Drafts 5 & NVAlt

Hello! First time poster here. I upgraded to Drafts 5 the other day and it’s easily supplanted a number of hacky workflows and previously purchased apps to handle text.

Like most of you, I’m a big plain text guy and have used NVAlt on my Mac for ages. It manages hundreds, if not thousands, of personal/work-related notes, and I have it syncing to all of my machines using DropBox. It works great!

The issue is this… Drafts 5 wants to own all of my text on iOS with all of it’s new tag features, and I’m happy to let it. BUT how is everyone maintaining these 2 distinct repositories of text (Mac & Drafts)? Is the answer to run an action on every note to ensure it get’s copied over to the right walled garden? How do you manage changes over time?

I’m really interested in your replies. Thank you!

Since nobody else is jumping on this I will – ex-NVAlt user here . Basically anything I want to keep around goes from Drafts to somewhere else.

Further discussion of my setup here: Creating Zettelkasten with drafts and the Mac osx Archive app

I’m a plain text, DropBox person too and haven’t found a Drafts only solution. Like @dfay, I only use Drafts to capture stuff and quickly push it to Dropbox. If I need to review or edit something on DropBox from iOS I fall back to 1Writer or Byword. Some people force touch ‘+’, import file, select the file from DropBox, edit, and then run an action to export back to DropBox. I find that clunky, but it seems to work for some people. I’m hoping some day we can create a workspace that links to a cloud folder so we can directly select files, edit, and have them save all from Drafts.

I honestly don’t think Drafts will ever be a great fit for this kind of workflow. At least, not unless Greg writes a fully featured Mac version and you could just use it on both platforms.

My workflow basically has me doing a lot of writing in Drafts and sending it to Onewriter, I write my journal that way, for example.

I also desperately want Drafts to be my everything. I’ve been trying to improve my workflows to make that happen with the new version. The problem is that I use a laptop 90% of the day. I’ve done a trial run with a 12.9" iPad Pro but for me, I lose so much efficiency. So unfortunately, I still need something like Apple Notes. I may start to use a combination of Apple Notes and Ulysses depending on what I’m doing.

Yeah that’s my main hangup about expanding my use of Drafts for iOS/Mac. I’ve fully migrated my note system to a Dropbox/nvALT/Atom/1Writer plain-text setup, and having my database restricted to Drafts doesn’t appeal to me.

It’s why I ditched Evernote and set up my own system in the first place.

I use Drafts primarily to quickly capture and append notes in that setup. I’d love to be able to use Drafts to manage them, but I want my files as plain-text and accessible by any means at my disposal.

For those that are OK with everything being with the proprietary Drafts ecosystem, Drafts for Mac will likely be ideal. I am sure Greg will bring as much functionality and attention to detail as he has for the iOS versions.

But I find myself leaning less and less on Drafts in my workflow so as to maintain my setup being as free as possible from software lock-in. I’ve just been trapped too many times in the past and migrating data to the next new system is always a big pain.

On a side note…

I feel like with Drafts 5, the software is moving away from being a text utility tool and towards a proprietary service.

I’d like to see tiers of subscriptions (or a one-time purchase to unlock), and have another feature set (“Drafts Plus”?) which offered a subset of features for those of us who want to use some of the Drafts 5 features, but not all. In particular, I am not interested the advanced file/note management stuff.

As it stands, the free version is too limited and the subscription version is way overboard for my needs.

But like I said, I think Drafts is moving towards a “system” and away from a “tool”.

I’m primarily interested in custom actions and text file appending. Maybe a social media post or email message here and there. But the app is becoming more complex with features that are of little appeal to me as someone who mostly needs to capture text and use it somewhere else.

Which to me was the original philosophy of the app, and what drew me to it.

At any rate, I suspect your wish of being able to use nvALT and Drafts in concert is going to require a lot of hacks and workarounds.

Given that Drafts’ key feature is the ability to send text from Drafts to literally anywhere else, this concern seems overblown to me. I have also been burned in this way, which is precisely why I’m choosing Drafts. I will trade the “individual files managed in Dropbox” for “advanced scripting and export capabilities” without hesitation.

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