Looking to build email workflow on iOS

Hey everyone!

I’m looking to leverage more of iOS (mostly iPad but some iPhone too) to get some real work done with my joby-job.

My job requires a significant amount of lifting via email. On the Mac, I use Mail.app with some AppleScript to move tasks from Email to OF along with a link back to the original email.

On iOS this is proving to be difficult. I would prefer to use Outlook (since we use Exchange at work and the integrations with Exchange are great, especially calendar), but I haven’t found a reliable way to create a workflow that would allow me to process email as quickly as I can on the Mac.

I’ve tried Airmail, which shows promise but is incredibly buggy and unreliable for me. If it weren’t for the bugs., it would be the best option since it has direct integration with OF (doesn’t use the crummy share extension) and links back to the email in Airmail

Has anybody thought of this problem? Here are a few things I’ve tried, not having much success:

  • forwarding emails from iOS to my OF mail drop address. This works, but can’t link back to the original email so when I have to respond, I have to go find that email.
  • having a dedicated Mac, always on, to run some AppleScript (based on this script) to add items to my OF inbox with the link. This sometimes works, but I’ve noticed that if Mail.app on iOS hasn’t downloaded or indexed the message, that the link back to Mail will open the inbox and not the message because it can’t find it.

Neither of these solutions use Outlook, granted I could be convinced to try another client should the workflow be good enough.

I did notice that outlook has a URL scheme for iOS Starting with ms-outlook://. The only action I can find is compose (ms-outlook://compose?to=john@smith.com&subject=hello) and I’ve tried playing with other potential actions to get a Message ID to show, without any luck.

Wondering if any others out there are fighting with the same thing I am. Would love to hear what you’ve tried or done.



There is a great new mail app by Readdle called Spark. It is in Beta for iPad (but very stable right out of the gate) but it loads emails straight into my OF inbox, as well as Evernote and more. It allows aliasing, smart inboxing, scheduling into iCal and “snoozing” email to a later date/time. They are also working on a version for Mac. https://readdle.com/products/spark

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exactly the same challenge for me and i am spending hours every week to search for a solution. there is an app called swift that can do mail triage and send items to omnifocus with a link back to the native mail app so its ideal! but i dont know if it works with exchange. the developer built this feature upon my request and now i am not getting further with my exchange driven emails. let me know how that works for you. best, chris

Have you tried Dispatch? It can send emails to your OF inbox with a link back to the original?

If your workflow relies on linking back and forth among apps, Airmail would be a nice solution as its IOS and Mac versions share a same link for each email, which can be linked to apps like Omnifocus, Evernote, etc.

If your production environments include Windows Outlook or Exchange, there is no perfect solution at this stage, as far as I know. The best way I found is Windows Flag emails in Windows Outlook to Outlook Reminder -> IOS Reminder -> Omnifocus Capture from IOS Reminder. This is one-way tasks importing and there is no sync or URL link.

the xmessage links in dispatch on my ipad pro dont link back to the proper email, just to the inbox :(

airmail doesnt have an ipad version so wont work for me :(

spark doesnt have the message id export and thus link back to mail :(

Has anyone seen the really cool way that 2Do interfaces with email? It’s pretty elegant. It “checks” your email and then imports specific messages that you select the parameters for. The link backs work great on ALL devices. I wonder if the OmniGroup has looked into this…



interesting indeed. do you know of a workflow script that could take omnifocus text and search for the phone and it will find the correct email? that could alleviate not having a link?

There is another type of link in Dispatch called “x-dispatch://”. Use this one to get consistent URL between Mail in IOS and Mac.

You will need to download an add-on at Dispatch website for Mail in Mac.

No, I am not aware of this. ^_^

I have the same issue - I use an iPad Pro and don’t want to install other email apps - I use the built in Mail app. All I want to be able to do is do something like the clip-o-tron does on my MacBook - such as swipe and add to Omnifocus. I know that I can already select text and use share to add to Omnifocus but I don’t get a link back to the actual email - having this feature would really speed up my work-flow. Any suggestions would be most welcome

@jonjamesprice Just wait for iOS 11 and the next OF update - you can drag an email on to OF, and it provides a link back to the message. Pretty slick.


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That really does sound slick - perfect answer, thanks!

Is this confirmed functionality? Thanks,

Sign up for the TestFlight of OF to try it for yourself (if you’re running iOS11): https://www.omnigroup.com/test/

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Does this work on an iPhone ?

Unfortunately not. And iOS mail doesn’t have a share sheet.

I think Airmail and Spark do this kind of thing, though, so they might be worth checking out.


Thanks I guess I’ll have to stick with emailing the Omni server account method.