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?


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.


OK. Quite right.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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