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Is there any way to turn emails into actions on the iPad similar to what you can do on the Mac?

Its a big part of my work flow.
 
Unfortunately, iPad applications don't have the same accessibility to other applications' data, so it is very difficult to implement something like the Clip-o-tron without the support of the other application's developer. Hopefully as more applications implement the Document Interchange feature we'll get a richer set of links, but at the moment, your route involves using OmniFocus on the Mac, either to clip directly, or to receive mail and transform it into OmniFocus actions. See "processing mail" in the OmniFocus for Mac help for the details.
 
Sorry whpalmer4, but this isn't entirely correct. Apple's Apps already have Document Interchange, ie. if you select and hold in Mail you get the option to open in any other Document Interchange aware App.

It's OmniFocus we're waiting on to implement DI ! :)
 
Even once OF iPad support Document Interchange, that still won't let you create an action from an email message. Sure, you could open a Mail attachment in OF iPad, but it doesn't work like the Clip-o-tron.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
Even once OF iPad support Document Interchange, that still won't let you create an action from an email message. Sure, you could open a Mail attachment in OF iPad, but it doesn't work like the Clip-o-tron.
Apologies Curt, I was assuming that the problem would be attachments, which aren't handled by the Mail rule on the desktop. If it's just a plain email I simply forward it on via PasteBot.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheQ View Post
Apologies Curt, I was assuming that the problem would be attachments, which aren't handled by the Mail rule on the desktop. If it's just a plain email I simply forward it on via PasteBot.
EndoftheQ, could you say a little more about how you use this with Omnifocus? I took a quick look at the description of PasteBot, but I don't quite see how it works with OF. I've never used it though, so I'd be interested in hearing about your workflow. Thanks in advance.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnj View Post
EndoftheQ, could you say a little more about how you use this with Omnifocus? I took a quick look at the description of PasteBot, but I don't quite see how it works with OF. I've never used it though, so I'd be interested in hearing about your workflow. Thanks in advance.
My pleasure, elnj.

I'm assuming you have a Mac and are using the Omni Mail rule.

It currently isn't possible to forward an email received on your iPhone or iPad to your Mail account for processing by the Omni Mail rule because Mail adds formatting to forwarded text (see 1st image) which the rule cannot handle (I'm unsure whether this is a limitation of Omni's rule or a restriction within OSX).

By copying & pasting into PasteBot, all such formatting is removed (see 2nd image). The App also has a large number of filters and options that can be applied to text and images that have been copied into it.

Forwarding from PasteBot gives you a plain text message which the Omni Mail rule accepts (see 3rd image).

PasteBot is, for me, one of those "OMG!" Apps especially if you are running a wifi network that both your iDevices and your Mac share. It opens up a realm of possibilities (in conjunction with OmniFocus and practically every other program) outside of the example above that you have to experience to even begin to appreciate this App's worth. I'd suggest risking a few bucks on it, I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you decide to give it a try, let me know how you get on!

Hope this is helpful.
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Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-08-02 at 04:15 AM..
 
Thanks for that clarification. I haven't used the mail rule, tending instead to use the Clip-o-tron. I'm curious, though - if you're already copying, switching apps, and then pasting, what do you see as the advantage of PasteBot vs. just switching directly to OF to paste the text and create a task there?
 
Sorry elnj, my posts rarely make sense! :)

OmniFocus forms an integral part of how the team I work with handle our day-to-day business. We all leave OmniFocus and Mail up on our desktop Macs 24/7. I'm guessing that on any given day I will enter c. 200 actions, of which 80% will then need to be delegated. I would estimate that I receive, on average, 30-40 emails a day that need me to either action myself or delegate or both.

I'll find it easier to explain if I give you a real world example that happened a couple of hours ago.

This morning, I received an email from client concerning a shoot in Lakshadweep that happened back in 2007, asking if they could reuse some of the still photography in a new production.

I copied-n-pasted the email into PasteBot and then sent it back to the client with the reply "I'm on it!". I also bcc'd Jo (researcher, she'll need to find out which specific images), Lisa (legal, does the photographer own the copyright or was it assigned), Ciaran (accounts, we need to bill for our time) and myself.

In our team we all use the same code to convert emails into actions. So, the client got my response and Jo, Lisa, Ciaran and myself got an action that dropped into our OmniFocus inboxes containing the email in the action's notes.

A few minutes later, I got an action dropped into my inbox from Ciaran entitled CNTMLAK0666 (bit worrying!), with a note saying "re: CNTM. Please use this billing code re: negotiations regarding reuse of still photography shot on Lakshadweep". I'm assuming that Jo and Lisa also got the same action.

OK, maybe you're not in a team, but even if that's the case, using the OmniFocus Mail rule and PasteBot allows you to respond to an email and simultaneously turn it into an action.

I hope this example shows how PasteBot is useful to us. I would also add that I have a couple of dozen standard responses to emails and SMSs stored within PasteBot along with pictures of current projects which allows me to respond with a couple of clicks to a lot of enquiries. I also use PasteBot to move photos taken on my iPhone to my laptop without having to email them to myself or doing a full sync.

I trust the above helps explain how we're using PasteBot, but elnj, don't hesitate to let me know if this is yet another one of my incomprehensible posts!

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-08-03 at 07:13 AM..
 
Assuming you have a mac running omnifocus that's always on, and that you are using cloud sync, you can do the following:

1. Create a 'special' mailbox (there's nothing actually special about it other than the only thing you use it for is getting tasks from Mail into OF). I call mine 'Actions'

2. Whenever you want to action an email, stick it into this folder (the mail move actions on the iPad make this pretty seamless)

3. Periodically run an applescript on your mac that takes all messages sitting in the Actions mailbox, turns them into tasks in the OF inbox on the mac, and moves the messages somewhere (back to your mail inbox, to an archive folder, etc... I move them to an archive folder). I use subjects of the emails as an initial task name, and the tasks are like they've been fed thru the clip-o-tron... with contents, attachments, etc.

4. When you next sync your iPad OF, the tasks are there. Then I can change the task name if needed, set due dates, etc... A quick mini-review.

5. There are a whole bunch of ways to trigger the applescript, including using CRON and other Unix smartness. I just have a mail rule that looks for the subject ActionMail and triggers the applescript. Primitive but effective!

It's pretty clumsy I know, but it does work, under the assumptions above (ie, you've got a mac as well, it's running, etc).

It's far from ideal, but it works for me.

I'll post the applescript in the next reply... use at your own risk, YMMV, etc.

cheers
FB
 
 


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