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Interesting thread. I have a different approach to this workflow with email.
I use Mailplane too and I highly recommend you use their Omnifocus plugin here: http://mailplaneapp.com/download/omnifocus_plugin/

It will allow you to create tasks that link directly back to the specific email. This is important for the workflow. My approach is that all tasks are stored in Omnifocus, not within the email program. Email program should be used for sending emails and just that.

Sometimes in emails you get tasks you need to do outside of the email program (actually, happens a lot especially if you work in office settings) so to me it doesn't make sense if you keep tasks stored at 2 different places. I'd rather have all these stored in OF (I also use Mobileme so I can always access the data with other devices I have to get work done. No need to check email for additional tasks, etc, but that's not the main point here.)

Here is how it works for me.

1. I have 3 labels in Gmail: follow up (used to follow up), hold (waiting for response), all mail (default in Gmail where emails are archived). The follow up folder I use for emails I need to respond to but require some extra thought/work (see step 3 below).

2. My goal is to always have my inbox at zero. Gives me a reassurance I've processed all emails and have my tasks ahead of me.

3. When I start checking email, I use a 2 minute limit.
3a. If the response to the email requires less than 2 minutes, I respond right away.
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3b. If it takes longer than 2 minutes to respond, I select the text in the email (appropiately), right click, send to omnifocus, and put the task in there with appropriate project / context / due date. Also I label with "follow up" and then archive (you can still access the email because now you find it under the "follow up" label). If you need more time on a certain email, I usually set the context to "email".
3c. Repeat till inbox is zero.

4. Then I look at my Omnifocus and prioritize what needs to get done that day (usually by flagging 3 tasks that NEED to get done), including the tasks the emails might have given you. Now you have all the tasks in your OF and you can decide what to do accordingly.

Whenever I've tagged email into OF and I need to read that email again, I can just click the link in OF and it will automatically open Mailplane and view the email. Easy and convenient.

I also think Apple Mail can work like the Mailplane plugin, but I'm not sure how you configure it.

Last edited by AE Thanh; 2010-12-08 at 02:17 AM..