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OmniFocus, iPhone and eMail Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I've just started looking at OmniFocus and have used a few other quasi-GTD online apps with my iPhone. I'd like to step up to OmniFocus but the one feature that I like in the other applications that I haven't seen is the ability to create tasks from emails. I unfortunately work with Outlook in the office and would like to be able to create tasks from Outlook emails. Any comments would be appreciated.
This feature has existed in OmniFocus since its original release, at least when integrating with Apple Mail.

You can select messages in Mail, hit a key combination, and they get added to OmniFocus as actions. You can also setup OmniFocus to process certain incoming mail messages (e.g. any message whose subject begins with "--") and automatically import them as actions into OmniFocus' database.

Can you email tasks to the iPhone version?
For the desktop version of OmniFocus, it's actually a mail rule that can be installed in Apple's Mail that does most of the work. When a new message comes in, it checks if it matches certain criteria. If so, it runs an AppleScript to add the item to the OmniFocus database.

On the iPhone, apps are largely ignorant of each other. There's no scripting language available to "glue" functionality from different apps together like can be done with AppleScript on the Mac. Consequently, messages received in the iPhone's Mail application cannot be sent to OmniFocus for iPhone. And OmniFocus itself is not an email client (nor should it be), so it doesn't directly handle incoming email.

About the only thing you could do is set up the desktop version to accept messages from Apple Mail on your Mac. And then have OmniFocus on your Mac sync with OmniFocus on your iPhone. Then all new actions, regardless of how they were entered, will show up in all copies of OmniFocus.

So, the only way to get info into the iPhone app is to have a Mac or manually enter it into the device. Do you know if there are any plans in the future that would change this? I guess I'm a little disappointed.
Originally Posted by der56 View Post
So, the only way to get info into the iPhone app is to have a Mac or manually enter it into the device.
Yes, you are correct.

Originally Posted by der56 View Post
Do you know if there are any plans in the future that would change this?
I think this is largely dependent on the iPhone's software architecture, which is decided by Apple. So it seems unlikely to change in the near future. But I'm not an Omni Group employee, nor an iPhone developer, so who knows what they'll amaze us with next.

A good rule of thumb is to look at what other iPhone apps are capable of and how they work. Do you know of any other third-party iPhone apps that can accept emailed imports? I don't. If you can't find any, then that's a pretty good indicator that the functionality isn't currently available.

Toodledo allows sending emails to your "ToDo" list. Kinda cool. Just started using OmniFocus for iPhone and I miss that capability.
I saw on Twitter that this is a feature Omni is considering for their sync server. I guess the idea is that you'd send an email to a special email address provided to you by Omni. Any message you'd send to the account would get parsed and added to your online OF database, which would then get synced to OF on your various devices whenever they connected again.

Of course, like Toodledo, this requires some kind of online server to be involved. Prior to the Omni Sync Server, there wasn't really any way to do this without leaving your Mac on all the time (i.e. letting the Mac client receive emails from Apple Mail).


Last edited by Toadling; 2010-08-15 at 07:18 PM..

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