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Email/iOS/Mailtags Question... more GTD question more than OmniFocus Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I use mailtags heavily on my Mac. And OmniFocus, of course

My 'big" problem is this: I tag emails that will take >2 min to follow up...and get to them when I have time. I have four email accounts (each is imap).

Mailtags allows me to tag the email with a keyword and then Apple's Mail has a mailbox dedicated to the keyword (>2 min).

My problem is an iPad/iPhone problem. Sometimes I like not have my mac around - and I'd like to address those emails. I have no easy way on my iPad (or iphone) of telling which emails 'need' attention.

Any ideas? Anyone suffering with anything similar?


This is a big thing that holds me back on the iPhone: eMail integration.

On the desktop, I go through my inbox, and if there is an email that is part of a project or creating a new project, I clip it to the OmniFocus inbox, then move the email to an archive folder to get it out of the inbox. Then when I process the OmniFocus inbox, the email/action goes into a context.

When I get to that action, I can click on the -original message- link, the email is brought up, I hit reply, send it and BCC myself.

My response comes back into my email inbox, I clip it to OmniFocus, move the email to an archive folder, then in the OmniFocus inbox, type in the project name and a waiting for context.
(ctrl + option + command + K is set for OmniFocus clipping)
(option+command+K is the mail shortcut for 'move to again' In this case, my archive folder)

I haven't found a way to do this with the iPhone. And it's a pretty important part of my workflow.

I've fooled around with MailTags, but it's simpler for me to just clip it to omnifocus, move it to an archive folder, and use the -original message- link in the OF action or search for emails.

My workaround is:
I have a folder in my mail account called -hold for processing-
If I find an email to work on later, I move it to the -hold for processing- folder.

This allows me to clear my email Inbox to 0 on the go.

When I get back to the desktop, I have a daily action for:
process -hold for processing- to 0.
At that point the emails go into the appropriate projects.

There's hope that OmniFocus is aware of this and working on something to streamline. Although I can't think of a way to do it in iOS. Cross communication of applications is fairly prohibited.

The workaround that has been mentioned is to leave a computer always running, with mail running, that has a rule for messages with a certain subject or from or keyword that clips the email into omnifocus. Omnifocus then syncs to MobileMe or some other webdav server. Then the iphone/ipad syncs to grab the action.
What I'm doing is clearing out my email inbox (literally, it's almost always at zero) - and moving 'longer' response emails to a separate folder.

From four different accounts. Each reply has to come from that account.

Mailtags (and mail act on) make it possible to do quickly.

I DON'T want it in OF - it's clutter. I think there's something wrong in my system, in the respect that there are some 160 emails there right this second.

Perhaps I need to move them to project based tasks. I don't know (and it certainly bears more thought.) The fact that I have 160 emails there - means that I'm just using it as a different bucket. I sense that bucket needs to be further refined for it to work well.

Meanwhile - I can't easily 'see' these messages on my iPad/iPhone - which I think is the key of what I want.

I can see that I need to do something more critical in my email plan.
My main purpose for clipping them into OmniFocus, is not really about reading them there. It's the original message link in the OmniFocus action. When I click on that link, the message is brought up and I can read it or take action with it.

For emails I can respond to quickly, I do it from the Mail Inbox.
emails I want to read later, I clip them to OmniFocus, assign them to a bucket called reading. Then when ready to read, I click on original message.

Having them in OmniFocus is especially helpful for emails I am waiting for a response.

Compose email (BCC myself)
clip email into OmniFocus
assign to a project with a waiting for category and a future start date

When that action shows up in my waiting for
I can either push the start date back further
click on original message and send a 'ping' or follow up message that I haven't heard back about such and such
when I send the email (BCC myself)
I clip into OmniFocus
assign to project with waiting for and give it a start date

This is the quickest way I've found to track emails I'm waiting for responses from, and to find the email quickly.

If you don't like seeing the email in omnifocus, highlight a sentence or word or subject in the email before clipping.

The problem is, this doesn't solve the integration of OF & Mail on the iPhone/iPad.

In my perfect world:
I would be able to click on something in Mail on iPhone, to link that message to a new action in OF inbox.
emails that I am sending from OF, the return emails would be automatically ingested back into OF in the appropriate project at the appropriate level.

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