One of the most underrated productivity apps for creators is Drafts (iOS and Mac). It is the place where I write most of my texts. More than in Notion, more than in Roam. Living up to its tagline it is for me where text starts. It is the place where I capture ideas and create first drafts of many messages, even important emails.
Because of its simplicity and specialization, Drafts allows me to capture more ideas and communicate faster in written form. It is not easy to explain why Drafts is so useful. Its power results from a combination of features, design choices, and the habit to actually make use of it. I'll try to explain it by listing the most valuable aspects for me.
Drafts is fast, simple, and always available
Drafts became the most used text input on my phone most likely because of its speed and efficiency. When opening Drafts I instantly get an empty plain text input and can start typing. No loading time, no navigation, no decision required. I click the app icon and start typing within a second. This quality alone improved my productivity in capturing good ideas substantially. It lowers the barrier to write things down. That's why by now Drafts is one of the four apps in my iPhone Dock, the bar at the bottom of the home screen.
I use Drafts for almost all first drafts
Picture me laughing because it was only while I wrote this title that I made the connection between the name of the app and one of its primary purpose: creating drafts! Indeed I am using Drafts to create nearly all my initial drafts of notes, articles, emails, and messages including tweets. The reason is that I can fully focus on the content and handle editing, formatting, and organization at a later point. Drafts is just ready to go and take in all my thoughts efficiently. That's perfect for the first draft as you can stay in the flow of writing without getting distracted by unessential choices.
Drafts enables me to excel at brain dumping
Capturing text is all I need in these precious moments when I have an idea, need to do a brain dump, or take quick notes from a podcast or talk. Many people use sheets of paper for this but I prefer to have the text as quickly as possible in digital form to copy and paste from there.
I can attest to the effect that if you like to generate more ideas or accumulate more knowledge then start writing things down. Our brain is a marvelous object but it is definitely not optimized for keeping a track of all the thoughts you have during the day. Over time I build up the habit to write good ideas down in Drafts (I'll soon describe the detailed process).
Jan 10, 2021 - posted