Emailing files to Dropbox

Dropbox (referral link) is the service that Mobile Me should have been. Apple really missed the mark with MobileMe especially in the file syncing arena. Innovation does not tolerate a vacuum or even a partial suck. Dropbox filled that void nicely and the ubiquitous integration with iOS apps has made it indispensable. That's one reason I am a happy paying customer.

If I pay for a service, it's usually because I am deriving significant value from it. There are many tools I develop myself but some are so well done that I don't want to waste my time trying to make a pale reflection. Dropbox is one of those services.

I do, however, build my own tools around Dropbox. One of those tools is my send to Dropbox email rule. Since I am already running a Mac 24 hours a day, why not make the most of it. With Apple's Mail always on and filtering messages, I get fewer spam message and my incoming messages get sorted into their appropriate folders automatically. I don't need to see things like iTunes and Amazon receipts unless I want to. Another tool My Dropbox Mail rule is fairly simple. In I set up a rule that processes messages sent to my task email address I talked about here.



If the message subject begins with "Dropbox:OF" (for Dropbox OmniFocus) then the attachment is processed by an Applescript that moves it to Dropbox.

using terms from application "Mail"

on perform mail action with messages theMessages for rule theRule

tell application "Mail"

repeat with oneMessage in theMessages

set {mail attachment:theAttachments} to oneMessage

repeat with oneAttachment in mail attachments of oneMessage

save oneAttachment in ("Macintosh HD 2:Dropbox:Todo Files:") & (name of oneAttachment)

end repeat

end repeat

end tell

end perform mail action with messages

end using terms from


That's all there is to it. Any file I can email will be added to Dropbox. My work machine is locked down to prevent application installation. That means no Dropbox on Windows for me. That was my primary motivation for developing this little tool. It works so well, I also use it from my iPhone. It is a modest and simple version of Evernote. Take a quick picture of a whiteboard from a meeting and email it to my inbox on Dropbox. Boom! Seamless workflow from meeting to Inbox.