Quick capture to action

One way I’ve used to using Drafts on iOS is that I open it, it gives me a quick blank space to write anything. Then I may decide to send it with email, post it to forum, etc with a quick action. Drafts for MacOS has this shortcut for quick capture shortcut besides the main Drafts window. The main Drafts window seems like designed for a bit longer, with the default “new draft” set to 30 minutes. And there’s no shortcut that I know to quickly create a new draft in the main Drafts view. What’s puzzling to me is that there’s no quick way to perform an action on the quick capture window. If I make a note in the quick capture window, I then need to save it to the main Drafts app, switch to the main Drafts view, then select the action from there. In practice this means that if I ever use the quick capture shortcut, I usually just resolve to selecting, copying, pasting and deleting it all manually.

It’d help if there was a way to perform an action on the quick capture view. I personally wouldn’t mind if the quick capture also automatically created the same draft in the main Drafts view. Maybe I don’t understand the use cases other people have for this quick capture behaviour. Do you use it like a scratch pad? In any case, the way I’d like to use it is just to write the thing in there, run an action and be done with it.

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Agree it would be nice to have action support in the quick capture window, and that may come someday. It’s primary purpose it to pop up and let you capture something while in other apps without imposing on your current work otherwise.

There is a global shortcut to bring the main window to front, with all its capabilities and action support. It will respect your “new draft after” setting, so will be opened to a new draft if it’s been longer than your timeout since you last used it - or if not, you can just hit ⌘-N to get a new draft.

I came here looking for this very thing. Perhaps something like ⇧return could pop up a search box to start typing the name of the action that could then be navigated with arrows and activated with return again.

I agree this would be very useful for certain Actions. For example, I made a simple Drafts Action that appends the current draft to my # Random Thoughts draft:

let d = Draft.find("7905B945-2284-45F5-9E4A-F524C1AE88AF");
d.content = d.content + "\n" + "- [ ] " + draft.content;

With the help of this requested feature, when a random thought occur to me mid-work, I can capture it within seconds without:

  • Cluttering my GTD inbox with non-actionable random ideas
  • Cluttering my Drafts inbox with thoughts that I later need to run the above action on one by one
  • Potentially interrupting my ongoing work by opening Drafts’ main window

Interesting thought.
But maybe it is not the problem of the App.

I started to tag my thoughts whit a special marker.

during the processing stage of gtd they could be collected and added to a random thought draft in one single action step.

on the other hand - are they really accessible in there later?

do not get me wrong - I may be on the wrong path here - but my gtd system gets so cluttered all the time. I think this is because I try to collect ideas that are not actionable but are worth keeping (no trash).

the question is how to keep them and to use them later.

my actual approach is to understand and learn the Zettelkasten (slip-box). Maybe you are interested to look into that idea.

The concept of Zettelkasten was introduced to me recently by a note-taking app called Obsidian. The methodology sounds really intriguing to me, but I have to admit the learning curve for me is much steeper than anticipated.

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I am experimenting with a paper and drafts based concept

it is still in an early experimental stage but the note taking on a ringed slip paper notebook feels promising to me in this stage.

wiki-style links in drafts [[link]] are great especially because they allow jumping around notes without the linked mode (chain symbol)


I set my default input capture of drafts to be a slip-box tagged item

another idea is to use draft uuids and or printed QR Codes (with links to drafts) to glue paper and digital together.

Other apps are still in the queue fror evaluation
Die to my excessive iOS usage I am still hesitant to this apps.

Indeed, WikiLinks is a powerful tool in note taking, and especially in Zettelkasten.

In addition to Drafts, there’re also Bear and 1Writer that support [[WikiLinks]]. Obsidian is under very active development and their mobile apps should be released before the end of 2020 if thing go well. DEVONthink on the Mac can be configured to support it, so their mobile app may support it too some time in the future.