AppTastic Tuesday: Drafts 4 for iOS



The purpose of Drafts 4 is twofold:

  1. Provide the easiest and quickest way to get to a blank text entry screen on iPhone and iPad.
  2. Allow you then to send or export that text to as many other apps as possible.

This may sound like one of those apps that developers made just because they could, but I’ve been surprised to find myself increasingly reliant on Drafts 4.

drafts4-icon-512x512-roundedJust the last two days I used it to (a) jot down some stand-up meeting notes (which I then exported to an OmniFocus task) and (b) send an email to someone when I didn’t want to have to be distracted by unread emails in my inbox.

Open the app, and you get a blank screen, into which you can quickly type (or dictate, via Siri) text. I recently was fortunate enough to have inspiration for a sermon outline strike me when I was doing some chores around the house. Not sure what to do with this newly found locus for creativity, I quickly reached for Drafts and jotted my thoughts down:


1_Text Entry


From here I could access a wealth of sharing options:


2_Basic Sharing Options


3_Basic Share Options 2


This particular draft went into Evernote, where I could easily get it later. I could have exported it some other ways:


4_Export to iCloud


Also amazingly cool is that when I exported it to Reminders, Drafts made each separate line into its own task:


5_Export to Reminders


This is sweet enough–an app that lets you quickly jot down text and export/share to just about anywhere. But Drafts is built with an eye to detail. You can make your text look nice, too:


6_Text Appearance
Note the option to have a night mode. And all those fonts!


You can even re-arrange your text from within Drafts, just by virtue of having started a new line when you were entering text:




You can edit the keyboard keys that are available to you:


8_Edit Keys
Note, too, the Markdown capabilities


There are quite a few settings you can adjust:




And Drafts can keep everything you enter, regardless of whether you’ve shared or exported it. (Drafts also keeps a record of where you’ve shared/exported your draft.)


10_Sort Inbox


Yes, you guessed it, there’s a Today widget, too:


11_Today Widget


Drafts 4 is just as awesome on iPad (not pictured here) as it is on iPhone. The only possible downside to this app is that $9.99 is more than most iOS users are used to paying for an app. But it’s easily one of the most carefully developed and detailed apps I’ve used, and robust in its features and capabilities.

It’s well worth checking out, and has found a home in my daily workflow.



Thanks to the fine folks at Agile Tortoise, the makers of Drafts 4, for giving me a download of the app for this review. See my other AppTastic Tuesday reviews here.

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