1 Like

Another option might be to add estimated time as a sort option to the Contexts view.

1 Like

You can create and delete perspectives at will. I create custom perspectives for current/immediate projects. Then I’ll delete that perspective when the project is done.

Currently, I have a “Spring Cleaning 2014” perspective. It includes various home renovation projects and other family activities to do during the springtime. I’ll delete it when I’m done.

Interesting discussion. The way I work, I really like having the view bar always available so I can see what my current settings are.


The problem discussed here is the main reason why I am now back with OF1. Having to poke in the eye of Sauron is a pain!

Not having the view bar anymore is a step back, because I can’t see what my settings are at a glance. With OF2, I am never quite sure what I am looking at. This adds a level of uneasiness and distraction. I am always forced to double check in the eye of Sauron.

This problem is made worse yet because predefined perspectives can be changed unintentionally. So, part of my brain needs to track all the changes I am making to the view options while I am using OF2—otherwise I loose my perspectives. This seems very unGTD to me. I came to OF looking for a “trusted system”. With OF2, I need to recheck each perspective when I open it: “Is this still showing me what I am expecting it to?”

This is what I need and what I had with OF1:

  • I need to be absolutely sure that my carefully crafted perspectives are reliably saved and synced across all devices. Perspectives need to remain unchanged until I consciously decide to change them.
  • Perspectives need to include all kinds of window view options as they do in OF1. Some perspectives need to be minimal (no toolbar, no sidebar, no inspector), others need to show as much information as possible.
  • Independently, I always need the ability to quickly make ad hoc adjustments to the view/filter settings.
  • Having the option to see all applied view settings at a glance is a must (within a perspective or on the fly) —only this way can I use the system with 100% confidence. Shift-cmd-v was one of the best features in OF1!

After more than a decade of auto-upgrading any Omni application I own, I regret having to add the following:
As I understand it, perspectives is going to be one of the 2 or 3 key features in the Pro version of OF2. However, as far as I can tell right now, perspectives are going to be far more limited than in OF1.

@kcase : Perspectives are very important for pro users. You understand this and that’s why you will put them in the Pro version. That’s great! But, please be mindful not to reduce the functionality and charge more for this feature at the same time. And please, don’t think that these features can wait—because, that would mean that pro users can wait. And, I think you do want to go on sale with both versions at the same time, no?

So, for now, I am back to OF1.
Hope this was clear and helpful.


Well said, daggerman. “If it ain’t broke…” Perspectives worked spectacularly well in OF 1. They offered powerful control over window states and information displayed. “Take Snapshot” and “Duplicate Perspective” encouraged experimentation. The View bar allowed you to modify the effect of a Perspective to your heart’s content, always knowing that the underlying Perspective remained unmodified. They were 100% reliable and trusted and were an absolutely essential part of my OF workflow.

With elegantly implemented Perspectives, OF is an incredibly powerful tool. With Perspectives that are imprecise or feel untrustworthy, OF is… well… just a GTD-ish list manager.

I don’t want to sound too harsh - I think OF 2 is pretty terrific overall. But a dumbed-down Perspectives feature that interacts unpredictably and (perhaps) destructively with the Eye of Sauron is a huge step backward.

1 Like

Do the new Save and Revert buttons in the View perspective editor help?


Not really. or maybe.
The issue is [for me] is the lack of a view bar. It is impossible to tell what you’re looking at without scanning the task list to see what type of tasks are showing up.

In OF1, you can jump to a perspective, increase or decrease scope, change sorting, focus etc. But it’s very reassuring that a quick look up shows what’s included or excluded, how things are sorted and grouped, flagged, etc.

The view options only covers a small portion of things that I like to continually change as I work on projects.
I really prefer the drop down boxes along the top, but if OF2 moves to the one drop down, it really needs to have the same tools available, at a minimum. And some kind of output showing the current view parameters, maybe in the status bar below.

Haha, with each new build, it’s the first thing I check. View–>show view bar.

It is very pretty, I like the docked inspector, the sidebar, etc.

Well, sort of. But why are “revert” and “save” - actions which make permanent changes to a Perspective - in the View dialog box and not in the Perspectives window, where they belong? In OF 1, a View was a very flexible and powerful set of filtering options configured from the View bar. You could play around with them as much as you wanted. Then you could create a Perspective that would remember those settings. Or you could modify an existing Perspective to “learn” those settings by taking a Snapshot. There was an absolutely clear boundary between the View and Perspective features, and a very clear way to make them interact if you wanted to.

OF 2 has badly muddied these waters. I’m still frustrated by the lack of control over window states Perspectives offers, and confused about the interactions of Perspectives, Views and Focus. It seems that Focus now is a sort of one-stop uber-Perspective that overrides any other View settings or Perspective settings. Or does it? Except that the Perspectives dialog box lets you set a Focus. Which is really only a sort of mini-me Focus because if you Focus from the Tool Bar, then that’s the real Focus which is stickier than anything a Perspective does. Right? But only for Projects, even though the dialog box displays that option whether you are working with a perspective that displays project hierarchy or not. Vice versa “Sidebar selection” which apparently applies only to non-Project Hierarchy perspectives.

And by the way, I found - totally by accident - that if I activate the built-in Projects perspective, arrange sidebar folders in the open/closed state I want, and then close the window and reopen it - my desired set of folder states is preserved! Even if I quit the app, the Projects Perspective now remembers what I want it to do, instead of by default opening every folder it can get its hands on! Glory! Glory! But there is absolutely NOTHING in the UI that would tell me that - I did it by accident, and then spent half an hour figuring out how. Maybe that’s a bug but it sure feels like an undocumented feature to me. And this awesome discovery works only for built-in perspectives - none of my custom ones follow this behavior. They insist on barfing open folders all over my sidebar.

I’m a pretty power-user type from the earliest days of OF 1 and I think it’s the greatest thing since MacPaint. And in general I really like the direction OF 2 is moving in. But despite my reading of release notes, the (very cool) Discourse forum, etc., the feature set and UX for Perspectives versus Focus versus View button still seem both less powerful and much, much more confusing that it was in OF 1.

I agree with this 100%. The main feature I’m craving in OF2 is the View Bar. I like seeing the view at a glance all the time. I’m constantly flipping back and forth from Remaining / Completed throughout all Perspectives. I manage a lot of projects, so I need to double-check these items for myself and other people. Seeing the View Bar was a great way to double-check at a glance without clicking anything.

I’m hoping Omni can add a View Bar at the top as option in a future update.

1 Like

Perhaps some of this confusion comes from the less prominent role of the Perspectives window in OmniFocus 2 than in OmniFocus 1. In OmniFocus 2, the tab bar is intended to absorb the “switching perspectives” use case which many users achieved via the Perspectives window in OmniFocus 1. The Perspectives menu is intended to serve as a backup for users who selectively star certain perspectives (usually those users with many perspectives).

In OmniFocus 2, the primary purpose of the Perspectives window is to edit your saved perspectives. As such, it always shows you the definition of the perspective as it is saved in your database. The View popover shows you how your current window is configured, including how it might temporarily differ from the definition of the perspective whose tab is currently selected. You can “push down” your current window settings to the database by clicking Save.

There are really two “Focuses” in play at any given time: the window’s Focus, and the Perspective’s Focus. If your current Perspective has saved Focus, and you have also Focused on something in the window, we will only show tasks that meet the intersection of those two Focuses.

1 Like