I’m very meticulous about logging all of the feedback I receive from my customers. Whether it’s a bug report or a feature request, I want all of that information captured in a single place where I can plan and act on it. For me, that place is the Issues section in my app’s GitHub repo.
Normally, when I get a customer email, my workflow is to reply back to them with any clarification I need, and then once we’ve finished with any back and forth, create a new GitHub issue with the relevant info from their email and a note reminding me to email them back when their issue is resolved.
This takes all of a minute to do. But it still means opening a browser, navigating to the repo, clicking on “Issues”, then “New Issue”, and copy and paste the email details. Further, if the user supplied any screenshots, I have to save those out of the email and upload them to GitHub as well. Like I said, it only takes a minute or so, but it adds unnecessary friction.
Today I decided to automate all of that.
I use the fantastic Postmark service to send all of my company‘s transactional emails. They also have an equally awesome inbound service that will parse any emails you forward to them and POST the details as a JSON blob to your web hook.
So, I created a forwarding rule in Fastmail to forward any emails sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org to my secret Postmark inbound address.
Postmark receives the forwarded email and POSTs the data to my server, which runs a small PHP script (embedded below) that downloads any image attachments contained in the email and creates a new GitHub issue in the appropriate repo with the contents of the email and image attachments.
It all works great! What used to be a slightly annoying process to do a couple times a day, now takes all of three seconds in my email client – whether I’m at my desktop or out and about on my phone.
Maybe you’ll find this script helpful.