Perspective for several most important tags


#1

Hi there

Tag system
I have several rather orthogonal tag hierarchies: people (boss, colleague, wife), places (office, home, errands), priority (today (actually “todayish”), nextday, week, express, annoying-small-do-sometimes).

Work mode
Most of the days my mode of work is to do:

  1. Whatever is exactly scheduled for the day - calendar in Forecast view
  2. Most/all of “today” tag - again doable in Forecast view
  3. Hopefully one-two things from express"
  4. Maybe a couple of things from “nextday”
  5. Maybe a couple of things from week
  6. Maybe “one thing” from “lazy annoying-small-do-sometimes”

Dashboard for it
Right now for items 1-2 I use Forecast view and the rest are just perspectives for a single tag that makes… too many perspectives, I have to jump between all them to remind myself of these things.

I am trying to figure a way for building a perspective that would include these six groups of tasks somehow, (or at least last four. 1-2 can stay in Forecast), ideally each group would show only 3-5 top tasks, but it’s okay even if it shows all tasks. I still see a lot of value of listing all these things grouped by priority tags on the same page.

I understand how to create perspective with all the tasks, but I fail to figure how to group by the priority tags. If I use “group tasks by tag” I get a complete mess, because of the orthogonal tag hierarchies: I would get groups for not just “today, nextday, express”, but for “today, office, nextday, wife, etc”.

  • Or is building a perspective the best way at all?
  • How would you do this sort of a dashboard?
  • Or do you use some other way of planning work not to forget to do one-two items from important categories every now and then?

#2

Does it help to use the tags (combined) order instead of just tags? That would group them into sets like,
today, boss
[…]
today, wife
[…]


#3

I’ve avoided jumping into using multiple hierarchies of tags for the same reason. I hope they correct this, as I was very surprised OF3’s custom perspectives insist on using all tags rather than the ones you invoked within the rules of that perspective. Just seems dead-obvious to me.


#4

If you both want to post screenshots of your perspectives, maybe we in the community can be of some help. I have tag hierarchies and am able to be very granular in what surfaces in perspectives. I have several perspectives that surface tasks only from specific tags. If I saw some examples I might be able to help you fine tune yours.


#5

I haven’t really implemented multiple types of tags due to this, but could you post caps of some of your perspectives’ rules and layout?


#6

I have a similar setup to yours, with a set of orthogonal tag hierarchies including one for ‘Priority’. I find it manageable and useful by doing these two things:

  1. Make the ‘Priority’ tags first in the tag order (see below for nitty-gritty of this)
  2. On actions, always place any priority tag first in the list of tags.

As a result, the priority tag groups will be shown at the top of a perspective, and whenever actions are sorted by tag [edit: inside any kind of grouping, such as by date or by project] those with a priority tag will be at the top.

For example, simple tag groups will appear as:

  • Today
  • Week
  • Home

Combined tag groups will appear as:

  • Today, Home
  • Today, Office
  • Week, Errands
  • Week, Home

Having these at the top is good enough for me to use a kind of ‘priority dashboard’, even if there’s lots more stuff displayed further down.

[Edit: If you group by due date in a perspective, then inside the ‘No Due Date’ group, the highest priority items will appear at the top.]

Condition (2) requires frequent rearranging of the tags on new actions to make the priority tag the first one, but has become a habit.

Condition (1) requires a one-time setup. Unfortunately, OF currently does not sort by tags according to the order in the tag hierarchy [edit: when you use ‘Sort actions by: Tag’ in a perspective]. Instead, it sorts according to the alphabetical order of the full path of tag name (eg. ‘Priority : Today’ or ‘Places : Errands : Supermarket’). You may need to add prefix characters to get the order you wish, eg:

_Priority

  • 1 Today
  • 2 Express
  • 3 NextDay
  • 4 Week

Places

  • Office

I emailed a request to OF Support to implement sorting according to how the user has arranged her tag hierarchy and I got a reply that suggested this may be considered.


#7

Thank you for the advices, guys!

It’s a pity there isn’t such a feature built-in, certainly. I have quick played with @MultiDim’s idea and it seems that with clever prefixing I can make something that looks relatively close to the dashboard I’d need. It works well with “Group actions by tag”, will try "Group actions with tags combined).

Also has anybody tried using API (scripts?) to make this kinds of dashboards externally?


#8

There is no way to create one dashboard that will hold so many lists together. Especially, one or two things from express, two things from next day, two things from next day, two things from next week, and one thing from annoying.

I’ve actually done something similar to what you wanted but you might not like it.

Have the Forecast tag assigned and use the Forecast perspective. This will take care of #1 and #2. It will probably also do #4 (next day and week). But I don’t assign tags. I just use the Forecast to see what’s coming up within the next few days. I don’t use a tag for “time”. I have the Forecast perspective set to show “Deferred items”.

Create a Dashboard perspective that will show remaining “express” and “annoying” tasks.

So I’ll mostly work in Forecast to see the today tag. I work on Today tags first. Then I’ll see if I can do anything that comes tomorrow (your next day) and maybe a couple of things within the upcoming week (your “week” tag).

After I complete as many “today” tags as possible and maybe a few deferred/due items in the upcoming week, I might head over to the Dashboard perspective to work on a few “annoying” tasks.

The important stuff to work on is in the Forecast view (showing deferred items, all tasks today and deferred/due within the upcoming week). The secondary stuff is the 'express" and “annoyinng” tasks from the Dashboard perspective.

Having two separate helps to separate the important (time- and date-sensitive) tasks from the annoying and express stuff.


My setup is a little different.
I work first in a Due perspective (Command-1) that shows all overdue/due/due soon tasks. These are time- and date-sensitive.

Then I work from my Flagged tasks showing all tasks that I flagged that I would like to work on today. Alternatively, I could create a perspective that shows another tag that is important. These items don’t have a due date but I’d like to do it within the next 7 days. This takes care of “next day”, “today”, and “week”.

Afterwards, I look at a perspective showing all available tasks that don’t have a due date and not flagged. These are usually annoying things that I’ll look at last.


Breaking it up into different lists creates a shorter list that is more manageable.

I think the 2Do app has much more refined controls to possible get what you wanted. It doesn’t hurt to send an email to omnifocus@omnigroup.com to put in your feature request! 🤠


#10

Thanks for the good discussion. I am currently trying out a similar approach, and will report back if I have anything to add.

In the meantime, thanks especially to @MultiDim for his ideas.

I’m not sure this is the case (anymore). Unless I’m misunderstanding or missing something, my tags are sorted by their hierarchy order, not alphabetically.


#11

Hi @devynosborne, I’m glad that my suggestions were of interest to you.

Regarding sorting by tag, I realise now that my explanation wasn’t complete.

  1. Tag groups in a perspective are displayed in the order of the tag hierarchy.
  2. Inside any group, when using the ‘Sort actions by: Tag’ setting, the sort is alphabetical (on the full path of the tags).

As a result, if you have a ‘priority dashboard’ that groups by due date and sorts by tag, as I do, the actions will only be sorted by priority inside a group if you use the prefixing method I mentioned. I always have tasks which have a priority tag and no due date, so inside the ‘No due date’ group I want my tasks to appear from top to bottom in decreasing order of priority.


#12

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!