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:

omnifocus-tabs-introduced

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:

focus-on-tabs

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.

inbox-in-tabs

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:

dashboard-remains

… 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:

launch-task

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:

blog-post-project

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.↩︎

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