I wrote a few months ago about the troubles I have with messages. At the time, I decided my solution was to start deleting all messages that didn’t require action. That strategy lasted about a month. It was just too much work deleting messages and it didn’t take me long to realize I might need those deleted messages. Just as I was trying to figure out a new approach to all of this, Flexibits (the same guys that brought us Fantastical) released Chatology.
Chatology indexes your messages. It keeps track of who you’ve chatted with and what was said. It also remembers when the conversations took place and any pictures or links that may have exchanged. Using all of this data, you can search your messages several ways. For example, if if you know someone recommended a great Thai restaurant to you in the last month but can’t remember the name of the restaurant or who told you, type “Thai” in Chatology’s search bar and you’ll find it. Another example comes from my wife, who often sends me great pictures via messages. Using Chatology I can isolate these images and put them somewhere more permanent.
So partly as a result of Chatology, I’ve flipped on my initial workflow and now I’m keeping all of my messages. Chatology brings a much needed dose of sanity to managing a large message database. As to my initial problem (and post), capturing OmniFocus tasks on the Mac from Messages is easy enough with the OmniFocus text clipper. On iOS, I can forward a text message to my Omni Mail Drop address. I think I’ve now got this problem more or less wrangled. I still, however, prefer that people send me actionable information some way other than messages.