Please: Let us write queries!

10+ year OF user here. Very excited about OF4, which IMO is a massive step forward in design and usability. Kudos to the Omni team!

One thing I’ve been banging my head against over and over again throughout the years, however, is the frustratingly (and arbitrarily) limited ability to create perspectives that do what I want them to do.

For instance: It is impossible to create a “Today” perspective with all (remaining) actions that are tagged “Today” (I use “🔸” for visual effect) and available today. See screenshot. This is because “Availability: Available” strictly means “available now” not “available later today”. So, no dice creating a “Today” perspective. The attempt fails at the last step.

Of course, the Forecast view has “available alter today” built in but that logic is not accessible as a predicate.

This is just one example. Over my 10+ years with OF, I’ve been frustrated by this at least 50 times.

Why the restrictiveness? Why not simply give us a Query field we can use to create perspectives? Why not let us write an SQL-esque like query like the one below?

SELECT * FROM actions
WHERE availability.remaining = true
AND (container = 'Inbox' 
     OR due = today() 
     OR availability.available = today() AND tag = 'Today')
GROUP BY project
ORDER BY project.order

It doesn’t even need a UI! Just tell us the magic incantation we have to do (through Omni Automation or like some prefs can be set by magic URL) and we can do it, problems solved.

This can’t be hard and would make OF 100% more useful.

Please, please, please. Thank you!

(First time I complained about this was here: More Customizable Perspective Filter Rules? - #9 by bumfuzzle)

I am confused. Availability:Remaining actions are available at any time. Meaning also any time today. Availability:Available is more restrictive. So, what happens when you remove the Availability:Available limitation?

Your query includes a restriction that is not in the OF lexicon as far as I can tell → Availability: Today (ONLY). Is this actually the root of your request (a new level on Availability)?


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I am confused.

Ignore the “remaining” condition, it is not important. (I have corner cases where it matters.) Key is actions can be tagged “Today” but still be deferred. I want a perspective that shows any action tagged “Today” that is available today — i.e. has no Defer date or a Defer date that is today.

Your query includes a restriction that is not in the OF lexicon as far as I can tell

That is the whole point of this post. The “lexicon” of predicates OF offers users is too restrictive. My example here—“is available or has a defer date before tomorrow”—is not offered, and for no reason. (In fact, the built-in Forecast uses precisely this predicate but is is not accessible to users.) But it is just an example. I’ve banged my head against this about 50 times over the past 10+ years.

I want an “Expert mode” where I can use whatever language OF uses under the hood—I suspect SQL—to write any query I want. Simple!

I suspect you’ll be very happy with the date-range filtering coming in 4.2! Quoting from the roadmap blog post from a few weeks ago:


Fantastic! Can’t wait. But while that 4.2 appears to solve my particular example here, please still consider making the underlying “SQL” accessible to power users via custom Omni Automation or similar. There are many other examples where the built-in “lexicon” is not sufficient. For instance, “is within a project that matches …”, etc.