Tagging strategies (OF 3) - how are you using tags?

I’m interested in how those of you in the TestFlight are leveraging the new tag feature, any tips on strategy for setting up your tags?


The first thing I did was to modify my Agenda, I previously had “Agenda” as a top level tag, and then “Person A”, “Person B”, etc., inside of it. Now I have a “People” tag, with the people underneath it, and a top level Agenda tag. Where this comes into play is “Waiting On”, now I can assign waiting on to a person as well as waiting on, and then when I click on a person I see all the things I need to talk to them about (Agenda), as well as the things I am waiting on. Of course, sometimes things are both “waiting on” and “agenda” which is easy to handle now.

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I use @rosemaryjayne’s example above, too. It’s very helpful!

Another use I have is, because my team works in agile sprints, a tag related to the current sprint. In that way, regardless of how things are tagged relating to context or other constraints, I can see them in a list together.

I have also taken to making more location-based tags for things I could do at multiple locales, which is handy.

The most surprising thing to me so far, though, is that I assumed that multiple tags without complex perspectives (i.e. boolean AND, OR, NOT or other conditions) wouldn’t be that meaningful, but while I look forward to and will use that, I’m surprised by how useful a single criteria tag is. Pretty cool.




I’m in the process of going through the entire back catalogue of GTD podcast episodes. Episode 12 in particular has some really interesting implications for tags in OF3 - contexts/lists/tags (whatever you want to call them) based on the emotional payoff you’d feel once the task is complete. I really like the idea of attaching a value or why right down at the task level to motivate me to get through them even if I don’t feel like it.

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I’m not there yet. I’ve got a great set of tags in Things 3. but I’m dubious about bringing that over to OF3. As it stands now, I don’t see any way of quickly searching tags within tags within OF3 which would warrant this. It is very useful in Things 3, but can’t see the application in OF3.


In Things 3 I have various areas of responsibility. I’ve got my civilian job where I coordinate trainings around the state. This involves a lot of location based tasks, waiting for tasks, and so on. The problem with Things is that it doesn’t allow me to hide tasks that aren’t available now. If it did, it would be the perfect app. As it is, whenever I open it up to see my tasks, I have a TON of tasks to look at, most of which are not available.

I have other areas, such as being a Platoon Sergeant in the infantry. I train soldiers, take care of problems, and have to switch from tactical mode to strategic mode (or 10,000 foot to 50,000 foot).

So in Things 3 I have all of my Army tasks tagged as Army. Then there are different areas within that. There’s training, soldier issues, self study, and administrative, all tagged as such. And there are projects within these areas. Each task has a tag associated with it’s context in the GTD system. So I can select a tag ARMY and then within that tag I can select the tag SOLDIER ISSUES, or FLAGGED (perhaps the Commander assigned something important that day). In other words, I can filter narrow or wide, easily, quickly, without hardly any friction.

That’s what I was anticipating in OF3. Is this coming? I know it is beta. I’ve already sent in a couple emails with some bugs. I’m just unsure if this something about tags that is coming.

I had thought that I could do away with folders and instead apply tags for folders (like in my example above). However currently if I select a tag in OF3, I see no way to select another tag in order to narrow down the view.

I could create a perspective, sure. And perspectives are a strong point of OF3 and a glaring weakness of Things 3.

I am trying the iOS beta and like the program, but to redesign my database using tags I need the flexibility of the Mac interface. Anxiously waiting for that beta to drop. I do see many uses for tags in a business setting. To add on what rosemaryjayne said, I also envision tagging with certain regular meeting tags so I can keep track of items in several different ways. This all depends on a perspective editor that is flexible enough to take advantage of tagging. We need true smart folder types of perspectives.

There has been talk in the OmniFocus Slack channel about an advanced editor that will allow and/or conditions to enhance the view filter settings. It’s still being worked on and is probably being tested in-house at Omni. It sounded like work was started in the last few weeks. We’ll see the new editor in a future TestFlight release. This will open the doors wide open on using tags to customize our search capabilities.

Think of something resembling iTunes smart playlist or the MacOS Finder’s Smart Folders.

Sounds wonderful. I miss that about my first GTD app, Schoolhouse.