Using Tabs in OmniFocus

Introducing Tabs


OmniFocus’ recent builds (beta test build version 2.8 as of this writing) have introduced tabs, much like we find in our Internet browsers. Here’s an example:


I’ve been experimenting with using the tabs to organize how I approach work by sessions. Notice the above arrangement. When working, I do so from right to left. On the right are the project tasks:


I can work away, adding thoughts to the Inbox as needed via Quick Entry. When I feel that I have done enough work in the session, I close the tab with Command-w.

Using the above structure, this brings me to the Inbox, where I can process it as part of closing the session.


When I’m done processing the Inbox, and I feel that there is nothing more about the session that comes to mind, I once again close the tab with command-w to return me to the Dashboard:


… where I can mark the “Develop: Blog post on tabs” task as complete and once again decide what to do next.

Menu Options

There are 6 menu options related to tabs that are scattered throughout the menu bars:

  • File > New Tab
  • View > Show Tab Bar
  • Window > Show Previous Tab
  • Window > Show Next Tab
  • Window > Move Tab to New Window
  • Window > Merge All Windows

The last one, “Merge All Windows” takes all of your open windows and converts them into a single window with multiple tabs.

Using Shortcuts

Using Keyboard Maestro, I’ve added shortcuts as follows:

  • New Tab (Command-t)
  • Show Previous Tab (Control-Option-Command →)
  • Show Next Tab (Control-Option-Command ←)
  • Merge All Windows (Control-m)

The “New Tab” function already has a built in command (Option-Command-t), but I prefer the same key command as I find in Safari.

Using the Go To Link Script

Jesse Hollington created a script that takes you straight to a link from a task in a note field using a Key Command. A neat side effect is that, using the command opens a tab. (If it just opens in the same window for you, see the footnote below.) 1. So, for instance, here I select a session I want to work on:


I’ve opened the note field to show the Copy as Link pasted link in the note field. However, the note field does not need to be opened for the process to work. I then type my assigned key command (Command-g) and a new tab with my desired project opens:


The system is not perfect as no system is, but it’s been fun to play with.  There are still some variations I’m entertaining, too.


  1. Well, this works sometimes. Sometimes it opens a new window instead of a new tab. If that happens, I type Control-m to merge windows. I haven’t figured out what I’m doing differently to create the inconsistency yet.Also, you need to have the “Open in a New Window” option checked in the Open Panel (Command-o) for this to work, too:open-in-new-windowOtherwise, it just replaces the current window with the linked window.↩︎

Recent Posts

Reviewing Large Projects

Large projects can be difficult to navigate for any number of reasons. When I refer to large projects, I mean those that span at least several OmniFocus projects and possibly several folders of projects.1 Here is an example from Zen & The Art of Work which had 16...

read more

Zen & The Art of Work – Accomplish more. Stress less.

Zen & The Art of Work is a set of exercises to help you do more and stress less.  It can help you in fields of business, school, the creative arts, home and more.  You can even learn to develop a path of mastery in whatever field you choose.  The course can help...

read more

Affiliate status?

I’ve put a new product together that I hope to release in the next few weeks. (Look out for a snazzy announcement soon.) Alongside the release, I’ve been thinking about opening my suite of products (including Creating Flow with OmniFocus and Workflow Mastery) to...

read more

Review of Working with OmniFocus – Online Course

The following is a review of the website and the videos there. I received a complimentary copy of the product in order to write the review. Joe Buhlig has been a solid voice in the OmniFocus and productivity community. He has been blogging...

read more