Reordering Tasks Items in OF3

I don’t know how many people saw Wilsonng’s excellent’s overview of OF3 in its current TestFlight condition, but I was quite disappointed by the inability to reorder tasks in custom perspectives.

When I’d learned the OF3 would allow for multiple tags per task item and that tags would be order-able, I was filed with hope that we could have useful lists easily rearranged via drag-and-drop (similar to the way, for example, OS X’s Reminder app allows for this). This would mean I could do things like use Est Duration for estimating an item’s duration, as opposed to what I do now, which is use it as a proxy for task order.

Moreover, not even OF3’s built-in Flagged perspective allows for reordering tasks, though I suppose this could change before final release.

In it’s current state, in order to drag and drop items in a given order, you need to go to the Tag perspective, find the relevant tag, order the tasks there, then go to the custom perspective and make sure it’s set to sort by a “Tags Order.”


Maybe here will be a custom perspective view setting for manual sorting? The TestFlight is still in the early stages and then the features are still being formed. As more TestFlight pilots join in, that will expand the number of different case scenarios that OF3 will be tested against.

Personally manual sorting is a planning activity and will be done early in the morning. When I am in doing mode, I’ll rarely fuss about sort order and would have to actually stop the doing mode and revert back to Planning mode to reorder a tag. It’s not something I’ll often do on the fly.

If I do my groceries, my list is already arranged by aisles. If I screwed up in the middle of shopping, I shrug and hopefully remember to change my sort order better next time.

but yeah. I would like to see manual sorting in custom perspectives soon.

OF2: I cannot take credit for it and I don’t remember where I read it, but I have a context for each aisle. They are grouped under a “Walmart” context.

This context are sorted in the order I visit them every week.

When I add new items I Choose the context or aisle they are on.

The only thing I don’t like about this method is it does not translate well to the watch. Forcing me to tap into every context one at a time instead of show me the items in order.

But other than that, this works very well because I just use my phone to check items off. And since the context are sorted in a custom perspective for “groceries”, I don’t worry about sorting them.


After 10 years of waiting - frankly SO tired of work arounds for an app that should honestly be better at giving it’s users what they need. OF is just an information organization app after all. I understand it has some complexity but this is not rocket science or 3D! REALLY hoping OF3 becomes the usable app we’ve all been waiting for. Not being able to easily sort / reorder lists without a kludged method that creates as much friction as it solves seems ridiculous after all this time. Sorry, but I’m starting to feel like OF has gotten short shrift over Gaffle and whatever other apps OG makes I don’t care about, and as a great customer who’s bought pro of every iteration across every platform for a decade am finally expecting something really great - not just good…and hopefully SOON - 2018 marches on!


Well said.


Hi @BriMercer! Thanks for raising this point. Reordering within tags is a big feature that we’re excited for, and we’re listening very closely to feedback about how folks want to incorporate it into their workflows.

I can’t really speak to other planned features, but I can share a little about how OmniFocus handles reordering. Tags, like tasks, are objects stored in your OmniFocus database, so we can add some information to tags that remember order: “in tag X, items are ordered A, B, then C.”

By contrast, perspectives like Flagged — or any custom perspective you create — are more like filters on other objects, rather than full-fledged, first-class objects of their own. As such, it’s more complex to add the idea of custom order to those filters, both technically and philosophically. (For example, Flagged doesn’t group by tag — so if you reorder there, where should that order change be reflected? In tags, in the containing project, or only in Flagged?)

Of course all these features are possible to build — it’s “just code!” — but we want to make sure that OmniFocus is an app that supports all the varied workflows that work best for our customers, and not introduce more confusion along the way. Tags Order in custom perspectives is a great example of this: other ordering options are there to enhance certain workflows, and while it might make perfect sense to add task reordering alongside those options, we need to weigh those workflows carefully before potentially disrupting them.

With all that said, we continue to welcome feedback about features you’d like to see, especially as the OF3 TestFlight ramps up in the coming weeks. You can always email us at to discuss your own workflows and how the app can help make them more efficient. Thanks!


Tim, thanks for taking the time to respond!

Your technical explanation is exactly how I would expect it to work. For fun, I was trying to mentally design a database structure that might accommodate the reordering of task items in a perspective. This was when I came to the conclusion that perspective data is likely NOT stored in tables, as this would needlessly complicate the process.

I was trying to think of potential design changes that might most easily accommodate task ordering without major changes. I wonder if you could consider this:

It occurred to me that, although Flags aren’t reorder-able, you could simply create what amounts to a #flag tag and then re-order it. The difficult part of this is that you’d have to go into the Tags perspective, scroll down to the #flag list to reorder it.

I wonder if there was some way we could isolate a tag list (similar to how the OS X version of OF can focus on specific projects). Then you could click once and see only #flag and then order away! The key would be to make it quick to get to a specific tag list.

Hello, I think you need to add a field something like “global rank” to every task. Each time you change order of tasks in any view/perspective, the only thing you need to ensure is that the task moved gets lower number of the task below and higher of the one above. I believe there could be logical assumption applied that once I change order in any perspective that change needs to propagate into any other view/perspective. That would seem natural to me. (you need to think of the initial values ofcourse and also what happens to the ordering when sorted by certain field). I do believe you guys are not the first ones to be dealing with such issue …

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Unfortunately, a global rank wouldn’t work, since each item can have one-to-many tag lists. So an item’s rank in one tag list might different than in a second or third or forth list.


I think grouping and sorting are two different things … so if there was a view grouped by tag, sorting by global rank would still apply within the each tag group. Once grouping is removed, tasks would sort by global rank without grouping …

Some great ideas here — thanks! We definitely plan to make it quick to get to any given tag list. In fact, current OF3 TestFlight builds preserve the feature from OF2 where you can jump straight to a context or tag from any task with that context/tag assigned. And since tags are user-defined, you’re welcome to create a Flag tag and use it in place of flagging, if that suits you!

Bringing the Mac Focus feature to iOS is a request we’ve heard before, too, and something we’re keeping an eye on. If you come up with anything else that you think would make things smoother, please keep on letting us know!

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: OmniFocus 3 - Top feature requests

I would add this nuance to the discussion: whatever is the solution for jumping quickly to a given tag list, it should be supported in “Show in Today:” (OF for Mac; i.e. specifying what goes in the Today widget), as well as “Today & Watch” (OF for iOS/watchOS).

Perhaps those things are viewed as minor features—they’re certainly tucked away deep in preferences. But I find those functions to be pivotal. That’s where I see the list that (hopefully) keeps me on track throughout the day. And right now, those presentations are not practicably sortable**, because they only show Perspectives. If it’s technically not possible to sort within perspectives, then perhaps “Show in Today” and “Today & Watch” would support specifying a tag instead of a perspective.

Allowing hotkeys for tags (as is currently done for perspectives) would also help on the Mac.


** I hope this is clear: of course they are sorted, and therefore sortable. But I mean the kind of arbitrary ad-hoc reordering that a user wants to do at the beginning of a day, for example.

Hello, it still seems to be a challenge to reorder items when you want a daily to-do list (that can be reordered).

Best I can tell, you create a tag (i.e. “Today”). You now CAN reorder items within a tag (good).

However, I can’t find any easy way to create a perspective of just that tag, that I can add on my sidebar, so I can quickly return to my “Today” tag. (Once you use a perspective, it insists on sorting in some order that doesn’t allow re-order.)

Any tips?

Perspective settings like this should work for that (Grouping by Tag, and sorting by Tags Order are the essential bits):

Perspective Screenshot

Hope that helps!


This works great! Now I can assign a hot key to get here fast.

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Please tell me that by now there is a way to sort tags? Either drag and drop,or sort alphabetically at least? Currently, I cannot group tags with similar functions (eg @spouse, @boss).

Evernote has had this functionality for 10 years.