Perspective for items with no due date?

I’m sure I’m missing something obvious here - I want a Perspective that shows only tasks that don’t have a due date, and I can’t see how to do it. I can approximate by grouping and sorting on the due date, but I can’t see a way of excluding those where the due date is empty.

Any ideas?

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I don’t think that is possible.

I actually want to set up the opposite – a perspective that shows all the remaining tasks that have any due date set (i.e., not just “due soon,” but anything). I hacked it together in OF1 by grouping by due date and then keeping the “No due date” group collapsed. Unfortunately, in OF2, the perspectives don’t remember the group open/closed state, so it opens back up each time.

I definitely wish there were more powerful filtering options to assign arbitrary queries to perspectives. The ideal would be something like the interface for creating iTunes smart playlists.


I agree. I’d like to have the option to only show tasks that have due date (and ignore the others).
Since this should just be a database lookup, I don’t think it would be very hard to implement, right?

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I expect the problem is that it would change the data model for perspectives. Allowing any kind of perspectives (even simple one’s like all-tasks-with-a-set-due-date) that were not allowed in OF1 would break backwards compatibility. Omni has been clear that they don’t want to change any of the data model until after 2.0 is released. So my guess is we will not see this any time soon.

@twangus I’d like to understand more. What does your ‘grouped by due date’ perspective provide that the new Forecast tab doesn’t?

I tend to use due dates very sparingly – only for actions/projects that actually have a hard deadline. In many cases, I only have a handful of such actions remaining at a time and several may be set weeks or months out. These are often big projects that I want to be able to keep in mind, so I force myself to review this “deadlines” perspective once a day to make sure that I am properly planning ahead. Having those actions all in a single perspective lets me glance at it very quickly – it probably usually only takes me 10 seconds – but I find it useful.

I like the Forecast perspective, and it may be that, in time, it will replace the “deadlines” perspective for me, but for now it is a bit more awkward to use. I have lots of calendar items, and it is nice to have a perspective integrating them into the tasks that day, but it makes it harder to just focus on the deadlines and make sure that I am not missing anything. Plus, looking for deadlines more than a week or so in advance means (I think) that I have to click through the calendar days to find deadlines. That would work, but it will take much more than 10 seconds, which means I might be tempted to just skip it entirely.

Also, there are some logistical issues in getting to the Forecast perspective for me. I can’t stand having the project/context lists displayed to the left of my custom perspectives (where the relevant contexts and projects are already programmed in, so the list is just a giant, confusing waste of space), but there currently does not seem to be any way to show the sidebar without also showing this project/context list. So, I keep the sidebar closed. There also does not seem to be any way to add the Forecast perspective to the toolbar. So, for me to get to the Forecast, I need to first open the sidebar, then click on Forecast, the review the Forecast (which, as described above, takes much longer than just glancing at the deadlines perspective), then close the sidebar, etc. My old workflow in Omnifocus was that I would see my daily “Review deadlines” action, I would click on the “Deadlines” perspective in the toolbar to open a new window, I would quickly glance through the list, then close the window and check off the action. Now it is just much more complicated.

Finally, the two issues that I raised above – the failure to remember group open/close state and the idea of having more complicated query logic for defining perspectives – both go far beyond this simple “deadlines” perspective. For example, the perspective that is most critical to my workflow is an “Available” perspective (or really a set of “Available” perspectives based on my context) that shows all available actions grouped by flagged (for the relevant context). In the morning, I review the whole list and set defer dates for all tasks that I know I won’t get to that day. Then I flag the one or two actions that I want to work on next and close the “Unflagged” group. I work on those and once they are complete, then I go back and pick a few new actions to focus on by flagging them. Keeping the “Unflagged” group closed is important to me to keep me focused on the flagged items and not get distracted by side tasks. It’s a pain now in OF2 to have the groups all re-open every time I change perspectives.

Likewise, a full iTunes-smart-playlists style query option would give much finer granularity in creating and maintaining a whole range of possible perspectives. With the current options, you can only set filters – you can’t really do any OR logic (except for selecting multiple contexts or projects and for the application defined “Due or Flagged” filter). Most of the time, you can hack something together that gets close to what you want, but it would be nice to have a full set of options.


I fully agree with @twangus

We need a iTunes-like smart playlists or MailMate like smartfolders way of specifying rules for OmniFocus perspectives.
It seems to me that it shouldn’t be that hard to implement since the underlying database is sqlite. It seems like the challenge would be to build an interface that transforms rules to SQL queries…

FWIW, OF2 remembers the closed states now

In case anyone is still looking for help setting up a perspective for items with no due date, I managed to create one with the following logic:

Screen Shot 2022-09-07 at 6.31.22 PM

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