Email

11 Creative ways to turn your emails into tasks – Use cases

Take control of your inbox and turn your emails into productive tasks. If you are wondering how check out these 11 creative use cases.

First published

28.10.2022

Last edited

03.11.2022

Read time

7 minutes


    By James

    James has five years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

    How to turn emails into tasks

    Turning your emails into tasks can be a really useful way to stay on top of all the things you need to do.

    It means you can have a quick overview of every task that needs completing without ever leaving your inbox.

    So how do you do it? There are plenty of to-do apps that let you create tasks, but few if any let you turn your emails directly into tasks without forcing you to move to a new app.

    Thankfully, there’s Mailbutler!

    Mailbutler Tasks lets you quickly and easily attach tasks to both your emails and your email contacts, all within the comfort of your inbox.

    Set due dates, share your to-dos with all of your team members, and even use Mailbutler’s clever automations to save yourself time.

    There will be more information on Mailbutler tasks later in this article.

    For now, let’s hear from our selected experts:

    Google Tasks 

    Tasks is an application included in Gmail that Google provides. The app gives you a few more customization options than the web version, but it’s a simple to-do list manager.

    The Tasks app is a solid choice if you wish to have something simple that integrates with your Gmail inbox.

    Email can be converted into a task with a couple of clicks: Click on the “More” button in the taskbar and select “Add to Tasks.”

    Also, Shift+T works the same way if you prefer shortcuts. As soon as you create a new task, the Tasks app appears in the sidebar.

    You can add details, an additional due date, or subtasks to the task by clicking the Edit icon.

    The changes will be automatically saved, so you don’t need to keep them.

    You can move an email to your Archive by clicking the Archive button in your Inbox (or using the keyboard shortcut “e”). 

    Tim Clarke, Director of Sales, SEOBlog.com 

    Snooze your emails 

    One of the most obvious ways to manage your emails is to use things like a ‘snooze’ function which will hide the relevant email from your inbox and bring it back at the time you decide. 

    It’s not bad but it still really isn’t a task. For that I recommend the excellent Chrome plug-in from Mailbutler.io.

    It has excellent tasks and reminders, and notes as well as an excellent email tracking feature.

    For people starting out on their email task journey, this is most definitely the easiest software to use because it’s integrated directly into Apple Mail, Gmail, or Outlook.

    Shane McEvoy, Managing director, Flycast Media 

    Use email autoresponders 

    One of the most popular methods is email autoresponders, which automatically send an email once a task has been completed.

    This allows you to track what needs doing and makes it easy for people to stay on top of their To-Do lists.  

    Another great option is sending reminder emails about tasks that need completing. This way, people won’t forget anything and will be more likely to complete them on time.

    If someone misses a deadline, they’ll know exactly what needs to be done to make up for the lost time.   

    Abdul Rahim, Founder, Software Test Tips 

    Use the If This Then That (IFTTT) platform 

    If you’re using Gmail, you can use the If This Then That (IFTTT) platform, which can connect your email account to various other apps and services.

    This way, any time an email needs to be turned into a task, you can automatically have it added to your task list without lifting a finger.

    For example, if you want to create a task every time you receive an email from your boss, you can use the following IFTTT recipe: “if someone sends an email with ‘Task’ in the subject line, then add that email as a task in my productivity app.

    There are tons of different recipes that you can use to turn emails into tasks automatically.

    You can find them by searching on IFTTT or browsing the other channels on IFTTT.

    Mariusz Michalowski, Community Manager, Spacelift

    How to turn emails into tasks

    Use an external task management app

    If your team already uses a project management tool, then this is a great excuse to incorporate email as part of the ecosystem.

    Platforms like Trello and Monday.com provide plug-ins which integrate with Gmail. These plug-ins move tasks away from your personal inbox and onto each respective platform.

    From there, you can quickly transform any email into an action item, fit with a description, assignee, and deadline.

    This leads to more visibility over what each team member is currently working on, which means that teams stay on the same page when tasks need urgent attention.

    For us, this simple integration has rapidly improved our internal communication capabilities and reduced our margin for human error. 

    Max Wesman, COO, GoodHire

    Dissect the email using a project management platform

    Some emails may be heavily worded, and not all the information is worth passing onto your team members.

    Rather than sharing the entire message, you can use platforms like ClickUp and Asana to break down the email into simpler tasks for your team.  

    Say you received an email on an upcoming product launch.

    You can use the introduction of that email as the overview for your project in the management platform. 

    Then, extract the details of the message to delegate relevant tasks to differently skilled employees.

    If the message mentions the need for graphics, then you’ll need to assign a task and deadline for your designer.

    Likewise, you may need to include your copywriter in the mix. Consider the template a rough summary of the workflow you’re about to create and share with your team.

    Patrick Casey, Director of Growth Marketing, Felix Health 

    Make use of email templates 

    If you find yourself sending the same types of email messages over and over again, take the time to create a message template that includes all of the relevant information.

    That way, you can simply fill in the blanks when composing a new message, saving yourself time and frustration. 

    Robin Salvador, Chief Marketing Officer, SeekFast.org

    Gmail + Asana App Integration

    I hate storing any information in my head no matter how big or small it is. As an old-school guy, I follow GTD (Getting Things Done) almost like a bible. My goal is to turn every minor stuff into an actionable task.

    This is how I came across the Asana plugin for Gmail.

    Anytime there is an email that needs to be added as a task, I get to do that with just a few clicks.

    Most of the fields are filled automatically so you don’t really have to think too much.

    The task will have the context copied from your email as well.

    You can leave comments right from your inbox, like comments, or simply mark a task complete.

    Things can be done the other way around by setting up Rules in Asana. You can add trigger actions as rules to send emails from your Gmail account automatically.

    For people who hate to let things fall through the cracks, this plugin can be a game changer. 

    Andreas Grant, Founder, Networks Hardware

    Toodledo 

    Toodledo is an innovative solution for transforming emails into actionable items. Setting up your email address is required in order to get tasks by email in your Toodledo account.

    To do this, select your image from the profile menu.

    When you do that, a sub-menu will display. If you select More, you’ll be taken to a page where you can access the Tools menu.

    To change settings, go to the Tools and Services menu and select the Configure subheading.  

    To begin importing emails, go to the new screen and select the option to do so under Email Service.

    Click the Save Changes button when you’re done. Any message sent to this address will automatically become a task in Toodledo. The standard procedure is to rename the task in the subject line and turn the body into a note. 

    Travis Lindemoen, Managing Director, Nexus IT Group 

    Wunderlist

    In my opinion, Wunderlist is the most innovative approach to transforming email into actionable items.

    Emails from several accounts can be used to create Wunderlist tasks, but only if those accounts are added to your account settings under Email Addresses.

    Each email address can be associated with a unique default list, allowing you to direct tasks addressed to that account to a specific list of your choosing. 

    Robert Warner, Head of Marketing, VirtualValley

    Todoist

    Todoist is an email task application for managing your tasks. You can integrate Todoist with Mailbutler and increase your productivity.

    New tasks can be easily added by forwarding emails to Todoist.

    After a new task has been created, its creator can assign it a priority, add a due date, a reminder, a sub-task, and share the task with others. The usage of productivity visualization tools might help you keep track of your tasks as you do them. 

    Holly Cooper, Content Manager, Lucas Products & Services

    How to create tasks with Mailbutler

    Conclusion

    By following these simple tips, you can take control of your inbox and turn your emails into productive tasks. With a little bit of creativity, taming your email inbox can be easy and fun.

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