Add a Task in Drafts for iOS to TaskPaper with One Tap

Drafts for iOS is an excellent app that allows you to quickly jot down a note and then later “process” it by sending it to various apps like Evernote or Twitter. A recent development includes Mail Actions, which triggers an email of the note from a specific agiletortoise.com address. This is useful for a web app like IFTTT which will — with your permission — scan your gmail for emails coming from a specific address (the “trigger” or “if”) and then perform an action (or “that”) on it.

TaskPaper is an app for Mac and iOS that essentially renders a text file containing a todo list into a more usable format. If you place your text file in a Dropfox folder, then the iOS app will sync with the file on your Mac.

Since one of the actions IFTTT performs is “append to Dropbox file,” I’ve created a shared recipe that does the following:

  • I “capture” a thought into Drafts on my iPhone.
  • I tap on the EMail Action “TaskPaper” (that I set up earlier)
  • Drafts sends an email to my gmail account from tp-drafts-mail@agiletortoise.com (the “tp” prefix is for “TaskPaper” — and since you can create many Email Actions, it distinguishes this action from others)
  • IFTTT scans my gmail for an email from this address, and when it’s “triggered” it appends the plain text in the body of the email to the Inbox.txt file in my /Dropbox/TaskPaper/ folder
  • Next time I sync, the task will show up in TaskPaper. I just have to scroll to the end of the list (after the Archived @done items) and move it to the relevant project.

One downside to this solution is that IFTTT only polls gmail at 15 minute intervals, it’s not an immediate trigger, so your task won’t show up in TaskPaper ASAP — the best case for this is if you’re “on the go” with wireless access but don’t plan to really sit down with the TP app for 15 or so minutes. If you edit your Inbox before Dropbox appends the new item, you’ll end up having two conflicting copies of the same file.

How to Set Up the Email Action in Drafts

Here’s the Settings page in Drafts:

Email Action page

After you tap on Email Actions, here is how I set up my TaskPaper action:

Email Action page

And after I drag the TaskPaper action up to the top, this is what Drafts looks like when I want to perform an action:

Perform Action in Drafts

How to Set Up the IFTTT Recipe

To set up the IFTTT recipe, tap on Use Recipe in IFTTT for my shared recipe — just make sure to change the File Name if your list is not called Inbox.txt.

From minimal testing, it appears that if you filter incoming emails from agiletortoise to the gmail archive, IFTTT won’t process them.

Recommended Reading:

Using Email Actions with IFTTT.com

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