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OmniFocus Mail Drop

What is Mail Drop?

Mail Drop is a new feature of the Omni Sync Server that lets you send emails directly into your OmniFocus Inbox. You can create multiple private send-to addresses in order to give access to third parties, and delete those addresses at any time. In order to use Mail Drop, you’ll need to have an Omni Sync Server account (they’re free), and OmniFocus must be configured to actively sync with that account on our server.

Some Examples

  • Forwarding actionable emails from your PC at work;
  • Processing emails on your iPhone or iPad;
  • Using IFTTT (If This Then That) to automate all kinds of internet-y things;
  • Allowing a partner to delegate actions directly into your OmniFocus system.

Send an email from anywhere to your Mail Drop address, and that email will appear in the OmniFocus Inbox the next time you sync with the Omni Sync Server.

How to get started

If you’re already using the Omni Sync Server to sync OmniFocus, you can log in to the sync server web interface and create your first Mail Drop address. After logging in, click the Create Address button to automatically generate the email address (a combination of your account name and a random string of characters)

Create Address

If you don’t have a Sync Server account yet, you can sign up here. The account creation process includes instructions for configuring OmniFocus to use your new account (it’s as simple as tapping or clicking a link in an email). Once you’ve configured OmniFocus for sync, you’ll be able to start using Mail Drop.

What kind of information can I add to OmniFocus via Mail Drop?

When you send an email message to Mail Drop, the subject line of that message will become the name of your new Inbox item. The body of the message will become the note; it can contain text, attachments, and simple HTML (more complex formatting is stripped).

How does Mail Drop work with encrypted databases?

As of OmniFocus 2.6 for Mac and 2.15 for iOS, OmniFocus encrypts its database on the sync server in a way that prevents Mail Drop from adding directly to it. Instead, when Mail Drop detects that you’ve encrypted your database, it places new items into a special container within your account. When you sync, OmniFocus checks this container for new items and integrates (and encrypts) them, then removes the items from the container. Items are not encrypted while they are waiting to be integrated, but we do not consider this to be any less secure than emailing items across the internet in the first place.

I’m already using the OmniFocus Mail Rule and Clip-O-Tron or to process email.

Mail Drop is designed to have fewer external dependencies than our current solutions that involve Mail on OS X. Each time the OS has been updated recently, we have had to do a significant amount of work to keep basic functionality working, and in some cases have not been able to restore features. While Mail Drop’s functionality is currently basic, we plan on using the time saved to add more features so that it has the best of all of the previous solutions.

Can I specify my own Mail Drop address?

The string of characters after your username in your Mail Drop address is random as a precaution against spam, malware, and other nefarious things from making their way to your OmniFocus inbox. (If you have a problem with an address, you can always delete that Mail Drop address from your Account Management page and create a new one to get a new unique string.) Adding the address to your Contacts makes it easy to use Mail Drop without having to remember the whole address.

If you’d prefer a custom address that’s easier to share with others, you could create an alias address through your email provider that forwards to your sync address. For more info, read: iCloud: Create or change email aliases

Please note: Since email attachments are included when you add to OmniFocus via Mail Drop, keep in mind that those attachments will add to the overall size of your database until removed. The larger your database is, the longer sync will take and the more data this will consume (if you’re on a cellular connection). In other words, you might not want to set up a rule to automatically forward your entire email inbox to OmniFocus! If you’re forwarding a lot of emails with attachments, we recommend cleaning out old attachments every so often, as outlined here.

Last Modified: Jun 4, 2018

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