Email embedded into OmniFocus - Email IS task management (Feature Request)

Email applications are quickly following a trend of integrating task management functionality directly into their email programs. Mail Pilot has made this their signature feature and is getting a lot of attention. Airmail 2 is currently developing this functionality for their excellent email application. I believe that OmniFocus would be a much more powerful tool if it had a native email client integrated into the OmniFocus environment. MailDrop is a helpful feature, but is no substitute for an integrated email application – much is lost having to leave the Omni environment and even more lost tracking back through old emails in an attempt to follow up on the deferred action item.

OmniFocus is a great task management application and I would love to see them integrate email directly into OmniFocus. Without this integration, I worry that OmniFocus may be eclipsed by other companies who have realized that email is task management.

I have directly submitted this feature request, but wanted to post this thread here so that others could express their interest in this feature. Please comment with your support. Thanks!


What do you think about Dispatch?

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I’ll have a look. Thanks.


I started using Postbox earlier this year. It’s powerful and was recently updated. It has a “send to OmniFocus Inbox” feature (via right-click on an email message). The item created in OF has a link directly back to the email so it’s quite functional.

Although I like the sound of OmniMail. ;-)

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I’ve played around with various desktop email clients recently (Mailbox, Airmail, Mail Pilot, Postbox, Mail,etc).
Postbox has been the only one that’s reliable and consistent in how it interacts with my email accounts. All the others either crash, don’t properly sync with the email account 100% of the time, or make a mess of accounts when trying to work with iOS.

On iOS I’ve been using Dispatch for about a year and it’s been solid until just recently when they released a Universal app. Since then it’s crashed or locked up numerous times.
They just released an update that should fix some bugs, so hopefully they’ve got it stable again.

I love the idea behind Mailbox and Mail Pilot, and I love the look of Airmail, but none of them were reliable. Postbox and Dispatch have been reliable and secure.

Thanks for the recommendation. I am now testing Postbox but the “OmniFocus: Send to Inbox” doesn’t seem to be working. It launches an empty Quick Entry box, but it doesn’t allow text entry and doesn’t add anything to the inbox after clicking “OK.” Have you had this problem.

I’m also using Mailbox on my Mac and iOS. I like the functionality on both, but it still lacks the integration with OmniFocus.

Thanks for the input and I look forward to hearing more.

My most preferred way of putting stuff into OF from virtual any (text) source is PopClip and the amazing OF extension- solves all the “plugin not working” issues for me…

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Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like I need OF Pro in order to use PopClip – this may also be why Postbox isn’t working… I’m using the standard version for now. I am looking for a reliable way to link back to an email from OF, so I’m not sure PopClip will allow this.

I appreciate all of the recommendations and hopefully will find and settle on a good solution for managing email as tasks.

@slickfrog56 - yes, it’s working fine for me. It creates the new item with sender email address and a link to the original message in the notes field, and the email subject is the task name. I can click in the subject or notes field to make changes before saving.

Postbox also has lots of neat automation features, keyboard shortcuts, etc. I’ve found it to really improve my email processing. It’s worth spending some time investigating. Their website has some good resources.

@PerterW, do you have OF Pro? Is Pro required for this functionality with Postbox?

PopClip is awesome for this.

I think I see the point in “email is task management,” but I wouldn’t want to use an email client as my central organizer for tasks. Tasks come to us through many other means besides email, too. It’s an interesting idea, though, to query and see what the Omni Group could do here!

I just tried the Postbox Omnifocus:Send to Inbox and it worked fine. I’m running the latest non-beta builds of both releases, OS 10.10.

It opened a Quick Entry window, prepopulated with the subject line of the email and a link to the email in the notes. I could add/change text in both.

I don’t recall having to do in any setup to get this to work. Have you looked on the Postbox site?

Hi @slickfrog56,

Yes, I do have Omnifocus Pro version, but I don’t think this is required for the Postbox functionality to work.

I’ve copied the Postbox support information below. It’s dated 2010 so the functionality should work with all versions of OF.

A new OmniFocus to-do can be created within Postbox by selecting some text and then selecting OmniFocus: Send to Inbox from a contextual menu.

When you create a new OmniFocus to-do within Postbox:
- the message subject will become the to-do title
- the message sender will be linked along with a link back to the original message
- the selected text will be placed into the to-do body

Yeah, I have seen these instructions. I get a blank quick entry box with no functionality except to press “cancel.” I spoke with tech support at Omni today and was told that others have reported the same and that were still working on it. Are you up to date with Postbox (v. 4.0.5)? The tech person had a slightly older version of Postbox and could not replicate the problem. I am current on Postbox, OmniFocus, and OS X.

Hi. I was on Postbox 4.04 when I tested it for you. I only upgraded to 4.05 today but didn’t use the OF feature after the upgrade so can’t say for sure. I am now out of the office all of next week so can’t check on 4.05 until I return.

Well, there is a product that is targeted specifically for those who have to live in their email inbox.

Thankfully, my line of work has a low level of e-mail to track.

But I can understand how many folks who live out of their inbox would need it.

It is a subscription based service. The free 60-day trial allows you to sync up to 5 email accounts. However, after the 60 day trial, you’ll need to pony up to a paid subscription to keep sync services after the trial period.

Maybe Omni Group will take some hints from IQTell about integrating e-mail into OmniFocus. Maybe they can just buy and integrate one of the 3rd party e-mail clients? But this is easier said than done. Doing e-mail right is never simple or easy.

I have no experience in IQTell. Perhaps someone else who has more experience with this software offering can give better insight. I merely mention this app as an alternative.

For now, I am too fatigued to try out another software app. My last foray into testing other apps ended with me sticking with OmniFocus. I am doing well so far with using Apple Mail and OmniFocus together.

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