Tasks with multiple tags: Can I group them by one tag only?

I’ve recently upgraded to OF3 and am experimenting with the concept of multiple tags per task. I’ve identified a use case that I think could work for me, but it massively clutters my Today view (which is grouped by tags).

Basically I’d want a tag hierarchy for customers, and another tag hierarchy for context. So my hierarchies would look like this:


  • Customer 1
  • Customer 2
  • Etc.


  • Office
  • Home
  • Mobile
  • Citrix
  • Etc.

There are also a few other random tags that I could see assigning to some tasks.

However, I want my today view grouped by customer ONLY, not the context tags. I’d have other perspectives tied to specific context tags of course. I’ve experimented with both grouping by tags and tags (combined), and neither gives me what I want. Is there a way to select a specific set of tags that are used for grouping, and not others?

Do you have the customers configured as sub-tags of a “Customer” parent tag? If so, does filtering only on the parent tag help?

There’s no way to specify grouping by a particular branch of tags in an individual perspective. You can choose between grouping ‘by Tag’ or ‘by Tags (Combined)’. In both cases the order of the tag hierarchy will influence the content of the perspective.

In your case of having actions with several tags:

  • Using grouping ‘by Tag’ will result in actions appearing several times (eg. the same action under the ‘Context : Office’ group and under the ‘Customers : Customer 1’ group). If you manually select the ‘Customers’ tag branch in the left pane of the perspective, then you will only see tag groups for those tags, but this will also filter out any “today” actions that don’t have a customer tag.
  • Using grouping ‘by Tags (Combined)’ solves the action duplication problem: an action appears only once under the group for its combination of tags. The tag groups will follow the order of your tag hierarchy, so putting the ‘Customers’ branch at the top of the hierarchy (before the ‘Context’ tags) will cause the grouping of actions by customer tag first (you may get several groups like ‘Customer 1, Office’ and ‘Customer 1, Phone Calls’). The downside is that the tag hierarchy will also apply to all other perspectives, so you couldn’t use the same approach to also have a perspective that groups “combined tags” by context.

If the limitations of these setups are not manageable, then consider two more approaches:

  • Create a ‘Today for Customers’ perspective in addition to your full ‘Today’ perspective. It would use the ‘by Tag’ grouping and have a filter rule on the ‘Customers’ tag branch. You would go to this perspective to see all actions that need to be done for specific customers, and other perspectives could continue to be grouped by context (or whatever your tag hierarchy is).
  • Break down your project hierarchy by customer. You could have a ‘Customer 1’ project folder containing several goal-oriented projects, or a goal-oriented project folder containing a project for each customer. Then a ‘Today’ perspective could use ‘Group actions by: Project’ or ‘Group and sort by: Entire Projects’ to display your customer structure, regardless of the tag hierarchy. See my post about a similar structure in: How to organize database to best retain hierarchical information when working out of non-hierarchical perspectives like Forecast and Flagged? with the ‘Due or Flagged’ perspective at the end.

Thanks for the detailed reply! You’ve given me a few options to consider and test.

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