I have too many drafts to handle!

Drafts made it too easy to dump my thoughts into text.

I have too many drafts to handle. I tried to Merge them, file them into Obsidian, act on them but I have since given up. Sometimes, I tell myself that it might just be easier to tag them in Drafts and keep them into Workspaces i.e. using Drafts as my filing system instead. The Search is pretty good anyway.

I know I should make it a habit to review my drafts at the end of the day to move them to it’s appropriate system. Often, I find myself too exhausted at the end of the day that I just want to close the computer and call it a day. Then, they start to pile up.

What is the best practice?

i have built an action group to get my thoughts into a single draft and process it later on:

You can also use this action to process your „INBOX“ workspace.

Personally I send drafts to either todoist, Craft or DEVONthink- but at least some drafts I just store in Drafts and Tag them into different workspaces

  • Make it your standing first task of the following day.
  • If timing permits, set aside time for a weekly review.

At some point you know you are going to have to do it. Tactics and tools can help speed that up, but if you have no energy to allow yourself to do it, you either need to give yourself more energy at that time, or change the time to where you have more energy.

Thanks for your suggestions. I will try out the action group recommended by @FlohGro .

One thing I notice is that my drafts tends to be around notes taken for the same customers, just that they come in on different days. This is where the Merge was really useful and I just decided recently that once I have merged them, I will trash the individual drafts, so that IF I end up using Drafts as a filing system, I don’t get duplicates when searching.

Edit: I just learned that I can append into an existing drafts from quick capture!

The one thing I need to figure out is how I can have a timestamp printed at the top of the drafts when I create them using the quick capture shortcut (CTRL-SPACE, in my case, in a Mac) so that when I merge them, these drafts are separated by timestamp. I think there is an action on merging that does this. I have to search for it this weekend.

This is not helpful but I couldn’t help myself… How many drafts are we actually talking about here? I’m a little over 2000 atm but I’ve been over 5000 before with zero issues.

Mine pales in comparison to yours. I am in the hundreds… how do you even manage??

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To be honest, brilliantly! In so many different ways! It’s one of the reasons I love/depend on Drafts so much - it’s the only space in which I feel completely free to create as many or as few separate notes/“files” as I need without consequence. (And yet I have comfortably drafted notes over 15000 words before.) If you’re interested/if it’d be of help, I’m more than willing to go over some of the particulars of what I mean either here or privately if you’d like. My contact info can be found on my profile. :slight_smile:

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Would be interested how you manage drafts :slight_smile: do you have a writeup of that?

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Well shucks! For one thing, I’m flattered, @FlohGro that someone of your familiarity/potency with Drafts would be curious about my setup hehe. I’ve been writing a lot about Drafts recently, but something as straight up as “How I Manage Drafts” sounds like something I should start right now!

As of this moment, there’s quite a bit of raw evidence of my configuration available publicly on the web. davidblue.wtf/drafts is the main index of an experiment I’ve been doing using my NeoCities actions. If you’re really curious and want to spend the time, most of my total setup is on the directory, just unlisted - you can find my best attempt at indexing its links on my Drafts-specific GitHub repo.

And then there’s this WIP draft of a thing I’ve been working on for a while but you must keep it a secret… (It’s actually more of an outline of my setup at the moment than an address of its original intended purpose lol.)


fundamentally trust Drafts more than any other notetaking/word living application I’ve ever used, and a good deal of that comes from what feels like an extremely direct line to Greg.

This, this and thrice this. :wink:

Oh lord… I’ll be browsing through these pages for a while. On a quick skim, it looks like there’s a lot there that resonates with me and the way I view Drafts. H/T for the detailed documentation of your set-up!

@belgarion: FWIW, at last count, my inbox held just under 9000 drafts. I live between my main Drafts inbox and a few other workspaces, so that’s okay for me.


Thanks for the links! Will definitely have a look into your repo :+1:t3: Always interesting to see how people use drafts (extensively) to get inspirations of what’s possible :ok_hand:t3:


I’d suggest to try DEVONthink. You keep writing in Drafts and send all notes every now and then in a bulk over to DEVONthink—with one single action and not with specific actions created for specific kinds of notes. Because that would not be any different to your present situation.

DEVONthink will classify them. See if the results suit you.

You could also use tags and apply them directly after you have written a note. Singles notes are not a threat, a pile of them is. And the pile scares you so much you aren’t able to do anything anymore and then the pile grows even more. I know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, what you should be looking for is not the best practice but the best practice for you.

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Sounds to me that the best way you guys are using Drafts is as a repository too. I tried to send my drafts over to other places - Obsidian, email, Evernote - and that seems like a chore. If I use Drafts as a repository and just dump my daily notes taking into it without needing to take actions at the end of the day, I think I can live with that :slight_smile:

I’m not sure I’m up to trying another tool at this moment. I appreciate the suggestion.

asking for the best practice here is an awfully broad question, I think. Like a lot of others on this thread, Drafts is my notes repo, but whether that’s the right answer for you depends on your workflow as a whole. Questions like “what notes am I capturing?” “When do I need them again and for what?” might also be useful to think about so you can decide on the right workflow.

First thing’s first, take a deep breath. I wouldn’t try to catch up on processing what’s already in there unless there’s anything urgent you know you have to deal with. Either leave it where it is or just highlight everything and send it into archive or give it a tag or something to give you a clean workspace. Then, spend the day working the way you usually would. The next day, try to find 5 or 10 minutes in your day where you can process things. Heck, even if you decide to use Drafts as your main notes app you’ll probably have to spend some time tagging and possibly clarifying things so you can find them again later or you’ll give yourself a headache, :relaxed:. As for when, well try some experiments. Does first thing in the morning work, to catch you up on what you were thinking the day before? Do you stop for coffee at 10 in the morning and that will work? I used to have a regular timeslot just after my son came home from school while he was having a snack. Basically, it’s far more about workflow, rather than tools in my experience.

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Yep. As you say, I don’t see Drafts as an in tray that needs to be emptied. I can empathise with that sense of overwhelm when you look at a pile of things that require attention and feel as if you don’t even know where to begin. By contrast, I don’t see my Drafts inbox as a list of things that need to be “done”. My actionable items live in GoodTask; Drafts is more like my active memory— I don’t need to empty it often, but by the same token, I don’t need to methodically engage with every item there. Any individual draft’s relative value changes over time.

What I’m currently finding really useful is a perennial “index” note that allows me to manage various different entry points to my repository of notes, updated over time. That, and a good level of comfort with a search/filter action…

Drafts offers most of what I need for working/thinking in/with notes— fully native apps, Shortcuts integration, url schemes, JavaScript actions for extensibility, wiki style links between notes, workspaces, etc. I’ve tried Obsidian, all of the other popular text-based note-making and knowledge management apps, and a lot of other less well-known ones; not one of them has offered anything I need that I don’t already have in Drafts.

That’s not to say that Drafts doesn’t have its limits. I’m just comfortable with what those limits are. And of course, YMMV. Standard horses for courses disclaimer applies.

Heartily agree!