Drafts - Long term or Short term

For those that use Drafts regularly, does your content stay archived or do you delete and move on after it’s been exported out?

You have an idea, you get inspired, you make note of it in Drafts.
You add some tags and send it to OmniFocus
As a GTD/MPU, you do a daily/weekly review and see the draft idea.
You sit down to work in say…Ulysses and flesh out the idea more into something nice.
Your work is done.

What do you do next?

  1. Delete the Draft sheet?
  2. Eternally keep it in archive?
  3. Copy over the draft note and final note into DEVONThink because you love to archive everything.
  4. Spend lots of time of mental occupation and not creating more content, because you have 148 notes according to the red badge that means it needs to be 0, you ask the forum for a solution.

Most of my export actions delete the draft as their success criteria, this includes sending to OmniFocus and so on.

That said, I also write a lot in Drafts and those are usually archived.


I have nothing in my Drafts archive and the only things in my Inbox are things I neglected to delete after passing along to somewhere else. Sometimes I cut and paste my writing from the app so I just end up with blank files.


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I use Drafts for short term capture and dispatch.

I have my actions set to move drafts to the archive when complete just in case I need to refer back to them for some reason.

I then have a Shortcut that I run once a month that purges old drafts from the archive.

For long form Markdown writing and subsequent storage I prefer IA Writer.

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I use Drafts for short-term text, and then usually follow one of two actions:

  • Send to OmniFocus
  • Export as markdown to iCloud Drive or GitHub.

If I’m going to do anything longer-form, I save as a text file in GitHub and make the most of version control, which is a more native functionality than in Drafts (I’m not sure if Drafts even does version control).

Everything gets archived. It’s another “backup” of things I’ve written.

Depends on the writing itself, and the actions performed on it.

Some of my actions are towards Omnifocus, those delete the draft once completed.
Other drafts are for long form writing or just idea capture, those will stay in the inbox or archive until I either perform an action which deletes them, or I manually remove them.

I archive almost everything, but I like the idea to delete as part of the action so I may start doing that.

I keep a couple notes in inbox so I can reference them on my watch.

Recently I started making a lot more use of Drafts, because the Mac version has evolved to feature parity with the iOS version. And it is a very nice, good-looking app that’s easy and fun to use, and powerful too.

It’s now not just the “place text starts.” It is also my primary tool for writing and note-taking.

Previously, everything I put in Drafts only stayed there for minute or hours.

Now it is my primary receptacle for works-in-progress, and things live there for hours or days.

I’m also starting to use it for list-making — mainly, for books, TV shows and movies I’d like to read/watch — and those things can stay in there indefinitely.

But regardless, when I’m done with a note, it gets published and archived elsewhere (lately, DevonThink) and goes in the trash. Items are retained in the trash for 30 days; that’s long enough on the off chance that I need to retrieve something I thought I was done with.

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