[Poll] VIM mode for Editing Drafts

Happy Drafts Pro user here. Primary use case is text capture away from my MBP. One long running draft I maintain is a “to do” list. I’d like to be able to edit this file (and others) in vim when I’m at my laptop as that is where I edit text.

I believe drafts are stored in a database (within iCloud) which implies no direct editing within vim.

Perhaps someone has already developed a method to handle this use case and might share it? Alternatively, what are the steps…some sort of export…edit in vim…write back…import? Any pointers around the issues involved or automation appreciated.


Any particular reason you wouldn’t edit in Drafts or store the list outside of Drafts? It sounds like you’re trying to wire together two different processes that could work fine independently.

In terms of automating it you would have to interact with Drafts at some level, so anything like AppleScript, Keyboard Maestro, Drafts actions & URL schemes could help you automate some aspects of this.

I spend a lot of time in my editor of choice, often with 20 or so open buffers and I touch my to do list in Drafts (for Mac) during the day frequently enough to want to integrate it into my vim operations. Essentially, its about reducing friction and living in the console for text processing.

Thanks for the pointers - that’s the direction of travel I suspect, hoping someone has already done some of the legwork and can share details.


I think there is a Taskpaper Action Group which has an import and export action. It basically gets a file from Dropbox in the editor and writes it back. Just search for Taskpaper in the Action Directory.

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@craigba did you end up finding a workflow that works for you for vim/drafts editing/etc?

if you are already on a Mac I suggest you use VS Code or PyCharm/IntelliJ with a VIM keyset and a Task plug-in/extension.

To get it to drafts export it to Taskpaper or Narkdown and move it to Drafts with a Script (search for Batch Import in the forum)

I would like this too…as much as I love Drafts, I am much more efficient in (Neo)vim with text objects and motions that are in muscle memory. It would be great to wire those processes together somehow. The other editors with keyboard emulations are nice but nothing compared to the real thing (IMO).

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Sorry I think Emacs gets the preference due to its Butterfly command

Just joking!

It would be interesting to hear @agiletortoise opinion about a VIM mode.

If it really would be implemented in Drafts I would like it to be available in iOS too


I have not pursued it further (yet), but like the look of the suggestion by @eLindros so would explore that as a next step

So change my whole editing setup for one integration? When you invest in your tools over time, shaping them to be as effective and efficient as you can make them for the common tasks you do (and capable of handling the outlier tasks but with more effort) then the switching costs are naturally very high. I did enjoy your Butterfly XKCD reference though :slight_smile:

Thanks. The jest goes against emacs users who seem to have the last word to often.

The real editor is Vim. I love the way PyCharm/IntelliJ and VS Code integrates it.

For all Vim-Users (aka Modest Real Programmers)

Are you looking for a quick way to work with a draft file and import/export it?