I tried out Drafts this past week. I was skeptical of it because its developer also did Terminology, which I had heard was great, but didn’t really like. Agile Tortoise doesn’t make pretty apps. Drafts is also a bit of an eyesore. The original theme for Drafts was a mess of browns that looked like the inside of a toilet bowl after a large bowl of spicy curry. There’s a gray theme that isn’t much better looking, but at least it isn’t brown.
Drafts is a weird mixture of tweet composer, note composer and email composer. Drafts is definitely not a place to keep text. It’s a place to start a thought and then move it off somewhere else. You can send text to Omnifocus, Simplenote or any other app that utilizes the “Open in…” function in iOS. There’s a “Send to Dropbox…” function, but since you can only send text files to /Apps/Drafts, its use is limited for me. I want to be able to save to any folder I wish, and I know it’s possible, but the developer claims that Dropbox prefers you to use “/Apps/[app name]“. So for the sake of making Dropbox happy, you’re stuck with no options. Elements and Taskpaper let you use any folder, but Drafts will not. It’s pretty lame.
I’ve found it useful to use Drafts when I want to quickly get something out of my head though. Drafts automatically opens up a new note when you launch it. From there, it’s one tap to send it to Omnifocus’ inbox or create a note in Simplenote. I also like that it auto-tags new Simplenote notes with the “Drafts” tag. I’d like it even more if I could choose my own custom tag to be assigned, but I won’t hold my breath. I know I can accomplish these same things (minus the auto-tag) with Launchpad. Launchpad still requires you to open the app and then choose your macro you’ve created. It feels faster launching into a text window straight from the home screen.
Drafts could also be very useful for creating templates. You can keep a draft of something, and use actions like send to Simplenote, Tweetbot or email whenever. Unlike Launchpad which doesn’t allow you to have line breaks when you create “Create new note with [insert text]” macros, Drafts would allow you to create relatively complex templates. Of course, if TextExpander Touch allowed for fill-ins on iOS, you could do everything with TextExpander like you would on OS X. (Sad face.)
Drafts is an interesting application and it certainly has its uses. It’s not going to replace any app you already have, but it’s possible that you could find a way to use Drafts that augments your currently used applications.