Rate my setup (and suggest improvements)

Hi everyone,
This is my first post on the forum :)
I have been using OmniFocus 2 for iOS for a year now; it took a while to get use it and tailor it to fit my life, but there’s always room for improvements. Please check my setup and let me know if I’m doing anything wrong, or could use improvements. Thanks in advance!

This is my “Home”

My custom perspectives are:

Planning: shows me all everyday-life actions available, so that everyday, I can pick some actions to complete. I pick actions by flagging them. Flagging them shows them in “Today” perspective.

Today: shows me available flagged items. I only complete items that are flagged.

Someday: shows items that have the context “Someday”. This context is on hold so that I don’t see it in “Planning” perspective. These items don’t need to be done anytime soon, these are items that I would like to do one day, but I’m in no rush to do, but I do check one in awhile to try to complete some of them,

Board: shows me important items that take long to complete, and must be worked on daily, in chunks. I need to work on them a little bit everyday and want to keep in my mind everyday, but because they are important items, I don’t want to see them with my normal single actions in Planning.

Deferred: shows me items that have a defer date on them. I check this sometimes just to see what lies next ahead of me.

Study: this perspective shows me only two projects “Catch up” and “Weekly Prep”. I add items for my university work in these projects, so that they have their own space, and don’t mix with my non-study life.


I almost never use “Context” or “Projects” as item picker, but nonetheless, I use these contexts:

  • Quick Actions: actions that are quick to complete
  • Study: actions that involve me studying
  • Home: actions that can be done at home only
  • Out: actions that can be done out only
  • Need More: actions that require more planning
  • Routines: actions that are repetitive (e.g change toothbrush, cut nails…etc)
  • On The Board: actions that I want to be shown on my “Board” perspective
  • Waiting for: items to remind me what I wait for, and from whom
  • Someday: actions that I am in no rush to do

and my projects:

  • Personal: Single Actions
  • Personal: Health
  • Personal: Stay in Touch
  • Personal: Development
  • Personal: Notes
  • University: Uni Single Actions
  • University: Weekly Prep
  • University: Catch up
  • University: Events
  • University: Read Later
  • University: Goals
  • System Maintenance

I review every week (on Saturday mornings), and I check my “Planning” every day in the morning. I must unflag items that I couldn’t finish before I go to sleep, so that my “Today” shows 0 items by the end of the day.

Thank you for reading my setup! Please feel free to comment on any part of it.


I think you’re doing just fine. As long as it works for you, it’s a good setup.

Just remember that you can add and subtract custom perspectives depending on your life circumstances. I’ve added custom perspectives and see if they stick. If I start using it a lot, I’ll keep it. After 3 months, if I don’t really use it, I can always take a screenshot of the view settings and save it for another day. Then I delete it. Some custom perspectives will have a lifespan that is needed just for limited time period. You’ll have a better idea of what stopped working for you when you realize that you haven’t looked at a custom perspective in a long time.

Don’t be afraid to try out new custom perspectives but remember when you need to erase them or modify them when they don’t fit your personal workflow.

There’s also no such thing as one custom perspective that shows “everything.” It’s great to see that you have custom perspectives to break down OmniFocus next actions to show only what you need. The Study perspective for showing study related work; the Deferred perspective to show what is coming up in the near future.

In your setup, always use the review religiously. The review is what keeps your projects and context list fresh and up-to-date.

Can you take a screen shot of your “Board” custom perspective. I’m always curious ;-) Thanks.

Good job with setting up your perspectives.


Thanks so much for your feedback! I’ll keep those tips in mind moving forward :D

As for my “Board” perspective, here’s screenshots: (sorry had to merge them into 1 pic as the forum only allows 1 pic for new users)

As you can see, all items here have the context “On The Board” or “Wating for”. For example, these 2 items on the board are items that I would like to do them in bits almost everyday (e.g long university projects), but at the same time, I don’t want them bogging my “Today” perspective, so I keep them here.
And the Waiting for has actions that need to be done by other people, so everytime I check this “Board” perspective, I know when to nodge people if they take long to do the action (e.g refund)

Thanks again!

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I like this set-up. And I’m gonna steal from it! :)


Nice setup.

Do you work exclusively with the iPhone version? We have Windows PCs at work and, while I could take my MacBook Pro to work, I would like to use the iPhone version at work exclusively. It’s funny, I bet this wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have a MacBook and an iPhone was my only option.

Is your projects list static or are those actual projects? They look more like areas of responsibility. For example, if you had to write a report on the quarterly finances, would you create a project called, ‘Write quarterly report’?

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Yes, I use the iOS Omnifocus exclusively, on my iPhone and iPad and Apple Watch. However, I find myself using it on my iPhone the most. This is because my life is not as very busy with many actions to complete on a daily basis. On average, I would have a total of 50-60 actions across all my projects, with many deffered or someday.
My contexts and projects are almost always static, that is to say, they are there for organisational purposes only, as I get things done from my custome perspectives.
I am a university student, and I’m not sure if my approach would be the same if I were to be working rather than studying, but to answer your question about the quarterly report:

I would ask myself “Is writing a quarterly report a single action? Or does it involve more steps than that?”
If It’s just a single action, I’d place it in one of my action projects (for organisation), then go to Planning, flag it from there, and go to Today to work on it and complete it.
If it has more steps than that, and depending on the length of it, I may create a project for it, with the steps as actions in that project, and edit my “Study” perspective (it’d be “Work” if I was working) to include this new project in my “Study” perspective.
Finally, when I’m ready to start working on this report, I’d go to my perspective “Study”, flag the first step/action in that project, then go to my “Today” and start working on these steps along other acions I flagged from “Planning”. When I’m done with this step, I’d flag the next, and so on. I hope this helps!