Drafts 5 and Workflow

Good morning. This is a slightly trivial question, but I am trying to see how Drafts 5 in iOS could help my workflow. I’ve read the reviews, but I can’t seem to connect.

How does Drafts help you to work quicker or better?

I understand the benefit of dropping text into an application, to separate “text” from “application”. But I don’t see how that expedites things.

For instance: if I want to enter a task, even if it’s unqualified, it will always go into OF. I can decide what to do with it when I process my Inbox.

Likewise, if I have a journal entry in my head, it’ll go into Day One, or notes into notes.

Am I a luddite? What am I missing about the benefits of Drafts? Isn’t it just adding another step for no particular reason?

Is it a task or is it actually a note? Or would it be best off emailed to someone with a follow up task created in OmniFocus? I don’t make these decisions anymore until I’ve captured the thought, and then I put them in the right place. It makes instant capture much easier and I have fewer “squirrel” moments where I find the app, and then stare blankly at it wondering what I was going to write. I still have OmniFocus in my dock of course, and if I’m in it and think of a task I’ll hit the inbox button and go ahead. But unless I’m in OmniFocus already I like to capture in Drafts and then evaluate what it is first.

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That’s interesting. I can see that the functionality increases once Drafts appears in Mac.

I see the value in having a distinct capture tool, but you still have to process the text, at some point! Processing would be a lot easier on a Mac than on an iPhone!

You might think that, but I find it’s great to pick up my iPhone and process a few items quickly while waiting for something - e.g. while waiting for my lunch at work, or on the tram I take twice a day. It means I rarely have to sit down and handle everything at once.

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It will be interesting to see whether I end up editing less in OF and Day One as I play with Drafts. I do spend a fair bit of my reviewing time trying to work out what I was on about…

I am guessing you do a lot of this work on an iPad… would iPhone be as effective?

How do you arrange your dock? Is Drafts in there, as the developers suggest?

This is an old post (written for Drafts 4) but it’s full of good ideas.


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I use Drafts for a lot of “mixed purpose” stuff, too. Maybe after I write I have parts of what I’ve written that need to go to OF as actions, other parts that go to Agenda as stored notes, and a section that I email.

Drafts, its actions, and Shortcuts are great for manipulating a bunch of text in great ways.


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Are you doing that on your iPhone?

Sometimes. More often on my iPad, but have definitely attended talks or been in situations where an iPad either didn’t fit or wasn’t on hand.

Personally, I use Drafts as my catch all for any piece of information or idea that I want to write down. Whenever something comes to mind or someone says something notable, it goes in there. Then I decide whether the information is actionable (in which case it goes to OF or Reminders), notable (in which goes it goes to Evernote), shareable (in which case it gets posted to Twitter or FB), or indeterminate (in which case it stays in Drafts and clogs my inbox and eventually drives me to have an extra drink after work).

I have a recurring OF task to clear out my Drafts box (in case I get busy and forget), but more often than not, I take a few minutes every day to parse the accumulated info and send thing where they’re going to go. I even use Drafts on my iPad for long form writing because I like the clean interface.

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Hey Everybody!

I’ve been enjoying reading all your takes on using Drafts w/omnifocus. I have just switched my capture to drafts, from omnifocus.

One thing I need to make it a quicker process for clarifying is to be able to tag a task ( that i have sent via an action in drafts to my assistant), with a “waiting” tag in omnifocus, hopefully automatically.

I can’t work out the code, or find an example (that I can decipher perhaps). Would anybody be able to point me in the right direction please?

Many thanks!