Creating OmniFocus Tasks from Outlook E-Mails

I have been using Apple Mail and the OmniFocus service to create tasks that link back to the e-mail. However, I have become frustrated with Apple Mail and its synching, and have switched to Outlook for my work e-mail. I would like to use a Keyboard Maestro shortcut to create a Task in OF from an e-mail in Outlook. Has anyone doe this? If so, can they share? Thanks!

Hook may be able to work for this. However, I’ve never tried it myself. I also read recently that the latest version of Outlook breaks AppleScript support, so KM may not be an option.

I used to have a working Apple Script but, the “new” outlook broke its functionality. I have narrowed down the part of the script that is broken but, I don’t have enough Apple Script knowledge or time now to figure it out. Right now, I have been forwarding them to my Omni email address which is less than ideal. My employer forces us to use Outlook so a solution to this problem would be great.

This might not be exactly what you’re looking for, but I use to kind of replicate the OmniFocus service in (add link to email to OmniFocus task note).

Keyboard Maestro macro is:

A short description:

  • invoke (via CTRL-SHIFT-backtick)
  • copy the hook:// link to the selected Outlook email (CTRL-C)
  • open the OmniFocus Quick Entry panel (OPT-SPACE)
  • open to the Notes field in the Quick Entry panel (CMD-apostrophe)
  • paste in the Hook link into the notes field (CMD-V)
  • navigates back to the task entry field and waits for me to type something (up arrow)

The macro is all interface scripting and keyboard shortcuts, so it takes a second or two to complete. I suspect that this could be replicated in AppleScript, but I’ve never been terribly proficient in that language and this works for what I need it to do, so :man_shrugging:.

One limitation/caveat is that I don’t know if/how this might work on iOS. AFAIK, Outlook doesn’t offer a native URL scheme on MacOS. Consequently, generates its own hook:// link [^1]. I haven’t found a way to use those Hook:// links on iOS, although I’ll admit I haven’t looked terribly hard as I’m fine doing this on the desktop only. Clicking on the Hook:// link in OmniFocus will open the email is a separate Outlook window rather than in 3-pane-preview mode.

[^1]: if an app offers its own URL scheme, Hook should copy the native URL scheme. It works for me with Drafts, Bear, DEVONthink, and Safari.


Thanks, I will look into that. You mention I don’t see an app called Hook in the Mac app store. Am I missing something?

Sorry, that’s my way of writing app names … a throwback to Merlin’s references of “mail DOT app” back in the day, I suspect.

Its Hook Productivity. MPU 560 has a nice interview with the lead developer of

I believe that the Hook link for Outlook will only work on the Mac where the link was created, so if you sync, it won’t work on the other Mac(s) and I don’t know what happens if you were to get a new one.

Has anyone found a solution to this conundrum?

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Sadly, no. Every so often, I take a quick look and always come back empty handed.

That’s a shame. My current solution is to drag the email into Things’ notes field which gives me a file:///... link to the .eml file. I can right click and open the email in outlook. That’s as close as I’ve got.

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A few months more (if they don’t push it back again)


Awesome. This makes me a bit more hopeful. :slight_smile:

If you don’t mind a little bit of goofing around, you can also forward the email to OmniFocus. There’s a set of scripts from Joe Buhlig that allow you to do funky stuff like set due dates and such based on what’s in the subject line, and a Keyboard Maestro action can programmatically populate that subject line.

I realize that’s a bunch of hassle, but the key there is that it’s handled in Omnifocus, therefore it’s email-client agnostic.

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This is a great strategy. I will take a look and see if I can set things up in this manner. I appreciate it.