Custom Perspectives in Omnifocus

One of the hot topics in Omnifocus world is whether the Pro version is worth the extra $40. My opinion on the matter can be summed up with, “YES! Absolutely yes!”

Omnifocus Pro comes with the ability to use the Focus feature, AppleScripts, and custom perspectives. Custom perspectives are a feature I don’t know how I’d live without. Quite honestly, it’s the one thing that sold me on Omnifocus because there isn’t anything else like it.

Omnifocus has it’s default perspectives, Inbox, Projects, Contexts, Forecast, Flagged, etc., but custom perspectives are where this app shines.

I have 4 main perspectives I work from:

  • @Work shows me everything I can do while I’m at work. {No surprise there.} It shows me only available items in my Campus and Devices contexts, grouped by project, and sorted by due date {if there is one.} Essentially it’s a list of tasks I have to be at the office to do and any tasks I can do while on the computer since I sit in front of the computer for 8 hours a day.
  • @Home shows me everything I can do while I’m at home. It shows me available items in my House and Devices contexts but unlike the @Work perspective, it’s grouped by context, not project, and sorted by project. Grouping by context means all my tasks that are in the basement are grouped together which makes it super simple to batch tasks when I’m in a particular area of the house and not have to constantly walk up and down the stairs.
  • Errands shows any available items in my Errands context sorted by project. This list shows me anything I need to pick up from a store or do while I’m out. Grouping by project lets me quickly see whether something is for my room remodel or just general shopping.
  • Waiting is my last perspective and it shows any tasks that have a “Waiting for…” context. If I’m waiting to hear back from someone or waiting for a particular item in the mail, I can quickly move the task to this list which I periodically review. It’s extremely helpful in making sure nothing falls through the cracks.

So there you have it – my 4 perspectives. I work primarily out of these contexts unless I’m tweaking how something is organized in Omnifocus. In that case, I’d right click and choose Show in Contexts or Projects depending on what I’m trying to do. Being able to see only what I can work on while I’m at work without being reminded of all the things I can’t do at home is an incredible feature of Omnifocus 2, and it’s well worth every bit of the $40 even if you aren’t planning on using the other features {which I don’t.}

And it looks this post wraps up my long winded series of how I use Omnifocus. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and as always, if you have any questions or you want to hear more, feel free to ask.

Up next on the blog radar… I’m going to get back to posting about how my room remodel has been going.

Until next time,

Signature Update

4 thoughts on “Custom Perspectives in Omnifocus

    • Andrea @ says:

      The majority of my time is spent either at my office or at home, and I wanted to be able to quickly see what I could do at any given time. If you check out my post on Contexts, it might offer some more context to how my perspectives are set up. 🙂

      Basically certain things like discussing something with a coworker absolutely have to be done while I’m at work, so having items with my @Campus context (where I work) be included was a no brainer. There are other things like computer related tasks – maybe downloading an OS update for my phone or scheduling a doctor’s appointment – that don’t necessarily need to be done while I’m at work, but could be.

      Home is set up the same way. There are things I have to do at home – Cleaning the bathroom can’t be done while I’m at work – and there are things I could do, maybe leaving a comment on a blog post. Depending on my schedule, that may fit better into my lunch break while I’m work or may be easier to do over coffee on a Saturday morning.

      To summarize: Both contexts include things I have to do at that location and things I could do, so at any given time, I have a list of only the things I can do relative to where I’m at.

      Hope that helps, and thanks for stopping by!

      • Rik Ebbesen says:

        Thanks for the reply. I should have been more specific about my question. I am following your rationale of contexts and I have a similar setup to segregate work, home, errands, etc. What I have not been able to figure out is how to limit a perspective to show specific context(s). So, for your @home perspective, how are you telling OF2 to show only @home contexts?

      • Andrea @ says:

        You can command-click items contexts in the sidebar to only select certain contexts. It’s kind of a life changer once you figure out you can do it because it adds a whole different level to perspectives. When you’re setting up the custom perspective just make sure to click “Add Current Sidebar Selection” in the Sidebar Selection setting and you’re good to go.

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