Using OmniFocus with Drafts

Is your OmniFocus Inbox overflowing with tasks, random thoughts, ideas, and more? Learn how and why to capture into Drafts instead of OmniFocus. You’ll also learn how to use Drafts as a convenient repository for OmniFocus project notes and templates.

While it may feel good to dump your thoughts into the OmniFocus inbox, you may soon discover that you quickly end up with an unmanageable OmniFocus inbox where critical actions get lost in the noise. An alternate strategy is to capture into the Drafts app (Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch) and use Drafts actions to quickly and easily transform and redirect what you’ve captured.

Drafts can also be a great complement to OmniFocus when it’s time to get down to work. You can store project templates in Drafts and easily transform them into projects. Drafts can also be an excellent place to store your project support material. And it’s quick and easy to link what you’ve stored in Drafts to the relevant projects and actions in OmniFocus.

Drafts: “Where Text Starts”

At a basic level, you can think of Drafts as the digital equivalent of a notepad.

When you launch Drafts, you’re presented with a blank note and can type (or, if you have an iPad with an Apple Pencil, Scribble) whatever’s on your mind — whether it’s an interesting idea you had while out walking the dog or a promise that you just made to a client. You simply capture what has your attention into Drafts’ inbox, without worrying about where this information belongs and what (if any) action needs to be taken.

Your Drafts inbox may contain information or tasks that are time-sensitive, so it’s a good idea to regularly “clarify” (in Getting Things Done terms) what you’ve captured in Drafts. This process includes determining whether what you’ve captured is actionable, or if it’s something that you’ll choose to keep for future reference. Actionable captures can be transformed into actionable tasks and sent off to OmniFocus. Things that aren’t immediately actionable, but still potentially have future value (e.g. the great idea that you had in the shower) can be sent off to the appropriate repository for future review, or even tagged and archived in Drafts itself.

Drafts for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

The real magic of Drafts is its support for actions. In a nutshell, actions allow you to quickly and conveniently process your Drafts. For example, one action might transform a Draft into an OmniFocus action and another might send it off to your idea repository in DEVONthink. Drafts comes pre-installed with a variety of actions. And you’ll find many more in the Drafts Directory. If you have the Drafts Pro upgrade you can modify actions written by others and create your own from scratch.

Drafts: Free & Pro Subscription

There’s a free tier of Drafts that allows you to create, edit, and sync drafts and make use of all of the actions in the Drafts Directory. Drafts Pro is an optional subscription-based upgrade that, among other things, lets you create and edit actions, organize your drafts into workspaces, and make use of widgets.

Much of what you’ll learn in this course can be accomplished using the free version of Drafts. Though, we’ll also show some of the features that are exclusive to Drafts Pro to give you a taste of what’s available if you choose to upgrade.

No previous Drafts experience is required.

You’re encouraged to take this course, even if you’re new to Drafts. This course includes an overview of the Drafts app for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, highlighting how it’s a natural complement to OmniFocus. We’ve included content for Drafts aficionados as well, including a smattering of more advanced tips and tricks.

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