View Full Version : Help me with my Mail <-> OF workflow
2008-08-18, 10:37 AM
I have a hole in my Mail <-> OF workflow that I need some help with. Here's what I do now:
I use the clip-o-tron to create an action in OF from an email. I don't like leaving emails in my inbox, so I then move the email to a "Pending" mailbox. Then, sometime later, I complete the action and check it off in OF. Here's the hole: I now need to get back to Mail to delete/refile the original email. Right now I do this manually, but that means I often forget to do so, so my "Pending" folder gets cluttered up with tasks I've already done. This is Not Good.
So how can I improve this? Is there a technological fix in OF? Can I somehow get OF to send me back automagically to Mail upon completion of the task? Or do I have to redesign my workflow some way to fill this hole? Any suggestions welcome.
2008-08-18, 01:58 PM
Why not just file the email once you create the OF action, instead of putting it in Pending? If you have the link to it in OF, you can always access the email via the link.
If you'd like some mark that it hasn't been done, flag it, and create a smart mailbox that shows flagged mails; you can then open up the smart mailbox from time to time and clear flags if the task is done.
2008-08-18, 06:34 PM
I thought about that, but I don't necessarily want to save the email, I often want to delete it after I'm done with the task. Maybe that's the best solution though. I'd be interested if anyone else has a suggestion, though.
2008-08-18, 08:39 PM
I do what Brian suggests -- after sending an email to OF, I immediately file it. This is how I keep my email inbox under control.
As an aside, I just wish the attachments went along with the emails, as has been discussed in other threads.
2008-08-18, 11:31 PM
If you know in advance that you'll be deleting the email once the action is done, would it work to file it in a "To Trash" folder. I.e. file immediately as Brian suggests, putting only those you won't be keeping in a pending folder you can empty out every now and then? I guess te downside is that you'd still have to remember which messages you can and which messages you can't delete when you come to purge that folder.
The "correct" solution I guess is to follow the link from the action to the message when the action is done, then click on delete in the message toolbar, then return to OF to mark the task done.
It'd be nice if it were all a bit more elegant, but I'm not sure how it could work.
2008-08-20, 06:52 AM
I have set up Mail such that on deletion the mails are moved into the Trash folder and then automatically deleted after one week (Preferences -> Accounts -> Mailbox Behaviors).
Thus, I can either file or delete a mail after recording it into OmniFocus. The only pitfall is when I don't complete the task corresponding to a deleted email within one week - but then again, the whole email text is in the task annotation, so I'm safe here as well.
2008-08-23, 01:14 AM
I recently abandoned my Pending folder and pretty much all other organization actually in email.
Instead, I write my task in OmniFocus as something like "Investigate bug re widgets glowing green instead of blue on alternate Thursdays. Reported by John Smith in email of 8/22/08." If you're clipping the whole email then you wouldn't even need to type any of that. I prefer to have the task described as a one-liner like this; for some reason, I don't much like having the whole email in OmniFocus and I prefer to go to email to get the original email if and when I need it.
Once the task is entered, I archive the email immediately into a formless "Mail 2008" archive. When I get around to the task, it's easy to search the archive for John Smith and 8/22/08. I don't bother to actually delete the email, because I think it's just not worth the trouble to decide whether I might need that email again, and since my archive exists purely for searching, it doesn't matter how much email is in there.
2008-08-23, 08:08 AM
I'm with Gardener. I also just pulled the plug on a complex email filing system. One other tip that has helped me decide to do this was to add a couple of smart folders in Mail showing messages received or viewed today and those received or viewed in the last 7 days. Those help me quickly find active emails. Here are the settings I'm using:
2008-08-23, 08:47 AM
Curt, I also a have few for specific people that I communicate with mainly through email. When I talk to them on the phone, I pull up their smart folder just in case they say "did you get that email...". Smartfolders are probably the most underrated feature of Mail; if someone has ever used iTunes the benefits can be immediate and powerful.
Is anyone having a problem with OF inconsistently clipping email? There are times when I clip a message (I do have Clip-O-Tron enabled) and it flawlessly transfers the message to my OF inbox. Other times I only get an empty clipping window when in mail.
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