This is a follow-up to my post about using Apple Reminders for tasking. As happy as I am about Reminders and it’s ability to sync with my myriad of iOS devices, there was a vital component missing from the workflow…the ability to easily add and email to Reminders and reference it later. My solution came in the form of a Contextual Menu (right-click) Service. I can now view and email in Apple Mail, right-click in the email body and add it to Reminders. The best part is that this script automagically adds the email subject as the Reminder title, the email body as the Reminder note and provides a link at the end of the note back to the email in Apple Mail should I need to reference attachments.

Here’s how to get your email into Reminders

1. Open Automator (if you don’t know where to find it, try searching with Spotlight)

2. Select “Service”


3. At the top of the right pane, be sure that the drop-downs read “text” and “any application” and that the “Output replaces selected text” is unchecked.


4. Search for “Run AppleScript” in the Actions Library


5. Drag “Run AppleScript” into the gray pane to the right


6. Replace all contents of the “Run AppleScript” window with the following:

on run {input, parameters}
  tell application "Calendar" to activate
  tell application "Calendar"
    set miniaturized of window 1 to true
    tell application "Mail"
      set theSelection to selection
      set theMessage to item 1 of theSelection
      set theurl to "message://%3c" & theMessage's message id & "%3e"
      set thedes to theMessage's content & "Show in Mail " & "message://%3c" & theMessage's message id & "%3e"
      set input to theMessage's subject
    end tell
  end tell
  tell application "Calendar"
    tell calendar "Reminders"
      make new todo at end with properties {url:theurl, summary:input, description:thedes}
      tell application "Reminders" to activate
    end tell
  end tell
  return input
end run

The script opens and minimizes the Calendar (there is an association between Reminders and the Calendars that must be made), Opens Reminders and uses the email Subject and Body for the Reminder title and note, and then adds a link back the original email at the end of the note (the link only works on a desktop or laptop). 


7. The end result will look like this


8. Save the Service as “Add to Reminders” (be sure to save it to your USERNAME > Library > Service folder). And thats it! Now when you receive an action item through email, simply right-click in the message body and “Add to Reminders.”

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 3.15.45 PM

I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me 🙂

*Note, I am not the original author of the pieces of this AppleScript. I assembled it after exhaustive Googling.