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Choosing your Clean Up settings

OmniFocus uses Clean Up settings to determine when items should be cleared from your current view and from your Inbox. This is a synced setting, so you only have to set it up once and the behavior will match on all your devices. If you’re having trouble picking the right Clean Up settings for your workflows, here are the pros of each option!

Clean up Inbox items which have:

A Project

This is a great option if you don’t work with tags much. If you prefer the hierarchical representation of projects with their nested action groups, and you don’t care if something is tagged for cross-referencing, this could be the setting for you. If you use custom perspectives, they are likely grouped and sorted by “Entire Projects” so that you can always see the project hierarchy.

A Tag

Do you have a lot of unrelated one-off tasks in your OmniFocus database, which don’t make sense to link together in an ordered project? This could be the option for you. Tasks that are given a tag but not assigned to a project will be moved out of the Inbox and into the auto-created “Miscellaneous” single-action list (for items that aren’t interdependent). It can be helpful to create a task that reminds you to periodically review your tags for efficacy since you lean on them more in this type of workflow.

Both a Project and a Tag

Don’t want a Miscellaneous project or any Untagged items? This is the option for you, so that every task has both a project and a tag assigned to it. This allows for maximum control over the organization of your items, and can result in longer processing sessions, because each item needs a bit more consideration before it can leave your Inbox.

Either a Project or a Tag

Do you have a firm grasp of when projects vs. tags are warranted for any given item? This can be a great option for people who like to use projects and tags equally often, and consider an item adequately “processed” as soon as it has either a project or a tag applied. This option will result in an auto-created “Miscellaneous” project so that your tasks with tags but no project applied have somewhere to live other than the Inbox.

Clean up resolved items:


When you resolve an item by marking it complete or setting it to a Dropped status, this setting removes that item from the view right away in most perspectives. This is a good option for people who like to forget about an item as soon as they’ve marked it complete, and just move on to the next thing.

When Changing Views

If you like to edit the completion dates of your tasks, or want to change tags or repeat intervals after you’ve marked something complete, this is the option for you. Items will stick around for editing until you switch perspectives/views.

Last Modified: May 13, 2020

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