What’s the fastest way to get an email from the inbox to OF on iOS, assuming no hardware keyboard?

This could deserve its own thread, but I’m jumping in here because of the attention on Mail Drop to ask… What’s the fastest way to get an email from the inbox to OF on iOS, assuming no hardware keyboard?

As far as I can tell, the least number of taps is ~6-7 per message:
Tap message → tap the Reply icon → tap Forward → Type 2-3 characters to get the OF Mail Drop address → tap Send.

On iPad you can drag and drop, but that doesn’t seem to work on iPhone (not to mention that the ergonomics are awkward/tough).

Has anyone found a swipe gesture workflow that achieves a “Send to Mail Drop” action overall? I tried exploring Flags but Mail rules on macOS can’t see flags. I suppose a “Move” action to drop it in a designated folder and have a Mail rule run is the best I’ll get, but that has its own drawbacks (e.g., needing a macOS device running as a Mail rules server)… Edit: I think I misunderstood Mail rules. I thought they’d run on changes, but it seems they only run on new messages.

Alternatively, is there any way to do this in bulk?

The state of email apps is a perennial nightmare. Airmail is buggy, many of the “free” apps have terrifying privacy policies, and both Outlook and Mail have limited UX affordances.

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If you find a faster method, I’d be curious. I don’t use an iPad at all.

Currently, on the phone, I’ll flag the email. When I’m next at the computer, I’ll look through those emails (on Mailplane) and clip relevant portions into OmniFocus.

I think the steps you outline are it. Mail.app rules only work on when mail arrives, like you said. I use a service called SaneBox and was thinking I could move a message to a folder to have SaneBox then forward it to OmniFocus, but the problem is it would "teach SaneBox that I want those emails to go to that folder (and forward) for ALL future emails, which would not be the case… so that’s not a solution.

I agree with you on Airmail. Not only buggy, but there were MANY times I would open an email reply in a thread and the reply would not be visible at all in Airmail. Opening the same email in Mail would reveal the reply… so that made me stop using it. BUT, one feature I loved in Airmail was the “Send and Archive” so that I could clean up my inbox while replying, etc. I wish Apple would add that to Mail, but I’m not holding my breath.

Definitely update here is you find a better method! I’ll keep thinking about this one too, but I fear there is no better solution from an iPhone.

Have you considered dispatch.app? It supports Send to OF and its privacy policy looks great.

Dispatch does not support Exchange-based email accounts, so my work email can’t be used with it. Thanks though.


This is the solution I’ve come to (before seeing your post, in fact).

@timfederwitz It is wild how many simple features and preferences seem to be missing from Mail. The swipe settings even have different available options on left and right… like, why? Give users options Apple. ;_;

Airmail has automation. Does it support Exchange?

See the discussion above. Too buggy. I’ve used it for years but gave up this past week.

Anyone tried spark? It has omnifocus integration so you can swipe to tag into omnifocus, I think

Yes - you can set a swipe in Spark to copy the message to OF. You get a link back to the message in Spark.

If you’re OK with Spark’s privacy policy, it’s nice. My issue is that there’s no way to get a mail directly from Spark to DevonTHINK, Mac or IOS.

Airmail works too, but support’s a bit flakey

cc @skoptic

Airmail and Spark both suffer from unreliability issues and a variety of bugs that crop up from time to time. I had weekly minor sync issues (e.g., different inboxes on different devices) and had trouble with my Exchange accounts on Spark.

(And yes, the lack of DEVONthink integration was sad on Spark’s part!)

Try Canary. Supports exchange, uses PGP (if needed), and integrates with the iOS share sheet. I count 4 taps from an open email to Omni inbox.

As a side note, because of the iOS share, DT integration also exists. Double bonus

Canary is a great-looking app. Unfortunately they don’t support Exchange. Only Office365 or Exchange via IMAP, which just be set up on the server side and isn’t gonna happen for my workplace.

My bad. You are correct. I had forgotten the IMAP tie in.

I know while you in the email, you can tell Siri to forward the email to an address. This would require Omni email to be in your contacts. But how often you do this and who is around to hear all this can be an inhibitor. No taps to accomplish this. Maybe this could be scripted to use shortcuts

If you don’t need the headers, another option may be copy and share to OF. But this won’t eliminate the taps.

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“Forward this to OmniFocus” is a very clever idea. I haven’t tested it yet and it won’t work in all circumstances (e.g., libraries!) but thanks for that!

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