How to Tag tasks in OmniFocus

Last week The Omni Group released OmniFocus 2, an update to their GTD task management software. One of the longest threads on the OmniFocus 1 forums has been a plea for the inclusion of tagging actions. With the release of OmniFocus 2, the same thread has been picked right where it left off.

Guess what? You can do tags in OmniFocus today!

Sample Project:

Here’s an sample project I have in OmniFocus:

In the long description (that’s what I call it) of the task, I added tags with the ‘#’ symbol in front them. [1] This allows me to have an action to have multiple tags, but still under a single context. I use Contexts as part of my weekly review, but use tags to quickly find and organize actions. The two main ways I do this is through Searching or Perspectives.


In OmniFocus 2, the search function will do a literal search of the text entered in the search box. So when I search for the word wordpress, I get multiple results:

But now if I search for #wordpress, I only get my ‘tagged’ action items:

So now I can search across all of my projects for tasks with a given set of tags.


The other way I’ve used tags is with a specific perspective. In the example below I have set up a perspective to show just my #CSS tags.

So now when I click on my #CSS perspective, I get a list of tasks that only include this tag.

The follow up question I get, after showing how I tag in OmniFocus, is how to get a list of tags used in OmniFocus or a method to control what tags are used. I simply state that what I showed them is one option for tagging in OmniFocus. I’m sure there would be a way to use Applescript or Python to parse all the tags used in the OmniFocus database and present a list, but that’s outside of how I’m using tags at this time.

Otherwise, ask Brett (@ ttscoff), I’m sure he’s come up with something for tagging in OmniFocus by now.

  1. I used the ‘#’ symbol as an example only.  ↩

Comments from original WP Post:

Jason.Verly: My point is that I've got a way to specify my searches by using a tag in the task note. Is this a full blown tagging method? Absolutely not and I hoped I made that point in my post. Long term I hope OmniFocus will have a full fledged tagging service as you describe.

Andy Logan: Except of course that these really aren't tags. The reason the thread popped up again, and I've been participating, is that what you're suggesting isn't tagging, it's text search. Tagging would allow me to autocomplete and filter with proper tools inside OF, not have to build custom perspectives. I agree, this works if you have a very limited set of tags you want to use and don't mind having tons of perspectives to manage. If you are looking for a greater number of tags or want to use built in filtering tools it scales poorly. Then you have to setup text completion or buy a tool, which you then need to manage your tags in. Given the re-write and the number of features deleted plus having to buy pro just to keep the features you had in OF1, this is a huge disappointment.

Lurlene: Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!