Fair Warning: This is definitely overkill for casual OmniFocus users. Only worth the time if have a lot of email where simply forwarding doesn’t provide useful task names (e.g.
Fwd: Important Email) or where some processing would significantly improve the resulting Mail Drop task.
I intended it primarily for use with Gmail, with the big idea being automatic processing of specific, predictable patterns of emails into tasks. Simple forwarding to Mail Drop is great, and setting up IFTTT to watch a label (mine is called
# Action so it floats to the top on iOS) is even better.
However, if the email has a predictable pattern, you can improve the process even more by automating the content of the task name and note (instead of manually rewriting or just settling for
Fwd: Whatever Their Subject Was).
For example, if you get a monthly email about your water bill that follows a pattern like:
Subject:New water bill
Body:Your new water bill for the month is $45.50
Manually forwarding to Mail Drop gives you a task named:
Fwd: New water bill, with the actually cost in the note, which to me is less helpful than having a task named
Pay August water bill: $45.50 with perhaps a link to the payment website in the note.
Using Google Apps Script looks like one way to accomplish this level of automation. You could even put tests in place that would only create a new task if certain criteria were met (e.g. the bill was over $50.00).
The basic process is:
- New email matches a Gmail trigger and gets a label.
- Google Apps Script runs ever 15 minutes or so, processes any new emails in the label.
- Rules in the script match the labeled email, based on your criteria (e.g.
subject:) and trigger a custom function.
- The function processes the email however you choose, presumably resulting in sending a well formatted task to OmniFocus via Mail Drop.
If you’re interested, my script is hosted on GitHub here, and I posted a fairly detailed explanation here. Again, this really is overkill for most people, but I’m pretty excited about it and wanted to share.
One drawback is that Mail Drop doesn’t yet support parsing due dates / contexts / projects, so the tasks will end up in your inbox. My only thought for a way around this would be instead of using Mail Drop, to instead upload a text file to Google Drive, sync that file to your Mac with the Google Drive app, and use a folder action or Hazel to process the text file in AppleScript… messy.