I love to outline. It is a very quick efficient way to write quick organized thoughts.
Unfortunately, Drafts seems to handle outlining differently from the way that traditional writing apps like Word/Pages handle outlining. I understand that this is on purpose as Drafts is a different kind of text editor but still I think this is a missed opportunity.
First I’ll talk about how many other apps handle outlining, why it’s powerful, and how it could still fit in Drafts without sacrificing Drafts core identity.
Other apps allow you to quickly add a bullet by simply typing * followed by space, or start a numbered list by typing 1. followed by space. They even automatically add a new bullet on the next line when you press return, or the next number on the line when you press return. [Drafts does all of these things great. However, I don’t think Drafts does numbered lists for roman numerals automatically.]
Also on other apps, when you are editing a bulleted list, and you press Tab, it will indent the whole line and update the bullet to match other bullets on that indent level. Also, if editing a numbered list, it will indent the line AND intelligently update the number to match the hierarchy of the numbered list. For example indenting the third line in this numbered list:
will auto update the list to look like this:
Notice yellow automatically changed to 1. and green automatically changed to 3. Similarly Shift-Tab will outdent and will also intelligently update the numbering to match the outline structure. In a few seconds, the user can easily and quickly write out a complex hierarchy in outline format without having to click through a single menu. [Drafts doesn’t seem to have this Tab indenting feature, nor the intelligent numbering feature.]
These are powerful features that I use ALL the time and are a huge part of how I think. They are also standard in many text editing apps (even Notes), however there is a drawback: they remove your ability to type the literal “Tab” character as explained here. Fair enough.
However I think there is a way to add in this functionality without permanently removing the literal “Tab” character. How about “Outline Mode”?
Outline mode could be a simple toggle mode button on the bottom of the screen right next to the “Link Mode” button. Just like how link mode disables editing while it is on, “Outline Mode” could disable literal "Tab"s. Instead of typing Tab, the Tab button would use the “Indent” action and Shift-Tab would use the “Outdent” action.
If someone wants to type literal “Tab” they simply turn off “Outline Mode”.
Intelligent numbered lists would simply be on by default and always update numbering in the background (even updating if the order is changed in arrange mode). However, if intelligent numbering becomes a problem for someone (for example coders) then intelligent numbering could easily be toggled off in the settings.
Lastly, intelligent numbering wouldn’t have to conflict with Markdown. These are all features supported by Markdown and HTML.
Hopefully this feature request would be helpful for others as well. Please send me your feedback.