Automatic Note creating by sending E-Mail

Hey All,

Let me start with some history background before stating my Feature Request.

Just like @nickmilo and many others I am relentlessly looking at new ways to enhance my workflow in order to structure my existing Body of Knowledge (BOK). Let’s call this Knowledge Management (KM) for the sake of this topic.

I don’t know if this idea would help everyone and I don’t know if it resonates but I was thinking of Obsidian as the KM tool by excellence as it captured my attention March/April this year and hasn’t stopped doing that so far. I was a fan from the moment I saw the first screen and fell in love with all the features, the rapid updates and the vibrant community. In such way that I decided to use Obsidian as my KM-tool by preference. A choice I did not regret one second until now. The current state of the tool (Obsidian) allows me to do it in a great way!

What I am struggling with is the multiple external inboxes I need to take care of (Zotero, Feedly, Youtube Watch Later lists, Podcast backlogs,…) which are the digital sources from which I am extracting my own personal thoughts to let them percolate in my Personal BOK.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just send a mail (or CC one) to an address like name.surname(.insertpoint)@obsidian.md after which the body of the mail would magically be transformed to a Markdown-file (note) at the insert point (Inbox, root folder or other location) of your vault

Tools like Atlasssian for example have this feature built-in in order to enhance their workflows.

Would this be helpful?

7 Likes

Interesting thought… but doesn’t this become problematic due to the fact that all the md files are “local” (not hosted)? That would raise a whole lot of security issues for me… no idea what the devs would make of it. I can however imagine some kind of plugin which could hook into the various email / subscription options out there (perhaps… thinking off the top of my head … scanning a pre-determined IMAP folder in your own email account??), and could work locally to retrieve the information and write it to your vault? For me it is more of a plugin request than a core feature.

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I agree, however I could see it also being incorporated into their planned “sync” service.

Good point… I hadn’t thought of that, but I’m not one for sync services… part of the appeal of Obsidian for me is that it runs on local files and transmits very minimal info (or none if you don’t log in!) hence thinking “plugin” rather than “feature”

This is a very valid remark.
I haven’t thought of this “hosted” remark.
Your idea to scan the account sparked a new thought which I am developing right now.
I am writing a Python script to read the inbox of a specific GMail address and make Markdown files of every new message which I’ll place in the Inbox folder of the vault.
I’ll certainly report this when it’s finished!

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@RikD New to Obsidian but I have been trying to do the same. Found a way to do this by storing my vault in a cloud storage and a email client that is accessible using an integration tool like Power Automate or Zapier. Workflows goes something like this.

  1. Find something I want to add to my vault.
  2. Send to email (you can add a +{any string} to gmail.com if you use it so something like [email protected]).
  3. Power automat flow kicks off if email arrives to step #2 address
  4. Transform that data in the email using Power Automate steps to get into the format you want.
  5. Save to your cloud storage (I used google drive) as an .md file in the vault.
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Sorry for the delayed answer. Some other issues that needed to be tackled.
What you do in Zapier and other integration tools is directly in the Python script.
The Python script generates a MarkDown-file in an inbox-directory of a vault.
My workflow by the way to take an inbox approach: keeps me more focussed and avoids overflowing or forgetting. I tend to keep my inbox under 50 files (things I am working on).
From there (regarding the flow) they go into definitive ‘places’ (I call it my Ocean).
Added (edited)
All the files are on OneDrive (kinda “hosted”) personal folder which is not accessible by other (but when need to share it there is a possibility).
Due to OneDrive integration on OSX (and other OSes) the files are accessed ‘locally’ and synchronised automatically which makes I will never lose my second brain :wink:

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Can we see the script?

Guy

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It wouldn’t be as seamless but I’m curious if folks would be interested in forwarding the email to a service and it would reply back with the markdown file attached.