All posts tagged gmail

This post describes how I use Siri to create RTM task that have specific properties set (instead of being simple titled in “Inbox”). This is useful to note down tasks while you drive.
Bear with me on this one. This solution pretty complicated, but it was worth it for me so that I didn’t have a heap of tagging and date setting stuff left to do when I got back to a computer.

For the impatient, here’s what the end solution looks like…

  1. Tell Siri to send an email to “Groceries”. The subject of the email is the task description. The body can be “whatever”
  2. Siri has “Groceries” in your address book as “
  3. forwards to
  4. applies a filter that skips the inbox, marks it as read and puts the message in a Groceries folder
  5. IFTTT sees this new message in the Groceries folder and fires an email off to RTM with some extra commands that we’d want automatically applied to grocery tasks.

Let’s start at the finish line. This solution starts with Siri‘s email functionality. It is easy to send an email to one of your contacts, but the only functionality that RTM offers is a contact that will deliver emails as new tasks into your RTM Inbox. If you were typing the email manually, you could add “#Home #groceries ^Friday” to the subject line to better tailor the new task to your workflow. With Siri and RTM alone you are left to rework the task when you’re back at your desk.

This is where I added a few missing ingredients. You might be able to think of a simpler version, but i’ve been using this one and it has been working well. The missing ingredients were…

  • An email address that is used only for these tasks

For this explanation, let’s imagine that we want to be able to email “Groceries”, and have those tasks land in RTM with the following properties…

  • List: Home
  • Tag: groceries
  • Due: Friday

To accomplish this, we just need to add “#Home #groceries ^Friday” to the end of the subject before sending the email into RTM. IFTTT can do this very nicely. I happened to have a domain that permitted any number of email addresses, so I registered an email account at that domain for a user called “groceries” which forwarded to my GMail account. In hind-sight, I could have just had IFTTT monitor that email account directly with POP3 or IMAP or something. Anyway I didn’t.

Those emails, emailed to and forwarded to my GMail account, were marked in a way that would make it easy for IFTTT to single out.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 3.59.56 PM

This keeps them out of my Inbox, they don’t appear as unread and they are all in a neat folder that I can check on later if I want to debug the process. Then, in IFTTT I set up the following recipe…

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 3.54.24 PM

…which means “If something happens in GMail, then do something in GMail“. The rule watches for new emails in the “RTM/Groceries” folder.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 3.54.40 PM

…and is then initiates a new email, copying the subject and body (in plain text). The subject adds our special RTM commands.

IFTTT Groceries Recipe - THAT

The only thing left to do is to put that email address into my contacts as somebody called “Groceries” so that Siri knows who i’m talking about.

And there you have it. With this method, you can create special email addresses for each “profile” that you’d like to easily command tasks into using Siri.