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.