Show flagged messages on your desktop

Flagging messages in Mail is an easy way to mark them for follow-up. But it's also easy to forget to check your Flagged folder in Mail. MacOSXHints.com reader dushu figured out a way to keep a list of his flagged e-mails visible on his desktop, where they’re hard to miss:

To keep my flagged mails visible, I created the following AppleScript which, in conjunction with Geektool, puts a list of flagged messages—with sender and subject—visible on my desktop.

set newline to ASCII character 10

set finalText to "Flagged Mail:" & newline
tell application "Mail"
  set theMessages to every message in inbox whose flagged status is true
  repeat with i from 1 to number of items in theMessages
    set thisMessage to item i of theMessages
    set fromMsg to (sender of thisMessage as string)
    set subjMsg to (subject of thisMessage as string)
    set finalText to finalText & "! " & word 1 of fromMsg & ": " & subjMsg & newline
  end repeat
end tell
finalText

I saved this as an AppleScript to my /Library/Scripts folder; I named mine flagged_mail.scpt. To finish, in Geektool I created a shell geeklet with the following code:

osascript ~/Library/Scripts/flagged_mail.scpt

You can edit the “Flagged Mail:” string in the AppleScript to whatever you want to appear as the title of your list. And, if you don’t already know about Geektool, you should check it out: It’s a system preference pane that allows you to place images, file-contents, and the results of shell scripts on your desktop.

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