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Ask HN: How do you convert your emails to todo items?
5 points by jedberg on June 4, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
I'm looking for specifics on tools and workflows you might use.

I currently use Evernote to maintain my todos and tasks in a somewhat GTD way (I basically did this when it was on HN before http://ruudhein.com/evernote-gtd).

The problem is that I have two email solutions (gmail for personal and Outlook for work) and a lot of the emails I get become tasks. I want to keep the context of the email, so ideally I want a way to keep the whole thread, including updates.

For gmail I can copy/paste a link to the thread. I haven't found a good solution for Outlook yet (it should be noted that I can use any imap solution, so using another client is an option).

So, HN, how do you unify your email and tasks?

There are tools that support email integration. In PostFrenzy (http://postfrenzy.com), for example, you can take an email and forward it to the workspace you would like it to be placed in (the email address for a workspace can be seen at the top under its description). If you are looking to convert an email into a task you can click forward, enter the workspace's email address, edit the message (if necessary), then click send. If your workspace is already open in another tab in your browser it will automatically appear at the top of the list.

I use a combination of ActiveInbox (http://www.activeinboxhq.com/) and the Multiple Inbox labs in GMail. I have 5 "multiple inbox" inboxes. I mark emails with a GTD style label that ActiveInbox creates (S/Action, S/Waiting On mostly) and have an inbox that only shows those. Those are my main tasks.

I also have an inbox for starred emails, which are longer term project or information rich emails I want handy. My "top" inbox is unread inbox emails and round it out with drafts and the standard email inbox at the bottom of the page.

I use a combination of Google's priority inbox and the 'mark as unread' feature. Anything marked as unread is a TODO. Woeful, I know - and it really doesn't work, but it's stuck..!

That's what I do as well.. in combination of Wunderlist. If anyone from Wunderlist is reading this - I would love to get a gmail integration + a little icon at the top bar like Fantastical.

I have modified the important inbox section to show only starred email. (To be honest I consider all emails important, so I dont really need that feature). So when an incoming email has a task or needs further processing, I just star it and it shows up where the important emails would normally show up, and it stays there until I unstar it. Pretty convenient.

I use RTM for task management. Emails can be forwarded to it, and converted to tasks, as described here: http://www.rememberthemilk.com/services/email/

You might already be aware of this but in Outlook you can drag an email to tasks on the left (or to calendar) and it will include the email thread in the body. Doesn't update though with new emails from the thread.

In fact you can http://asana for todo list/items. its more for project management but good thing about that you can comment or list out once you are done with that item.

When viewing an email in Gmail clicking More > Add to Tasks will add the email subject and a link to the given email to your Google Tasks list (I use this).

Shift + T adds a gmail to Google tasks via keyboard shortcut.

I forward them to my fogbugz account which literally converts my email to a todo item.

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