A few days ago, I talked about how I use Hazel to accomplish my regular filing tasks. What I didn’t touch on was how I automate my e-mail filing tasks such as adding invoices into Quickbooks, balancing my bank accounts, balancing my credit card accounts, and more by using Mail Rules.
If you use OmniFocus or ToDoist as your task management app, you can have the Mail app automatically create tasks from your e-mails, reminding you for intance, to balance your accounts or take care of other filing tasks related to the email.
For example, whenever I receive my bank statement, the email is automatically forwarded to ToDoist and added as a task in my Inbox project (you will need ToDoist Premium in order to do this). You are not only limited to adding emails to Todoist’s Inbox project however – you can send an email to any project by using that project’s customized e-mail address. The subject of the message becomes the task name and the content – the task note.
With Omnifocus, you create tasks from your e-mail by forwarding the e-mail to your Omnifocus MailDrop account. Again, the subject line of that message will become the name of your new Inbox item and the body of the message will become the note.
If one of your goals is to attain Inbox 0 by the end of each day, automatically creating tasks from your emails will help bring you one step closer to that goal.
Quick Guide: Automatically Forward Email to ToDoIst or Omnifocus Task
- From Todoist, click the “…” next to the project and choose E-mail task to this project. Add the Project email address to your address book for future reference.
- From within the Apple Mail app, choose Mail ➪ Preferences from the menu.
- Click the Add Rule button.
- In the Description box, type in a new name for your rule.
- From the “If” area of the rule box, click the first drop-down list and choose “From” (choose “Subject” if you prefer to base your rule off of the subject line of the message).
- Ensure that the middle box contains either “is equal to” or “contains”
- In the last box, enter in the email address of the sender (or if using subject, the subject line of the message).
- Under the “Peform the Following Actions” area, click the first drop-down list and choose “Forward Message”.
- In the “To” box, type in your Omnifocus MailDrop address if you are using Omnifocus, or your ToDoist project-specific email address, if using ToDoist.
- Click the plus (+) symbol next to the To email address to add another action line.
- In the first drop-down list in the new action line, choose Move Message. If you prefer to delete your message instead of archiving it, choose Delete Message from the list.
- In the second drop-down list, navigate to your Archive folder.
- Click OK when finished.
Note: Many other Project Management services and applications support creating tasks from emails as well. I only referenced OmniFocus and ToDoist because these are the two services that I personally use.
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