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Questions regarding Mail rules and OF... Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
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Hello.

I've been experimenting with both OF's Mail preferences (the one with the +omnifocus and the one with the Subject Starting with xxxx).

After my tests, I've come to the this conclusion (PLEASE correct me if you find something inaccurate):

- Using OF's Mail preference #1 (the +omnifocus address) works ONLY if it is typed in the To: or CC: email fields.
If one writes it in the Bcc: field, it will NOT WORK. OF will not "see" it (which is a major bummer for me). I wish I could just type the +omnifocus address in the Bcc field so I could Bcc to myself certain emails that I want to follow up and show up in OF as reminders that I'm expecting some kind of answer.

Even if I edit the header list in Mail and add the Bcc field (so I can use it as a rule), OF will ignore this email. It just sits in my Inbox.

Is there a way I can make this rule work with the Bcc field?

I know I could just use it in the Cc: field, but I'm not sure I like the idea that my clients will see this "weird" followup+omnifocus@xxxx.xxx address in the Cc field. It's a little intrusive, especially if I want to add commands for automatic Project, Context, Date or Flag placements.

I tired using the OF Mail preference #2 too (the Subject starting with xxx). This sort of works if I start the subject with something inconspicuous, such as a _ or even a space or dot. But then my iCal email alarms wouldn't get processed into OF because there's no way I can control what iCal calls things (it always gives you the subject of "Alarm - xxxxx" in the email).

So both of these options almost work for me, but now quite.

- Can you advise me on how I can accomplish what I want with the Bcc?
- Can I change the way iCal writes the subject of the alarm email? (the Alarm -xxx part).

It seems to me that OF could be a little more robust with this way of handling emails. Perhaps if they added an option of Subject Ending with xxx would help?

Thank you!
 
Some thoughts:

The whole point of sending a bcc is that the address isn't disclosed, so it isn't too surprising that OmniFocus doesn't see your address as one of the recipients. However, you may be able to do an end run around this by adding Original-Recipient to your header list and editing the Mail rule to check that as well as the usual place. I haven't tested this, and make no promises that it works with every mail program out there (but it only has to work with yours!)

Don't bcc yourself on the original message. Instead, go to your sent folder after you send out the original message, select the message, and use Mail's Message→Send Again command, addressing this copy to your OmniFocus email address. No one needs to see that you chose TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlePorn+OmniFocus@gmail.com as your OmniFocus email address.

However, it sounds to me like you don't really want to be sending messages to the world at large that include the somewhat cryptic markup that enables OmniFocus to turn the email into actions with due dates, contexts, etc. Rather, you just want a copy of the message you sent turned into an action in your Inbox, with the subject line mapped to the action name, and the body of the message in the notes. This is readily achieved, and no one on the outside need be any the wiser.

You set up OmniFocus to get mail via the "+omnifocus" addressing trick. Once the mail rule is installed, you edit it (if you don't need to be able to send yourself messages that are processed into actions) or duplicate it and then edit it (if you want both approaches available) to trigger on messages that come from you (or whoever else you want to be able to inject such messages into your mailbox) and are sent to you. Make sure all the desired allowed senders are on the list in the OmniFocus preferences. Make sure this rule comes before any other OmniFocus-related rules. You'll also most likely want to remove any rule actions that delete the message and/or mark it read. Now whenever a matching message comes in, if the sender is on the allowed list, a copy of the message will automatically appear in your OmniFocus Inbox for processing, and you'll still be able to read it in Mail.

I use this extensively to forward email from the Omni support ninjas and auto-responder into OmniFocus, and it works quite well for me. It's a pain when the allowable senders list gets clobbered, though! Unfortunately, you do not get the "Original message" link like you would if you brought the message in via the Clip-o-Tron, but if that's important, the presence of the automatically added action could serve as the reminder to go clip the original to replace it.
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Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful answer, whpalmer4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4
The whole point of sending a bcc is that the address isn't disclosed, so it isn't too surprising that OmniFocus doesn't see your address as one of the recipients.
Agreed. I also experienced this within Mail's rules. I couldn't make it work using the Bcc field.
No wonder... I completely ignored the fact that it's actually its raison d'etre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4
However, you may be able to do an end run around this by adding Original-Recipient to your header list and editing the Mail rule to check that as well as the usual place. I haven't tested this, and make no promises that it works with every mail program out there (but it only has to work with yours!)
Thanks for that!
Unfortunately, I just tried it, and it didn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4
Don't bcc yourself on the original message. Instead, go to your sent folder after you send out the original message, select the message, and use Mail's Message→Send Again command, addressing this copy to your OmniFocus email address. No one needs to see that you chose TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlePorn+OmniFocus@gmail.com as your OmniFocus email address.
That was actually my first attempt at a solution. It works, but I am looking for ways to automate these things as much as possible.

I basically want to:
a) For some emails I write, I'd like to have OF automatically process them and put the reminder in the right context and start date or flag.
b) These chosen emails would be somehow "marked" (with a tag in the body or subject) or by any un-intrusive means (so OF recognizes them).
c) I would like to do a and b above without having my clients read a weird subject such as:
How did you like the music? ! #tomorrow ::Projectxxxxxxxxxx@followup

d) I also want my iCal reminders (email Alarms) to be processed by OF, but since I can't change the beginning of the email Subject iCal uses, then points a / c seem to be mutually exclusive with d, correct? I'd have to use the +omnifocus method for this instead.

Even if I figured how to make OF see the self Bcc'd email (my original intent), I'd still be stuck with the c issue.


Frankly, after trying so many things, I'm starting to think the easiest way to handle these scenarios is by simply having a repeating task in my OF core that reads something like: "Review FollowUp smartmailbox in Mail" with a link to it.

This smart-box automatically gets all the email that I'm waiting for an answer (by adding a tag to the body of the message), so I guess it's just easier to remind myself to check it every couple of days...

I'm probably over-complicating myself, as usual. This simpler approach seems to be not particularly elegant but so much easier and practical, yes?

Last edited by FMiguélez; 2011-06-30 at 12:50 PM..
 
Yes, having Mail simply collect the messages for you to process might be the way to go. I would also consider whether the messages generated from iCal might not make sense to be placed in OmniFocus from the outset, so that you don't need to process them.
 
I already implemented the Core reminder in OF to check Mail's smart boxes. It's much easier!

I will use the OF mail rules for its intended usage: to send reminders to myself.

Regarding this, I have a couple of questions about the nomenclature:
1.- If I have projects with the same name (there are 2 Finances projects -one inside the 20k Ft folder and and another one in the 30k Ft folder), how do I differentiate between the two?
2.- According to the OF's Help file, if there's only one date (with the #), it becomes the Due Date. If there are two dates, they become the Due and Start dates respectively.
How do I enter ONLY a Start Date (with NO Due Date)??

Thank you so much for your help.
 
The documentation says that the text after the > is parsed just as if you had typed it into the project cell in an OmniFocus row, but the behavior described in the documentation and the behavior I'm observing do not appear to be identical. I've filed a bug report, and you should, as well: use Help→Send Feedback to do so. Until the bug is fixed, it appears that you cannot reliably work with identically named projects in different folders via the Mail interface.

The start date, no due date case is easily handled: just leave the due date portion blank (still need the #, of course).

buy milk #today #

would create a "buy milk" action with a start date of 12:00AM and no due date.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
The documentation says that the text after the > is parsed just as if you had typed it into the project cell in an OmniFocus row, but the behavior described in the documentation and the behavior I'm observing do not appear to be identical. I've filed a bug report, and you should, as well: use Help→Send Feedback to do so. Until the bug is fixed, it appears that you cannot reliably work with identically named projects in different folders via the Mail interface.
I will file a bug report right now.

But must one include the full path to the project? (folder1>folder2>Project X)? I see no other obvious way to differentiate between to identically named projects, even if it worked as expected with the mail rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
The start date, no due date case is easily handled: just leave the due date portion blank (still need the #, of course).
.
Thanks for this!
Now that you told me it seems so obvious : >)

Thank you, whpalmer. I always read your posts with great interest.

BTW, I am LOVING OF. It's such a great program!
It's taken me a few weeks and lots of reading to fully implement it (and GTD) into my workflow, but I feel ready now.

Last edited by FMiguélez; 2011-07-03 at 11:28 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMiguélez View Post
But must one include the full path to the project? (folder1>folder2>Project X)? I see no other obvious way to differentiate between to identically named projects, even if it worked as expected with the mail rule.
Yes, you would need to specify enough of the path to make it unambiguous, but that might only be something like r1:r2:X — experiment in OmniFocus to find out what you need.

It turns out that while there is still a parsing bug (in my opinion), you can get it to work by putting spaces between the components of the path. For example, ">folder1 der2 X" might match your folder1:folder2:Project X above. You might even be able to get away with ">2 X" as long as there isn't another project with X in its name inside a folder with a 2 in its name.

Quote:
Now that you told me it seems so obvious : >)
A friend of mine who calls me frequently for computer help says that he hates calling me because the simple answers make him feel so stupid :-)
Quote:
Thank you, whpalmer. I always read your posts with great interest.
Happy to hear that I've got at least one fan :-)
 
 


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