iOS Workflow question: OmniFocus for iPad and Outlook

I recently changed roles and I’m using the Outlook iOS app for work emails and Apple Mail for personal.

Previously, I just used Apple Mail and my workflow was:

  • In Split View, have Mail on the left and OmniFocus on the right.
  • Go through emails (reply, archive, delete, as needed) and if one needed to be an action in OmniFocis, I just dragged and dropped the email from Mail into OF and it made an action with a link to the original email.
  • Later in the day, go through my OF tasks as usual.

I can’t figure out how to drag and drop from Outlook for iOS. Does anyone know if there’s a way to do this?

I can’t use Mail Drop due to company policy unfortunately.


I’m in the same position. Currently I’m using Microsoft Flow with a flow called “Office 365 Calendar sync to Google Calendar” (written by Microsoft!).

Once your events are in google calendar they can sync with the native iOS calendar app and you have a lot more options open to you. Events show up in the OF calendar view or you can use the Shortcuts app or Scriptable to do all manner of fancy stuff.

That’s a good work workaround… the challenge is that in a corporate environment (at least the one I’m in), I can’t link/forward work related email/calendar events/etc to outside sources. I’m sure Google would be in that list!

My main concern is with email though.

What I want to do is drag and drop an email from Outlook to OmniFocus on the iPad. Or at least use the share sheet, but I can’t seem to find a way to do it with Outlook for iPad

I too work with outlook and use OF.
You can have apps side by side and use OF mail drop,
I personally use the outlook tasks sync with reminders in order to channel them to OF with reminders capture. It is a bit slow and works if you somewhat closely link mail threads and projects.
What is missing is a real two way integration between OF and outlook tasks, meaning Outlook mirroring a perspective of OF.

Interesting, I hadn’t thought of using tasks via reminders to get into OF. I’ll give it a go.

I can’t use Mail Drop for work as it’s against company policy to fwd emails to third parties that way. I use it a lot for personal stuff though.

What I want is to have Outlook and OmniFocus side by side in Split View and then just drag an email from Outlook to OmniFocus to create a task.

This is so simple with Apple Mail, but Outlook doesn’t seem to support drag and drop.

Hmm. How do you make an email a Task on Outlook for iOS?

You have to log in to your exchange account with iOS, meaning adding this account to the list of mail/calendar/reminders account you have.
I don’t know if it works for something that is not Microsoft Exchange or Office 365. But as the question was related to “work” email I assumed so.
If you don’t have office 365 I guess you could try setting up some intermediate flow with Microsoft flow. You have 750 runs per month and it should sync every 15 minutes with the free plan.
With office 365 you can build you own connectors to OF and it runs every 5 mins.
All these solutions are inferior however to local real time sync with reminders from a user experience standpoint.
If your company has its own outlook addin for login, and a separate profile in iOS, it could be impossible to set that up by yourself and you will probably need your company IT support.

I couldn’t find a way to make Outlook work with OmniFocus on iPad without having to use Mail Drop (can’t due to company policy).

I got so frustrated that I’m back to using Apple Mail and just dragging and dropping emails into OmniFocus with both apps in Split View. It’s such a great experience.

The only downside is that I’m back to having my personal and business emails in the one app (Apple Mail). I wanted to keep them separate by using Outlook for my work email address, but it just doesn’t work well with OmniFocus given my company restrictions.

Just to understand where the problem is, do you have the tasks showing up in one of the reminders lists in iOS?

Sorry! I meant I couldn’t make it work with drag and drop.

I did try via Reminders but it seemed too convoluted for what I wanted. With Apple Mail I just have both Apple Mail and OmniFocus side by side in split view and I can drag and drop an email from Apple Mail to OmniFocus to create a task instantly.

That’s what I do with my personal email and tasks. What I wanted was to keep my personal email in Apple Mail and my work email in Outlook, but keep using the same workflow with OmniFocus.

Because drag-and-drop doesn’t work in Outlook, I had to change my workflow and it’s just too much of a hassle. I’m back to having both personal and work emails in Apple Mail.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.