Drafts is a text app that many use to gather their thoughts before sending them on elsewhere.  For example, you might not know where an idea belongs just yet. You could enter it into Drafts and decide later as to what to do with it. Another nicety is that you can call up a persistent floating text pane. That way, while research for example, you could read, then take a few notes, then check out a website, and take more notes without the text ever leaving the front.

Drafts is an app that requires a subscription. I’m still experimenting with Drafts and seeing if/how it can fit my own workflows, so I don’t know how fully onboard I am with it yet. However, I do know that it is quite popular in the productivity community. There is a free version available.

One of the interesting things you can do with Drafts is create “Actions”. There are more than I can list, but examples could be:

  • Create a list of tasks in OmniFocus
  • Append to iCloud journal
  • Post to WordPress and
  • Quite a lot more

Adding text to DEVONthink from Drafts

If you have the free version, you can download and install an action that sends a note to DEVONthink.  When run:

Send to DEVONthink action

you’ll be prompted with a window that asks where you want to send the note within the DEVONthink database:

DEVONthink options for entry dialogue

If you have the pro version, you can create an even faster process of filing.  Korm, a kind coding forum goer at the DEVONthink discourse, created a neat action that:

  1. Takes a note,
  2. Adds a table of contents,
  3. Adds a date stamp, and
  4. Sends it to a specific, pre-determined location in your DEVONthink database.

For something like a Slip-Box, this can be quite handy. You can download the action here. There is some setup involved, but not much, explained in the readme.  You do need to have the pro version to be able to edit the action in order to make it work.

In Practice with a Slip-Box

Ultimately, when using it for my Slip-Box work, I’m finding the key differences between this method and using the built-in Sorter that DEVONthink installs are:

  1. The convenience of having a floating window.
  2. Being able to use Drafts interim status of an idea.
  3. Having the pre-set location of the Slip-Box Inbox ready to go.

While I’m working through a few ideas, I find I’m more often using the built-in Sorter.  But when I do have an idea I’m crafting, unsure of where it will go, or I want to be able to have larger text real-estate that is floating around the screen, the Drafts app provides an interesting method.

Addendum 2021-02-28

Special thanks to Andrew in the comments below who figured out why this wasn’t working for everyone. “You need to click a box in Devonthink preferences. Specifically, under ‘Import’, you need to set the Destination as ‘Select Group’.”