The Notes field in OmniFocus 2 is amazing. It can be used for so many purposes, however in this post, I’m going to outline just one. Automatically referencing emails in my email application of choice, Airmail.
I frequently record actions in OmniFocus that require either a follow-up to an email I’ve archived. Sometimes, I just need to quickly pull up the email to grab some key information. In order to do this, I drag a copy of the email into the Notes field of my OmniFocus action.
As you can see below, we have a project in OmniFocus to organise a seminar. I’ve sent an email out already, however I need a task in place to followup on a given date. If I’ve had no response, it would be great to just open the email directly from within OmniFocus rather than find the email within Airmail.
The only available action is Receive confirmation of booking request so I highlight this action and press ⌘ and ’ together to bring up the Notes field. I use a TextExpander abbreviation to enter a date and time stamp, so I have a clear indication as to when I performed the action.
Next, I open Airmail and find the email that is associated with the task. Once found, I left click the email to select and then, with my thumb still ‘left-clicking’ on the trackpad, I use the Application Switcher (⌘ and TAB) to switch views to OmniFocus. The email is still on screen, waiting to be dropped somewhere. I move to the open Notes field, just after my date stamp and drop it in.
When the Defer date passes and the action is available to me, I don’t need to open Airmail to find the email I sent a week ago, I can reference it directly from within the OmniFocus action itself.
This is one of those small workflows that I use every single day without fail and is one of the reasons why I only really process email when I’m on my laptop, as I find this process a lot easier on macOS, rather than iOS. That’s not to say there isn’t a way of doing it quickly on iOS, I just haven’t taken the time to look, as this works so well.
This doesn’t, of course refer only to emails. This is great for embedding files, maps, shortcuts to web content - you name it!
As ever, I hope this helps some of you!