Dropbox backup of actions In Drafts 5

I’ve just paid for the subscription to Drafts 5. It looks good.

But, I’ve never been able to take full advantage of Drafts because of the iCloud-only backup of drafts. I’ve got a company iPad and iCloud is disabled.

This was a pain, but I had some clunky workarounds. However, I see that now you can’t even backup/restore actions with Dropbox In Drafts 5. Is that likely to return? If not, it’s a bit of a dealbreaker for me.


It is possible to share individual actions or actions groups as files. If you look at a group, or action, the share button gives option to share as URL or file. You can then use the Files app to put the file where you want, including Dropbox.

You can reverse the process by choosing the file and sharing it back to drafts, which will allow you to reimport it.

It’s not as easy a the backup process, but it does work.


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OK. Thanks for that - being able to save action groups won’t be so bad. And might discourage constant tinkering with my actions.

I guess there’s no chance that Dropbox syncing is on the roadmap? I’m probably in a very small group who can use iCloud, but having Dropbox sync would make Drafts almost perfect.

You could raise it as a feature request with Greg.


If there were some way to iterate through the actions (ref. the sort of thing I was suggesting broadly here), and get the file and/or URL, then I believe it would be possible to roll your own export for any platform you could connect to - Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc. If you had the URL you could even build a web page to archive to, push it out as links in an Evernote note, a nice little Markdown based e-mail; and so on.

Some sort of advancement on the find action to allow you to return an array of actions. Use of wildcards or search operators to narrow it. Maybe action groups too.

In-built is great, but opening it up I think would be better. This is probably an edge case based on iCloud access restriction, but personally I think focussing on the actions rather than a feature will allow the community to build a solution for that and so much more that probably hasn’t even been conceived of yet.

I have same issue as moggy1972 - my work disabled icloud. How can I share action groups as a URL? When I look at the options under “operations” I only see (“move to” “copy to” and “delete”)

Edit the group, and use the Share icon in the bottom toolbar. You can export as a file or URL. Screenshot details here.

Nice. I see it now. thank you

Want to revisit @moggy1972’s post from earlier. I also use a company iphone and ipad that blocks icloud sync. Is a Dropbox sync part of the future roadmap? I, like others, really want to use drafts for everything. Right now I export my drafts to Evernote but that limits what I can do with them afterwards.

Dropbox sync would let me get around our company IT policy.

@greg-pierce any thoughts?

I don’t want to harbor any false hopes. There are no plans for Drafts to sync via any method other than iCloud at this time.

File-based systems like Dropbox are not a good match for the type of sync backend Drafts needs, and it’s just too resource intensive to properly implement, test and support multiple sync services.

Just to be clear what I was originally asking for was the return of the Dropbox back up of actions that Drafts 4 had.

I coped with the non-syncing of notes between devices and realise that Dropbox isn’t good for that. (Although having borrowed a non-restricted iPad for a bit, I can now see the full potential of Drafts).

I’m in the same boat. Work restrict my iPad so I can’t use iCloud. It’s not the end of the world as I can share groups of actions between my iPhone and my iPad without using iCloud.

Overall love Drafts 5 - a brilliant product I use throughout my working day. I am more than happy to pay my annual subscription to help keep development going.

In case this is of use to anyone, it is possible to manually backup to Dropbox on a per group basis. It’s not a seamless backup solution but might be useful as an ad hoc solution for those working around more restrictive corporate policies, etc.

  1. Swipe the actions pane into view.
  2. Tap on the action group name.
  3. Tap on the Manage option.
  4. Tap on the group you want to export.
  5. Select the share sheet icon at the bottom.
  6. Select the File option.
  7. Select Save to Dropbox.
  8. Select/choose your save location.
  9. Select save and the file will be exported.

To import the exported file into Drafts…

  1. Open Dropbox or Files.
  2. Navigate to and open the previously exported file.
  3. Select the Share Sheet icon.
  4. Select to Copy to Drafts (v5 of course).
  5. Select Import.

If you have lots of groups and update them regularly this could be rather tedious. But if you have mostly static groups and just one or two that are changing with any regularity, then this could be a viable workaround.

Hope that helps.

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