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How do I see my completed tasks in OmniFocus?

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OmniFocus

Recently one of our OmniFocus Premium Posts customers emailed us a with a question:

Hi AE,

Do you know whether there is a way to check what I have accomplished everyday in OmniFocus (e.g. today I did those six items and yesterday I did such and such)? Before the day starts you know you are going to accomplish flagged items, but isn’t it nice that at the end of the day you can see what you actually achieved that day?

Best,
Lu D, UK

By default, OmniFocus comes with a perspective called “Completed” that shows everything you’ve ticked off. The problem with that perspective is that it shows everything you’ve ever finished since you’ve used OmniFocus and in project order. Also, because it’s project-based it won’t work on the iOS version of OmniFocus.

That’s not very practical if you just want to see what you did today or yesterday. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this.

Your New Completed Perspective

I’ll show you how can create a perspective that will show you how you can see all the tasks you’ve completed today, yesterday, and within the last week and month.

For a moment I’m assuming you’re on the desktop version. If you’re on iOS, you can’t directly do this but there is a workaround for it. See my notes at the bottom.

On the desktop:

  1. Go to View > Columns > Completion date. Make sure there is a checkbox next to Completion Date.
    Make sure you have the completion date column visible.

    Make sure you have the completion date column visible.

  2. Go to Context mode (click on Contexts or press CMD+2).
  3. Make sure you can see the Filters bar (View > Show View Bar or press SHIFT+CMD+V).
  4. Set these filters:
    1. Context Filter = Remaining
    2. Grouping = Completed
    3. Sorting = Completed
    4. Availability Filter = Completed
    5. Status Filter = Any Status
    6. Estimated Time Filter = Any Duration
  5. Go to Perspectives > Window As > New Perspective.
  6. Name it “Finished” (or whatever you want to call it).

Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like (with the AE theme that’s included in OmniFocus Premium Posts):

What the Completed view looks like on the desktop.

What the Completed view looks like on the desktop.

This perspective will sync perfectly fine to iOS. Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like on the iPhone and iPad:

What the Completed perspective looks like on the iPhone.

What the Completed perspective looks like on the iPhone.

What the Completed perspective looks like on the iPad.

What the Completed perspective looks like on the iPad.

It’s actually kind of nicer to look at on the iPad and iPhone because it will show you what you’ve done for each day whereas the desktop version shows you today, yesterday or within the last week.

A Note for iOS-Only Users

If you are someone who just uses OmniFocus on iOS (iPad and/or iPhone) you can’t recreate this perspective. You can’t set any filters and make custom perspectives on iOS. You would need a desktop version for that.

However, if you REALLY want this perspective there is a way to get it. You will need a Mac – preferably your own or borrow someone else’s Mac for 30m – and a trial version of OmniFocus on the desktop.

Here are the broad strokes to get it done:

You can download a free trial of OmniFocus on the official Omni Group website. Once you have it installed, make sure to setup your sync with Omni Sync (go to Preferences > Sync) and have the Mac version synced up with the data you have on iOS.

Once that’s done, then follow the steps of above to create the perspective. Now sync everything and now it should show up on your iPhone/iPad!

Of course, I recommend to buy a license of the desktop version too. While you’re at it, get OmniFocus Premium Posts to make sure you’re setting it up the right way and use our fool-proof system to manage your day-to-day.

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8 Comments

Posted by Melissa  | February 2, 2014 at 1:25PM | Reply

I’m not sure if this is works only in Omnifocus 2 for iPhone, but if you go to Perspectives, Completed, this shows a list of all projects and actions you’ve marked complete by date. I flagged it as a favorite and it now shows on my home screen.

Posted by Alfi  | June 16, 2014 at 2:36AM | Reply

Great. Now how to do this in OmniFocus 2 for Mac?

Posted by Kevan  | August 22, 2014 at 10:12AM

Alfi—I wondered the same thing.

I played around and found that, at least in Omnifocus 2 Pro, you can right click on the toolbar and customize it. Drag the Completed icon into the toolbar NOT with the Perspective Tabs—it will move itself over to the Perspective Tabs and show you the same style view Thanh created here.

Posted by Kevan  | August 22, 2014 at 10:14AM

Whoops, kind of a lie. You have to click on it in the toolbar, then it shows as a Perspective. Really weird UX, but it works.

Posted by joysword  | February 8, 2015 at 10:54AM | Reply

I don’t think this works for OmniFocus 2. The ‘default’ Completed perspective works like KEVAN mentioned above, but I don’t think we can create a customized one that only shows completed actions within the last 2 weeks.

Posted by Alex  | July 17, 2015 at 3:09PM | Reply

Ugh. So no way to show what items have been completed in project?

Posted by Taj Chiu  | April 13, 2016 at 1:16PM | Reply

I have OF2 on the Mac which is completely different than what you have laid out here.

Thanh, could you update these instructions?

Thank you,
Taj

Posted by Shane Duan  | October 26, 2016 at 2:33PM | Reply

I have OF 2.7.2. The completed is a built-in perspective now. You just need to turn it on through “Perspectives->Show Perspectives”. Then you can select “Completed” perspective and add shortcut.

Works like a charm.

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