For the love of Drafts?

I’ve only recently heard of Drafts, and it seems to be an extremely popular app, and I’m curious as to why? From what I see, it’s just a basic notes / text editor. Why use it instead of Apple’s Notes? What makes it so special? How are you using it?


It’s popular because of the automation capabilities. One can start all text based activities In Drafts before deciding what they want to do with the text. This also makes it a good electronic Inbox when following a GTD (Getting Things Done) workflow.

Say you start composing a text message to someone that morphs into something more appropriately sent via email. Without Drafts, you would have to copy-paste the text between Messages and Mail. With Drafts, you compose the text then use an action to send the text to Mail. If the recipient was someone you regularly communicated with, you could even have an action preloaded with the recipient as well as having the Subject line set based on the first line of the Draft item.

Also, Drafts supports Markdown so can handle some level of formatting even if the input is plain text.

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Why I use it: in general I am extremely impatient. On top of that, I can easily lose thoughts and ideas in the short term as I am working or doing something else. Therefore:

  1. drafts is a wonderful GTD type of inbox for me. What’s more, is that it allows me a space, a context for input, to input information and text which seems to not have the negative side effects of context switching. More simply, I pull up Drafts, write it down, and send it off through automation. I don’t have to find the app, I don’t have to choose new document or Destiination, very few choices need to be made to just get the text out.
  2. in addition, with its programmatic capabilities, I can put everything down in markdown, and when I send it off to the Destiination app, that markdown is transformed into the appropriate formatting in its new context. Again without context switching.
  3. I did not originally use it as a Notes app, but once the introduction of the workspaces feature emerged and came more real to me, I was able to utilize that organizational feature to provide a little bit more clarity to a variety of different workflows.

To be honest, I am not particularly in love with the UI. But it is fast, it is simple, and it is very satisfying. It truly is a Swiss Army knife for a text.

One edit:
Truly, it’s two main significant features is: first, open it up and get a blinking cursor; second, automation. Other than that, it really is just another flavor of text editors.

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I guess I need to learn a bit more about it’s Workflows next, as I’m still trying to imagine how I can use it best.

Thanks @Robertson.historian and @JoePreiser.

It’s a very nice text editor, with syntax highlighting for Markdown, MultiMarkdown and Taskpaper (and one or two other languages?) I like the way it manages tags combined with saved searches – which are called Workspaces in Drafts. I like the sync with my iPad and iPhone. Others have already mentioned the automation.

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My three most used actions:

  1. Automatically send a note about a student to both Evernote and Todoist
  2. Send a group text message to a group of leaders and then put that same message into Evernote with a date time stamp
  3. Enter a number and then have it automatically pre-populate the magic words and send it to our churches texting system to tithe.
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Also, on the Mac, it’s a very nice-looking app. I use the default theme, Menlo and Consolas fonts, with the margin set on the second notch from the left and the max line width at 72. The results reminds me of using a typewriter while not being excessively skeuomorphic.

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I use my Apple Watch or iPhone to start a voice recording. I can keep talking and it will transcribe with reasonable accuracy. It’s perfect for me when I get an idea for a blog post and I’ll just ramble on. Most helpful when I’m driving and can’t reach for pen and paper and my ideas disappear.

The built in voice transcription with an iOS keyboard is limited to a couple of minutes before I need to tap the microphone button again. I can keep talking for a longer period of time with Drafts.

I save project ideas and blog post ideas in Drafts. It becomes my inbox. At the end of the day, Drafts is just another inbox. Then I can forward it to Microsoft Word for a report. Or send it to my email app. Or I send it to Ulysses for blog posts. I don’t have to worry about which app to use. I just start up Drafts and worry about formatting or it’s final destination later.

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For me it’s where all my text starts. Some of it stays in drafts indefinitely (long form writing), most of it is gone once the action is completed.

What makes it great is the absolute simplicity, with full automation just a swipe away:
You start it and you just have a blank canvas with a blinking cursor. Swipe left and you can do anything you want with the action options.

Cherry on the cake: apple watch dictation is awesome!

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What’s the address of your Blog Wilson? And do you have RSS feeds?

It has nothing to do with Notes, it’s a completely different kind of app. The idea is to capture quickly, effortlessly, in any situation. You can use it as a notes repository but it’s better used, I believe, as a storing place for ideas, quick notes, before sending them off where they belong. Think of it as those scraps of paper you jot down quick notes, ideas and reminders on. But with Drafts, you don’t actually lose them…

I recommend documenting yourself in-depth because it can be hard to grasp the point of it, admittedly: our own @MacSparky has done lots of screencasts.

I’m just a lowly Space Cadet :man_astronaut:t2: wandering the internets… I started out posting on the OmniGroup OmniFocus Discourse with various threads that tickled my interest. I noticed a subtle trend of similar questions with similar replies. I didn’t want to start a personal blog sharing my interests just yet. But I wanted a place to put my 2¢ in.

@justindirose and @joebuhlig was kind enough to let me have a space to spew random words. It was formerly the Productivity Guild and is now the Effective Remote Work Community… Here are some of my posts here…

The main page is here:

I’m here at MPU chipping in when I can. Loving the MPU Discourse with all the topics and friendships that have spawned here!


Yep, I’ve watched all of the screencast and listened to the Podcast as well. Still trying to get a better grasp of how folks are using it, and why. I do like the idea of jotting/dictating quick notes, but I don’t do it all that often. Usually I’ll create a note in DEVONthink so that I can quickly find it.