Mountain Lion: task management

Using Mountain Lion’s Mail and Reminders, you can create a system that will alert you when something important happens. With MailTags 3.1.2 in the mix, you have yourself a complete task management system.

Reminders is Mountain Lion’s concept of what used to be tasks. Instead of integrating it with Mail or iCal, it’s become a separate app. If Mail is your central hub for managing communication around projects and tasks, Reminders will be your friend. By simply dragging a message heading to the Reminders window, you can create reminders easily.

If you want Reminders to notify you of an imminent task or deadline, then all you need to do is set a notification date and optionally a due date. You can also have Reminders alert when you leave or arrive at a location. For this to work, the system needs to know where you are, and on the first use will ask you politely if it can set your location using your wired or wireless network. When you set one of these events, Mountain Lion will use its Notification Center system to alert you of the event at the precise time you specified, or when you left or arrived at the location you entered in the dialogue sheet.

Mountain Lion Reminders: drag a message and it will link to it

It’s a good system for basic task management, but there are two problems with this approach:

  • Your reminders and notifications always appear at the far right of the screen and stay visible for a non-customisable duration
  • You need to have Reminders open and running for the system to work.

If you want to have a complete Mail driven task and project management system that lets you handle all tasks, projects and reminders within Mail, and which integrates with other apps as well as with iCal, Spotlight, OmniFocus and Think, then the 22.00 Euros spent on MailTags 3.1.2 will pay off.

MailTags on Mountain Lion: how to get Tickle Dates alerts via Notification Center

Note: Make sure you view the screencast below!

MailTags 3.1.2 is compatible with Mountain Lion

With MailTags you can set a tickle date on a message. The message will slowly take on the colour you set in the Tickle date colour preference panel, but MailTags will not automatically integrate with Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.

MailTags also doesn’t use Reminders, but there’s a trick to make it work with Notifications. It’s not simply setting a Rule that will send a Notification, as that only works with the few options Mail supports. To see these, go to the General panel of the Mail Preferences and select the drop-down next to “New message notifications”. These options are the only ones that will work with the Notification action in the Rules dialogue.

If you nevertheless want to use MailTags’ Tickle date as a trigger for a Notification, then all you have to do is create a Rule that will forward the original message to yourself within one day of the Tickle date.

To do this, click on the Rules icon in Mail’s Preferences, click the New Rule button and in the Rule sheet, name the new Rule to something useful (like “tickle date”).

Set the condition of the Rule to “MailTags Tickle Date is within 1 day from today”. Set the action for the Rule to Forward a message to yourself and add something descriptive in the forwarded message dialogue box.

Now, when the date is within a day of the Tickle date, the original message will be forwarded to you, including the pre-defined forwarded message. The forwarded message will be captured by Mountain Lion’s Notification Center and you will get the usual alert. It simply is the best of both worlds.

The screencast will open in a new tab or window. Alternatively, right-clicking will download the movie to your desktop.


One Reply to “Mountain Lion: task management”

  1. Your tool requires a lot of effort as I have understood after having read the story. How much is it to install the tool? I use Comindware task manager which is free, but I want some new tool for me personally.


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