How About Linking to email with Mail Drop?

I’ve seen a number of threads where people are looking to have the same functionality to have a link back to an email using Omnifocus on the iPhone. While you can drag and drop email onto Omnifocus on an iPad to accomplish this, and use the clipper on the Mac, there isn’t any way to do this on the iPhone, short of using a 3rd party mail app. While you can use Mail Drop to email something to Omnifocus, it won’t contain any link back.

While I didn’t think this was technically possible, one thing I noticed in Things 3 is that when you email something into Things Cloud, it somehow retains a link to the original email in Apple Mail. No idea how they do this, but this certainly gets around the issue of not being able to get a link back regardless of what platform you are on.

On a separate but related note, Things also can just use drag and drop on the Mac to add tasks (in addition to the hot-key).

Would be great for Omnifocus to at least have the link available when you use Mail Drop/ Drag-and-drop on the Mac would be a nice bonus. Not sure if there are any plans to do this, but I’ve sent this in via Omni’s feedback, so here’s to hoping it gets on the roadmap.

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I think the url can be guessed from the MessageId which is in the mail headers.

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Pretty cool if that’s the case. I was wondering what black magic they were using to accomplish this. Hoping the wizards at Omni, can implement something similar for Mail Drop. Definitely would help my productivity on the iPhone.

This is the best info I can find:

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Yes, that’s how we create a link back to a message when you capture it on the local device (both on Mac and iOS).

The reason we didn’t do this with messages forwarded to MailDrop is because the forwarded message has a different Message-Id header. But since then I’ve done a little research and learned that, when forwarding a message, many (most?) email apps include a header that references the original id—so we now know what to do, we just need to find room in our schedule to do it. (The most natural teams to work on this are currently very busy building OmniFocus 3 for Mac and OmniFocus for the Web. But hopefully we’ll get to this soon!)


Awesome, great to hear Ken! And I certainly understand the development priorities. Thanks for responding, and thanks @psidnell for your input as well.

Great news! Thanks for looking into this.

Any adavance!!!? 🤞🏻


The easiest way I have found on iPad is to drag and drop the mail message I want to link back to into the notes section of the task and then wrap the text in a markdown link which works a treat. I speed this up using TextExpander to take the clipboard entry and wrap it in markdown. Still clunky but better than nothing.

Just bought OF (again years Later)

So on a Mac you can get the link back to the email

But on phone you can’t?

Can someone please clarify?

This makes iphone mail triage poor IMHO.

Yes. While I was using Things 3 before OF 3 came out, the link being included in forwarded emails was AMAZING. So useful. Made it easy to get emails out of the inbox, then when it’s time for answering email, just quickly power through them.

It is so useful, and I miss it so much.

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I figured out a way to accomplish this today using Zapier…

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This feature is now live! If your email app includes a References link when forwarding email to Mail Drop, you’ll find that Mail Drop now includes a line near the top of the note which links back to the referenced message.


Hi Ken,

Thank you so much for implementing this – it’s a powerful tool and makes it even easier to stay organised!
Looking forwards to all the tweaks your team will make in the ensuing year.


Awesome! Thank you!

Thank you Ken!!

Awesome! This is fantastic. Thank you.

Edited - I just saw in a different thread that you must leave the “Fwd:” and subject for the Mail link to stay intact. Will try again and see it that works.

Edit #2 - Leaving the subject did the trick and a link back to the email gets created. This is awesome! (Wish the Mail app would include the message-ID even if you change the subject to remove the step of changing that in OF, but better than not having it at all, and that’s not OmniFocus fault!!)

Should this be working by forwarding an email from the iOS Mail app to my Mail Drop address? Because it’s not. Unless I am missing a step or where it would be… I don’t see a link to the original email at the top of the notes section of the task.

Mail Drop with links back to the original email is a terrific development!

I’m having two problems, however:

  1. On macOS, if I use Mail Drop to forward an email from Mail, clicking on the reference in the OF task returns me to Mail, but not to the referenced email.

  2. On iOS, if I forward an email containing earlier replies, then clicking on the (very long and complex) reference code in the created task takes me back to the original post in the thread, not to the message that I forwarded. (This is done using Mail on iOS 12.2 beta 3, on an iPad.)

Is this feature, and all of its nuances, documented anywhere that we can go and read about it and how to/not-to use it?