Bottom Line: You can use Launch Center Pro’s new in-app email to send email items to OmniFocus without leaving the app, as well as a URL scheme to send it through Drafts.

Like Drafts, Launch Center Pro is a pretty popular app with the productivity and OmniFocus-loving crowd, so I thought I’d post a few new ways to get tasks from LCP to OF. Like some of my other recent posts, these depend on being enrolled in OmniGroup’s Mail Drop (beta), an email-to-OmniFocus service. If you’re not on board with that yet, do it now — it’s really nice.

LCP’s recent update support a handful of new actions, one of which is in-app email. This obviously works a treat for emailing tasks to OmniFocus. Now LCP can also just add tasks directly to the OmniFocus iPhone app, which is great. Using the in-app email, however, you don’t have to lose LCP’s focus by opening the OmniFocus app at all, it just emailed in the background and you’re good to go. Additionally, this would seem to be a great way for OmniFocus users that don’t yet own OF for iPhone to add tasks from their iDevice. (Then again, I’m betting that the set of OmniFocus users nerdy enough to own LCP who don’t also own OF for iPhone is… not very big.)

Setup for first method (requires LCP and Mail Drop address)

  1. Copy your OmniFocus Mail Drop email address to the clipboard (trust me, do this first).
  2. New Action -> System Actions -> In-App Email -> Email with Body & Subject
  3. Name it whatever you want.
  4. Paste the email address from your clipboard into Recipients
  5. Click the “Subject” field, and tap the “Input Prompt” that appears above the keyboard, then choose “Keyboard.”
  6. The body of the email will be used as a note attached to the task, so put whatever you like (scroll down touch to see how I used TextExpander to add a datestamp here).

Here’s what it will look like if you edit the finalized action (so you can customize the icon).

Whenever you launch this action, it will give you an input prompt, where you type your task:

Upon clicking “Go” your email will appear. Click “Send.”

You might have noticed that my email body has a nicely formatted timestamp (although I prefer YYYYMMDD for anything that might need sorting). That happened by way of LCP’s TextExpander Touch support. To set this up, first make a new TextExpander snippet more or less like this:

Once that’s done, go through the steps above to create the action, but don’t finalize it yet. Placing the cursor in the Body field of the action, you can hit the te button above the keyboard to the far right, and it will insert <>. Between these, put in the name of your TextExpander snippet ( ,timestamp in my example). I used this key at the bottom of the Python datetime documentation to remind me what all the little percent characters meant.

Setup for second method (requires LCP, Drafts, and Mail Drop address)

This is somewhat silly, bit I really didn’t like having to click the “Send” button in the previous workflow. I wanted it to just give me a prompt, click “Go”, and be done (the way that Drafts doesn’t prompt me to “Send” the email, it just does it). So I took a few seconds to compose a URL that just redirects the LCP prompt to Drafts, which sends the email, and returns the focus to LCP (via x-callback-url support). I was pleased to find that it does this very quickly.

For this to work, you’ll first need to set up an “Email Action” in Drafts. Here is how mine is set up:

  • Name: Email to OmniFocus (this matters, you’ll see why soon. And this parenthetical statement is not part of the name. Duh.)

  • To: [email protected]

  • Subject: First Line

  • Send in Background: On

I also went into “Manage Actions” and set Drafts to “Delete” after success. Your call on this one, but if you leave it off, you’ll probably have a bunch of Drafts building up over time that will require manual deletion.

Once this is set up, write some junk and test the action to make sure it’s working. Your tasks should be synced into OmniFocus in just a few seconds.

Now, return to LCP. This time, create a new “Custom URL” action. Assuming your Drafts action is also called Email to OmniFocus, paste in the below URL. If you chose a different name, you’ll need to URL encode it, delete everything between &action= and &x-success=, and place it there.


Also, if you have Drafts set to use a key for added security with incoming URLs, add &key=Your_Key immediately before &x-success.

Don’t forget to give the action a name (I like QuickFocus) and an icon you like. Here’s mine:

When you launch the action, you’ll get the LCP prompt just like before, but this time when you hit Go…

…you’ll see the screen launch into Drafts momentarily, then immediately return to LCP.

The upside of this method is not having to hit “Send.” The downside is no ability to add a datestamp or custom stuff to the message body like the previous action. Then again, it might be possible with a little URL tweaking, but I’m not going to bother with that for now.

In closing… here’s a screenshot of my LCP layout. Just because.