Automate Gmail Email to Remember the Milk Task

Every once in a while I spend a bit of time reviewing and streamlining my GTD process. This time I hit on a pretty big win — automating a connection between Gmail and Remember the Milk so that collecting actions from across all of my Gmail accounts is one-click easy. This automation makes it a breeze to process email on my phone. Woohoo – GTD on the can!

Remember the Milk has been at the core of my GTD stack for several years now. I’ve looked into other systems, even trying  Astrid for a month, but RTM still wins for my requirements set. It’s got a scriptable API, a command line interface, a solid Android app, and a nice web interface that’s keyboard friendly. Of course it has it quirks and annoyances (why can’t I move tasks between lists using the keyboard?), but it’s the best that I’ve found.

For email, Gmail has wormed its way into being my primary mechanism. It too has it quirks and annoyances, but the network effects are strong and the price is right (well, was right for business accounts). I still use Thunderbird too, but now primarily as a local Gmail client.

For this round of streamlining the challenge I set was to enable keyboard-based creation of a RTM task from a Gmail email that includes a link back to the original thread for quick action. This is now possible using a Google App Script. Here’s the code:

Please feel free to form the gist and improve it!

  1. #1 by Colby on March 12, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    I have tried several different ideas to make this connection, including rather simplistic scripts of my own. I think this might be what I have been looking for. One tweak I think I will make is to make the link back to the email use the mobile version so that the email loads faster.

    • #2 by Jesse Heitler on March 12, 2013 - 12:29 pm

      Sounds like it good be a good improvement.

      What’s the url template for the mobile version? Does it improve the mechanism?

  2. #3 by Dan on March 23, 2013 - 11:18 am

    I would recommend checking out Gtdagenda for an online GTD manager.

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote, and also comes with mobile-web version, and Android and iPhone apps.

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