Exporting Email Drafts from a Writing/Note App

I went all-in with Apple this past year and have not looked back. It has been an enjoyable learning curve and healthy obsession I share with my forum peers.

I have so many questions but will stay focused on the topic. I am hoping for feedback and/or suggestions regarding drafting emails in a writing app (Ulysses, Bear, Byword, etc.). I write long and detailed email updates and these writing apps are great for research and the ability to come back to the email before sending. The added bonus of a writing app is I cannot accidentally delete or send my drafts.

Viewing the completed document looks great in view mode within the application but my issue is exporting to Gmail/Spark. I have tried everything from copy/paste, Brett Terpstra’s Markdown conversion app, to Bear and Ulysses built in exporters.

Once I try to export the text, my draft will not keep the same format. I understand Markdown vs RTF (whole other topic for me) but I thought these apps make the transition from plain to rich text.

Should I give up writing drafts outside my email client? How can I utilize one of these applications to keep my spacing, bullets, formatting, etc.?

Thank you!

What email client are you using?

Airmail email client supports markdown. Should be able to copy/paste markdown straight in no problems.

Thank you both for your responses.

@ChrisUpchurch - my job uses Google Suite so Gmail is my main client. I use Spark to triage emails on iOS and flip between Gmail and Spark on OS X.

@Applegeek - I have Airmail and think there is a ton of potential but my emails will not group correctly. Due to long threaded messages, it is paramount for me to group the correct conversations. Additionally, the text formatting is either tiny or too large, especially, when the receiver uses Gmail.

I will test your suggestion and can potentially use Airmail for specific emails I need to create for these updates.

With Bear, try using the HTML export option and copying and pasting the resulting text into the email. This seemed to work well with both Spark and the Gmail web interface on my iPad (can’t test on the Mac because the power is out at the moment :unamused:).

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Thank you! I will report back on how your suggestions work for me on both OS’s. Despite some frustration of being a novice, I enjoy learning all of this and appreciate the MPU podcast and it’s audience. Even though, it has been an expensive year, no thanks to finding the podcast and community. :grinning:

Since you mention Ulysses, its Rich Text Format (RTF) export can be quickly pasted into a GMail (web) email draft with high fidelity.

(click arrows on the left to show screenshots)

In Ulysses, click the Quick Export in the upper-right of your draft (⌘+6)


Optionally click Preview to see what your draft looks like as RTF


Click Copy to Clipboard


Paste into Gmail's web interface for componsing a message


I don’t use Spark but in Apple Mail it looked exactly the same as the Ulysses preview. I imagine Spark uses the same macOS RTF controls so the results should be the same.

If you don’t like the look (fonts, etc.) of the RTF export from Ulysses (not sure if there’s a way to modify it, but…) you can choose one of the other themes (HTML, PDF, ePub) or download one you like from the Styles Exchange. If you try to use the Copy to Clipboard button with an HTML Style, the actual HTML code will be placed on your clipboard which isn’t what you want. So Instead of using the Copy to Clipboard button, load up the Preview window and select all (⌘+a) of your nicely formatted text. Then copy/paste that into Gmail. You might run into font size issues here too but you can adjust the font-sizes in themes. You’ll have to get a little :nerd_face: but you’re a Mac Power User! You got this.

Good luck and let us know if your testing “sparks” (:zap:) additional questions!

Thank you @khit, I appreciate the detailed feedback. Unfortunately, I canceled my SetApp subscription because I was not using their apps enough. I like Ulysses and had some luck with part of your recommendation. I was only doing parts of what you suggest but gave up.

My apologies, I should not have added Ulysses to my post. I have no issues with going back to SetApp…for a third time. Meanwhile, I am finding the Airmail markdown/HTML works nicely with Bear. I will hold onto to your directions, thank you!

By the way, I love the folding arrows and the rest of your format reminds me what a noob I am. :laughing: I know it doesn’t matter and I find learning all of this enjoyable.

Are the arrows something you can easily explain or point me to a website? They would be great in these long %#@ emails I have to write. :smiley:

Thank you!

Those arrows are a Discourse feature (the software this forum runs on) and aren’t available in email. (I wish they were!)

If you want to add them to your posts here on MPU, in the editor, click the gear cog and choose Hide Details. Scrrenshot below, under the Arrow!

Screenshot of Hide Details


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