Capturing Information using EmailToIQ

Capturing Information using EmailToIQ

What is it all about...

Sometimes, you want to capture some information and you are either not at your computer, or InfoQube is not running or you're using a mobile device.
The EmailToIQ feature really comes in handy in these situations.
The basic principle is to configure IQ to poll a special email address and import any new content.
Importing information into IQ is then as simple as emailing the desired content. As a bonus, this content is also in your emails, searchable on all your devices.

1. Step 1: Create a new email address

This is the address you'll be sending information to, and which IQ will poll. It is best if it serves this sole purpose, so create a new email address. Any IMAP enabled address is valid.
GMail is a good choice for this purpose, because it is free and has great searching capabilities. To connect to this new GMail address, 2 cases, depending on the account setting:
  1. 2-Step verification is OFF: Enable Less secure apps and use the account password in the IQ dialog.
    Details here:

  2. 2-Step verification is ON (Recommended): Create an application specific password.
    It is this application specific password you'll enter in the IQ dialog below.
    As a bonus, should you change your main mail account password (recommended every few months), IQ will not require re-connection since it is using an application specific password
    Details here:

2. Step 2: Configure your IQBase

The second step is to configure IQ to poll a special email address.
  1. In Tools > Options > This file > EmailToIQ:

  2. Click on the (...) button to configure the email:

  3. In the General section, enter the address and password.
    • For GMail, the Username must be the same as the Email Address
      Or you can check Use Email Address which will do the same
    • Check the Enabled checkbox to activate this feature.
  4. In the Receive section, enter the IMAP settings of your mail server.
    1. It is a good idea to leave the message on the server so the message can be retrieved a second time if need be
  5. Click Test to ensure that IQ can connect to the email account.
  6. Click OK

  7. Back in the main dialog, at line 2.3.2, enter the Auto-check delay. Enter 0 to disable Auto-check
  8. In 2.3.3, enable or disable auto-import of mail when available:
    • If enabled, mail will be imported as soon as it is detected
    • If disabled, the icon on the status bar will show the number of mail items waiting to be imported. The icon tooltip will show the subject of the last email Click on the icon to perform the import
      This option is particularly useful when used in conjunction with Dropbox Sync. That is, when 2 computers are both checking for emails, only the first one to check will import which can be a problem.
  9. In 2.3.4, enter the list of fields to automatically assign values:
    • Specify EmailDate to retrieve the actual email date/time (not the imported date/time)
    • In the above example, 2 other fields will be checked: Inbox and Emails (to show imported items in these grids)
Once properly configured, an icon  will appear on the status bar.

3. Step 3: Email the content

3.1 Forwarding emails

If you want to keep a copy of emails (Outlook, Gmail, etc), simply forward these to your EmailToIQ address

3.2 Capturing content

When navigating the web, reading PDFs or writing documents, you can easily send this to your IQ Base using the EmailToIQ feature.
  • If IQ is running, you can use the Universal Clipper and select "Email Item to IQ"
  • Otherwise, simply copy the content and paste it in the body of an email
  • Chrome extensions, such as AddThis, can speed up the process of sending emails to IQ.
When preparing the email, for the "subject", enter the text of the item. If left empty, the item text will default to "EmailToIQ".

3.3 Assigning fields

The item will be assigned the fields defined in line 2.3.4 (see screenshot above).
You can assign extra fields by adding keywords at the end of the email subject line. The syntax is: Your subject line ##YNField1 #TextField1=Cool  #ItemID1=1234 (...)
  • For Y/N Fields: #YourField1 #YourField2 ...
  • Other fields: #YourField1=SomeFieldValue
You can also send content to any item (as a sub-item) (e.g. a project item, a task, a specific contact, a calendar event, to meeting minutes, etc.)
Can send to multiple items too ! The syntax is:
  • #ItemID1. e.g. If the email subject line contains #1234, the content will appear as a subitem of item ID 1234.
  • #ItemText1. e.g. If the email subject line contains #John Doe, the content will appear as a subitem of item "John Doe".
    If more than one item have this text, it will send it to the one in your favorites (if not in your favorites, to the most recent item)
Important: To trigger the parsing of fields, enter ## to mark the end of the subject.
  • Email subject: Task #1: Complete Project ##Inbox #Project=Project1 #Notes=Very urgent #FollowUp
Will create an item "Task #1: Complete Project", and assign the Y/N fields Inbox and FollowUp. It will also set the Project field to "Project1" and Notes to "Very urgent"
The default delimiter (#) can clash with Twitter-like tags. EmailToIQ therefore supports the following field delimiters # | ~ ! @ $ % & + - / \
(only rule: use space followed by the delimiter twice and then enter the "field=value" list)

3.4 Attaching files 

You can attach any number and type of files to the email:
  • Attachments are saved in the YourIQBase.Files\ItemIDXXXX_files folder.
  • Attachments will appear as links at the end of the item.
  • If any of these are image files, the image will also be shown at the end of the item (HTML pane).

3.5 Embedding images

With many mail apps and web pages, one can share images, drag-drop images, etc to send these by mail. These images are often not sent as attached files but rather as embedded images (base64 encoded)
  • The images are saved in the YourIQBase.Files\ItemIDXXXX_files folder.
  • The images will be shown at the end of the item (HTML pane).

4. Importing Emails

Once properly configured, an icon  will appear on the status bar followed by:
  • ? when checking
  • A number (1, 2, 3), representing the number of emails to be imported
  • If Auto-Import Emails was not enabled, the background color will turn green to indicate that there are emails to import. Double-click on the icon to import all emails.
At any time, you can also double-click on the icon to force a check and import.

4.1 Re-importing Emails

It is possible to re-import emails. This is useful if the items were erased by mistake or if imported in an incorrect copy of the database.
To do so, use one of:
  • In your EmailToIQ mail address, mark the emails as Unread. The emails will be located (see section 2.4 above):
    • In your inbox, or
    • In the Trash. If in the Trash, move these back to the inbox and then mark as unread
  • Do Tools > Check EmailToIQ Now. Enter the number of days to re-import in the dialog:


5. Viewing the content inside InfoQube

For each email sent using EmailToIQ, an item is created. This item will typically be shown in the Inbox and Emails grids:
  • The item text will be the email subject less everything after the first # character
  • The subject line is parsed using the # tag to retrieve the fields to assign
  • If no fields are found, the default fields will be assigned (defined in Tools > Options > 2.3.3)
  • The content of the email (its body) will be saved in the IQBase or as a separate file:
    • If there are no attachments or embedded images: Saved in the IQBase (embedded)
    • If there are attachments: The content of the email will be in the IQBase (embedded) but the attachments will be separate files in the YourIQBase.Files\ItemIDXXXX_files folder. The files will have the same name as the attachments
    • If there are embedded images: Saved as a separate file in the .Files folder (YourIQBase.Files\ItemIDXXXX.htm) and the images will be in the YourIQBase.Files\ItemIDXXXX_files folder. The files will have the same name as the original embedded image file names
See for details on the distinction between attached and embedded images


  • IQ does not support attached files and embedded images in the same email. It such cases, only attached files will be imported
  • When using EmailToIQ in conjunction with Dropbox sync (1. Synchronization between computers using Dropbox), there is a possibility that emails are imported to the older file before you get the chance to sync/overwrite it with the newer one.
    If this happens, you have 3 options:
    • Set EmailToIQ to be in manual mode (line 2.3.2 = 0)
    • Open the Email client (or navigate to your web server using a browser) and mark the emails as Unread. IQ will re-import them
    • Manually re-import previous emails. To do that, right-click on the Tools > Check EmailToIQ now command and select the number of days you want to re-import
  • The Emails grid is not part of the sample IQBase. Create it to collect all items that arrive through EmailToIQ
  • When Re-importing emails, if your setting (in section 2.4) is to delete emails from the server, you will need to move the deleted emails back to the inbox before re-importing