Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

A Screenshot of the backpack plugin for Quicksilver

Some of you may of seen the recent Quicktime movie showing Quicksilver posting Backpack updates. There isn’t that much information out there explaining how to do it, so I thought I’d post a quick tutorial on getting it all to work.

  1. Make sure you’re using the latest version of Quicksilver, with the Apple Mail and Backpack plugins installed
  2. Make sure is setup properly. You can check this simply by firing up the client and try sending some emails.
  3. Next, you need to configure the email actions. In Quicksilver preferences, you need to enable the "Email Item... (Send Directly)" action, for the "Email Addresses", "Text" and "Files & Folders" types.
  4. Check this works – fire up quicksilver, hit ”.” and type some text in. Then hit Tab, and select the "Email Item... (Send Directly)" action and hit tab again – finally press ”.” and type in the destination (or select an address form your address book). If that works out, you’re ready to try sending email to backpack.
  5. Log in to Backpack to get your developer key. Go to your Account page, and towards the bottom, you’ll see an option to show your developer key.
  6. In the Catalog preferences for Quicksilver, click the ”+” button to add a new catalog – select "Backpack Pages" from the drop down. This will be the catalog that will work out how to talk to our Backpack pages. Your newly added catalog will be under “Custom”. Select it, then click the “i” icon in the bottom right. Put your username and developer key in.
  1. To try out your integration, bring up quicksilver and enter "note>> sometext". Hit tab and select "Email Item... (Send To)", tab again and bring up the backpack page you want to send the note to, hit enter and enjoy!

10 Responses to “Tutorial: Updating Backpack with Quicksilver”

  1. Steve

    Thanks, Sam. Can you shed some light on how to make this work with Entouage? The “Email item” is not displayed in my preferences, despite the fact I have an Entourage plug-in installed. Perhaps this functionality is not yet available?

  2. Merlin

    Not sure, but I think the Entourage plugin is limited to looking up contact info at this point.

  3. Sam Newman

    It should be available from within quicksilver. Go to the plugins page in preferences. Select ‘available’ from the drop down (rather than the default ‘installed’ or ‘recommended’) and you’ll see it on the list (I’m assuming you have b40 or later).

  4. Todd

    That was my problem – I was on b36. However, it doesn’t appear that the same Entourage email functionality that I had in b36 is in place in this version (b42).


  5. Rob

    Couple of clarifications that a new user (such as myself) would need to make this work:

    1) You must put QuickSilver into “Advanced” mode by checking “Enable Advanced Features” in the “Application” section of Preferences. This will require that you restart QS.

    2) The Actions which need to be enabled are located in the “Actions” section of Preferences.

    3) To configure the Backpack module, the Backpack username must be specified in the “Name” field; the API key from the Account page on Backpack goes in the “API Key” field. Your Backpack “Name” is the username you use when logging into Backpack; it is also the name in the front of your Backpack URL (e.g. –> foobar).

  6. Chris Smith

    Thanks this was very helpful! One thing I might add: Quicksilver would not “rembember” my backpack username/password after quitting and restarting until I activated the “Keychain Module” plugin. Once I did it worked just fine.

  7. tunesmith

    So, I went offsite, where couldn’t use my default smtp mail sender. First time I tried sending an email from within, it errored and had me pick a different smtp (one that authenticates, which works for me). Mail works by using that one for the rest of the session.

    Email to Directly didn’t work anymore.

    Then I went back home where my default smtp mail sender works, and Email to Directly works.

    Hope that’s a clue for other folks.

  8. V.M.

    Got everything finally working – except emailing stuff to my Home Page!

    All other pages work fine, but home page – the one I would need to use the QS the most does not. I wonder whats causing the problem. I already tried to renew the address. Perhaps this is a result of me making a duplicate of previous home page before clearing it. (Copy of the previous home page has not received any mailed notes / todos, and why should it have since it has different mail to address).


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