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Just me? Cannot sort actions by name, etc. Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
It has been a few days since I found that I cannot sort actions by name or due or you name it. Is it just me? What I did was I click on "View" and then select a sorting type from "Sorting." Please, let me know if I am doing it wrong. I am running OF 1.9 in OS X 10.6 on Macbook 2,1.


Last edited by sooinlee1; 2011-04-28 at 11:46 PM..
Sorry for the confusion, sooinlee1! Is this happening in Project view? If so, it's important to know that the Sort options under the View menu control the automatic sorting. In project view, the auto sorting applies to projects, not the actions within them.

As an example, selecting View -> Sorting -> Name from the menu bar in Project view will put the "Buy new computer" project before the "Car repair" one, but won't re-order the actions in either project. (OmniFocus assumes the order you put those actions into is important to you, so it's not going to mess with them unless you tell it to do so.)

When you would like to re-order the actions in the projects, though, just select the actions you want to re-order and then select Edit -> Sort -> Name. OmniFocus interprets that as you saying "No, really... I want to rearrange these. Go ahead."

Hope this helps!
Congratulations, you are #52396 in a never-ending series of users falling into this trap :-)

OmniFocus has two notions of sorting. You can sort the display, or you can sort the data.

When you use the View bar settings, or the View->Sorting command, what you are doing is sorting the display order. If you are in a project mode display, the sorting is done on a project-by-project basis, so sorting by name would put projects whose name started with 'A' before projects whose name started with 'B', and so on. In a context mode display, the sorting is done on individual actions, not projects. This is particularly useful when you are trying to figure out which actions have to be done first, because it takes all of the actions and sorts the ones with the earliest due date to the top of the list, regardless of which project they are in. In project mode, it would by sorting by the due date of the project, not the action. A project which was due in three weeks, but had a task that was due today would show up lower in the list than a project which is due in two days but has no individual actions due before then, and I trust you can see how this might lead to poor choices of what to do next.

Regardless of what you use it for, the View->Sorting command only affects the window in which you apply it. If you have another window showing the same data, the data as seen in that other window will not change.

There is also a sorting function in OmniFocus which will actually rearrange your data. For example, when you create a new project in OmniFocus, it goes to the bottom of the sidebar if you don't have another project already selected. After you do a big brain dump, your sidebar might be quite a mess. Here is where you would want to sort the data, just as if you had dragged the projects into order, except without all of the clicking and dragging! Select the items you want to sort (whether they be projects or contexts in the sidebar, or rows in the outline), then choose Edit->Sort->(your sort key) or use control-or-right-click to bring up the contextual menu and choose Sort->(your sort key).
@Brian, Thank you. It's clear now.
@whpalmer4, Am I #52396? :) Thank you for getting me out of the trap!

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