Keeping action items sorted by date?

love this program… but something driving me batty is the lack of a “keep sorted by date” capability in perspectives… why on earth is this not a fundamental part of how this software works? Sort Once… sure that’s fine, but there’s no shortcut key for which makes a cumbersome walk down a tree of menu items.

If you set “sort by date & flags” in the view popover while in the contexts perspective and hit the little save button, that isn’t saved?

it does, but why isnt that feature available in the Inbox, Projects or Perspectives? i dont really use the Contexts feature.

I’m not sure what you mean by “in perspectives.” I’m just taking a guess below.

If you mean that you’re setting up a perspective that keeps project hierarchy, you can keep those projects sorted by the next due date of any action, but it won’t override how the project is organized. This is intentional.

But if you want to set up a perspective that will sort by date within a project, you can; turn off project hierarchy, group by project, and sort by due. That said, the project groups themselves will be in the order they are in the projects sidebar.

i think you are making a very simple question very complicated. all i want to know is if the “Sort By Due Date and Flagged” in Contexts | View settings is or can be made available in Projects - the Projects view appears to be the only place you can’t keep your tasks automatically sorted by due date. is this intentional?

Contexts can sort by due date, Flagged can, and Forecast by nature does. so why not Projects?

Yes, as I said, it is intentional. The project view does not have an option to automatically sort actions within projects. The project view always preserves whatever order the user arranged the actions into.

That said, if you want to see the actions within a project sorted by date, the way to do that is to use an action-based perspective, group by project, and sort by date.

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I think I understand the intentions between maintaining a “project organization” view in the Projects view, and also the implicit design principle Perspectives and view modes are one and the same. From that perspective, it makes sense that users should implement any custom views as Perspectives.

However, I agree with anthonymobile that a modal approach within Perspectives (including the Projects Perspective) or a model approach to the application as a whole (a la OmniWeb Workspaces) will be valuable for some users. How many is an empirical question that I could not speak to.

Some ideas regarding how to implement this as a “power user” feature (i.e., a feature that does not impact the UI significantly or otherwise get the the face of new users):

  1. OmniGroup has already shown with OmniFocus Perspectives and Focus that they understand modal approaches to presenting data within an application. They have also shown with OmniWeb Workspaces that they can apply this modal approach to an entire application. I think the addition of Workspaces to OmniFocus—a setting that stores and displays a snapshot OmniFoucs window arrangement with it’s own Perspectives, settings, and Focus, and inspector settings—could transform user workflows and reduce clutter in the Perspectives sidebar.

  2. DEVONTechnologies has an excellent solution to the “user-arranged sort vs. auto-sort” problem: Save the user’s custom sort as it’s own sort setting (alongside "By Due, By Deferred, etc.), retain his or her sort order when the user applies another sort view, and restore that sort order when the user returns to the custom sort view.

  3. Temporary sorting: For example, if the user enters holds the keyboard shortcut instead of tapping it, OmniFocus temporarily displays the items in sort order. When the user releases the shortcut key, the sort reverts to the default view. (Lots of UI “problems” with this approach, IMHO).


EDIT: Fixed the auto-numbering.