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mojaverat 2010-04-17 03:53 PM

Automatically send all email messages to Omnifocus inbox

What? I'd like to send all of my email messages into my Inbox for Omnifocus.

Why? All messages need to be processed in one way or another, even if it is to just delete it. Putting them in the OF Inbox saves a step that has to be performed for every message that needs processing and adds nothing to those to be deleted. I got this idea from an app called "Midnight Inbox", which is very well done, but a little over the top, IMHO, about forcing GTD principles.

I'm strictly a Mac [I]user[/I], and know just north of 0 about programming it to do anything. I've read through the forum and see lots of questions about moving messages to Omnifocus, but nothing about setting it up to just send them there to begin with.

Anyone know how to accomplish this task?

SpiralOcean 2010-04-19 07:39 AM

Here is how you would do it:

In OmniFocus, open the preferences.
Click on the Mail option.
Check the
Add Mail Rule to create OmniFocus Actions.
close the preferences

go to Mail preferences
click on the Rule option
select the 'Send to OmniFocus' rule
click on the edit button
change the first condition from
Any Recipient contains +omnifocus
Every Message

You may also want to remove the Delete Message action from the actions.
click OK to save

One note about doing this.

It will make it very difficult to reply to messages. This is because the current Applescript that is clipping the mail to OmniFocus, does not include the link to original message in the OmniFocus action.

whpalmer4 2010-04-19 08:37 AM

I don't think that will work for most people -- you need to also have the sender of the message on the Allowed Senders list in the preferences...

Brian 2010-04-19 04:07 PM

This is an interesting idea, but I'd be a bit concerned about introducing so much extra traffic into my OmniFocus database. Not because of any limitation of the software; that's just a whole lot of extra actions I need to sort, review, and otherwise deal with.

While every email does need to be processed, it seems like it might be quicker to do so in my mail app, which is (hopefully) purpose-built around processing mail as quickly and easily as possible.

Would a daily-repeating OmniFocus action called "Process all email" still help you accomplish this goal, Mojaverat?

Arild 2010-04-20 02:14 AM

You shouldn't forget that GTD-method only applies to tasks taking some time to perform. If it takes two minutes or less, don't process it in OF is my advice too. For those emails you cannot act upon at once, send them to OF with a dedicated shortcut created in OF preferences under Clippings. For the rest, I'd use Mail's tools. There are also MailTags and Mail Act-on which are excellent plug-ins for Mail to create a better message workflow. You'll find them [URL=""]here[/URL].
Personally, I run through my inbox in as few sessions as possible per day. If something requires an afterthought or further action, I send it to OF with my Clippings shortcut. But all emails are archived at once, and most are replied to immediately.

BTW: The little link you'll get in your OF task when using Clippings; "Original message", will take you to the attached message, even if it is moved round inside Mail.

mojaverat 2010-04-23 09:38 PM

Thanks everyone for the responses. I'm going to give it a try.

Arild, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Often, it's easier to just skip a post than give a valuable opinion and I sincerely appreciate that you took the time.

I find that the majority of my messages have some task associated with them and I would rather read them all in one spot and process them (which, to me, includes deciding to trash or file). Admittedly, it is a hypothesis and may fall flat. If so, I'll be coming back for those plug-ins you recommend or just use the clipper. Thanks again to all!

mojaverat 2010-04-23 10:10 PM

I can tell already that this is not going to work, because as SpiralOcean suggests, I can't reply...

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