How I use 1Writer on iOS to capture notes and articles for later use on Obsidian

Hey all,

I know 1Writer has been pretty well identified as one of the preferred methods of capturing markdown content on iOS. I wanted to share some of my methods for note taking that allows me to fairly easily take pre-formatted notes, capture articles, etc. that makes moving over to Obsidian and reading them or continuing them as seamless as possible (for me, at least).

(I will note that for my workflow, I heavily integrate tags instead of separate folders, so being able to create a new note will always be as easy as pressing the “+” button for my particular use case)

Saving Files

Before I get into the workflow, I wanted to discuss the way I save and backup files that works with both 1Writer and Obsidian. I use iCloud, but I’m sure Dropbox will work just as well. 1Writer has a decent implementation with iCloud and I’ve heard better things about their Dropbox support, but since all of my Mac documents are on iCloud I prefer to keep them there.

Once you set up 1Writer and integrate iCloud, the 1Writer folder created on iCloud Drive is where my vaults are stored. I will say the 1Writer folder took a while to show up on the MacBook end, but it’s been worth the fiddling with to get it working. Using iCloud Drive instead of an External Folder (like an iCloud/Obsidian folder on the root iCloud Drive or a folder within Documents) allows me to set the default folder for new notes on 1Writer to be the same folder all of my Obsidian documents are stored, so it works both ways.

However, I don’t particularly like the idea that all of my documents are only saved in the cloud, so I scheduled a folder copy with Automator to update and save the vault folders each day on my computer’s hard drive using this guide: Automate folder backup.

Saving Articles

To easily save articles I find on Safari, I’ve created a Shortcut that captures the article in markdown, adds an #article tag to the end of the document, and copies it to my clipboard. Since 1Writer doesn’t yet have Shortcuts integration, instructing the shortcut to open 1Writer after the article is converted to markdown is the simplest way to do this. I hit the “+” button and paste my clipboard into the document and rename the page. I usually have to delete a few of the unnecessary lines in the article, but the purpose is to read it later anyway so these extra few seconds don’t matter too much. All done. Here is the shortcut if anyone is interested:

When you download this shortcut, edit the shortcut, tap the “…” button at the top right, and turn on “Show in Share Sheet” to make it accessible in Safari.

Quick Notes

This one is pretty straight forward and uses some similar tactics as the articles shortcut. For my use I have a Sermon Notes shortcut, so that particular shortcut may not be for everyone and I won’t link it here. However, the method to set up the shortcut can be used in any way that suits your style.

This involves a few instances of the “Ask for input” script within shortcuts, as well as a “Date” box if you want it. I use the “Ask for input” scripts for note titles that I use regularly on these types of notes so that it’s consistent across the note type. You can use as many input blocks as you want for any type of note. I personally use it for formatting the frame of a note and continue taking long-form notes within 1Writer. For example:

*Ask for input:* What chapter?

*Ask for input:* Sermon series?

*Ask for input:* Who's the pastor?

From here, I add a text box. You can select “magic variable” and add each input to the text box. Here’s what my text box looks like at the end of the shortcut:

    # _[[Provided Input]]_          (I like to link the chapter so it shows up on that database page)

    ### _Series: Provided Input_     (from the "series" input)

    ### _Pastor: Provided Input_     (from the "pastor" input)

    #### _Date: Formatted Date_

    ___      (separation line)

    -        (I start taking notes here)

    ___      (separation line)


Just like before, I end this shortcut with copying the text to the clipboard and opening 1Writer. And since I rely on tags in order to sort my documents, all of the new documents created by pressing the “+” button right after the app opens are stored in the correct, single folder.


To make writing simple notes easier in 1Writer, if you got to Settings/Editor/Extended Keyboard you can customize the keyboard shown in the editor with certain keys, like [], Header, *, etc.

Let me know if any of this needs clarification. I wanted to hopefully inspire some new ideas for ease of capture on iPhone and show that workarounds using the tools we already have can be pretty effective. It’s no Obsidian app, but it works pretty well for the way I already use my notes.



could you share the sermon notes script?

Try this. I’ve made it a lot easier with this updated version of the setup. It doesn’t involve having to copy and paste from the clipboard anymore, but you have to follow these directions pretty much to a T. The magic happens in the “Text Articles” iCloud folder, so it won’t work without it.

It’s been a bit since I’ve used this so let me know if there are any issues, but it should still work if you follow the steps to set it up above.