I used personal brain on PC few years back and liked it though found some limitations and ended up using mind manager for next few years.

Been on a mac for a bit now and looking at personal brain 5, looks like notable improvements.

However for my work flow if I incorproate personal brain 5 - Mac into it, I need to get mail into personal brain with minimal effort.  I use mail-act on and an applescript (modified from ones on web) to get selected mail message into Things (gtd software).  But there will be times I need to get email into Personal brain if I start using it as a reference/PIM mgr (will keep using Things though).

I have been playing with personal brain 5 on Mac today, and trying to find some way to make it as quick as possible to go from reading a mail in my inbox in mail.app to inserting it into personal brain as linked attachment to a new thought.

* Obvioulsy drag-drop doesnt work
* If I copy a mail message in mail.app, can't paste it into personal brain
* If i do a search in spotlight for a particular mail and then drag and drop from finder window into personal brain it looks great (shows mail icon) and clicking will open mail
* I played with using a spotlight search for items opened in last 24 hours (thinking I would keep a saved spotlight search next to my open mail window and as I opened mail it will be shown as top of my spotlight search and then I can drag and drop it into personal brain from the finder window almost as easily from mail.app, but as I open mail in mail.app it doesnt seem to update in spotlight.

What I really want as short term hack, is an applescript or something that when I activate it within mail.app while a mail message is selected, it will open a finder window with the mail message (as if I did spolight search specific to that mail message only) and then i can drag the file into personal brain.

Anyone else been looking at how to get some acceptable short term hack for mail.app message into personal brain until drag and drop is supported natively  ?

I really should have been doing more real work (that I am payed for today but once I got started I figured there just had to be a way to optimize this work flow with mac os X (leopard).

Will Eatherton
Cisco Systems


the following is on windows but might work on a mac also.

Instead of having the finder constantly open you could have a explorer windows open(I do not know the mac equivalent term) and drag it from your mail app to this windows and from there on your Brain. It is still to D&D (drag&drop) actions but that can't be avoided.

D&D from mail app to the explorer folder generates the message in .msg format with all attachments ect. D&D from that folder to your Brain works as you would expect it.

Again, I use this on windows platform and I do not know if this also works on a mac. Any feedback on that is welcome.


This actually helps some.  For mac the parallel would be to open an empty finder window (finder=explorer) and copy mail message into it and then copy from there into personal brain.

I tried this and it kind of works and is easier to do then doing a spotlight search for the mail, but two issues still bit ugly
  -- name of thought is an ID # representing mail (not end of world can hand fix up)
  -- if I do external link, personal brain is now pointing to a temporary file in a temp folder rather then to the original message in my mail folders.   Again not end of world as I can have the mail message become internal attachment to personal brain, but something indeed is lost when personal brain has the mail embedded Vs pointer to mail in my mbox

Still this is improvement and may be good enough if no one with mac experience has better idea.  A quick applescript that copys an email into a fixed temp folder would automate this little bit when I am doing mail work, and then I can later move email from temp folder into personal brain.

Still overall the summary here is personal brain needs better mac mail integration asap !


I believe this is Leopard only, but right-click the e-mail in Mail, and choose Copy Message URL. 
In PersonalBrain, choose Add attachment, and click the Link to URL button. Paste in the field.
This will create an attachment to the mail, but it won't have a friendly name (you can always rename). 

Also, Mail is smart enough to always link the url to that particular message, no matter which folder you move it to in Mail. Now if only Outlook would get the same trick...  
Windows 7
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
Maybe we could get a book like this?


TheBrain Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)

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