TAGs for tasks with subtasks not shown in TAG perspective


  1. In my General Options > Organization I have “In Tags and Flags” unchecked
  2. Even though in TAG perspective, for a given Tag, system doesn’t displays tasks (with a given Tag) having some subtasks (group tasks).

Use case: I use Tags to specify priorities (1, 2 or 3), and assign eg. Tag = 1 to a task (which contain multiple subtasks) to be done first. Then I would like to switch to Tag perspective to precisely see a sequence of tasks to do.

Any idea? Or some other tip for dealing with priorities (but more than one priority = Flag)?

Many thanks for help in advance :)


Your tag to indicate priority needs to be assigned to each individual action.

In OF, what you called subtasks are referred to as ‘actions’ and the grouping task is an ‘action group’. Tags applied to an action group are not inherited by the actions it already contains. The flag is a special feature which does get inherited.

Many thanks, Greg,

Just a final question: how to make a TAG’ged action group in a TAG perspective?
At the moment it’s not visible…



You’re welcome Andy. I’m not sure I understand your question. If you mean how to create an action group (by moving one action under another), this isn’t possible directly in the Tags view, which returns individual actions (including action groups) without any representation of the hierarchy of actions. You would need to do this in the Projects perspective (or a custom perspective which displays ‘Entire Projects’).

In general, for the prioritisation use case you described what I do is to get the hierarchy of actions like I want it and then multi-select a set of actions to apply a tag to them — this is possible both on Mac and iOS.

Dear Greg,

many thanks, and sorry for unclear explanation.

  1. In one of my projects:
  • I have an action group (just a task with subtasks, lets call it a meta-task)

  • I assign a TAG (eg. “1”) to this meta-task, and for each of it’s sub-tasks some other tags (eg. “1”, “2”, etc.)

  1. Then, when I switch perspectives from Projects to Tags, for each of the Tags (“1”, “2”, etc.)
  • I can see my subtasks…

  • … but a meta task is not visible.

The problem for me is such, that I have a lot of tasks with subtasks (“action groups”), and prefer to TAG them (meta-tags) rather than each of the subtasks (hundreds sometimes…) separately. And my goal is to have a TAG perspective as my dashboard (in “doing” phase, after planning).

My workflow would then be:

  1. Plan: assign priorities (1, 2, 3, …) to (meta) tasks

  2. Do: go to Tags, complete 1s, then 2s, etc.

I hope now it’s clearer :)



I see two issues in what you describe.

  1. Tags on action groups are not inherited by its child actions.

This is not supported in OF. Therefore if you wish all the ‘sub-tasks’ of your main task to have the same priority tags, you will have to multi-select them all and apply the tag.

The flag is inherited however, so consider using the flag to indicate priority 1. Once some of them are completed and you review all your priority tasks, you can promote some ‘P2’ ones to flagged.

Maybe with the upcoming OmniJS automation capabilities it will be possible to write a script to automatically apply a specific tag to any child actions of an action that has it, simulating inheritance. I haven’t looked into this. Ideally it would be triggered automatically when changes are made to an action group. If anyone has explored this kind of thing with the preview of OmniJS in OF, it would be very interesting to hear your conclusions.

  1. The Tags perspective doesn’t show the tagged action group (what you call your ‘meta-task’) when it still has uncompleted ‘sub-tasks’.

This will happen on all perspectives that return 'individual actions’ when the view filter is set to 'Available’ actions. The action group is not available because not all of its child actions are completed.

Some possible approaches:

  • You could use the ‘Remaining’ view in the Tags perspective but this is not ideal because lots of actions which are truly unavailable (on hold, etc) will appear.
  • To see your sub-tasks in the context of their parent task (with the ability to expand/collapse the branches), you could set up a custom perspective that filters on 'remaining’ actions that have your priority tags and displays the results using the ‘Entire Projects’ setting — but this will require all the sub-tasks to be tagged with your priority tag, as discussed above.
  • Separate the sub-tasks from the main task. Instead of putting the (potentially hundreds, as you say) of sub-tasks under the main task, put them in a separate project which acts as the detailed checklist. Your main task has a link to this project in the note field; because it doesn’t have any children, it will appear as you wish in perspectives based on its priority tag. This approach was recently discussed in this thread: Solution for a Cluttered Forecast View? and several times in the past on this forum.

I suggest you also take a look at this thread: Need more context in Flagged and Tags perspectives


many thanks for an in-depth explanation and tips.

I have the following suggestion - I don’t know, if it’s manageble, but treat it as a friendly customer voice :)

  1. Firstly, I don’t need my subtasks to inherit action group TAGs.
  2. Moreover, creating separate projects for my action-groups also is also too complicated.
  3. I suggest to make it possible to TAG a given item (beeing an action or action group) and view only these items in a TAG perspective. Additionaly, if an action group is Tagged - show all actions belonging to this group, even if they are not explicitly tagged.

Look how it is solved by https://culturedcode.com/things/
I moved back from Things 3 to OF just because they don’t allow multiple levels of subtasks: but the way they manage Tags is perfect. On opposite site: OF allows multiple levels of subtasks, but fails in Tags :)

Have a nice day :)


I’m just a (happy) user of OF I try to make useful suggestions in this forum. I would say that OF is overall more powerful and flexible than other task managers; I believe it’s beneficial to adapt your workflow and representation of tasks to the way OF works to get the most out of it.

I’m superficially familiar with Things. It has a fixed structure of Area, Project, and Task levels. In addition you can have a checklist under a Task, but the checklist items are not independent sub-tasks and cannot be individually tagged and filtered. When a Project (or a whole Area) has been given a tag, and when you filter on that tag in the ‘Anytime’ view, the whole Project with its tasks will be displayed. OF doesn’t work like this, ie. it doesn’t display the whole branch of actions (which could be many levels deep) under a project or action group that meets the tag filter criteria in a perspective. If OF had the ability for tags to be inherited on child actions (either explicitly displayed in the UI or implicitly determined for filtering purposes), then OF could return results in a similar way to Things and what you are requesting, which is why I brought it up. As I said before, the flag does work like this, so it can be an alternative despite it being less flexible than multiple tags.

If you would like to see a specific enhancement to OF, I encourage you email the OmniGroup at omnifocus@omnigroup.com which is their channel for feature requests.

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