Drafts 5: Personal Workflow


I wanted to take a moment to go over some of the ways in which I use Drafts 5. A lot of this was likely possible with Drafts 4, but I’m just now digging into Drafts more and trying to make it work for me in many different ways. I have quite a few workflows that I still want to create for myself, but this should give you a basic idea for how I’m working with it and maybe help you along as well. :slight_smile:

Primary Action Group: GTD (2Do, DEVONthink, & Fantastical)

There are 10 actions contained within this group.

  • Jump to… – Quickly jump to a list in 2Do
  • Paste to 2Do – This uses the paste URL scheme that supports indented lists for quickly mocking out an idea to send over.
  • 2Do NLP – This is using a rudimentary adaptation of the original Things workflow from Viticci. 2Do’s URL scheme doesn’t support fuzzy matching, so I have a few helper keyboard actions to facilitate quickly attaching a List, or Tags, that I frequently use. This requires a companion Workflow action.
  • Shopping List – I use Reminders for my grocery lists so this just dumps directly into a Shopping list in Reminders
  • Prayer Requests – This uses DEVONthink’s append URL scheme to paste any new prayer requests I need to remember into a running document in DEVONthink To Go.
  • Gift Ideas – This is still a WIP, but the idea is to facilitate a group of append actions to add items I see at the store or as I’m thinking to running lists for each one of my family members.
  • Send to DEVONthink – Pretty straightforward, just pastes the document into DEVONthink
  • Event in Fantastical – Sends text to Fantastical to create a new event
  • FantastiTasks – Since I use Reminders-sync with 2Do, I can make use of it’s NLP when I don’t have anything complex that I need to get into 2Do. This way I can write a task just like “Pick up package from FedEx tomorrow 4pm” and be done.
  • 2Do URL Schemes – Quick-link to get to 2Do’s documentation.

Companion Action Group: Taskpaper Lite

I run this one primarily as a keyboard row only. The actions contained in this group:

  • Tab – For indented lists
  • Project (#) – Shows a prompt of some frequently used lists
  • Due (\) – Add a date/time
  • Note (++) – Add a Note
  • Tags (@) – Shows a prompt of some frequently used tags

Examples of Paste to 2Do & 2Do NLP

  1. Paste to 2Do

The format for this is multi-line tasks with indented sub-tasks. For example:

Update computer to macOS High Sierra
    Repair permissions
    Download installer
    Run installer
    Update any incompatible apps

This will turn into a project titled: “Update computer to macOS High Sierra” with 4 sub-tasks.

  1. 2Do NLP

This one loosely follows the conventions that Viticci setup with his Things Workflow action with the actions that 2Do supports. The syntax is:

  • #List
  • \\Due dateTime
  • @Tags
  • ++Notes
Something to do #Home \\tomorrow at 5pm @email ++Required additional information.

This will turn into a task titled: “Something to do” in the list “Home” due “tomorrow at 5pm” with a tag of “email” and a “note” that says, “Required additional information.”

Anyway, hopefully some of you might get some use out of seeing this. :slight_smile:


This is some really cool stuff @kennonb! Thanks for sharing. I think it’s neat how you can share a whole set of actions with the new Drafts 5 directory like you have here.

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Man, I’m late to the party! I have 3 different project templates that I’m thinking of using for my Drafts 5 experiment. Previously, I’d just copy and paste a project into OmniFocus and then manually adjusting the defer dates of each task (second task is scheduled for 3 days after first defer date, fifth task is scheduled for 10 days after, etc.). I was thinking of trying out Workflow on my iPad but Drafts 5 is an avenue that I’m thinking about as well… Hmmm…

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:joy: It only came out last week. I’ve been on the beta for a few months and still took it’s release to kick me in the butt to get started with it.

Drafts should work really well for template creation. I imagine you could use some of the existing Taskpaper formatting + some light scripting to paste directly into OmniFocus. :+1:t3:


Because Drafts 5 is an iOS app, I’m guessing you’re mostly using 2Do on your iPhone or iPad? Or do you split time equally between the Mac and iOS devices when using 2Do? Or you would use Drafts to automate project creation and then switch to your Mac?

I find myself primarily on my Mac. However I do a TON of capture on iOS (which is where Drafts comes in for me). It helps me get the thoughts out and then I can easily triage to where they need to go. I’m constantly walking around somewhere or talking to someone and inevitably a task will come out of the conversation and I have to write it down quickly or else it could get forgotten. So I’ll make a note in Drafts and then parse it out using one of the above steps after the conversation.

Since I mostly work from my Mac I have my templates in Keyboard Maestro actions that I tried to outline in this post.

It works really well for me. Plus you can have fuzzy dates in taskpaper which goes to OmniFocus (such as Tuesday + 3 days) and OF will figure it out. I use placeholders and have a Drafts Script that replaces the placeholders (asking me what each should be), which is very handy regarding due dates. Now I just have to get my templates nailed down! (Here is my action group I use by the way, the script is the very last action, which I should probably publish on it’s own! OF TaskPaper)


Is is possible to expand 2do NLP to work for multiple lines?
And secondly couldn’t you skip the use of workflow entirely? What I’m trying to get at is basically creating a full project in Drafts with tags, due dates etc and then exporting to 2do?

Yea, you don’t need Workflow, and if you brought what Workflow is doing into Drafts, you could split the lines of the draft to accomplish it for each separate line. I just honestly haven’t had much time to add anything more to this. Hopefully someday. :slight_smile:

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