Things Actions - Time Savings or Cool Automation


I’m caught up in the Cult of iOS Automation: a user of Drafts5, Workflow, Things3, Pythonista, etc.

The past couple days, I was working with Drafts and Things, trying out the various approaches in the Action Directory to feeding Things from Drafts. It’s not easy to remember specific syntax; I’m sure it becomes second nature after using a standard set after a short while. (I created a Keyboard Group with an “Add Text” action for each of the various inputs which solved having to keep looking them up.)

One thought keeps nagging me: Am I really saving anything by using Drafts? All my efforts involve hand-crafting a string with specific markup to then feed to some JavaScript parser.

Why not just do it directly in Things? How could I ever have something in Drafts that would be auto-formatted to serve feeding Things without following all the special formatting rules. Why not just use split screen drag and drop to add tasks or just typing directly into Things when creating Projects, Lists and Areas, adding tags, etc.

Does anyone have tasks, projects, etc that don’t require manipulation to send to Things?

Drafts to Things automation is starting to seem silly to me.

Your thoughts?


I can never remember the special syntax either. I just use Drafts to quickly save the task. Later when I have more time, I clean it up and move it to Todoist. This saves me from putzing around with labels and projects and due dates when someone stops me in the hallway or if I remember something while waiting in line for lunch. If I have the time, I usually just open Todoist directly.


I think it depends on how you work. If I have a single task come up (say I’m out and think of something that I need to do later) then I will often just put it straight into the task manager (mainly Todoist, but currently playing with Things)

Other times I’m sitting and thinking through my day, or doing some planning, and several tasks will come out of it. For that situation I prefer dropping it all into Drafts and then process into the task manager afterwards.

That’s why I wrote my multi line Todoist quick add action. I can add as much detail as I need with each task and get them ready to process quickly


I typically dump straight into the inbox for processing later. For me the important part is that I captured the information quickly because I’m often in the midst of doing something else when I capture a new task.