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Better Gmail Integration


Hi there, I was playing with Wunderlist Pro over the weekend. While it is not as powerful as Todoist there are some cool features.

One thing that was really nice was the way the Wunerlist Badge sat within Gmail an well as pasting the body of the email as a note. 2 things that does:

1. Faster that launching the task bar icon
2. You can read the mail in wunderlist a week later and see if you need to recall the mail or simply action this.

Is this possible?

All responses

David Trey staff
Replied on Apr 29, 2013 - 12:06 UTC

Hello Marcus,

In Todoist, there are two ways of managing emails:

1. Linking to them - this requires the use of a plugin and will create a link to the message making its subject line the task name.

2. Forwarding/sending mails to Todoist - this doesn't require a plugin, you can send your messages to Todoist anytime, the tasks won't link to the message, but in addition to the task name being the subject line, the entire message itself would become a task note so you can access it without your email client from anywhere.

We've described both options and their advantages in detail on our blog: http://todoist.com/blog/2013/01/zero-inbox-policy-with-todoist/

Best regards,

Marcus Badach premium
Replied on Apr 29, 2013 - 12:19 UTC

Thanks David, makes sense. I guess if it is actionable with needing a reply or further data - forward it.

If it needs a replay - link it.

Christian deTorres premium
Replied on Sep 16, 2013 - 21:41 UTC

I live in GMail, so much so that the the web has become my default mail client. Also, It makes it easier to work with 3rd party addons (like Todoist).

I believe the issue is that adding emails to Todoist is clunky compared to many other tools. Problem areas are as follows:
* Chrome plugin requires several clicks: 1. Open plugin 2. Click Add Task. 3. Click Add Email 4. Click OK
* Email links are a confusing mess when editing the task.
* Adding emails as tasks fails to include a summary or a few pieces of information in a task note.

The extra step of opening the Todoist plugin first is what frustrates most people, since they have become used to embedded "Add task" buttons, as found in plugins from Wunderlist, Remember The Milk, Any Do (and Google Tasks). The Todoist approach *seems* more tedious, even though it's not as far behind if one is also adding projects and due dates to a task.

Who manually edits their email links, besides the subject line? WHO? I am wagering it's nobody, except the Todoist founder. If people don't need to edit it, then don't make it visible. It's only asset is keeping things in a clean text stream, and perhaps making it easier to link multiple emails to one task. This is a real stinker, UI-wise, and is especially annoying when editing a task on a mobile device--I often have to scroll down because I can't see the name of the task I'm editing. It's important to note the killer feature of links in the task name is that we can click on the link directly from the task list, without having to open anything first. I'd like a compromise, in which the clickable link appears as a mail icon at the end or beginning of the task name, but when editing the task directly, appears as an attachment.

It's frustrating to have an either/or choice between linking and having some kind of text content in a task. I'd like if using the Chrome plugin allowed me to add highlighted email text as a note in my new task. That would be great... and other apps already do this.

Of course, it's worth noting a that is Todoist chrome plugin is wonderfully lightweght, especially compared to competitors. It's helped considerably by its lack of features, and the fact that it doesn't embed itself in an existing UI. For example, Powerbot for GMail is a very useful extension that brings Evernote into GMail, but it routinely bogs things down when I open GMail, so even though I paid for it, I have disabled it and returned to the default Evernote extension, which is always enabled for me.

This is a lot, but it's my personal take, and I think captures much of what others are looking for when they ask for "improved integration with GMail."

Peter R Hawkes
Replied on Oct 25, 2013 - 12:45 UTC

I do agree with Christian; the process of making a Task should be slicker with a link + body in the Task Note field and Task subject as the Email Subject?

Peter R

Christian deTorres premium
Replied on Oct 25, 2013 - 15:39 UTC

Cheers to Todoist for refining the way mail links are displayed! Great work, guys. It's much easier to edit task names now. Why no announcement? I think this is a lovely update. Thanks!

The only drawback is that the entire task name becomes a link, rather than just the added email subject line. This is problematic for two reasons, one minor and the other a bit bigger:

1. It's harder to see the difference between action text and the email name, since it is all one big link. This is no big deal, given the speedup offered by not having to see all the under-the-hood link junk.

2. Because the task name becomes one big link, longer task names don't word wrap and mess up the display by stretching the column to the right and forcing the user to scroll.

David Trey staff
Replied on Oct 25, 2013 - 16:23 UTC

Hello Christian,

Thank you for your feedback.

The link should always break whenever there's a space within the task name. Please tell me - on what platform are you experiencing a situation where a long text that has words separated with spaces is not breaking the line?

As for the difference between link and text, that's indeed unfortunately a tradeoff for hiding the code, but:

- If you have a lot of text that you'd like to add to the task, we recommend to use notes instead.
- You can use brackets for comments [Call Andy] or separate the subject from the comment with | for example.
- You can use formatting and make the comment __italic__ or !! bold !! using this syntax.

Best regards,

Christian deTorres premium
Replied on Oct 25, 2013 - 17:34 UTC

Hurrah! I can't replicate the line-break issue today, but I did bump into it yesterday or the day before. My fix was to shorten long tasks with email links.

The line-breaking problem was with Google Chome 30.0.1599.101 m for Windows, when a desktop app shortcut is made for Todoist. In my case, Chrome launched with this additional command-line argument: "--app-id=fnibmbcdeepaahjmddiihohjanlimlmj"

But, it doesn't appear to be an issue any longer.

Christian deTorres premium
Replied on Oct 25, 2013 - 18:18 UTC

David, I think the new design is a big win. The trade-offs are minor at best. Under the old system, editing mail-linked tasks on my Android device was a pain, since the touchscreen keyboard took up a big chunk of the screen, and the link filled up much of the task field. This new version is much better.

I am curious... what was the original reason for leaving email link code visible? In what situations do people actually edit them? I try to visualize other use cases before I complain or request a change.

David Trey staff
Replied on Oct 25, 2013 - 19:28 UTC


Initially, the visible code was left there for compatibility issues. Having the plain code there was easy to handle across all platforms, but now as our apps evolve we could implement a better solution to handle these links and support it everywhere :)

Best regards,

Steve Holden
Replied on Nov 06, 2013 - 01:31 UTC

Hello Marcus, David, Christian and Peter.
I would really appreciate your opinion guys.
I have been an avid Evernote user for about 18 months now and am well on the way to getting my whole personal life and business organisation into my account.
There is however, one really annoying omission in Evernote that keeps making me look at other apps, and that is the inability to manually drag and drop to sort lists. This is a really important feature of the way I tend to organise a lot of things, especially business to do lists and so far I have managed by preceding the note titles with a certain number of full stops and sorting the lists alphabetically.
When I stumbled across Todoist, the first thing I tried was the drag and drop sort and hey presto ...it works in both projects and tasks!!
Overwhelmed by this feature I signed up for a premium account and began thinking about a migration from Evernote however, after a few hours experimenting I have come to the conclusion that apart from this one feature, drag and drop list sort, Todoist doesn't do anything as well as Evernote and whole lot less!!
I have put a huge amount of really nicely organised data and pictures in to Evernote and am still getting by with the free account.
Christian, being an Evernote user, can I ask what do you find that you can do better with Todoist?
I have just tried the Gmail forwarding as a task for example and it doesn't seem to work nearly half as well as Evernote.
Am I missing something or should I just keep using my Full Stop system in Evernote?
Your opinion would be really appreciated.

Christian deTorres premium
Replied on Nov 06, 2013 - 07:21 UTC

Let me start by saying the obvious: The new Todoist for GMail chrome extension is just what I wanted. Wow!

@Steve Holden -- Good questions. Everyone's needs are a bit different, which is why there is such a mess of tools and apps out there. The below is just my own approach.

I see Evernote and Todoist as apples and oranges. I use Evernote for information capture and retrieval, and Todoist for tracking action items. If you want to replace Evernote, look elsewhere (i.e. OneNote or SpringPad).

I store almost everything in Evernote, and think it is a fantastic tool for capturing, keeping, organizing and finding information. The new reminders are nice except for two problems:
1. Evernote's checklists are mostly just pretty formatting.
2. Alarms, tags and metadata are only at the note level.

So that I can be reminded wherever I am, I want a ubiquitous app with mobile and desktop clients. I also need alarms, hierarchical tasks, priority levels and tags/contexts. Todoist fits that bill. It is not perfect, but it does most of what I need even if it doesn't do everything I want.

To have it all fit together nicely, I use Taskclone.com
This app will scan Evernote and create individual tasks in Todoist (or any other todo app that can receive email) for each checkbox item in your notes. You can restrict it to certain notebooks and tags, if desired. Each task thus created has a note with the Evernote URL of the source note. Be aware that Taskclone does *not* sync the status of your tasks *back* to Evernote.

Again, I love Evernote for the ease of capturing, storing and finding just about anything, quickly. But it was not originally intended as a todo list maker, and it shows. There are a bunch of task managers that integrate with Evernote on different levels. A list is here: http://taskclone.com/blog/10-best-task-apps-with-evernote-integration/ The list omits https://www.zendone.com/

I've tried them all. I wanted some of them to work for me, but in the end, Todoist seemed to be the best solution for me -- even with its flaws. The new GMail plugin fixes one of the biggest ones for me, and main remaining "hole" for me is the lack of integration with cloud content like Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and what have you.

If your current Evernote system works well for you, stick with it.

Angela Sumbry premium
Replied on Nov 07, 2013 - 16:23 UTC

@Christian deTorres -- I have recently setup Taskclone and see this as the perfect opportunity to take full advantage of Evernote and Todoist. I have one question for you, I do not see my individual tasks emailed to todoist. How were you able to get this to work. THANKS!

Steve Holden
Replied on Nov 10, 2013 - 13:32 UTC

@Christian deTorres ...Thanks very much for your comprehensive and informative reply, sorry about the delay getting back.
I am going to save myself a load of time and take advantage of your research / experimentations.
I shall keep my beloved Evernote and continue to use it for what it was intended but leave the ToDo and Action items to ToDoist.
Thanks again my friend