Launching New Drafts on iPad and Mac

Newbies have trouble wrapping their minds around using Drafts to launch text headed for Messages/Mail/etc, when it’s equally easy to use those apps. The answers are subtle, and you guys answer that a lot. But there’s a part of that issue that’s rarely discussed: ease-of-creating-new-Draft seems fundamental to getting over that initial hurdle.

For example, learning you can use iOS 14’s new “BackTap” function to double or triple tap the back of an iPhone to open a new draft opens up possibilities for people not already bought into the ecosystem.

But there’s no backtap for iPad. So how do people open a new draft there? Anything more convenient/clever than “Put Drafts in your dock”?

And, for that matter, on Mac? (my instinct would be to write an AppleScript and assign it a shortcut via Alfred’s powerpack).

I would say that isn’t true. There has been a lot of discussion about just opening Drafts and start typing. That’s been a key aspect marketing-wise since the beginning I think.

Some typical suggestions that would be:

iPad - put the widget on the home screen.

Mac - use the global quick capture function.

1 Like

I would say that isn’t true. There has been a lot of discussion about just opening Drafts and start typing.

To clarify, I meant from a newbie perspective (the newbie perspective and the power user perspective are obviously parsecs apart).

Something like Backtap, for a newbie, goes a long way (longer than you high priests may anticipate) toward making the app enticing. For those with a full and robust experience with the app’s flow, I realize that seems somewhat irrational.

I use Alfred to doubletap cmd which opens the quick-capture window of draft. This is as quick and as intuitive as the touble-backtap on iOS.

Moreover, I use Drafts together with the respective Popclip extension to create a draft with any text selection with just one click.

Another method is to assign cmd + # as custom keyboard shortcut for sharing stuff to Drafts in the macOS Sharesheet. (This can be done natively via System Settings → Keyboards → Shortcuts → App Shortcuts). This way, saving stuff like the current webpage in Chrome is just one keyboard shortcut away.


The fact that Drafts defaults to giving you a blank Draft whenever you open it makes this pretty easy. It’s in my dock on the iPad, I launch it, and start typing. Sure, stuff like focus mode and settings can change that, but a new user probably won’t do that immediately, :slight_smile:

As mentioned, widgets and share sheets are other ways to do this.

1 Like

Thanks, @armenotan , that was exactly the sort of tip I was hoping to see. Any tips for iPad?

MacSparky + Screencastsonline

The problem for the iPad is that, unless you use accessibility modes, there isn’t a way to create a keyboard shortcut or a gesture for yourself, so you’re left with the standard ways of launching things. Share sheets, the dock, widgets, homescreen icons and, if you’ve got an external keyboard attached, spotlight. IN fact that may be the fastest since iOS 14, since you can just hit cmd-space, start typing Drafts and hit enter when it appears.


@yvonnezed That was really helpful, thank you.