Integrating Things 3 with Microsoft Outlook on Mac (Updated: 2020)

Chris Russell
Aug 3, 2017 · 3 min read

Its been nearly three years since I created this script and things have moved on. The original Applescript stopped working, so I’ve updated it for you below. Follow the instructions below, and you will be able to integrate Things with the newest versions of Outlook.

Very annoying that Cultured Code’s Things 3 does not integrate with Microsoft Outlook. But I’m about to help you change that, and the best part is that it’s pretty easy (only three 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 challenging 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 (it is called “Quick Action”)
  • On the top bar in the main panel 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, it gets easier from here.

The keyboard shortcut preference panel
  • Go to your System Preferences and select Keyboard
  • Select Shortcuts from the tabs across the top and then choose 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 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
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