Using Day One with Drafts

CleanShot 2023-02-27 at 10.39.43@2x

Day One is a personal journaling app. Drafts can create entries in your Day One journal via several methods, each with some advantages and disadvantages. See details and example actions below.

Share Extension

The Day One app includes a share extension, which can be used with Drafts’ Share action, which works through the system share sheet.

To send text to the share sheet, just run the “Share” action in Drafts, and select Day One as the target app.

  • Pros:
    • Requires no additional actions or setup.
    • Allows manually adding tags, and journal selection.
    • Remain in Drafts when finished.
  • Cons:
    • Additional taps to select Day One app in the share sheet, and confirm entry.
    • Cannot pass existing tags or timestamp information.

URL-Based Actions

Day One has support for receiving text and tags for a new entry via URL. Drafts URL actions can send text, tags, and even target a specific journal in Day One with URLs. Start with example actions below.

  • Pros:
    • Quick, single-tap action does not rely on anything other than Drafts and Day One.
  • Cons:
    • Entry will be created on date-time the action is run.
    • Day One will open and come to the front.

Example Actions

  • Send to Day One: Create a Day One entry with just the text of the current draft.
  • Send to Day One with Tags: Create a Day One entry with the text of the current draft, assigning any tags already assigned in Drafts.
  • Send to Day One Journal: Same as previous action, but targeting a specific journal (if you have more than one). Edit this action after install to configure the journal name in the first “Define Template Tag” step of the action.

For more details on Day One’s available URL actions, see Day One’s URL scheme documentation


Day One entries can also be created through Apple’s Shortcuts app. Although this creates an additional dependency on Shortcuts, it allows you to also pass the creation timestamp of a draft to Day One as the creation date of the new entry - which may be desirable if you capture in Drafts and process to Day One at a later time.

  • Pros:
    • Allows creation date/time of the draft to be set as the entry date/time in Day One.
    • Leave you in Drafts when complete.
  • Cons:
    • Requires shortcut to be installed and available on the device.

Example Shortcut (and Drafts Action)

  • Shortcut: Send Current Draft to Day One: This shortcut gets the current draft from Drafts, and creates a new entry in Day One with the text of the draft, assigning any tags assigned in Drafts, and setting the entry date-time based on the time the draft was originally created. This can be run directly from Shortcuts.
  • Drafts Action: Send to Day One (via Shortcuts): This Drafts’ action simply calls the above Shortcut by name and is provided as a convenient - the above shortcut must also be installed for this to work.
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This is fantastic. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I export a draft of yesterdays activities, ideas, and notes to Day One the following morning of every day. I have bee using the URL scheme but there is no way to specify the date with the URL callbacks. Hence, the entry was created in Day One with today’s date, which I would then have to edit to be yesterday’s date.

With the shortcut, the creation date generates the Day One entry correctly.

A little note. The shortcut came into my system set to “get” the “draft”. This only exported the draft title to Day One. When I doubled clicked on “Content” and told it to “get” the “content” (Doh! :grin:), it worked perfectly.

Weird. Some sort of Shortcuts export-import glitch, I guess. Glad it was easy to sort out.

I am looking for some way to append to my Day One entry intermittently during the rather than creating a new entry each time. Any suggestions for how to automate this.

I think you are asking if you can append to a single entry, and I don’t believe that is an option Day One supports. I think their general design (which makes a lot of sense) it to support an unlimited number of entries on the same day.

This is great , do you know if it is possible to pass the location data as well as the creation date to the “send current draft to Day one” Shortcut ? After all the location variable is available in the Day One action

In lieu of appending to a Day One entry every day, I create a new Draft every morning, append to it throughout the day, and then send it to Day One the next morning. Drafts is much more flexible when it comes to automation (:grin:).

thanks a lot! almost perfect… :slight_smile:

After a couple of days with this macro, I am sad to report that it is not working on my setup.

There are two variables in the shortcut that get passed from Drafts to Day One: Content and Creation Date. If I go into the shortcut, select these variables, and run the shortcut, all works fine. It continues to work if I run it multiple times in a row.

But something happens when I go to use the shortcut the next day. It fails and I have to re-select the two variables again. I suspect this is a some sort of sync issue.

I know this is a forum for Drafts, not Shortcuts, but I have not had this problem the dozens of other shortcuts that I have. Any thoughts on where to look to root out the issue?

Can you explain a bit about your ‘selecting’ of these variables? The shortcut is prebuilt with the variables in place, so I’m wondering what mitigation is going on exactly in terms of ‘selection’.

  • We’re they not there to begin with?
  • Are you tapping on them?
  • Are you tapping on them, switching to something else and then back to force a selection of them?
  • Are you tapping on them, deleting them, and then selecting them?
  • Something else?

Also, might you have already tried…

  1. Removing and redownloading the shortcut?
  2. Removing and creating the shortcut yourself from scratch?

Thanks for the reply…

In the shortcut that I downloaded, the Day One action was showing “Create entry with ‘Current Draft’” and the “Date” also was showing as ‘Current Draft.’ By “selecting these variables” I mean that specifically had to click on the Current Draft entry and chose the metadata “Content” or “Creation Date.” But these values were not persisting across sessions.

I just recreated the entry by deleting the Day One “Create Entry” action and re-adding it. It looks like the Day One action is displaying the variable correctly this time — i.e. it actually displays “Content” and “Creation Date.” However, it did not run. I still get prompted for “What do I want to write” despite passing “Content” to the action.

Is your current draft empty when running it? I think Day One prompts if there’s no text present.

No, the current draft is not empty.

Hmmm. Further testing …

I call the shortcut as the second step in a Drafts action. The first step in the action is to export the draft to a text file.

If I remove the export step and run the action that only calls the shortcut, it seems to be working fine. With the export action as the first step, the Day One shortcut prompts for “What do I want to write”

It doesn’t seem to matter if the Export as text step comes before or after the step that calls the Shortcut.

Could you share example action? Do you have “Wait for Response” enabled on the Shortcut step? If you use more other steps along with a Shortcut step, that’s recommended.

I turned on wait for response and it seems to be working. A half-dozen tests have gone through correctly.

I’ll try it again in the morning — the usual time when I run the action — and report back.

[Update: Checking “Wait for Response” seems to have done the trick. The Action — and shortcut — ran perfectly this morning." Whew! :grin:]

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