Perspective Based on Project Types?

Hi all,

I’m not seeing a filter/option fo rthis, but maybe I’m missing something?

I have two kinds of Active (i.e. not Dropped, Completed, Stalled, or On Hold) projects:

  1. Parallel/Sequential projects that are working towards a specific outcome (i.e. Get tires on car changed, Complete presentation for client x, Rebuild website… you get the idea)
  2. Single-Action “projects” that are really more buckets of actions around areas of focus than specific outcomes (i.e. Home Maintenance, Car, Family, Personal Administration, Professional Relationships, etc.)

What I would really love is to have a Perspective that allows me to look at just Active Single-Action projects, and another to look at just Active Parallel/Sequential projects.

Without using folders to organize, is this possible? I’m trying to remove the use of folders to ease management of data and instead use Perspectives alone to manage how I look at stuff.

All thoughts welcome :)


I use a title @Admin > Name for my single-action lists. For example, @Admin > Well-Being or @Admin > Family. I have a Perspective (aptly named @Admin) that searches specifically for the @Admin string in the project title. This will handle one-half of your request. As for the other half … I can only suggest to name your other Projects with a separate special character or perhaps tag them in the notes field.

The one downside of this implementation is, with OF 1 on the iOS X devices, the @Admin Perspective that I set on the desktop does not work. I cannot speak to whether OF 2 versions would allow the search as established on the desktop to work on the iOS devices as well.

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Interesting thoughts, @DrJJWMac - thanks!

I suppose the alternative is that I do use a folder for Single Action projects and make a Perspective that focuses on it. For everything else, is there a way to make a Perspective for projects “not in a folder”?



Depending on your implementations, a folder for single-action projects may work as well. Most of my single-action projects are at the very top in the folders pertaining to my top levels Areas of Responsibility (Well-Being, Family, …). I sometimes have ones that appear in sub-folders for bigger projects (for example, one called an equivalent to “@Admin > Smith Proposal” is in the folder for that proposal). I would become a bit scattered to have that project in a separate folder where it would get lost when I review the Smith’s Proposal folder itself.

As for creating Perspectives that show only certain folders … of course this is possible. You just have to set it up that way.

Yes, the trick, though, is a Perspective that shows stuff not in a folder.

The reason I’m looking for this is that a lot of my projects (really the Parallel/Sequential ones) are created by virtue of either Quick Entry (I have to capture a new action, but also record the larger commitment it maps to) or through Inbox processing of an item. In with of those flows, the new project is created not in a folder, and I don’t want to have to worry about filing it for it to land in he appropriate Perspective (since I accompish my views based on folders today).


Ah! You mean Projects that end up at the top level in the Library. Only show those (and nothing else). That is something I don’t know how to handle.

I might suggest an AppleScript that routinely fires and moves such top-level Projects to an appropriately named folder in the Library (e.g. Top-Level) so that you can find them later.

Hm, that’s a neat idea. Like a cleanup script, Hazel for OmniFocus ;)

I know nothing of AppleScript, but I would love to learn. Can you point me to a resource that would be a good starting place? I’m now thinking of a few things I wouldn’t mind trying to script.

Thanks so much for all your insights here!


Since you know nothing about AppleScript, I suggest you do the moving by hand. Create a Folder, grab the Projects that belong in them, and drag+drop them in place. Then create your Perspective. Make the top-level clean-up part of your daily or weekly review routine.

Rolling your own AppleScript for OmniFocus is not for the novice. In your case, you will only end in a rather big frustrated mess. In essence, the time you will have to spend from ground zero (or lower) trying to automate the task you want to do will not give any level of RoI for about a few years out.

You could make excellent progress by finding something already made (and if I had something to offer for what you want, I would post it). Post your request in the OmniFocus AppleScript forum. In this regard, I have to say the support levels on that forum leave much to be desired. It won’t be personal if you don’t get a response at all … just seems to be the standard way that forum operates (in my honest observation).

Glad to help out in the meantime!

ps … You can start with AppleScript by doing a search on AppleScript tutorials in your favorite browser. I would avoid OmniFocus to start. Play around with simple things like making the Calendar app show the today view, like this …

on run
set daytoshow to current date
tell application "Calendar"
	switch view to day view
	view calendar at daytoshow
	set the visible of the first window to true
end tell
end run

Also, since you have Hazel, you can do this to get the equivalent AppleScript menu bar …

Cool. I wouldn’t be learning AppleScript just for this - it’s been on my Someday/Maybe list forever. I know only a little java, and before that, all my programming experience is in obsolete forms like mIRCscript and BASIC (ha), with some (very little) basic training in C++. So I can fake my way through scripting concept, I just never learned anything for Apple since I got my first Mac in 2005.

I don’t actually have Hazel. I just get the concept. It has also been on my Someday/Maybe list, though. This thread is making these things more potentially actioned things :)