SCOM0761 – Drafts 5 for iOS – Part 2

SCOM0761 – Drafts 5 for iOS – Part 2


(Music) – [Mike] Hi, this is Mike Schmitz and welcome to another edition
of Screen Casts Online. This week we’ll be revisiting
Drafts version 5 for iOS. A great note taking app
that makes it really easy to capture whatever is on your mind. And then send that text to
the appropriate place later. In Episode 739, we gave
you an introduction to the application itself. But we heard from several people who asked for a deeper dive into the
powerful export actions that make Drafts such a
powerful productivity app. So in this episode
we’re gonna walk through different types of export
action steps you can use when creating your own export actions and explain what they do. After watching this tutorial
you’ll have a better idea of what you can do with the
export actions and Drafts. And how you can use these building blocks to build your own productivity work flows on your iOS devices. Let’s get started. (tech music) Before we get started I should
point out that everything I’m about to show you
with these export actions requires the pro version of Drafts. Drafts Pro is $4.99 a month and is required if you want the ability to create and edit actions. You activate the pro version by going into the settings in
Drafts but you’re going to have to make sure that this is enabled before you can create and edit actions like we’re about to do. Alright so with that
disclaimer out of the way. Let’s dig into this application. Depending on your settings. Drafts may give you a blank slate when you first open the application. In this particular case I
have a note that I captured when I was out and about. I heard about a book that I wanted to read and this is the perfect type of thing to put into Drafts
because I don’t want to do anything with this right now. I just want to jot this down and then I can take appropriate
action on this idea later. In fact I’ve got a bunch
of these in Drafts. So this is the perfect
thing to use as an example with this first export action typed up we’re gonna take a look at. Which is manipulating the clipboard. To set up an action we need to tap on the export actions icon in the upper right. I’ve got my Screen
Casts Online group here. I’ve cleaned it out so we
can start from scratch. I’m gonna create a new
action in this group by tapping on the plus
icon in the lower right. And I’ll have this
option every time that I create one of these to add a new action or add one from the directory. The directory is
definitely the easiest way to instal actions into Drafts. But for the sake of this tutorial, we want to understand
how each one of these export action steps work
so that we can start building our own actions. So let’s start from scratch
and tap on add new action. We’ll give this action a
name of Append to Clipboard. And then where it says steps, I’m going to tap on this and add steps to this export action. Right now we have no steps to find. We’re gonna add one by
tapping on the plus icon in the upper right. And we’ll see all of
the available step types in Drafts Version 5. We’re gonna look at a
lot of these and explain what they do to give you some ideas of how they can be strung together. This first one is Clipboard. So we can manipulate the
contents of our system Clipboard by tapping on this. We’ve got the template to it’s gonna take the content from the draught
and then we can either replace, prepend or
append to the Clipboard with the contents of this draught
by using this draught token. I don’t really want to
duplicate copy and paste but I do want to make a list of things. So I’m gonna use append and
then tap on save and exit to go back to our Screen
Casts Online group. Tap on cancel and now we
can trigger this action by tapping on it. So now I have boundaries by Henry Cloud appended to my Clipboard. So it’s gonna be added a line below whatever was on my Clipboard previously. Which happened to be the
name of another book, The Power of Heaven by Charles Duhigg. So now I’ve got two books on my list. I can go back to my Drafts
and add a few more if I want. So let’s close the action group and tap on the Drafts
icon in the upper left to see the other Drafts
that we have available. to the place that you want it to go. But one unique feature about this is it has the ability to
run in the background. That means you don’t need
to have the pop up display and choose where you want to send it. This can be a big time saver when you’re emailing information into an application like Evernote or OmniFocus. A lot of productivity apps
have these email addresses that you can send things to and
it will automatically appear in your account. So even if Drafts
doesn’t directly integrate with the productivity
application that you want to use. If it has a mail to service like this. You can use these send
in the background feature to get information in there easily. And many of these services have
different formatting options which you can use in the subject lines, in the to addresses. That will tell it where
it’s supposed to go. One of the services that
does this is Evernote. So that’s the one that we’re gonna use in this particular example. So let’s say I’ve got a
list of podcast in Evernote that I want to listen to. And I hear about this new
one called Automators. So I capture it in Drafts and the moment that I capturing this. It’s now recorded. I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I can come back, clean up
my Drafts inbox later and decide what to do with this. In this case we’re going to
create a custom export action that’s going to do something
specific with this information. And again the way we do
that is by tapping on the export actions button. Go back to our Screen Casts Online group and tap the plus icon in the lower right. Then select add new action. So the name of this action,
we’re gonna use Evernote. And I’m gonna put in parenthesis podcasts because that’s the example
that’s gonna help me keep it straight from some
other stuff we’ll do later. And again we’ll tap on steps
and we’ll select the step that we want by tapping on the plus icon. The next one on the list is mail. So we want to send an email message. Here we can put the
recipients, the to address, CC or BCC. I’m going to paste my super
secret Evernote email address which is going to tell
Evernote to stick this text that I’m sending it with my account. If we go down to subject
we’ve got the title tokens. So this would be the
first line of the draught. Now in this particular
case the entire draught is only one line. So we’ll remove that and we’ll tap on draught button in the keyboard
to use the draught tokens. So that’s the entire
contents of the draught that will be put in the subject line. And then we’ll put a
space and then we’ll use some additional Evernote formatting. So by using an exclamation point. I can put a reminder in Evernote. Then I can put the at symbol
and put in the notebook name. So @podcast is going to tell Evernote to put it in the podcast notebook. And then using the pound sign I can apply a tag to the note as well. So we’ll use a pound sign tech. And then the body of the
note will remove this and will add new podcasts to check out. If we scroll down there’s
a couple other options. There is the ability to
send it as an HTML email. I’m not interested in that. But I do want to send
it in the background. There’s a description here
which says that if I send it in the background it’s going
to come from Drafts 5-mail at Drafts5.agiletortoise.com. And recipients have to
be able to recognise mail from that sender. So some services like Asana for example where you have to verify the
person who is sending email into the application. This may not work but for
something like Evernote. They don’t really care
where it comes from. This allows me to skip
the step with the pop up or have to enter in
the address every time. Toggle the sign, tap save an exit. And then fire this export action. We’ll get the green notification
to confirm that it worked. Okay, now let’s go into Evernote and see what this looks like. So if I go to Evernote, I’ve got my podcast notebook right here. I tap on it and I’ve got one
note which is Automators. There’s the body, the
new podcast to check out. An if I tap on the tags button we can see the tag of tech has been applied. So you could even create a
whole group of actions like this for the different types of
things that you might send to your other productivity applications. But this can be really handy
when you want to automate all of the organisation of these things that you send to these apps. Okay so that’s the mail action. Now let’s leave Evernote
and go back into Drafts and look at the next export action. Which is the messages export action. This can be handy when
you want to send a message to a bunch of people once
straight from Drafts. So let me give you an example. Not too long ago I presented at the Mac Stock 2018 Conference. And there were a couple of people there from the Screen Casts Online team. And we had a group message set up so that we could communicate when
everybody came into town. So let’s say everybody
is about to head out. I’m running a little bit late. I don’t want everybody
waiting at the hotel for me and I want to tell them just go ahead. I will meet you at the conference. So I’m gonna create this message and then I’m gonna create
another export action. And we’re gonna call this
one group text example. Let’s go to the steps and this time we’ll add a message step. We want to send in iMessage
with the Messages app. And for the sake of privacy
I’m not going to add these people to the message live. Let’s just go straight to the point where I have people’s names filled in. But what I really want to focus on is the other stuff that we can
do with this message itself. So we’ve got a subject line here. We could put in a subject if we wanted to and then we’ve got the body itself. Which again we could use different tokens. I want to use the message itself. So I’m gonna leave the draught token and we’ll save this and fire this. Instead of seeing the green confirmation that the action has been successful. It’s gonna take me straight
to the messages application. It’s gonna paste the
text from Drafts into the body of the text. And I could now send this
message if I wanted to by tapping on the up arrow. I don’t actually want to send this because the conference is past and these guys might be a little bit confused. So we will hit cancel. We’ll go back to Drafts and because I didn’t send the message. You can see I actually
get a red notification saying that the action was unsuccessful. But that’s okay because you get the idea and you can see what this action does. So this one’s pretty
simple and straight forward but can definitely be
handy if you send things to groups of people over and over again. Instead of having to locate that thread in your Messages app. You could just create an action. Fire it off to everybody
with the tap of a button in Drafts instead. Next is the share sheet export action which allow us to send this to pretty much any other application on our iOS device. So for example, maybe I used
Drafts to capture an idea and then I flushed it out in Drafts. But ultimately I want this
thing to be in Ulysses which is where I do all
my long form writing. Rather than type this all out. I’m going to just paste
a bunch of this text that I’ve copied from another application. So here’s my text. We still need to create
a new export action which is going to
demonstrate the functionality of this share sheet action. So we’ll tap the export actions. We’ll tap the plus icon, add a new action. We’ll call this one share sheet example. Okay we need to add a step. Tap the plus icon and
the next one on the list is the share step type where we can open the system share sheet. So we’ll tap that. And again we can change
the tokens if we want. I want all of the texts form this draught to be sent to the
application I would select from the share sheet though. So I’ll just leave this
and tap save and exit. We’ll fire this export action. The share sheet opens and
we’ve got lots of options here. We can even air drop this if we wanted to. There’s some common actions
we can do on the bottom. And then there’s
applications that we can edit in the middle row. Now I’m gonna scroll through this. I don’t see Ulysses in this list but that doesn’t mean it’s not available. Just tap the more button and you’ll see all of the applications on your iOS device that could appear in the share sheets. So if I scroll down to the
bottom, I’ll see Ulysses. We’ll toggle that on. Tap the done button. And now Ulysses in in our share sheet. So we’ll tap on Ulysses. Okay, we get this pop up
which is the text itself. I can even choose where I
want to send this Ulysses. The inbox is fine for now. So we’ll tap send. We’ll get the green notification. Which again indicates that the action has fired successfully. Alright, let’s go back to our Drafts. And let’s see if this
made its way into Ulysses. Let’s close Drafts, go into Ulysses. There is the article for Mike
Schimtz’s iPhone home screen which appeared Mac
Stories not too long ago. So here I’ve got my text. It’s in Ulysses and now this is synced with Ulysses on my iPad
and my Mac as well. So, I could pick up editing
this anywhere I want to in my writing application of choice. So that’s one example of
how I use the share sheet. There are actually quite a few
options with the share sheet. We’re not gonna get into all
of those in this tutorial. But if you use the share sheet frequently then recognise that this export action could be a very handy
step when you’re building your own productivity workflows. Whether you want to
print something as PDF’s. Run workflows in the workflow app. Or simply save things to Dropbox. You can do that all
through the share sheet. Let’s continue with our
export action examples and the next one on the list
is the reminders export action. So going back to Drafts,
we’re gonna create a new draught which has something that
we want to remember. In this case I want to
remember to get spicy pickles next time we’re at the store. So I jot down a quick note in Drafts. And then we’ll go to our export actions and create a new action which has this reminders export action step. We’ll title this action add to reminders. And add the reminder action which is going to create a single
task in our reminders. We’ll look at list in
reminders in a little bit. Okay and in this step we
have a couple of options. We’ve got the list template. So we can leave this blank
to add it to the default list or we could put in the
name of a particular list that we want to add the thing to. And my example, I’m gonna
use the grocery store list. The title template is going to
be the contents of the draught. And the notes template
I’m going to use the date. Just to show you what this
looks like in reminders. This is gonna put a date
time stamp on the item so I know when I added
it to my reminders list. Okay, this is ready to go. Let’s fire this and see what happens. Okay once we get our
confirmation that the action executed successfully. We can leave Drafts
and go into reminders. And on our grocery store
list there are spicy pickles and there’s the date
time stamp from the date when I recorded this screen cast example. Os that’s handy for adding single items to your reminders list. But what if you want to add
a bunch of things at once. But we saw there was a
reminders list actions. So let’s go back to Drafts
and see what that looks like. Before we do that though. I’m going to check this
item off on the list. Now we’ll go back to Drafts. I’m gonna take our same list here but I’m gonna modify it slightly for this new export action type that
we’re about to take a look at. So the first thing we’re
gonna do is we’re going to go to the beginning of this
note and create a new line. This is gonna be the draught title and we’re gonna use
this so that the action can automatically put
it on the right list. So I’m going to use a pound sign and then the name of the
list which is grocery store. Then we’ve got the name of the first item which is spicy pickles. There’s another character that we can use to separate the notes from the
individual items on the list. Next we’ll add a few
more things to the list. Numenos which are way better
than Oreos and fancy coffee. Once we’re done with
the list we still need to create the export action
to send this to reminders. So tap on export actions. Add a new action. We’ll call this one reminders list. And for the step for this export action. We’re going to use the
next one on the list which is list and reminders. This allows us to create
a whole list of tasks based on the lines in the draught. So each line in the draught
is going to be it’s own item. And here we see the logic
behind some of the things that I added. So in the action we
can determine what list we wanted to go to. If we use the pound sign
or the hashtag symbol before the name of the list. Drafts is smart enough to figure out which reminders list that should go on. And then we’ve got the special character for the notes stelometer
which is the pipe character and then the template. This is what is gonna be
used to generate the lines used to create the tasks in reminders. So we want to leave that. We want the whole contents of the draught. So this is fine. We’ll save this and fire this action to see what it looks like. Again, we get the green confirmation that the action fired successfully. And now let’s go into Reminders and take a look at our
grocery store example. So here we’ve got three new items. We went through our spicy pickles already. So we got to get more and
then we’ve got Numenos and fancy coffee. And Drafts new which list to put this on because of the first line in the draught. So if we didn’t want to hard code that into the export action. We could use something like
this which still allows us to send it to multiple places. But doesn’t require us to
create a new export action for every list in Reminders. That might get to be
a little overwhelming. Especially if you’ve got a
bunch of different lists. The next export action
that we’re gonna look at is the event export
action which allows us to add things to our calendar from Drafts. So if we have a draught
with some information that we want to turn
into a calendar event. Maybe we want the name of
the calendar event to be thinking time. And then we’ve got a
question we want to ponder. This is gonna show up in the notes. Why do you drive on a parkway
and park on a driveway? Okay this is something
that we obviously need to devote some time to figuring out. So, let’s create a new export action which gives us the time on our calendar to solve on of life’s great mysteries. Tapping on the export
actions button again. We’ll create a new action. We’ll call this one calendar. We’ll go to steps and the
next one on the list is the event step which allows
us to create a calendar event using the system event card. So here’s the settings for this. The title of the calendar
event is going to be the title of the draught which
is the first line of the draught. In this case it’s thinking time. In the notes template,
this token body means everything except the
title of the draught. So, whatever notes I had after
the first line in the draught. That will show up in the notes field. So let’s save this, fire it. See what it looks like. And again, instead of getting
the confirmation notification. It takes me straight
to a screen where I can add this to my calendar. So we’ve got thinking time as the name of the calendar event already. By default it’s on all day. I want to change that. I want this to be at a specific time. So 10 am is fine. We can change any of the
other information here. Like which calendar
it’s going to appear on. I want this on my personal calendar. We could invite people
to this calendar event. We could also have an alert fire and we could determine
whether we want this to show as busy or not on our calendar. The in the URL or the
notes field here we’ve got all of our notes being pulled
in from the body of the draught. Once I tap add, we get
the green notifications saying that this has
successfully been added to our calendar. But in order to see this
we need to go to our calendar application. My calendar app of choice is Fantastic Cal right here on my dock. And in the list view here we
can see thinking time added for today at 10 am. If I tap on the event we’ll
get the additional information. Including the notes and which
calendar this is a part of. So everything looks like
it worked correctly. The next export action type on the list is actually called the export action. This allows us to put a file anywhere that we have access to on our iOS device. This one is really
interesting if you combine the ability to add files to cloud based file locations like Dropbox. With the ability of something
like Hazel on the Mac to watch those locations and take action on things automatically. So for example one thing that you could do is you could create a
draught which when you exported it to a Dropbox location. Automatically shut down your Mac while you were away from it. So to clarify, you wouldn’t necessarily need to be at your Mac
in order to shut it down. Let’s say you stepped
away from it for a moment. You realise that you’re
computer is unlocked in your office maybe. And you don’t want anybody going in there and messing with your stuff. You can shut it down remotely using the example I’m about to show you. So let’s create a new
draught and we’ll just put in the word shut down. Which is what we’re gonna tell
Hazel to look for on our Mac. And we’re not gonna get
into the specifics of Hazel in this tutorial. But it’s an application that
can monitor certain locations on your Mac. And when it recognises something
that meets certain criteria it can take automatic action on it. Here’s what this Hazel
rule would look like if you set it up yourself. So in this example the Hazel rule which is watching our Dropbox folder for a text file with
the contents shut down. And when it finds a file
that meets that criteria it will automatically shut down our Mac using the embedded Apple
script even if we’re not there. So that way we know
everything is locked down and no one can get at our
sensitive information. And the iOS side of this
is pretty straight forward. We just create a new export action. We’ll call this one file example. And the step we’re gonna add this time is the export action
which exports the contents of our draught into a file. Okay here’s our options. We can control the name of the file and the contents that are
going to be in the file. So let’s say I’ve got Hazel watching this Dropbox folder for a
file with the name shutdown. In that case I’m going
to use the draught token, not the title token. And the contents of the
file aren’t necessary. Although you could set up Hazel to look at the contents of the
file if you wanted to also. Okay so now this is ready. We can save this and when we tap on this. It’s gonna ask us where
we want to save this. Now these locations are available through the files app on my iOS device. So you can add different
locations if you want here. I want to put this in my
personal Dropbox folder. So assuming I set up Hazel
correctly on the back end. Once I tap add to put this
file in my Dropbox folder. I get the green
notification that the action has fired successfully. And I can now feel confident knowing that Hazel has shut down my Mac for me and I don’t have to worry about
anybody poking around on it. Even while I’m not there. We can actually accomplish the same result a different way using the
next export action type. Which is the open in export action. So we’ll use the exact same draught with the contents of shutdown. Add a new action. We’ll call this one open in
and for the steps for this one we’ll select the open in step. Which again it gives us
the option to control the name of the file. It’s going to be a text file. And also the contents or the template that is going to be used
to populate the text file. So again depending on the
specifics of the Hazel rule. If it’s looking for a
file with a specific title we could use the draught
token in the name. Or if it’s looking at
the contents of the file. We can just leave it the way it is and the word shutdown
appearing in the draught would be enough to trigger
Hazel and shut down our Mac. So let’s save this export
action, trigger it. And what’s gonna happen
here is it will actually open up the share sheet again. And we can choose from
the different places that we would want to send this. Now I’ve got one here to save to Dropbox. So if I save this to Dropbox
it’s going to give me the Dropbox interface and I can select the name of the file and
also the saved location. So if I wanted to change the
folder that this appears in then I could do that using user interface if I just tap on choose
a different folder. Because I want this on
the root folder though. I’ll just leave it, I’ll tap save. Progress bar shows us
how close the file is to being in our Dropbox folder. Once it’s done we get the
confirmation check mark and we go back to Drafts
and we get the green confirmation notification
that it has been opened in the appropriate application. So again it’s the same result. The difference here being
that the open in export action allows you to export files via an older iOS document interaction model by offering that open in in other apps
which support importing files. Since we’re working with text files the next logical thing
that we might want to do with this text is print it which is another export action item. So let’s go back and select something a little bit more lengthy. Let’s go back to our
iPhone home screen article. Okay if I wanted to print this off and show it to somebody. Maybe an editor for example. I could tap on the export action and create a new export action
which we will call print. The step we’re gonna add this time is the last system export action which is print. Which allows us to print
to an air print printer as either text or HTML. So let’s select this export action and then here’s the option. We’ve got the contents of
the draught in the template using the draught token. And we can format this text
as either text or HTML. I’m gonna leave it as text for now. And if we save this export
action and trigger this. It’s gonna open the print dialogue where we can select the printer. But we could also, using
this print dialogue, save this as a PDF file. All we need to do is pinch to
zoom on the document itself. That will give us a five page document which we can scroll
through and take a look at. And if we hit the share
button in the upper right. We get the share sheet once again which allows us to send
this to pretty much anywhere in the system. And we can even air drop this to our Mac. So if I tap on my icon
here for my MacBook Pro. It’s going to take this text. Format it as a PDF, not a text file. So when we print things
it’s going to create a PDF based on exactly what we see right here. And it’s gonna send
that PDF file to my Mac and now I’ve got to PDF file this text that I can use in other applications. We could send this somewhere
else if we wanted to also. Simply by tapping on the appropriate icon. But we’re finished for
now so let’s tap done and go back to our printer options. And since I sent the PDF where I wanted to and I don’t actually want to
print this all, hit cancel. The next export action category is social and the options that are available here will be determined by the
applications that you have installed on your iOS device. Personally I don’t use
anything but Twitter. So I’m gonna use Twitter as the example. A Twitter has a character
limit which this article is definitely not going to fit in. So let’s create a new draught
and the official Twitter account for the Drafts
application is @Draftsapps. I just wanted to let Greg
Pierce, the developer, know that I think Drafts is awesome. Okay then we need to create our actions. So again we’ll create a new action and we’ll call this one social media. The export action step
type we’re gonna use is Twitter which is gonna post the update to our Twitter account. And the options for this
allow us to select a token which is going to determine
content of the message. And then if we have
several different accounts set up on our device. We can use a specific account
in the credential identifier. I want to tweet this
from my personal account. And the first time we use this Drafts is gonna ask us to authorise our account. This will take us to a Safari page where we can log into our
Twitter account using the API. I’m gonna skip entering these credentials for security purposes but
once we have it all set up. We can authorise it. Once we’ve entered our credentials. A pop up will ask us
to go back to Drafts. Tap the open button to
go back to Drafts. And there’s our green
confirmation notification that everything is working the
way that it’s supposed to be. So to see what this actually did. I’m gonna open up my
Twitter client of choice which is the Twitterific
application here in my dock. And then we’ll navigate to
the profile to see my tweets. And sometimes if you
don’t see it right away you may need to refresh. But once the feed refreshes
we can see the tweet that we sent from Drafts right here. And if you have multiple
social media accounts that you want to post to at the same time. You could combine these
types of social media actions to share the same message
in multiple locations without having to post it
on each individual service. For the next export action example we’re gonna get into some
of the direct integrations with some of the other
services that we have available on our iOS device. In this example I’m gonna use Evernote. So we’re gonna go back to our book example and I want to show you how we can maintain a list of books to read
inside of Evernote. Which at least in nerd circles I run in it’s something fairly
common for people to do. So we’ll leave the
Twitter text that we used in the last example. And go back to one of the
books that we want to read. Let’s look at Good to
Great by Jim Collins again. And with the Evernote
example specifically. One of the things that we can
use are the tags from Drafts. Now this note doesn’t have any tags. To add one we just tap on the tag icon and type in the name of
the tag we want to add. So let’s add a tag of books. Okay now we’ve got the name
of a book we want to read. We’ve got a tag of books
on this note in Drafts. Let’s go into our export
actions and create a new action. This one we’ll call Evernote and we’ll put in parenthesis direct
because this is going to use a direct integration. Not the mail to example
that we used earlier. Tapping on steps we’ll
scroll down until we get to the Evernote section under services. Which is going to allow us to upload and modify notes in Evernote using specific information from this draught. So the name of the note is the time stamp but I don’t want to create
a new note for this book. I want to add this to a
currently existing note inside of Evernote already. So I’m gonna delete this. I’m gonna put the name of
the note that I want add to which is books to read. We could choose a specific
notebook if we wanted. But I’m gonna leave this
blank because that note happens to be in my default notebook. And then the tags for
this note are going to be inherited from the tags
on the note in Drafts. And the template is going to be
the contents from the draught. Which is the name of
the book I want to read. If we scroll down we’ve got other options. We can export as text markdown or the special Evernote markup language which is similar to XML. I’m gonna leave it as text. And then we can choose
a different right types. So we can create a note
called books to read. We could replace a note
called books to read if it already exists. We could prepend which
means the text would be added to the beginning of the note. Or we could append
which is going to add it at the bottom of the note. That’s the one I want. Let’s toggle this on. Go back and fire this action. Again just like Twitter,
we need to authorise this before the action can execute. I’ll enter my Evernote
credentials and tap sign in. Then authorise which is
gonna give Evernote access to Drafts 5 integration
for a period of one year. And then the action is going to pick up right where it left off. I’ll get the green
confirmation notification. Which means that the
text has been appended to the note in Evernote. And I want to make sure
that it actually worked. So let’s leave Drafts
and open up Evernote and it’ll take just a moment
to sync in the background. But then you’ll see the text
that I appended from Drafts automatically appear when
the sync is complete. So this integration gives
us a little bit more control and a few more options
when it comes to sending things into Evernote. Then the simple mail to Evernote example that we looked at earlier. If you use Evernote as your reference file it’s definitely worth a little bit of time to set up some export
actions which will allow you to send things to specific
places in Evernote like this from Drafts. As of version 5.3,
Drafts offers a similar type of integration with
the task manager to do list. But I want a better example to show you how this integration works. So, tap on the plus icon
to create a new draught. And the other day JF told
me about this awesome green smoothie recipe. So I want to add a task
which is going to remind me to try this out. Now in order to try the recipe
I’m going to need the recipe. So let’s go to the Messages
app and grab the URL that JF had sent me earlier. Copy this, go back into Drafts. And on the line below
this I will paste the URL for the green smoothie right here. Okay now we’ve got everything that we need to turn this into a task in to do list. So, let’s set that up
the same way we set up all of our other export actions. By tapping on the export
actions in the upper right. And then tapping to add a new action and we’ll call this one to do list. The step for this export
action is going to be in the services section under to do list. Which allows us to add a task
to the to do list in the box. Now here are the options
that are available of the to do list export action. Under the template section
this is going to be the title of the task. And you can see the title tag
which is going to pull out the first line from the draught. And make that the title of the task. But we can add some additional syntax here which is going to tell
to do list specifically what to do with this task
once it hits the web server. Just like we did with Evernote. So in this case we want to put
this in a specific project. So I’m gonna put the
hashtag or the pound sign which is going to tell to do
list that this is a project and then put it in the personal project. And then we can put natural language for when this is going to be due. So we can use something
like tomorrow at 4 pm. And then there’s some additional
options down below here. So we could set a reminder
here if we wanted to and we could choose
what we want to show up in the comment of the task. So the title is being
used for the task name. The body is going to be everything below the first line of the draught. And that’s going to include the URL to the smoothie recipe. So that looks great. Let’s just save this. Go back to Drafts, fire it off. See what it looks like. Again, we got the green notification which shows us that the export action has completed successfully. And now if I go over to to do list. You’ll see that my
inbox is actually empty. But that’s because the syntax that I used allowed to do list to put it in the appropriate place automatically. So if I go to the side bar here and tap on the personal project. There is my smoothie recipe. It’s due tomorrow at 4 pm. So if I tap on the task here
and tap on the comments button. It shows me the note associated with this which is the URL to the
green smoothie recipe. So now when I go into my task manager because I want to make this
delicious looking smoothie that JF sent me. I’ve got the recipe right here. I can reference that when I’m done. I can check off the task and
move on to the next thing. Keep in mind that every
web service that integrates with Drafts is going to
function a little bit different. But by now you should
have a pretty good idea of how this works. So now we’re gonna move on to
some more advanced examples. We’re gonna take a look
at how you can even run Java Scripts using export actions. Now the scripts export action
opens up a lot of things for you if you understand how
to right your own scripts. And this is not a Java Script tutorial. I don’t know that much Java Script myself. But fortunately there are a lot of really smart people who
have already written scripts and shared them so that we can use those without having to understand
the entire syntax. So that’s what we’re
gonna do in this example. We’re gonna use a script that
is going to allow Drafts to integrate with the service
that it doesn’t natively, which is micro.blog. So for this example we
need a different message. I’m gonna create a new draught
and type out a quick message that I’m gonna use to post
to the micro.blog service. The first line we’ll put Max.2018. That’s gonna be the title of the post. And then we’ll put the content itself. This is the message that
is going to be displayed. So with micro.blog it’s basically like very short blog posts. Max.2018 is going to be
the title of the blog post and the rest of the
text here is going to be the contents of the post. Okay once we have our message written then we have to set up the export action by using the script export action type. We’ll call this one script example. And in parenthesis micro.blog so we know which script this is. And the step we’re gonna use way down here under the advanced section. Is the script export action type which is going to allow us to run Java Script on the contents of the draught. Tapping this takes us
to the script options where we can import or export our script. If we tap the edit button
we can type in code itself. As I confessed earlier,
I don’t actually know Java Script code so I’m gonna
go over to the web here. This is in the Drafts
action directories. So we could just tap to instal this but what I want to show you is that there is the code right here. And we can copy this. So we can copy this
from just about anywhere and we can paste this in
the script editor window to run this script inside of Drafts. So copy that text, paste it here. When we’re done tap save. And now we’ve got an export
action which will run Java Script on the text from our draught. According to the
directions for this script. If we leave all of this
text the way it is. It’ll pull everything into
the contents of the post and it won’t actually have a title. So we need to follow the
instructions on this script which were on that Safari page. And add a pound sign before the title. That’s gonna tell the
script that this line is the title of the post. Okay so we’ll make that change. And then tap on the script
example export action. First time we run this. We’re going to have to
enter our credentials. So this is the app token that we can get from the accounts page. I’m just going to paste this in. And when we tap save it’s going to trigger the rest of the action. We’ll get the green
confirmation notification that the action has
triggered successfully. And we can go over to our micro.blog site and see if this posted to our account. So let’s leave Drafts and
open up the micro.blog app. And when we do we’ll
see the post right there with the title. The link to the actual
post and if we tap on that we can see this is what
the post looks like inside of the app. It’s titled Max.2018, that was
the first line in our draught and then the contents right there. So again, this is under
the advanced section. For people who want to dig into Drafts and customise it to really make the most of the productivity work
flows on their iOS devices. If you put in a little effort and learn some of these scripts. You could do just about
anything with the text. So even if Drafts doesn’t
support the integrations with the services that
you want out of the box. Really you’ve got a blank
slate and anything is possible if you understand how to
write a little bit of code. And if this is over your
head, don’t worry about it. You can always instal these
from the action directory or you can use some of
the simpler action types or the direct integrations
that we’ve covered so far. To build your own export actions. Even multi step actions
to accomplish exactly what you want with the
text that you generate on you iOS device. Next let’s take a look
at how you can create a multi step export action. By creating a simpler version
of the journaling workflow that I showed you in episode 723. And we talked about Day
One for Mac and iOS. Day One is a phenomenal application but it is an additional subscription. So maybe you already have
something like Evernote and you want to create
the same type of thing. Using Drafts you can
create all of the props and all of the tokens. And then populate all that information in whatever reference file or text file that you want to use for your journal. So for this one we’re gonna
use a couple of prompts and then we’re going to format
that text a specific way and stick it in an Evernote notebook. Even though this one has multiple steps it’s really not anymore
difficult to set up. We just have to put a
little bit of thought into how we want the steps to be ordered. So let’s create a new action
and we’ll call this one journal to Evernote. The first step type that we’re gonna use is again, under the advanced section. We’re gonna use a prompt. And the first thing we have to identify when we set up this prompt
is the key and the title. This is what’s going to be used when we pull in the values that
we’re going to select from this prompt into the text later. So the key right now is prompt
and the title is prompt. I want to change this. And I’m gonna make it feeling. The message I’m going to ask is how are you feeling right now? And the response type, we’ve
got two different options here. We can use input or we can use buttons. For this one I want to use a button. So we’ll include the cancel button and the buttons will get rid of okay. We’re gonna put happy,
sad, angry and content. You can obviously use as
many options as you want. You just have to separate them with the pipe character in between. These are the four I’m
gonna use for this example. We’ll tap steps to go
back to the export action and we’ll add a new step. Again we’re gonna add a prompt and this time we’re gonna use gratitude as the key and the title. And we’re gonna references that when we pull in the text responses in just a bit. The message for this one. I want to ask what are you grateful for? This time we want a text field response. Not a bunch of buttons to choose form. We want to be open ended
with this question. So we’ll toggle on include text field and toggle off include cancel button. Okay so now we’ve got two
different types of prompts. We’ve got an input and we’ve got a button. We’ve got both of them labelled
as a feeling in gratitude. Let’s go add another step here which is going to take all of this text
and put it where we want it. This time we’re going
to send it to Evernote so we’ll select Evernote
from the services. And for the note title by default it’s gonna use the time token. I’m gonna change this. I’m gonna put journal and
then use a date token. So when it shows up in
my Evernote notebook it’s gonna have journal-
and then today’s date. I can choose the notebook
that I want to stick it in. I’ll leave it in the default one. We can leave the tags token the way it is. Now the template, this
is where we can recall the responses that we
input with the prompts. Again we’re gonna use the tokens with the double brackets on each side. And I’m gonna put in text which
is going to stay the same. So I’m feeling and then
inside the brackets we’ll invoke the title of
the key which is feeling. And then the under score character and the type of response
that we indicated. So in this case feeling_button. That’ll all be inside the double brackets which will tell Drafts that
it’s gonna pull in the value and insert it here where this token is. Okay that’s the first part
of our journaling action. Go down a couple lines. Add section here for I’m grateful for. And again we’ll do this same
thing with the gratitude token. So we’ll put gratitude as
the first part of the prompt. Telling it which prompt to look at. Then an underscore and text
which is going to tell it to take the response from the text field and insert it right here. And unfortunately there
isn’t a list of these tokens that you can
reference that you might see in something like workflow
which is a little bit user friendly in terms of the interface. You can build the same sort
of thing here in Drafts. And then this is gonna take everything that we’ve done so far and
stick it in an Evernote. So let’s run this but before we do let’s take a look at
some of the other things that we can do when we
create these edit actions. We’ve been going through all
of the different actions steps but there’s a couple
different fields here as well. We could put a description for this action to help us tell what
exactly this action does. The more export actions
that you include in Drafts the more handy these descriptions can be. So we’ll add a quick description here. This is an Evernote journal template. Then we’ve got the keyboard appearance which allows us to add this
to the Drafts keyboard. And we could invoke this
without having to tap on the export actions
if we wanted to do that. I don’t use this very often. I’m gonna leave that blank. The next thing here is an
external keyboard shortcut. So we’ve been focused on Drafts for iOS and specifically we’re
showing you the iPhone because this is where I
use Drafts all the time. But Drafts is a universal application. And you can run this on the iPad as well. If you had an iPad with an
external keyboard attached like the smart keyboard cover. You could trigger these export actions by using a keyboard shortcut. So if we wanted something like option E. We could set that up. Okay, we could also change
what happens after we run this. So by default nothing is gonna happen. We could select nothing. We could select to archive this. We could trash this draught
automatically or we could ask. It’s gonna give us a prompt. I’ll use this one so you
can see what it looks like. And then we can also automatically apply tags if we wanted to. So let’s apply a tag
of journal to this note after we’ve run this export action on it. Then if we go down to the advanced section we can toggle the
confirmed before running. This might be food if
you’re gonna do something which is gonna trigger
a whole bunch of steps. If you trigger it accidentally,
that might cost you some time or even do some
things that you didn’t want to have happen. So we’ll toggle this on just
to show you what this look like and then we can show notifications never. We could show notifications
only when there’s an error or we could continue to get
the confirmation notifications by leaving all selected. I’ll leave all selected and
then we’ve got the log level. So the log level show us
all the export actions that have run inside of Drafts. And we could log this activity from this export action never. We could log only the errors
from this export action or we could log everything. We’ll log just the errors,
I’ll toggle that on. And then at the bottom
there’s the action directory. So if we create a really
awesome export action that we want to share with other people. We can publish it straight
to the action directory. Okay so lots of options we can apply to this export action once
we get it the way we want it. We’ll tap done, go back here. Let’s fire this off. Now this one doesn’t rely on
any particular input in Drafts so we could actually have a blank draught when we invoke this export action. I’m gonna do that. I’m gonna create a new draught. Go to my export actions. Tap on journal to Evernote. It’s gonna ask me are you
sure you want to do this? We’ll tap run and then
we’ll answer the prompt. So how am I feeling right now? I’m feeling pretty happy. Okay, what am I grateful
for and I’m gonna put in my response here. I’m grateful for everybody who’s watching this tutorial right now. Then it’s going to prompt me and ask me what I want to do with this. Remember this is one of the
things that we toggled on. So we can either archive this
message or we can trash it. Or if we just want to leave
it we can tap the skip button. Once we’re done we get
the confirmation message according to the notification setting that we had set for the action. So we get the green
confirmation notification. Let’s jump over to Evernote. Take a look at what this looks like. Here’s all my notes and
if I tap on this one. We’ve got the text there. It’s selected happy and stuck it into the feeling_button token that we used. And then we’ve got the response from the gratitude_text token that we’ve used. So I put this together pretty quickly and this is just one
example of how you can take multiple actions and stick them together. Another example might be something where you wanted to post the
same message to multiple social media accounts. There’s really no limit
to the number of steps that you can put inside
of your Drafts action. And if you spend a little
bit of time thinking about all of the actions that you typically take with something before you’re
done with your process. You can automate all of
those things if you have the right mind set and the
pro version of Drafts 5. So we’ve covered a lot
in this tutorial so far and really the goal is to get you familiar with these different export actions steps so you can build your own actions. But like I said you don’t have to build them all from scratch. Especially with some
of the more complicated script examples. If you’re not comfortable
scripting things yourself you can instal these ready to use straight from the
Drafts action directory. And this is an option available
inside the application. You don’t even have to
navigate to a specific website in order to get to this. All you have to do is tap on
the export actions button. Add a new one and we’ve
been tapping at new action but if we tap visit directory. We’ll be taken to a Safari page which has a whole bunch of actions
that we can instal with the tap of a button. Let me give you an example
of some of the stuff that’s in here. We’ll tap on most popular and these are the most popular Drafts
actions at the moment that I’m looking at this. One really cool one is this
fantastically good event parser. This is kind of named after Fantastic Cal which is calendar application
which has famously had really great natural
language interpretations. So you could put something
like call with David to discuss the secret
layer at 11 am on Friday. And it can parse all of that information and create the calendar event for you. But what this Drafts
action does is it gives you the ability to input text into Drafts. Run those things and even
create multiple calendar events using that natural language parsing. Even if you don’t have
Fantastic Cal installed. So this is a pretty cool action. Let’s instal this and I want to show you what this looks like. But first we have to create some content that we’re gonna turn
into calendar events. Each line will be it’s own calendar event. So the first one I’ll put meeting with JF on Thursday at 9 am to
talk about fancy coffee. The next line I’ll put
call with David on Friday at 11 am to discuss the
plans for the secret lair. So if this runs correctly this will create two different calendar events for me and I’ll be able to access these
in any calendar application because it’s going to
integrate with the calendar at the iOS level. Alright so we go to the
Screen Cast Online group where we installed that export action. We scroll to the bottom, there it is. I’ll tap on this and run it and we’ll get the green
confirmation notification saying that it has done
the appropriate action. It’s cleaned up my text
so it’s probably archived or trashed that draught for me. So it doesn’t clutter up
my inbox automatically. And if we go over to the calendar now. Which again can be any
calendar application. And I’m gonna use Fantastic Cal because it’s right here on my dock. But what we’ll see here are
a couple new calendar events. The first one, meeting with
JF to talk about fancy coffee. We can see this is applied
to my personal calendar. It’s Thursday at 9 am
exactly where it should be and on Friday I’ve got my call with David to discuss plans for the secret lair and that is Friday at 11 am. We can even add additional
context if we wanted to which would automatically
apply custom alerts, reminders or even select
different calendars. It’s just using my default calendar here and it’s putting it on
my personal calendar. But that’s exactly what
I want to have happen. And if you’re new to Drafts version 5. This is probably the place to start. You don’t have to put in all of the time and effort to create these export actions. There’s a good chance that somebody has already created one which does exactly what you’re looking for. So be sure to check out
the actions directory and see if what you want
to create already exists before you invest a bunch
of time getting Drafts to do exactly what you want. But as we’ve covered here today. There’s lots of different
export action types that you can mix and match. Combine in many different
ways to make Drafts do just about anything
that you can imagine. If you spend a little bit of time thinking about your text workflows
on your iOS devices. And then create workflows
which have export actions to make that more efficient. Drafts can end up saving you
a significant amount of time in the long run. (Music) That’ll do it for this
tutorial on export actions in Drafts 5 for iOS. Hopefully now you understand
what these actions can do and the examples have
given you ideas on how they can be strung together
to automate text manipulation on your own iOS devices. But that’s it for now. We’ll be back next week
with another addition of Screen Casts Online. See you soon. (Music)

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