ForumsTips & TricksMy Setup to Semi-automate Gmail, Toodledo, Evernote and Calendar

My Setup to Semi-automate Gmail, Toodledo, Evernote and Calendar
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Posted: Oct 30, 2013
Score: 1 Reference
Here's the system I've put together to implement GTD using Evernote, Toodledo, Gmail and several add-ons that provide for automated functionality.

It all starts with Gmail. This is where most things “start” in my business and personal life. In comes an email and something has to be done (task) or scheduled (event). First thing is to get it into Evernote. Once there I need to “convert” that Evernote “note” into a Toodledo “task” or create an “event” in Google Calendar.

To get the email into Evernote I use a Google script from called “gm2en” This script has some configuration choices. I keep it simple. Any email with the “label” “Evernote” will get processed (this label is configurable in gm2en). Generally, when I check my inbox I either (1) delete the email; (2) archive it; (3) answer and process in some way; or (4) label it “Evernote” if I want to process it to Evernote. Gm2en script periodically (15 minutes or some value which the user configures) sweeps through my Gmail account and creates a “note” in my Evernote account. (variation: some strict constructionists of GTD may want to also create a filter in their Gmail accounts that labels ALL INCOMING emails with “Evernote” label. In my case that puts way too many things into Evernote and really, I think, causes extra work). In addition gm2en puts a user-selected “tag” onto the Evernote “note” which was created. In my case the “note” is now in my “Actions Pending” notebook with the tag “Gmail.” Now that the email of interest is in Evernote we can process it further.

Back in Evernote all my emails of interest are now in my default notebook and tagged with “Gmail.” I take a look at all the notes tagged with “Gmail.” Some go into my notebook for saving info and ideas - “Cabinet” and otherwise tagged as needed, then I delete the “Gmail” tag. Now, a service called TaskClone takes over. If the “note” requires action then I edit the “note” and insert a checkbox at the beginning of any text defining something to be done. Alternatively, I can type in some text defining the action to be taken with a checkbox in front of that string of text. Then I can add any tags that are needed, and then add a final tag, “Toodledo” from my tag list. What you use as this “trigger” tag is up to the user – I chose “Toodledo.” Then TaskClone periodically sweeps my Evernote account, looks for the “tag” “Toodledo” , and creates tasks in Toodledo wherever it finds a checkbox. Sweet! A nice plus is that I can add any of the “email to Toodledo operators” such as “*”, “^”, !!! etc. and thereby automatically add other information to the “task” in Toodledo as it's created, such as Priority, Start Time, etc. When finished TaskClone adds a marker to the “note” indicating it has been synced to Toodledo, thereby avoiding repetitive logging.

Finally, if the “note” created in Evernote from the email requires a calendar entry (event in Google Calendar), then TaskClone handles that, too. To create an “event” I add a checkbox at the beginning of the event text (or type it in) with “Schedule:” directly after the checkbox. The “event” text can be followed with plain English time text like “tomorrow” or “tomorrow at 2 PM” or articulated dates like “10/1/2013 2:32 AM”

Evernote Premium, Toodledo subscription and TaskClone all cost money. Some users object to the cost. For me, once they are all put into a fast and reliable system for handling all my data, information, task and appointment needs that is both digital and mobile, then the cost is well worth it. If I can add one billable hour per year with this system, I've more than paid for it!

Posted: Oct 30, 2013
Score: 0 Reference
Should also add that I use Powerbot, too. It provides many useful options beyond my simple system. Powerbot is very flexible on my Mac and PCs but doesn't run on iPad or iPhone. The system I described above runs on other platforms just fine, for me.


Posted: Nov 18, 2013
Score: 0 Reference
Thanks for the mention of TaskClone. I'm glad it's meeting some of your needs. Thanks also for making me aware of the Google script. I'll have to look into that. Here at TaskClone, we've been longtime Toodledo users who are learning to master the Google universe.

Can the Google Script add tags or file in notebooks? I've been just forwarding to Evernote inbox and editing the subject in Gmail to get things into Evernote in an organized fashion.

Posted: Feb 14, 2014
Score: 0 Reference
Nice stuff.
You can also use some ifttt scripts to automate evernote2calendar and evernote2toodledo2evernote.
I also easily created in ifttt a script that if an email has the label "evernote" it will automatically be sent there.
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