Attaching notes to emails

I’m looking for an email client that allows me to add “notes to self” to emails.

The closest thing I’ve seen (but I haven’t tried it) is Mailbutler. There are two issues that dissuade me from trying it:

  1. No iOS version
  2. It’s a pretty hefty annual subscription for this one feature. (I don’t really need anything else from it.)

Is there any other client that support notes for emails?

(P.S. I’m not looking for entirely different workflows like adding tasks in my task manager with a link back to the email. That’s what I’m trying to avoid :slight_smile: )

Spark has a Teams feature that allows you to have a chat thread alongside an email. You might be able to use this solo to do what you want. It has an iOS client and you can probably get by with their free tier.

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Is seems that Outlook is also supporting the attachment of notes to email on a rudimentary level.

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I use MailButler for free. What are you going to use the notes feature for? just curious

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Huh, that hadn’t occurred to me. I’ll take a look at that.

The free version of MailButler doesn’t support notes, unfortunately.

One of the principles of GTD is not to think the same thing multiple times. When I look at an email I make a decision as to what the follow-up is. If it’s time-sensitive, complex, etc., I create a task in my todo app. But for simpler tasks, I wish I could just add a brief reminder to myself and file it for processing later.


I have the same need… have you found a solution for this?

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There’s our Hook productivity app for Mac that addresses this issue on Mac, but more generally. I.e., not just with mail but with anything. Basically, Hook enables you to link almost anything to almost anything. So you can

  1. select an email message,
  2. invoke Hook, and
  3. Select “Link to New” (⌘N),

and a note in the default note-taking app will be created. Works with Apple Mail, MailMate, Outlook and AirMail. Part of the beauty is that your notes are not stuck in the email client. If you switch email app, the links between messages and notes will still work. Readdle’s Spark email client lacks AppleScript support unfortunately so they don’t support this yet (perhaps user demand will have an impact there).

Here are examples with Mailmate..

Hook is very lean. It just provides the links between individual items (e.g., mail, PDF, web pages, documents, files, etc.). Whether the “note” is an diagram (e.g., OmniGraffle), task (e.g., OmniFocus, Things, Task Paker), other document (Pages, TextEdit, Word, Brett Terpstra’s nvALT or nvUltra etc.), etc., is mostly up to you. Hook can even auto-store linked notes in personal information managers like Evernote and EagleFiler. (Hook’s support for Tinderbox is coming very soon based on Rob Trew’s scripts. (Hook is highly scriptable.))

However : Hook’s not on iOS yet. But you can setup Hook to store your notes in the cloud so you can get them on your notes. (E.g., in Dropbox, Documents). Or Hook can auto-create Evernote notes. Naming conventions can also be used in Hook so that you can quickly access your notes on iOS with Spotlight.

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I just got back from a meditation retreat and I’m swamped with emails to process.

I just tried using Hook with my email app (Apple Mail) and main note taking app (Sublime Text) and it works really well.

I’m missing iOS support only partly because I mostly need this for my work and I do most of my work on a laptop. Just in case I need to refer to something on iOS, I can probably share the folder of Sublime Text note files with Dropbox (symlinks?) to access with 1Writer on iOS.

The bigger missing feature is indicating that this email now has a note attached. The only option I can think of is to be develop an Alfred workflow that does the following:

  1. Somehow flag the item, probably by moving to a specific folder.
  2. Open hook and automatically create the Sublime Text note if one doesn’t exist, else open it.

This broadly seems okay, and would also give me a clue on iOS that there’s an available note.

I’m not sure how to process deleting unneeded notes. I already have an Alfred workflow for Apple Mail that removes flags and archives the item. I could probably add a detail there to delete (or otherwise indicate that the note has been “used” in case I need to refer to it later) the Hook note in Sublime Text.

Mail butler actually just created an iOS app! It’s not great yet, but it’s something to try.

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