voicemail to omnifocus with keyboard maestro

Like many of you, I get deluged with voicemail messages, which is almost like a double whammy, because our phone system sends my voicemail messages to my email inbox. I’ve recently come up with a way to create a new OmniFocus task that contains the date and time of a voicemail message, allowing me to sort my messages in OmniFocus based on the time received. The OmniFocus task also contains a link back to the voicemail message (but see below for a glitch that may be unique to my phone system).

I put this system together thanks to Keyboard Maestro. I’m barely competent with Keyboard Maestro, but I was able to pilfer bits and pieces of other macros (and an AppleScript) from the Keyboard Maestro forums, and couple it with a good deal of tinkering.

Here’s what the macro looks like (but you can download it below, if you don’t want to put it together by hand):

Macro part 1
Macro part 2
Macro part 3

DON’T FORGET . . .

A couple of things to remember to get this to work properly:

  • Make sure the Mail message is selected at the time you fire the macro with the keystroke (Control+Option+Command+I). Otherwise, if the cursor focus is elsewhere, it won’t work;

  • You will either need to create an OmniFocus project and context that match the ones I use in the macro, or modify the macro to match your own project/context. In this macro, the typing actions (“voice” and “phone”) find my “voicemail” project and “phone” context.

THE APPLESCRIPT

If you want to tweak the macro, here is a link to download the AppleScript contained in the macro above:

AppleScript for macro

The full macro can be downloaded at the end of this post.

THE RESULT

The macro creates a new task starting with the symbols/letters “**VM”, followed by the date and time the voicemail message was sent. I can then sort my voicemail messages by date and time.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

The macro is not perfect, through no fault of Keyboard Maestro. On OS X, you usually can grab a link (a URL) to a mail message, put that link into the note field of an OmniFocus task, and jump to the Mail message by clicking on the link. Unfortunately, there is something strange about the Mail messages created by my voicemail server, as links to those messages don’t work, regardless of the app I try to place them in. Maybe you’ll have better luck with your voicemail system. I’m currently trying to tweak the macro to copy the voicemail attachment into Dropbox, and generate a Dropbox link that will work across platforms.

I’d also like to tweak the macro so it will start to autoplay the audio attachment, and toggle back to the OmniFocus task, with the cursor ready to go at the end of the task field. That’s a job for another day, though.

THE DOWNLOAD

You can download the entire macro here.