Adding a workflow to Drafts
Drafts is a note-taking app for iOS that includes powerful actions for integrating with other services, similar to Workflow. In Drafts, however, text comes first – you write in a blank draft, then act on it later.
Since Drafts acts as a great scratchpad for typing something quickly, it’s become popular for automating text entry on iOS. With Drafts’ own in-app actions, it’s easy to write in Drafts and send the contents to Workflow.
Drafts uses “actions” as the name of their primary tool and “action steps” for the individual components. The main unit in Workflow is a “workflow” and “actions” are the individual component steps. These differences may be confusing at first – in this document, we explicity call out “Drafts actions” and any workflows you’ve imported as “workflow Drafts actions”.
To import one of your workflows as a Drafts action, open the workflow and tap the settings icon in the upper right corner (just underneath the Done button). If you have Drafts installed, you’ll see an “Add to Drafts” option underneath “Add to Home Screen”. Tap it and Drafts will open with a message reading “Import Successful”.
If you have Action Groups within Drafts, you’ll also have the ability to choose which group to add your new workflow action to.
Once it’s been imported, your workflow will be added to the ALL action list in Drafts titled “Run: Your Workflow Name”.
You can also create an action in Drafts manually. Find out how in Action Step: Run Workflow from Drafts’ own documentation.
When you want to use your Drafts action, swipe the draft right to reveal Drafts’ own action pane.
Find your workflow Drafts action by title (or search) and tap it launch the action. You’ll see a system dialog that says “Drafts wants to open Workflow”.
If you select the Open option, your device will switch to Workflow and proceed to run your workflow. Once your workflow is finished running, you’ll be prompted with another dialog that reads “Workflow wants to open Drafts”, taking you back to where you started from in the app.
You can edit any workflow Drafts actions by swiping right on the title and tapping the pencil icon. In edit mode, you can change the name, icon, color, action steps (labelled “Steps”), action groups, description, and advanced settings.
If you tap on Steps and then on the Run Workflow action step, you can edit more details. Here you can change the title to another workflow to open, change whether running the action will leave Workflow and return to Drafts after, or you can customize the Input Template. Read more about Templates and Tags from Draft’s own documentation.
It’s also possible to combine a Run Workflow step with other action steps from Drafts after the content is utilized in Workflow – explore Draft’s Action Steps documentation for more details.
The advanced settings of your workflow action are worth tweaking as well. You can choose to “Confirm before running”, change what Drafts does with the contents after the workflow is successfully run (do nothing, archive it, trash it, or leave as default), and set log levels in case you’re working with important information. Read more about Action Logging from Draft’s documentation.
You can also post your workflow action to the Drafts Directory, a resource of user-generated Drafts actions.
There are also Workflow actions for interacting with Drafts. As noted above, these are separate from Drafts’ own in-app “actions”:
- Add to Draft
- Get Contents of Draft
- Open Draft
- Run Drafts Action
Next, let’s find out about Adding a workflow to Launch Center Pro.