Drafts integration with Microsoft products


#1

I’m seeking advice in integrating Drafts into my professional workflow. My workplace is windows-based and is heavily involved with Microsoft (Outlook, OneNote, To Do, office apps) and I often come up short with integrating drafts with the required work apps.

Is there any way to easily create a drafts not using information from a meeting in my iOS Outlook app (attendees, summary, details, etc)? I’d like to be able to just open a Drafts note, click a button and import all meeting-specific info into the note (title, summary, attendees, etc).

Example: it’s easy to create a OneNote note from Outlook in desktop, including meeting summary, attendees, and specifics. I can easily just open the OneNote note from my iOS device and away I go. The only hiccup is having to remember to create the note ahead of time on desktop. I have yet to find a way for drafts to create a similar note that can be then interfaced to OneNote. Thoughts?

Also, is there any way to easily collect to-do’s from a Drafts note and interface to the Microsoft To-do app?


#2

We use Office 365 at work, and I’ve been down this road.

tl;dr - There’s not a whole lot you can do at this point.

Things that you can do:

  • Create an email in Drafts, send to the Outlook iOS app (although you will need to add recipients there)
  • Take the content of a draft, copy to the clipboard, open OneNote, paste into new note or use the share sheet to send data from a draft directly to the app
  • Create, update, save text notes in OneDrive

The other more interesting things? Like pushing info from a draft with attendees, summary, details, etc. into Outlook directly? Nope.

Microsoft doesn’t have a ton of automation hooks for these apps. There are some bits that intercommunicate (e.g. sign into Word, and Excel doesn’t make you sign in again)–but that’s more auth token stuff, not really passing data like we’re looking for.

And I took To Do for a spin; multiple times actually. It’s the spiritual successor (and physical successor) to Wunderlist, but even after what, almost two years of development (?) it’s still extremely thin and underwhelming. I didn’t see any great ways to push things into that app. I think there’s a launch URL and that’s about it.

Clipboard and share sheet are your friends in this realm, unfortunately. Wish there was more I could share–and if anyone else knows something I don’t, I’d love to hear it.


#3

I think Seth’s comments are accurate.

Direct integration with more of the Office 365 APIs is on the road map and something I very much want to add, but will likely be later in the 2019, once the Mac version is shipping and has gotten action support.


#4

In regards to the non-ToDo stuff, you might want to take a look at Microsoft Flow - a Microsoft-centric web engine like IFTTT. You can build in web hooks and the like via connectors, so you should be able to create something suitable with that.

If ToDo syncs to Exchange, then Flow might well be able to help access that data too.

Hope that helps.


#5

But bring a sherpa; Flow is nowhere near as user-friendly as IFTTT, and even that’s a bit tricky to get started with in some regards. I’d love to know if you get it working!


#6

To be fair to Microsoft, this is a much more tightly integrated product aimed at enterprise use. The capabilities and requirements are theefore an order of magnitude beyond IFTTT. But if you are willing to read the documentation, online resources and experiment a bit, it is a capable platform to use.

As a comparison I’d certainly place it lower than learning all of the intricacies of JavaScript which is the basis for Drafts’ own scripting based integrations. But for both, you can get some useful basics working without learning everything, and for both there are many useful examples online.


#7

Thanks for the replies. I’d agree with what everyone is stating given what i’ve found so far, was optimistic I was missing something.

In regards to Flow, I have looked into it and have tried creating some basic flows to automate something and wish it was not so complicated. I think it has potential.


#8

To be fair to Microsoft, this is a much more tightly integrated product aimed at enterprise use.

Absolutely. Fair point indeed. :+1:t3:

And I do believe that To Do shares data with Exchange, because tasks show up in both places, albeit with some differences in the way the additional data is displayed and interacted with. Maybe it’s worth a shot…