Feature request: Smart Group/Rule "First [x] items" parameter

Subject line says it all, but I’ll elaborate:

It would be nice to have a parameter for Smart Groups (and possibly Rules) that only adds a limited number of items to the group, sorted by a selected metadata dimension. A few examples:

  1. Give me the five most-recently-added unread items
  2. Give me only the first flagged item in each group in the selected group
  3. Give me the ten closest records according to postal code

Sure, you can effectively do this by only looking at the desired quantity of records in a group, but some searches can be overwhelming. This is particularly useful if it can be implemented per-subgroup, like in example 2 above, as the group hierarchy we use can be used to structure smart group queries to be more useful.

The inspiration for this might also help explain it. I have been experimenting with DEVONthink 3 as a task database for about a month now, and I actually love it (despite @BLUEFROG’s discouragement of doing this! Sorry Jim…). One thing I miss from OmniFocus, however, is the “First Available” rule on OmniFocus perspectives. In OF you can set a view to only show the first available task in selected projects. This returns a nice clean view of only the next things you should do, instead of overwhelming you with the list of dozens of actions you know you’ll eventually have to complete.

I realize I can sorta emulate this by scripting the production of lists in, say, markdown files—or by using Flagged items—but since I can imagine other use cases for a “First [x] items” or “Last [x] items” rule, I thought I’d suggest it.


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No worries.

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