Inconsistent ordering of actions for a tag

The ordering of actions for a tag has some inconsistencies:

  1. When selecting a tag via the built-in Tags perspectives, the actions for that tag are initially listed in “project order” (ie. the order in which those actions appear in the Projects perspective). These actions can then be manually re-ordered in the Tags perspective so that they have their own tag-specific ordering.

This is the behavior which has been advertised for OmniFocus 3, and it’s excellent.

  1. When viewing a custom perspective whose presentation is:

Group and sort: Individual actions
Group actions by: Tags (combined)
Sort by actions by: Flagged

In this case the actions within each tag combination are always listed in project order. No manual re-ordering is possible, and any manual re-ordering which was performed in the Tags perspective is ignored.

  1. When viewing a custom perspective whose presentation is:

Group and sort: Individual actions
Group actions by: Flagged
Sort actions by: Tag

In this case the actions for each tag are listed in what appears to be random order. (If there is some structure to the sort order, I can’t figure it out.)

I really like ordering #1 (project order by default, with the option to rearrange manually). Is there some subtle reason why this can’t be used in custom perspectives which are either grouped or sorted by tags?

In case (2), the sort criteria is ‘Flagged’. Within each set of actions (flagged or unflagged), the sort order then defaults to project order. You can’t specify more than one sort key (which would be a nice feature addition to make custom perspectives even more powerful).

In case (3) with the ‘Sort actions by: Tag’ rule, what you’re probably seeing is actions sorted in alphabetical order of the full path of the tags in your tag hierarchy. So tag ‘Context : Office’ comes before ‘Agenda’ or ‘People : Alex’. This is the behaviour I observed and I sent an email to OF Support about it, suggesting that sorting in the order of your tag hierarchy would be much more useful. I got a reply that there was an existing bug filed about this. If it’s important to you, I suggest you email to add your vote for this to be implemented in a future release.

If you select ‘Group actions by: Tag’, you will have the option to ‘Sort actions by: Tag Order’. This will be the order that you’ve arranged manually on a per-tag basis in the Tags view. What you can’t do is rearrange inside a perspective.

That makes sense. Agree that multiple sort keys would be nice.

Indeed it’s alphabetical order. Most of my tags start with an emoji, that’s why it looked random to me. Agree that tag hierarchy order would be better.

The other issue here is that within the set of actions for each tag combination, the order seems to be random. It’s not project order.

I’ll write to omnigroup support.

Aha, this is starting to make sense.

Sorting by “Tags Order” would be troublesome when you group actions by “Tags (Combined)” since you might have conflicting “Tags Orders”, one for each tag in the tag combination.

However, I strongly prefer grouping by “Tags (Combined)” rather than by just “Tags”. I don’t like how actions show up multiple times when I group by Tags.

Custom tags orders are probably just going to be tricky to combine with multiple tags per action.

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‘Tags Order’ is not available when you group by ‘Tags (Combined)’.

I think the options in the first OF3 release are pretty good, they have been implemented thoughtfully. If additionally the tag hierarchy was used for the Tag sort, many of my perspectives would be tidied up and I’d be very happy.

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