Skip to main content

Saving E-Mail attachments to your Dropbox and then to your iPad

Since the iPad is not meant to do all the things we do with computers, I find myself now, when I encounter a task I cannot do on my iPad, wondering how I can make the iPad do it.

A good example :   once a week I receive an e-mail with a document attached.  I'd like that document to be in the GoodReader application on my iPad so it is available always, even if I am somewhere I do not have internet connectivity.

GoodReader brings in documents from Dropbox, so I wondered if Dropbox supported a way of e-mailing in a document.  After all, Evernote allows you to e-mail it content so it is a reasonable feature to expect.

Alas, Dropbox does not have that feature.

In my course of my research, I came across a little PC application, MailDrop from Michael Warren.

MailDrop watches your Gmail account and watches any e-mails belonging to a Gmail Label "Dropbox".  MailDrop then saves any attachments to your Dropbox account.

MailDrop is an app that runs on your PC.  To use it you have to :

1.  Add a folder called Dropbox to your Gmail
2.  Install MailDrop to your PC, and give it your Gmail login name and password
3.  Create a filter in Gmail so appropriate incoming e-mail end up with the Dropbox label

The filter I wrote simply takes any e-mails sent FROM my e-mail address, and TO my e-mail address and  that has an attachment, and applies the Dropbox label.

When I receive the document in my Gmail, I just forward it to myself and it ends up in Gmail so I can then bring it into GoodReader.  These last two steps that I do each week, I can do entirely on my iPad.  The portion done on my PC is entirely automatic.  I have MailDrop installed on a PC that never gets shut off.

That Gmail filter works with any e-mail I forward, not just the one I get each week.  I could, now that I think of it, have a filter to automatically label that expected weekly e-mail.

MailDrop was written long before the iPad came out, but it can be applied to solve an iPad shortcoming nicely.



  1. Why don't you just mark it directly with the Dropbox label rather than sending it to yourself? Seems like it is fewer clicks.

  2. I'm not the one originating the original e-mail. I am on a mailing list of people receiving it. And the act of sending it to myself is what makes MailDrop notice it and act on it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Using Automagic to get around a bug in Android Auto

I recently purchased a Google Pixel XL 32g phone. It is by far the best phone I've owned.

It is great company on my daily commute. The Android Auto app warns me of traffic, plays my podcasts for me, and lets me dictate text messages.  I've combined it with ReadItToMe so that my incoming text messages are read aloud.

I noticed on my first afternoon commute though the Do Not Disturb icon was turned on on my Android watch. At the next traffic light I discovered that Do Not Disturb was on on the phone as well.

A Google search at home found I was not alone in noticing/suffering this.  The Android Product Forum had mention of it.

People first reported this back in November 2016, so hopefully a fix will be coming.

Meanwhile, I worked out a workaround using AutoMagic.

The flow below detects the launch of Android Auto and then turns off Do Not Disturb by setting the Ringer on, and turning the audio volume up. I have tested it briefly here at home, but not yet on a commute.

Update: 3/10/…

Recording your own notes with Google Voice

Note :   April 2016:  Frankly I don't know if this works anymore.  It is 7 years old.

I stopped using this when Google Now became useful on my phone, and I could dictate reminders using it.

I found a way a while ago to use Google Voice to record a personal note, transcribe it, and email it to me. A recent Lifehacker post "Five Things We'd Like to See in Google Voice" lists that need as their #5 request, so I realized what I'd figured out is not common knowledge.

In GV's Contacts, create a Group "Special Transcription"

To avoid listening to my standard voice mail when I call, I recorded a short voice mail greeting for this group simply saying "Record note now"

I added a contact with my own cell phone number as the only number, and made it the sole member of this group.

In GV's phone settings, I edited the settings for my cell phone. In the section "Direct access to voicemail when calling your Google number from this phone?" I se…

Your First Day with Evernote

I've written many times before about Evernote.  I love this program.  It is my brain's memory on steroids.  I have over 6000 notes in it now.  And I keep finding ever more uses for it.

While originally written in 2009, this post has been frequently updated.

New January 2012:  If you like what I write about Evernote, check out my 136 page e-book,
 "Get Productive Fast with Evernote".  Just $10.

Sunday October 11, 2009 I wrote about Evernote in my print column, Family Tech. If you are wondering what is Evernote, and why would I want to use it, start with the column.

I promised in that column this post to help new users get efficient fast with Evernote.

I thought I'd write a quick plan for someone's first day with Evernote. This is really meant for after you've installed the client to your computer, so this picks up after you've gone to  Evernote's Get Started Page and created an account and downloaded and installed a client for your primary computer.