I use Google Tasks for a quick to-do list. It has clean interface and is easy to use. On desktop or laptop machine, it is built-in to Google Mail for quick access. On smartphones, many to-do apps including Tasks N Todos sync with Google tasks.
The neat thing is that in the Google Mail, you can add Gmail messages into the task list very easily by selecting the messages and then using More Actions > Add to Tasks. What if you want to add email messages from other mails like that from work, or Yahoo Mail, etc., it doesn’t seem that there is a straightforward way to do so.
I found this web log on the automated email-to-task with Google Apps Script by DJ Adams. The Google Apps Script is able to parse the email with a specific filtered label and create a task automatically. Let’s give it a try.
The overall process is as follows:
- Two new Gmail labels will be created – newtask and newtaskdone. When a new email is arrived, the filter will label it with newtask. Once the script processes this email, it will be re-labeled to newtaskdone so it won’t be processed again.
- To make sure that only specified emails – not all – are processed, one of the hidden features of Gmail will be used. The filter will look for only +firstname.lastname@example.org (such as email@example.com) in the TO address to apply new label. Read this on how to use “+” (plus ) or “.” (dot) in your Gmail address.
- The Apps Script will be created from Google Spreadsheet. The original post is to use only the email’s subject for the task’s title but I modified codes a bit to include the email’s body to be the task’s body as well.
- One of the important things is to integrate the script with Google API so it will be allowed to use the Google Tasks’ API service and content.
- Schedule it to run with a needed interval. I’m doing it every 30 minutes. Note that there is a courtesy limit of 5,000 requests per day. But this should be more than enough for a normal use.
- Now just simply forward all emails firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to add them into the task list. It should show up in the Google Tasks within your specified interval.
All step-by-step instructions can be found at my wiki site.