Add Starred Slack Messages to Things 3

I’ve used OmniFocus to manage my tasks since it was KinklessGTD, but after trialing Things 3 for a month or so, I decided to switch. For the most part, the transition was painless, but one thing was really bugging me.

I want to have starred items in slack show up in my Inbox.

With OmniFocus, this was fairly easy to achieve. I had a Zapier Zap configured to send an email to my OmniFocus Maildrop. Turns out, it’s not so easy with Things.

The Goal

We want to turn this:

Into this:

UPDATE (2017–12–13) — Since publishing this, Cultured Code have released Mail to Things, which works a bit like Omnifocus’ Maildrop. It make’s some of the process below redundant.

Step 1: Set up a new list in iOS Reminders ✅

This is probably the simplest step. Open Reminders and create a new list called Things Inbox, under your iCloud account.

Step 2: Set Things to pull from Reminders ☑️

This is also pretty easy. Open Things’ preferences and configure it to pull todos from your new Reminders list. You’ll have to do this on every device where you have Things installed.

Step 3: Configure an IFTTT Recipe 👨‍🍳

Set up a new IFTTT Recipe. For the this part, search for webhook and choose the receive web request trigger. Give it a sensible name.

For the that part, search for iOS Reminders and choose the Add reminder to list action. Configure the text of the todo item however you want, but be sure to include Value1 and Value2 parameters. Set the list name to your newly created iOS Reminders list.

At this point, if we send a web request to the IFTTT trigger, containing two bits of data, we should eventually see the item show up in our Things inbox.

Step 4: Create a Zap to Fire the Web Request ⚡️

Finally, we need to create a Zapier Zap to join the last bits together. Assuming you’ve already authenticated Zapier with Slack, add a Zap with a trigger for Starred messages:

Now add a second step using the Zapier Webhooks action, and configure it to send a POST request:

Finally, configure the webhook URL to match the one provided by your IFTTT recipe (I’ve removed some characters from the end of mine for security). Make sure you set the payload type to form and map the text and permalink to value1 and value2 respectively.

That’s All

It’s far from ideal, but it does work. Just as a recap, here’s what happens when you star a Slack message:

Slack > Zapier > IFTTT > iCloud Reminders > Things 3

If anyone knows of a less convoluted way to achieve this, please let me know on twitter @dannysmith!