Drafts vs nvAlt (nvUltra)

Hi folks,

I’m a big fan of plain text notes and use Markdown for formatting.

I’ve been using nvAlt to take notes for years — in meetings, reference info, etc. I now have nearly 2000 plain-text notes (stored in dropbox). The app never breaks and search is lightning fast. I occasionally want to embed a screenshot, but have settled for adding a link to the screenshot in Dropbox instead. (never ever refer to them … which tells me that images are not a priority in my system …)

Sometimes I start taking my notes in Drafts when on the iPad, and use an action to get them into 1Writer — so they show up in nvAlt on laptop. It occurred to me I could eliminate all that by simply switching to Drafts. So, I’m playing with the idea of switching to Drafts for note-taking and using a combination of tags and workspaces to keep them organized.

Interested in any pro/con experiences you have regarding using nvAlt or Drafts for notes.


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Haha, I’m in opposite situation. Recently tried nvUltra because like idea of .txt/.md files in finder which can be visible in DEVONthink. Drafts has very powerful export options, can export as.md/.txt with tags, created date etc. Also there is an action which will import your .txt notes in to drafts convert finder tags into drafts tags and transfer created date info. Yesterday I needed to import over 500 .txt into drafts. All metadata was transferred into drafts successfully in few seconds.

If you need to have available notes both on iPadOS and macOS, drafts would be my choice. Quick search (⌘ ⇧ F) is very quick, can even trigger actions and open workspaces. What I like about drafts in comparison with nvUltra, that you can combine multiple view of notes with tags and workspaces, which is not so flexible to do in nvUltra.


Do you use Drafts for things other than notes that will go into this system?

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How do you make Drafts files visible in DevonThink? Or do you just not bother with that?

Don’t think it possible, therefor I interested in nvUltra.
Work around for drafts may be to save callback url for specific draft in DEVONthink if you need quick access. But content of draft will still not be available in DEVONthink. If I remember correctly, in drafts actions directory someone created write/read actions to send content of draft to .txt file and vice versa to keep them updated, but this workflow will ruin my notes very fast.

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I’m playing around with apps to complement DevonThink–using a third-part app as a front end with DT as the document repository. So far I’m not finding anything that I like that uses the native document structure and supports the iPad, iPhone, and Mac.

What about iA Writer or ulysses? It becomes extra difficult to find something good when you need support for both platforms. Personally I almost never do any serious work on iPad, but it’s always great to have same applications on several platforms.

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Occasionally. I was thinking I could make a separate workspace for that?

I was thinking more of using a different capture app. If your main use of Drafts is to get things into nvAlt, maybe it makes sense to use something other than Drafts for the capture?

If you don’t use wiki links “[[ ]]” iawriter is probably your best choice for the same app on the 3 systems.

Otherwise you have to split your choice between different apps

If drafts is used only for capture it could be easier to just capture in 1writer, that’s used anyway, instead of setting up a new system

I like WikiLinks. Also like to embed the occasional image. Right now I’m making heavy use of Crafts.

I’m still figuring this out.

cc @RDK

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aren’t we always? :thinking::wink:

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