Project List According to GTD

Hi everyone,

I am rereading the Getting Things Done book which I do every few years. One thing that I heard which makes a lot of sense is to maintain a “Project List” INDEPENDENT of the next actions so that you are not focusing on acting or managing the project but ensuring you have all of your projects in your system.

Is there a way to do that in OmniFocus? I have been trying to view the project list but I find my own habit of getting sucked into the right side of the screen and looking at Next Actions within them. How do I see a project list and folders (area of focus) ONLY with no next actions?


bellow I add image of my perspective setup, which is probably what you want.

3 folders excluded are someday/maybe, checklists and templates
[ exclude single action lists, where I use it as part of the name
: exclude groups, where I use it as part of the name

I think this does work, thanks! I am not sure why the matches search terms [ or : is in there. Can you explain what those do? I saw your explanation but do you put [Single Action List]? or what do you mean by how you use those?

I also removed the items for the exceptions for has a project which is on hold or a future defer date as I do want to see those to make sure they are not incomplete since I defer projects that are routines. But perhaps at some point I could say adding those in. I also removed the active project with no remaining actions as I do think I would want to see those to see if it belongs on my project list.

Does that make sense?

Thanks for your help!

Hi I wrote it in my previous post. Every single action list name is in [] - for example [Finance]. This is Tim Stringers system which I adopt.
For the group of task inside a project I use : at the end of the name. For example Brainstorming:
I hope it is clear now😄

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Thanks for the shout-out, @janbarta

I used the [ ] convention for years (and I think it’s still a good option), but I’ve since moved to prefixing projects and single-action lists with emojis:

📦 Single action list (e.g. “📦 Household”)
🧭 Parallel/sequential project (e.g. “🧭 Plan Trip to Vancouver”).
🔁 Repeating project (e.g. “🔁 Perform Daily Review”).

The emojis add a visual/graphical touch and are unlikely to show up in the notes field. As is the case with the square brackets, these emojis can be used to create an “active projects” perspectives that excludes single action lists.


Now I understand that, I saw your original post but didnt quite understand it. I think this is a great idea as right now I call them Finance Single Action List and I hate the wording and how long it gets

I liked the above idea but I kind of like this one even better :)

To the point above though how do you filter those out on a projects list?

I liked the above idea but I kind of like this one even better :)

Good to hear. 👍

To the point above though how do you filter those out on a projects list?

You can treat an emoji such as 📦 as a character, just as you would ‘[’.

For example, if you wanted a perspective that shows all active projects (excluding single action lists), you could create something like this:

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An excellent post Tim! Thank you!!!

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How did you add “None” of the following are true? I do not see it in the drop-down list.

I use a folder for BAU (or admin, or maintenance) which are all SAL ‘run your life’ type things, and another one for real projects ‘change your life’ type things. That’s the classic IT Organization division between a maintenance group and a project group which I find useful since the BAU tends to fill all your life space if you let it.

For the active project list I just use the standard project view in OF and I collapse all actions so only the projects are displayed.

I didn’t find the need to build a perspective for this.

You can great a rule group by holding down the ⌥ Option key and clicking the + button. “None” is one of the options in the rule group.

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Thanks all I did my first weekly review with some of these suggestions although I still did find the project list on the left side easier to read than what is created in the perspectives. Just the way OF shows the data with the indentations etc.

What I’ve found works for me is just using the projects outline as the list. I can scan through that without seeing the next actions. As long as all my projects are in OF, then I have a complete list in the outline. I distinguish single action lists (which are for my miscellaneous projects that are associated with my areas of responsibility) by setting them off with brackets. Creating a perspective also works and I have one along the same lines as @janbarta’s, but I find that just using the outline in the side bar gets the job done for me.

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Yea I think I will probably stay this route as I find it was easier to read vs the perspective for some reason

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