Select-All for drafts?!? iOS / iPadOS

I recently tried to select several sets of Drafts documents, but even as there is an “All” button, this only de-selected anything.

Beside a lack of such a “select-all” button, I also was not able to use the “Apple method” of selecting several items by selecting the first and than sliding down with the finger.

I have thousands of items, so selecting one by one seems pre-historic, or?

Did I miss something or is this basic feature missing in Drafts?
Many thanks for any help!

Tap and hold on “Select”

1 Like

Ahhhhh, great!

It’s a bit hidden, but I could have interpreted the line below “Select” as hint to some additional features over long-press.

But I came not to this idea, so thanks again!

The documentation is always worth a search and a read as it reveals a lot (though not all) of the more hidden features :sunglasses:

For what it’s worth, Drafts has so much functionality that making everything a first class, in your face, item of functionality would overwhelm many times over what is intended to be a simple interface for new users. When Gregg adds and changes bits of the user interface to accommodate updates in a beta version of the app, there is usually a lot of back and forth in the Slack discussion channels for the beta on the impact and the myriad ways people want to align it to the way they use Drafts. Definitely a balancing act that grows more difficult with each new additional set of functionality the app gains.


Yes, I once subscribed to Drafts but then noticed that I never ever used any Pro features, not even workspaces.

I like to use Drafts for basic text entering, but finally did never use anything else - not even the right-side menu (like Basic).

So, I am not very used to the deeper stuff within Drafts.

But exporting (and importing) notes would be great as a basic inbuilt feature, IMHO!
I mean, its already there - nearly. But exporting everything in one giant file is … not very useful for the bulk of people :sweat_smile:

You can export and import, but users typically want to export for a purpose, and there are quite a few import options.

Assuming the action I created for you above is not suitable, can you define precisely what you would want it to do? Chances are it differs to what many users would want/expect.

You mean “Export selected drafts” from the other topic?
I replied there …

It sounds near perfect, but removes the first line from each note - this would be missing then, so I would like to export it too.

I think the basic requirements for most people are the same:

Import and export a selection of notes.
Importing seems easy.
Exporting is not really useful right now, but with your action (esp. when the first line is not deleted) this looks already quite good!

Potential problem could be files that start with the same first line - adding a timestamp to the filename could help around this! This would be great anyways to save the last modification date.

I respectfully disagree based on the range of requests I have seen posted on this forum over the last 5+ years from hundreds of Drafts users. People regularly ask for specifics and then variations on those specifics, and then other users join in with their tweaks and adjustments to how they would want it to work for them. They are all valid and unlike many other apps which have a single export option (which for Drafts would most likely be the JSON export), Drafts allows you to build your own actions to do exactly what you want/need it to do to support the scenario at hand with your own way of working, and your own personal preferences.

From your own example above, I do not believe that everyone would find a timestamp useful. I can cite myself as a case where I only sometimes choose to save out a draft utilising a timestamp, and more often than not I actually suffice with a date stamp. Some users in some circumstances would presumably find it critical and unique enough that they would want to forego the inclusion of the title line in the filename altogether. Some users would want the creation timestamp whereas others would want the modified timestamp depending upon what is most relevant to the way they work, others maybe even an export timestamp, but regardless, what format should be used for the timestamp, and how would the safe file name be prefixed or appended (another choice), with a space, a period, a hyphen, and if one of the latter, would that be delimited by spaces? There are dozens of logical variations around just the filename.

Many applications, particularly screenshot applications I’ve noticed, allow you to specify file name formats based on tokens for just such a situation. Well Drafts has that built in via its template tags (tokens) and actions.

I guess my point is that it is impossible to define a one size fits all, or even a one size fits 50% of people. People are using Drafts for so many different scenarios that there are too many variations across ways of working, individual preferences, and the needs of what they are attempting to accomplish by exporting the data to a file … but all are possible.

There may be greater consolidation is for particular scenarios. For example, people who want to export entries from Drafts into Day One for their journalling. In such cases a standard format of an ISO format date stamp on a draft tagged journal and based on the creation timestamp might be perfect for 99% of people. But you may also get scenarios like people exporting to Obsidian. In Obsidian you probably do want to exclude the title line given the options that particular application offers, but it is entirely possible you also want to include some YAML in your export to add in your drafts tags, an alias for the file that is the title for the draft, and maybe even the geo-location data for where the draft was created. I use some, but not all of these, in my own Obsidian file exports from Drafts.


I am going to reply to this a bit later!

I replied in the topic that is more on-topic: