Drafts-like experience with Obsidian?

I reviewed my subscriptions over the weekend and I’m trying to cut down the list of subscription software. One app I’m thinking of cutting is Drafts Pro. I realize I only really use it as it was originally developed. A place where text starts. I type some text, then move that text somewhere else, iMessage, Mail, Obsidian. I never use tags or any other organization features.

So I’m wondering if Obisidian can take the place of Drafts for this workflow? I’ve been experimenting with @ryanjamurphy’s tool, Lumberjack. (Thanks Ryan!). Which has been working pretty well on both iOS and Mac. The one friction point I have compared to Drafts is that moving the note from iMessage or Mail. Especially on the iPhone, copying and pasting is a bit awkward and not as nice as the Drafts action which will open iMessage and move the note to the archive bucket. Are there any tricks in Obsidian I’m not aware of to make this last piece better?


As a reminder, Drafts is free to install and provides basic usage without the subscription. In other words, if you cancel your subscription, you should be able to continue to use it as you have been – assuming you only ever use the built-in actions.


I feel like I’m being nerdsniped:wink:

It should be possible to configure Obsidian to do what you want really nicely… but setting it up will take a few steps.

  1. Install and enable Viticci & Co.'s Shortcuts Launcher Obsidian plugin
  2. In the settings for Shortcuts Launcher, set up a new launcher to take text and launch it to a shortcut (call it, say, “Send from Obsidian”):
    Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 1.16.41 PM
  3. Install this Send from Obsidian shortcut.

This is just a draft for you to build on—I haven’t used this kind of workflow, so it’s offered without warranties, guarantees, or free lattes.

Consider, for example, building separate Shortcuts for the different actions you might take (Messages vs. Mail, for instance). Then, configure the Shortcuts Launcher launcher to take the note title as the subject for Mail.

You can also pin the Shortcut Launcher commands to the top of the command palette so they can be reached quickly, or add them to the mobile keyboard bar for easy access.

Just a few ideas!

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Wow - that’s fantastic! I do Interstitial Journaling and one of the barriers to Obsidian being an appropriate tool is the friction quickly logging an action. Thank you and @ryanjamurphy !

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Nerdsniping, sounds fun! Thanks, I’ll try this out and report back my findings. My Drafts subscription renews in June, so I have a month to experiment.

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I got the basic workflow working as is. I’m trying to do this part above, but can’t figure out how to get the note title from the shortcut input.

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Actually, I RTM and figured it out. The key is to select Multiple in the Input Type in the Obsidian launcher and then in Shortcuts, you parse the text. Here is a screenshot of what I did in Shortcuts

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You got it! Shortcuts Launcher is pretty neat. I use it to add tasks in notes as time blocks to my calendar with a link right to the note in Obsidian.

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That’s a game changer. A gripe I had with Obsidian was the difficulty integrating into my workflow of mostly Mac or iOS applications.

Took me just a few minutes to do get an Obsidian to Apple Reminders workflow set up. This transforms Obsidian’s integration potential.

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@ryanjamurphy is it possible to invoke timber on macOS? Log works in Cmd-P, but I don’t see timber.

As a command within Obsidian, you mean?

Yes, or outside Obsidian if that’s possible too.

I use an Alfred workflow for that. It’s dead simple and can be easily tweaked for allowing an Universal shortcut.

The same thing can be a achieved via Keyboard Maestro or other tools. Just create an action to open the obsidian://log and obsidian://timber URLs.

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Yeah, I can add it as a command within Obsidian. That was an oversight! I actually designed it to be used as @ldebritto describes, heh.


Is it possible to do this via Spotlight? I was able to add an alias in Terminal, but don’t know how to run that via Spotlight.

That’s an interesting question. How can someone open URL scheme actions easily via Spotlight?

I suppose you could create a .url file called “Timber”—Timber.url—following the instructions here: macos - How do I create a .url file on OS X? - Super User

E.g., the file would contain only:


I tried launching this “file” via Spotlight and it worked.

Alternatively, you could create a macOS text expansion for a URL command. e.g., in macOS System Preferences → Keyboard → Text, create an expansion to change “./timber” to “obsidian://timber”. Then, when you hit cmd+space (or whatever you do to launch Spotlight), you would type ./timber, space, enter, and it would expand into the full URL and launch it.


Cool, that Timber.url file works! I had to change the filename however. Spotlight kept wanting to give me information about the Timberwolves (I’m a sports fan, so that makes sense). So I changed the name to tmbr.url so there are no clashes anymore. Thanks Ryan!

(I would still like the command option in Obsidian when you get around to it).

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Update on Obsidian experiment

I’ve been using Obsidian in place of Drafts for the past week and I have to say that in many ways it is better! The main reason being about half of the notes I was creating in Drafts ended up in Obsidian anyway. So it is better to just start off in Obsidian to begin with. Ryan’s plugin and the Shortcuts workflow also works very well with Mail and Messages, so all of my daily uses cases are covered. I will be cancelling my Drafts subscription.

BTW, I don’t have anything against Drafts, it’s a very fine piece of software. This is just a natural consequence of software as a subscription model. Sometimes the original version does everything I want or need, I don’t want to keep paying for irrelevant enhancements that I’ll never use in my situation.