Integrating Things 3 with Microsoft Outlook on Mac

Very annoying that Cultured Code’s Things 3 does not integrate with Microsoft Outlook. But I’m about to help you change that, and best part is that it’s pretty easy (only 3 steps).

By the end of this post you’ll be able to save e-mails to your Things inbox with a simple shortcut keyboard command.

Step 1: Create an Automator service to link your Outlook messages to Things

In this step we’ll create a script which will let Microsoft Outlook talk to Things. For non-technical people this will be the most difficult step. Stick with it! I believe in you :)

How your finished Automator service should look
  • Open Automator on your Mac (it’s in Applications folder)
  • Create a new ‘Service’ from the main menu
  • On the top bar in the main editor ensure that Service receives is set to ‘no input’ and in is set to ‘any application’
  • In the Actions search for ‘Run AppleScript’, double click to add to the editor and paste the code found here: https://gist.github.com/crsrusl/67eee8497dd296879fe1a832b3205f0a
  • Save your new service as something memorable like “Things and Outlook integration”

Step 2: Create a keyboard shortcut to add Microsoft Outlook e-mails into Things

Well done if you’ve made it this far. The next step is even easier.

The keyboard shortcut preference panel
  • Go to your System Preferences and select Keyboard
  • Select Shortcuts from the tabs across the top and then select Services from the options on the left
  • Scroll down to General in the main screen on the right, find your service (created in part 1) and select the checkbox to enable it
  • Double click the shortcut which should say none at this stage and then press the keys you want to use as your shortcut command (I’ve used ⌘§, but you could use any key combination you like)

Step 3: Testing it works

In this section we’ll test it all works. If you’ve followed the steps above it should!

  • Open Microsoft Outlook and select an e-mail
  • Press your your shortcut key command (created in step 2)
  • The Things quick menu should open and be pre-populated with the e-mail information
  • Press enter to save the item to your Things inbox, or escape to close the item