A workaround for quickcapture and mobile ToDos, using Drafts and Things3

The Tools:

  • Dropbox
  • Drafts Pro
  • Things3

The core concept here centers on Draft’s library of actions, notably Dropbox to Drafts and Save to Dropbox.

I keep my Obsidian vault folder in Dropbox, so the trick is to just route each action toward a folder within your Vault: I named mine [Inbox] and [Oubox].

Dropbox to Drafts, when triggered, takes whatever notes are within the [Outbox] folder in Obsidian and moves them into the Drafts app.

Save to Dropbox can move individual Drafts notes into your Obsidian [Inbox] folder. I then process them in Obsidian later, when it’s convenient.

For Todo’s, another Drafts action, List to Things, will send Drafts notes to the Things3 app as Todos. (Options also available for other Todo Apps.)

To use this feature, I set up a new Todo list page every day, keeping it in one of the sidebars. I add todos to the page while I’m working, and then move that note to my [Outbox], send it to Drafts, which then sends it to Things. Each new line in the note becomes a ToDo in the app.

It’s all a bit convoluted, I know!! But Drafts is my forever go-to Quickcapture (the dictation!!) and so I’m not bothered by routing my whole life through it. Been quite happy with how well it’s been conversing with my Obsidian vault!

Any questions or suggestions for improvement welcomed!


This is brilliant @amsun - I must give Drafts a look for my workflow. Do you think your workflow would work the same way with iCloud instead of dropbox? Tracking To-Do’s is a challenge. I was trying to workout how to Shoe horn THINGS in here and to not loose track of actions.

I’m getting myself though confused on Obsidian TODOs and THINGS todos and what to process where!

Hmmm, I’m not sure! I suppose it would depend on the “Drafts app” Actions available.

And perhaps it gets confusing with the terminology and names of all the apps… visually, the process looks like this:

[OUTBOX FOLDER: Contains TODO note] --> ‘Drafts’ App --> Phone Todo List App (I use ‘Things3’)

On-the-go notes in ‘Drafts’ app --> [INBOX FOLDER]

Each arrow above works because of an “Action” in Drafts, which are basically just plugins that connect the app to a bunch of other apps, which includes Dropbox and ‘Things3’.

Nice workflow, thanks for sharing! I recently bought 1Writer which many people recommended here to compliment Obsidian on the iPhone. With Shortcuts and 1Writer’s url scheme, I made a quick capture shortcut which is now triggered using Back tap (new in iOS 14). The Shortcut is really simple, just a simple ask for text which then appends it to my daily note in 1Writer which stores my Obsidian vault. I couldn’t make Drafts do the same for me since I have my vault in iCloud (instead of Dropbox) and I’d need to manually pick the folder every time while saving. Dropbox is better in that regards on iOS since you can use multiple apps with just file paths but I prefer iCloud Drive for other reasons and had to use a workaround. And while Drafts is pretty quick to capture something, having a system-wide capture support from within any app seems just another level quicker!


Oooh thank you!! I’ll look further into 1Writer

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that makes sense! 1writer it is!

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That sounds great - do you think it would work the other way round?

Eg “hey Siri, remind me to wash the dog tomorrow at 12pm” -> reminders -> drafts -> Dropbox-> Obsidian?

And ideally vice versa :slight_smile:

I’m a newbie thinking of swapping from Roam to Obsidian now that block refs and embeds seem possible. I have so many questions but first I have to do some reading, I’m surely not the first Roam refugee…

Nice worklfow…
And what about OneDrive?

I then process them in Obsidian later, when it’s convenient.

Total newbie here, so forgive this potentially stupid question: Why not process things in Drafts (sending to todo apps, calendar, archival apps, etc. etc.) and then send the rest to Obsidian?

Or is that what you’re already doing and I just misunderstood your workflow?

Drafts is just the “quick capture” app. You can type out or dictate into it very easily and it is fast and efficient. With the high customized actions you can then send various bits of information to the appropriate application.

I use it to quickly capture “To Do’s” in a Drafts list mainly when I am out during the day then tap the “Action” and it gets forwarded to my task manager app (OmniFocus)

I use it to jot down ideas, projects or capture various bits of information that I want to flesh out in the future and I tap the “Action” and send it to my Obsidian Inbox, Append my Daily Notes, Append My Saved Quotes Note or create new notes, etc.

It is a great highly customizable app for quickly capturing information and using that information in a usable format in a vast array of applications. Great for Obsidian since there is no mobile option at this time and Drafts does support Markdown.

Great utility app!

Ah, yes that makes sense. That’s exactly how I use it too, and couldn’t agree more!