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-   -   Email & OF Workflow Integration (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=14933)

nunez 2010-01-06 06:14 PM

Email & OF Workflow Integration
 
Greetings everyone,

I'm new to OF, but a year old in GTD years, and with the shift to OF am thinking about ways to integrate the email & OF portions of workflow.

Previously I used Entourage for GTD, and since it's a single application, all aspects of the workflow were naturally integrated.

Moving away from Entourage, I'm now using two separate applications and wonder how people handle the email-OF integration?

For example, if an email comes in that generates an action, I can use clip-o-tron to put it in my OF inbox. But then comes the question of what to do with the original mail?

Similarly, I might have initiated an action, and am now waiting on a response. Where do you archive the email (CC or BCC to yourself) while waiting-for a response?

So far I've handled this by creating three folders in Apple Mail: 'Action', 'Waiting For' & 'Deferred', and move the email as appropriate.

Another related issue is what to do with a message when actions are 'complete'. At that point I might want to archive them into OF and delete them from Apple Mail.

All this works, but it seems like a duplication of effort: email goes from email inbox to OF inbox, and from that point actions are duplicated in the two systems.

It would be really nice if OF had an AppleMail plugin that allowed manipulating messages such that they could 'follow' the actions they were part of.

How are others dealing with this?

Regards,

Brian 2010-01-07 01:30 PM

Mac OS 10.5 (I believe) added support for mail-message URLs; on those versions of the OS, the clip-o-tron adds a link back to the message to the note field.

Since I sync my OmniFocus database to my phone, I let Mail be the archive/filing cabnet for my messages, and use that link to bounce back to them as needed from OmniFocus...

nunez 2010-01-07 04:36 PM

[QUOTE=Brian;71439]Mac OS 10.5 (I believe) added support for mail-message URLs; on those versions of the OS, the clip-o-tron adds a link back to the message to the note field.

Since I sync my OmniFocus database to my phone, I let Mail be the archive/filing cabnet for my messages, and use that link to bounce back to them as needed from OmniFocus...[/QUOTE]

So then you don't have any particular organisation for the messages in Mail? E.g. one big folder for 'active' (in OF), and other folders (presumably) for long-term reference material?

I'm surprised this hasn't come up before, or perhaps it has and thus the muted response here. (Searching on such common terms isn't terribly useful) With [I]so[/I] many of my actions involving email, either as origins of actions or part of one or more responses, some level of workflow integration would be useful. Short of a plugin, some discipline and best practices are what I need to find.

Cheers,

- Steve

curt.clifton 2010-01-08 01:57 PM

Inspired by [URL="http://www.43folders.com/2008/07/24/peanut-shells"]Merlin[/URL], every email that isn't junk goes into a single Archive folder for me. All the actions are in OF, courtesy of the clip-o-tron.

I can use search in Mail or links from OF to find any messages that I need. Once a year the mails get moved to EagleFiler (89,822 messages stored, and counting).

I switched to this with some trepidation--I was a serious organizer of email with dozens of folders and some tags on top of that. It works great. Looking at my Mail is no longer such a source of stress and I haven't lost anything that I needed. In fact, I think it's easier to find old messages this way.

YMMV, of course, but this has been a happy system change for me for the last year and a half.

Cheers,

Curt

Brian 2010-01-08 02:22 PM

[QUOTE=nunez;71446]So then you don't have any particular organisation for the messages in Mail? E.g. one big folder for 'active' (in OF), and other folders (presumably) for long-term reference material?
[/QUOTE]

Yep, this is essentially the approach I take - I have a some legacy folders I still file stuff into via mail rules, but as the search tools in Mac OS X have gotten better and better, I've felt less need to do the organization manually.

Honestly, I'd probably be better off if I entirely ripped out what manual organization I still have. The aforementioned mail rules are something of a horrifying spaghetti-tangle left over from my pre-GTD years. :-)

nunez 2010-01-11 05:19 PM

It sounds like we're coming from similar backgrounds. I have a well developed taxonomy for filing reference material, and I look at a single big archive box as just so chaotic, no better than leaving it all in the inbox. Spotlight does make it tempting though...

But that's reference material, there's still the working email. The most common use case, for me, is a 'waiting for' (and there are often a lot of them). Most of these will never be filed for reference, but if I delete it and keep the text in an action then I've got to compose a new email for a follow-up.

Not a huge deal I suppose, and if there some easy way to get an email back [I]out[/I] of an action (short of copy & paste) it would be even better. Any AppleScript gurus know if this is possible?

Cheers,
- Steve

whpalmer4 2010-01-14 08:48 AM

[QUOTE=nunez;71701]
But that's reference material, there's still the working email. The most common use case, for me, is a 'waiting for' (and there are often a lot of them). Most of these will never be filed for reference, but if I delete it and keep the text in an action then I've got to compose a new email for a follow-up.[/QUOTE]

Why delete it? Put it in an "in process" or "active" folder so it's out of your Inbox if that's your preference, and get back to it via the "Original Message" link from OF if you need it for a follow-up.

elektroglide 2010-01-23 11:23 AM

clip-o-tron
 
how does the mail message url clipping thing work?

i'd like to be able to select an email in my inbox and create an o.f. action directly from that, or have it referenced directly in o.f., rather than selecting text from within an email and clipping that.

is that possible with os 10.6?

whpalmer4 2010-01-23 01:15 PM

If you click on the line in the list of messages that corresponds to that message, then invoke the clipping shortcut, you'll get an action that has the subject line of the message as the action name, the text of the message as the note, along with a link to the message.

Casper TFG 2010-02-02 02:24 PM

I would be great if there were one key command (macro?) to:

Send it to OF inbox and then punt it into my massive Mac Mail archive folder

That way you could hammer out the 2 minute email tasks and bash anything else over to OF.

Only two email modes

reply
To OF

Can this be set up?

I only JUST LAST WEEK learned that there is a key command that is: "Move to the same mailbox you last moved something to"

(its below the "Move" commands)

That is AMAZINGLY helpful as the dragging over action was doing nothing to help my carpel tunnel!


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