Thursday, August 14

OmniFocus Tip: Linking to Gmail

Gmail is my alpha and my omega at work. (I didn’t get much done on Monday.) Almost nothing I do is not either prompted by an e-mail thread or significantly informed by one. And, in my attempt to get things done, I try to pour all of those tasks from my inbox into my good friend OmniFocus.

This can present a problem, however, when I’m working through a context and realize I need some of that information from an e-mail in order to complete an action.

Handily enough, Gmail is very clever about creating unique URLs for all of its “pages” by appending URL fragments. When there’s an e-mail conversation I’ll need to refer back to when working on a project or specific action, I just copy the URL from the browser and paste it into an OmniFocus notes field. Example:
I used to use a combination of starred conversations and search (inbox is, of course, at zero), but linking directly to the thread works several hundred times better.

The one tiny problem with this technique is that it will open a new Gmail page rather than re-using an existing one, but that’s no more than a few seconds wait. Gmail itself is quite capable of handling two windows open at once with no consistency issues.