When it comes to productivity, I feel like I’ve tried pretty much every ‘productivity hack’ in existence (some more successfully than others), but nothing has quite stood the test of time like a little known app called Drafts.
Drafts has quite literally become my second brain, almost like a little personal assistant, and in my opinion, beats any other note-taking tool out there. I’ve tried (and failed) keeping notes in Notion (too much organisation), Apple Notes (not enough organisation), Evernote (slow and outdated platform) and Bear (not quick enough to input). Drafts eliminate all those issues.
If you’re not using it, you should be, and hopefully, I will convince you why when you keep reading below.
Where Text Starts
The self-proclaimed catchphrase coined by the developers of Drafts is ‘where text starts’, and I’d have to agree with them – if not yet – it should be where text starts.
The beauty of Drafts is in its ability to convert thoughts to text without any friction. We all know the apps whose sole purpose is to distract you as soon as you open them, quickly making you forget the very reason you opened it in the first place? Drafts isn’t that.
Available on the Apple Store and across the entire Apple ecosystem, the Drafts app makes it effortless to capture your thoughts. For example, opening the iOS app presents you with a minimal ‘no frills’ screen for the sole purpose of entering your text. No bells, no whistles, just a clean UI.
For me, Drafts is the external place I store every thought I wish to capture my mind. Examples include things to do, things to buy, places to visit, experiences to have, random shower thoughts, any exciting things I find on the internet, grocery list, meeting notes – the list can go on and on. Any idea I type into Drafts is stored, preventing distraction from whatever I was doing. Every time I open the app, a new blank canvas is loaded to input your next idea. It’s ingenious, I tell you!
Getting Ideas Into Drafts
Getting your ideas into Drafts is extremely frictionless. On iOS, simply opening the app will present you with a screen to input text as explained above, or, on macOS, you can set up a quick keyboard shortcut (I use control+cmd+space) which opens a small window for fast text input.
Once saved, your note gets stored automatically in the macOS app for processing at a later date. With Drafts’ cloud functionality, anything saved on your mac is available on your iOS device and vice versa.
Organising Your Thoughts
In the past, I used to store all my notes in Notion, using August Bradleys Life Design System. Whilst this system was great for me initially, over time, the amount of intervention required to keep my notes and thoughts organised simply became far too time-consuming. It wasn’t worth the effort. So now, I store notes in Drafts and merely assign tags to text either on input or later. These notes are then stored in the archive for future reference. That is all the required organisation, nothing more. I have tags for areas such as books to read, content ideas, project ideas, nfts and recipes, just to name a few!
Capturing ideas isn’t the only thing that Drafts can do. Many actions can be performed based on rules that you set. At the moment, I don’t have any actions set, but I have heard of other users automating tasks into Things 3, events into Fantastical and even automating Tweets. Actions are something I want to explore more in the future. Many can be found here if you wish to take the capabilities of this app to the next level.
There you have it. Hopefully, you are now convinced that Drafts is at least worth trying out; for a free app, the team behind it have truly created something that I can tell has been a labour of love for many years. So do yourself a favour, try it out, and let me know what you think!