Join David Sparks for an in-depth discussion in this video Using built-in perspectives, part of OmniFocus for Mac Essential Training.
- Perspectives are one of my favorite OmniFocus features. They allow you to take that big bucket of tasks you've been carrying around and just show you the subset of tasks that you need to see at any particular moment. The standard version of OmniFocus includes several built-in Perspectives. This video will focus on those built-in Perspectives. To select a Perspective in OmniFocus, you can do it in two ways. You've got a list of the Perspectives here in the sidebar, and these are all the built-in ones. So I've got like Flagged Perspective, and this will show me all the tasks that have flags attached to them.
I also have Projects, Contexts, Forecast, and Review. You can also see those built-in Perspectives up in the Perspectives menu. Just say Show Perspectives, and it opens this window that allows you to see each of the Perspectives and make changes to them. And you can see there's different viewing options for them. Another way you can do that is with the individual Perspective selected. Like I'm going to go to Flagged here and this shows we only have one task flagged, but this is something that's important to me. Now, just when I process my Inbox, I push several tasks off into future dates.
So this is the only one I have that's currently available in Flagged. If I go up to the View menu, you can see that I can change the view to show any Remaining tags which includes blocked, deferred, and on-hold items. So if I click that, you're going to see I have more flagged items show up, because I've got some flagged items here. Like this one is deferred until tomorrow, but it has a flag on it. Here's one that's deferred until 5:00 PM today with a flag on it. And this one is deferred out even further. So I'm going to hide the Inspector so you can see when these dates are. You've got this ability to change what this Perspective actually shows.
Now for flagged items, I actually prefer the default setting that's showing just the Available flagged items. Because that's only the tasks on my plate today that have a flag. I don't care if it has a flag on it, but it's not going to be on my task list for another month. That doesn't matter to me. I want to see the stuff that's deferred until today, so it's important for me to work on it today, and it's flagged. Let's look at Projects. You've got some additional viewing options for that as well. So if I click on the Projects I can show the Remaining Projects, or I could show All Projects.
Like sometimes you'll have Projects that you have cancelled or completed, you may want to see those. Or you can show just the Available Projects, and that shortens the list up. All this can be done with these changing and viewing settings. You can do the same thing in Contexts. You can have it show just the Available, the Remaining. In Contexts you can have it sort, as well, by Due Date. So if you've got Projects with due dates attached to them, it will put the due dates at the top instead of the Project. As you go through these various views, there's different settings for each of them.
And that's something you'd want to understand is use OmniFocus. Now these built-in Perspectives with their customization options are incredibly useful. However, to really get the most out of OmniFocus, Pro users can create their very own custom Perspectives. And that's using the Pro version. The next video is going to show you how to do that.
The course then explains how to best process tasks: setting up projects, establishing contexts and repeating tasks, and using such important features as date deferral, flags, perspectives, and the Forecast view. The course wraps up with a look at acting on and reviewing tasks and projects.
- List three tools used to add tasks to OmniFocus.
- Recall the purpose of setting contexts to tasks.
- Recognize the keyboard shortcut used to create a project from an item in the inbox.
- Explain how to change the default time for due dates.
- Determine which type of task to choose for repeating tasks.
- Identify three options you can set while creating a new perspective.