✱ Drafts 3.0 —all about organization

Fire up your App Store updates tab and grab the latest and greatest version of Drafts from Greg Pierce, at Agile Tortoise. Released today, version 3.0 is packed full of new goodies including the ability to backup your action setup. The full list of new features is far too long to mention in one post –unless you’re Italian–, but I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about what the most useful parts of the new version are for me personally.

The killer new stuff in 3.0 is all about organizing your drafts and actions. In previous iterations of the app, you had a main list of drafts, and while that was searchable –and still is– it could get tedious once your list got to be relatively long. The same can be said for your action list. The more you added, the longer scrolling your list became. This is all fixed up in 3.0, and quite cleverly.

Action Panes

You now have panes that you can assign actions to. Not only does this cut down on long lists, but is also handy for sorting your actions in a way that makes sense for you.

For example, I’m using three of the 4 available panes. The first is for my most used actions –consisting mostly of custom URL schemes. The second is all social sharing actions (email, twitter, ADN, iMessage), and the third is built-in actions for sending text to other apps installed on my iPhone. This new setup allows for even faster speed in sending your drafts where they need to go.

Draft Panes

Similar to the panes for actions, there are also new ones for your drafts. There are three available; Inbox, Archive, and Pinned.

For me, the Inbox is treated as somewhat of a triage section. In other words, an area that holds all the drafts that I’m going to send somewhere else.

The Archive is exactly what it sounds like. I’ve been keeping generic notes in there that I want to be able to access later. Something that is rarely talked about is how good Drafts is as a general note-taking app. I use it constantly throughout the day to jot down quick thoughts in meetings or while sitting at my desk. These notes don’t need to be sent to another app. They live in Drafts. The archive fits this need perfectly.

The third pane is for notes that you want to pin. Basically I use this as an area to keep a small subsection of my notes that may pertain to active projects before they head to the archive.

Another nice touch in 3.0 is when you swipe on a drafts, you’re presented with 2 additional options along with the delete button. Say you’re in your Inbox, you will now see a button to archive or pin that note. This is great for quickly rearranging your notes.

All of this sounds complex, but that’s due to my inelegant description of the update. When you try it, it will all make sense.

Markdown Keyboard

Since its release, Drafts for iPad sported an extra row of keys for quickly adding Markdown to notes. In version 3.0, the iPhone gets some love in this area. The catch here is since you already have some options (link-mode, drafts, search, etc) in the area that would usually be assigned to extra keys, Greg had to find an elegant solution, and he did. Swipe the bar above the keyboard up to 3 times, and you’ll get the extra keys. This has made getting text into the app even faster than it was in version 2.x –and it was already very speedy.

Conclusion

All-in-all, Drafts 3.0 is another excellent update to what was already a phenomenal app. Greg deserves a ton of credit for continually adding new features that not only greatly enhance the app, but never detract from it’s greatest strength; speed. Drafts is, and has been, one of my most used apps, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.