So OmniFocus cannot Focus?

I can’t believe it. Am I right in understanding that this program cannot simply do the thing it is named to do? I have a ton of work and non work projects and I want to see only the non work ones. I don’t want to create new perspectives, I have all I need on my Mac. I just want to FOCUS.

What am I missing?

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Tags and Perspectives will do it!

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I read this as lamenting the fact that the “Focus” feature that’s available on Mac isn’t also available on iOS. Which, I agree, would be a great addition.

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OK. Quite right.


JJW

Even if this is a post about lack of focus on iOS this the question is framed that the need is how to look at just home projects/tasks at least how I read it.

The whole point of OF is perspectives it’s a perspective based app and creating a “home” perspective is simple providing the projects are set up in in a logical folder hierarchy, so like others here am at a bit of a loss to understand what you are actually saying or asking.

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In OF (Mac or iOS) you use a Perspective which filters (or focuses, if you prefer) the entirety of tasks in your database down into just those which you want to see - according to criteria which you decide on, set up and manage.

Is this useful?

How else do you want to ‘focus’, @OmniFocusIsFun; please forgive us for not immediately understanding :-)

We’d like to help!

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“I don’t want to create new perspectives…”

lol, why not? It’d take care of your problem.

Honestly, I think the thing I like most about “Focus” is it works with Forecast (and to a lesser extent Review). I think if those were available as custom types, the “make perspectives” suggestion might be more palatable.

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Perspectives would directly address this but short of that you could

  1. Put all your personal stuff in a Personal folder and look at all the tasks there
  2. Create a personal tag and assign it to all your personal tasks

I wouldn’t say that custom perspectives could replace the Focus feature. The thing with Focus is that it elegantly filters down the built-in perspectives Forecast, Flagged and Review – and even your custom perspectives! – to show only tasks from the temporarily chosen project or projects.

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I am also missing this feature. I use OF on Mac for both work and private, and OM on iPhone mostly for private tasks. When I start the workday I typically set focus to work on my Mac so that I can forget about all the private stuff I need to do. Similarly, after work I do not want to look at all my work stuff unless I decide to. Because of the mix of private and work, my Forecast display becomes useless on iPhone. I therefore defer all work tasks tagged with ‘Next’ until the next day when leaving work.

Because of this missing feature on iPhone I have to duplicate all my perspectives for both private and work. If I only used Mac I would only need one of each.

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I rarely use Forecast because it (for me anyway) just fills with routine tasks so I run the risk of missing something important. I did create a custom duplicate “forecast” perspective which filters out the noise, and as a calendar is not that important to me in OF this seems to work.

I keep a very strict division between work and home tasks, even though I work from home, this is achieved with a fair few custom perspectives admittedly but I do only see work stuff when I am in work mode and the rest when I am not. I guess I have probably created my perspectives to allow me to rarely use or need focus as I started with OF almost exclusively on the iPad, although I probably had not realised this until now.

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I like Focus on Mac because any action can serve as an entry point to a project. So I might pick off 1-3 action that are of interest to me right now, focus on them, and now I can make progress on just those projects.

It’s a painful omission on iOS. Perspectives do not solve this problem, at least not as elegantly. You can’t just select a couple actions and focus on them. You have to go into a perspective and select the projects that those actions are a part of.

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iPads have become so powerful and versatile that it would be ideal for OF on iPad to have feature parity with the Mac app.

Apart from Focus mode, the thing I miss in OF on the iPad is the sidebar in custom perspectives (the left pane which displays either the folder-project hierarchy or the tag hierarchy that matches the results of the perspective, and allows you to apply a further filter). On the Mac I use it all the time to temporarily zoom in on subsets of the perspective’s results, it’s extremely useful.

So on the Mac there are 3 possible levels of personalised navigation in your database: a global folder/project filter (Focus), the choice of a custom perspective (which has its own fixed filters), and on-the-fly project/tag filtering inside a perspective with the sidebar.

OF iOS has only one of these levels: custom perspectives. I have taken to creating some duplicate perspectives for use on iPad that include a rule at the top of the list for either project or tag on-the-fly filtering. I use it to simulate the filtering I can do with the Mac sidebar, but it’s more clunky. And there’s no substitue for using Focus to cycle through perspectives which have different presentations of the project data.

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