Manual sorting for Today/Flagged Perspective?

I have just moved to Omnifocus 2 Pro from Things, and set up a new ‘Today’ Perspective to represent my daily to-do list, containing Due and Flagged tasks. To make this really useful though, I need to be able to manually sort it into the order do to it in, using Drag and Drop. This is to have the psychological momentum to get through some of the tougher tasks, particularly following the ‘Eat that frog’ approach of doing the hardest thing first.

I see that this issue was discussed in the old Omnifocus forum and the best workaround suggested was to use a variable like Duration or time Due to control the order that the tasks are sorted into. But this is way too time consuming to be sustainable, compared to the simple ‘drag and drop’ used in the Today list for Things.

Do others agree that this would be a useful feature worth asking Omni to add?




Absolutely yes!

In the meanwhile I workaround with contexts, like “Frog” for the hardest things to start a day with, “Small things to be done as a short break from core tasks of the day”, “Braindeath” for when I completely exhausted etc.

A related suggestion is to make “Flagged” work like a pipeline of things to do: I’m struggling to review every day my flagged list, failing to find a balance between “don’t forget but maybe not right today” and “over-focusing on the largest project of the moment while many minor projects are long overdue–I could easily complete them with a right balance”. Making “Flagged” work like a cross-project roadmap could make it more manageable, without the need to daily “defer” less-important flags for tomorrow–while still keeping “Flagged” useful, instead of ignoring it alltogether as overpopulated with “things to remember to do soon”.

Thanks Yurkennis - good to hear you feel similarly. I will email Omni to suggest it as new feature.

Good idea to use Contexts in the meantime. Will try it.

If I understand you right, you are suggesting having two ‘to do lists’ selected from the full list of projects and actions: one is what could be a called a weekly to-do list of things on the agenda to do soon (that is drawn up at the weekly review); the other is the daily to-do list selected from the weekly one. So how to construct these using OF? What I’ve been doing so far is constructing the weekly to-do list by setting the Due date as the end of the week, so they can be seen in the Forecast perspective. And then flagging those to be done today to generate the daily list. I guess the drawback with this is that GTD says to use Due dates only for hard deadlines. Thoughts welcome on alternatives…

I so agree with this request.

I’ve been struggling myself and am spending much more time than I’d like to on reviewing/organizing etc in OF… the way I’ve been ordering my to do list is using the due time (which you can display by default with a command in Terminal).

My current setup is as follows:

1- I do the Weekly review (in a basic Review perspective), and put a start (defer) date on everything I know I won’t be working on in the next week, putting the date as far as possible in the future (ie. the soonest I think I may realistically work on it) so that it’s out of the way until I need to think about it again. I also put a tentative due date within the next week for the items I really need to work on during the following week. Everything else has no dates

2- I “try” to do a Daily review (Daily perspective: Active Projects, Available Actions, Any Status), in which I adjust the date & time (within the next week) that I think I will finish the actions + put a flag if I’m doing that next/Today. That’s the part I struggle with and that takes more time… Because of the amount of actions in it (although I try to focus on things due soon/with a due date)

3- I work with the Now perspective open (Ungrouped, Sorted by Due, Available actions, Flagged Status filter) where I have the stuff I flagged in step 2, in order of due dates & time

4- When I’m done with everything in Now (never!), or want to switch what I was supposed to do for something else, I go to a Due perspective (Grouped by Projects, Available actions, Due or Flagged status filter) to change due dates & flag/unflag more items appearing in my Now perspective, then go back to work with the Now perspective

I really hate that I need 4 perspectives to do all this. I think it’s too much… but it’s the most efficient way I came up with so far…

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If you’re setting up a list of things that you hope to do in the next week, have you considered setting up a perspective with a focus on those projects instead of deferring everything else? It seems like it would save you the time of adjusting so many defer and due dates.

Hum… I’m not sure how I would do that. The items I defer are specific actions/group of actions scattered in many different projects. The projects I’m not working on are on Hold, so I don’t see them at all, and there are very few (if any) Active projects I don’t work on every week.

But thanks for the suggestion! I don’t use Focus much and hadn’t thought about it, maybe that would indeed help me in some way. Like adding a Focus step in my weekly review to create a Daily perspective that is focused on different projects from week to week. I think it’s worth a try.

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OK OmniFocus; any intent to do this? I, too, use and love OF, but this is a major problem; manual sorting would be such a help!

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I’d like to revive this thread to say PLEASE IMPLEMENT THIS!

I think it has to do with my ADD, but I need to be able to quickly sort and re-sort the order of the tasks that are coming, so I can focus on one and be sure I know what’s coming next. I loose a lot of focus and take on a lot of anxiety when I have to look at the list and decide what to do next. Honestly, this issue is the reason I left OmniFocus a few years ago: I was getting a lot done, but burning myself out in the process because of this gap in the workflow. I’m sure it’s not a major issue for some people, but for me (and many others on this thread and elsewhere) it’s apparently crucial.

Yes, there are work-arounds (I’m giving it one more try with inserting ordinal numbers at the beginning of items), but that’s not the point. A strong, pricy, featured-loaded application like OmniFocus should be able to offer this option.

How do we get OmniGroup to listen?


Fully agree. Not being able to manually sort actions in a custom perspective is the main shortcoming in Omnifocus for me. Today I had 27 flagged/due items in my “today” perspective, and being able to turn these into a prioritized list during breakfast would really help.

Second missing feature is be the inability to have a repeating item due on the last day of the month, but that’s a different discussion.

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@feldyviol and @HJP, The Omni Group are listening, even if they don’t always monitor the discussions here in the user forums, primarily intended just for user discussions. I don’t think I know of any software company that is better at listening to suggestions and answering questions e-mailed to the support address than The Omni Group.

Regarding manual sorting, it is coming, as are better repeating options. See this post:
Sorting context tasks manually

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This perfectly explains the need for manual sorting.

Twenty seven due and flagged tasks sounds like you’re trying to bite off more than you can chew.

I would be looking at my due perspective and try to finish all the overdue items first. Then I would try to work on all the due today tasks. Afterwards, I’ll try to hit on some due soon tasks.

After I finish all of those, I might just get to work on the flagged tasks (important but not urgent) by visiting my flagged perspective.

Out of those 27 tasks, how many at overdue? How many are due today? How many are due soon (depending on what you have defined as due soon in the preferences window)?

Finally, how many are just flagged stuff (I would love to work on these if I have time)?

I would more likely stay in my due perspective and find tasks that have real hard deadlines (finish my tax filing, complete weekly work report, but wife’s birthday present, etc.).

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You can also crate a perspective that shows all due or flagged tasks and have it sorted by due.

This will elevate all overdue tasks to first level, all due today tasks to second level , all due soon tasks to third level, and all flagged tasks to fourth level.

This is how I have my today perspective sorted.

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I think @wilsonng has good suggestions, and personally I work in ways similar to those. Still, I’m looking forward to manual sorting in context perspectives. Even with only a few flagged items, for example, sorting would make it possible to choose a priority order once, and then stick to that without further considerations.

Well, the Ken Case tweet did announce manual sorting. Just a matter of patience.

I’m not too hung up on sorting order. I have found that I will consider the sort order but tend to ignore it. I might just do the third item on the list because I feel like it. I might not want to do the first item on top because it may require something I don’t have (low energy or brain stopped working).

Personally as someone with whom the buck stops or there is just no one else, energy levels are a luxury I do not have :)

Personally I do not see sorting as a big deal, I sort today by project and my projects are in an order that works. i.e. Morning rituals, office admin, client changes, dev, personal etc.

That way I tackle the routine /easy stuff first, the dev work which is more intensive tends to go to the afternoon and the wind down stuff, personal, reading etc is at the end of the day. I am sure we are all capable of prioritising over and above any system when we really need to, if not maybe even OF will not help us…


I am a big fan of this approach.

I use OF for personal life and commitments. The reason I want a manually-sorted today perspective is to curb anxiety. For me, nothing beats an ordered list.

My current workflow in Things/paper:

  1. Wake up and go through my projects and due tasks. Flag tasks I need to do or want to do today.
  2. Go to Today view that shows me all flagged tasks.
  3. Order them by the order I will do them in the day. My day is broken down into big chunks: morning, commute, lunch, commute, evening.
  4. Check Today list frequently throughout the day whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed.

The list is basically an ordered checklist for my day. I can scan from top to bottom and visualize where I am. I refer to it often and it gives me calming sense of order. Yes, I will sometimes do tasks out-of-order when needed and reorganize.

I appreciate the suggestions of using contexts, breaking up tasks differently, etc. However I have been around the GTD block many times the last 5 years and know what is important to me. I switched from OF2 to Things twice in 18 months and both times what pushed me over the edge both time was the same thing: manually ordered today list. (Please don’t turn this into an OF2 vs. Things thread. I am an OF and OF2 owner and have the greatest respect for this forum and Omni. )

According to Ken this feature is coming. I just wanted to share why it is important to me. I’m looking forward to switching back to OF2 when it drops.


Anyone tried the app Sorted? I just stumbled upon it this week and have been using it for a few work days now. I feel I have better control over my day as it allows you to “schedule” your tasks on a timeline. This really makes me focus on how long a task will take and not bite off more than I can chew for the day. The only crappy part is it requires a daily input of new tasks from OF to Sorted. Manually sorting and rescheduling when crap hits the fan has been huge for my productivity. Apparently my brain likes seeing tasks on a timeline rather than just a bunch of flagged and due items somewhat in the right order. Anyone else using this app?

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