Drafts 5.1 Update

While I’m working on another large post, I wanted to put out at least a small bit about some of the added features in the 5.1 update of Drafts that has been released.

Tag Filter Improvements

I really love the addition of tags, and more importantly, workspaces. I did, however, have a couple of gripes about the features. My single gripe about filtering using tags from the review:

A nice addition to tagging not present in the app is an or function, which would expand the filtering to get drafts that are tagged with red or blue instead of red and blue as it is today, giving better functionality to the feature.

This has now been fixed. Whether in the tag drawer or within a workspace, you can specify “All” or “Any” for the tags. This distinguishes the behavior of the tags so that you can include the correct one(s) as you filter. For example, I have a GTD workspace. Previously, I’d have to rely on a single tag for this to work, and I settled on gtd. But now I can create new tags to not only add new drafts with similar tags, but I can also provide context within the workspace. I can have tasks, events, lists, calendars, etc. included in my GTD workspace simply by choosing “Any” for the tags.

Tag filtering has been improved

This added flexibility I wanted to see has been quickly added, which is already reaping dividends for my productivity. Now all I need is the ability to set a default action group for my workspace, and I’ll be all set.

Action Debugging Features

Action logging has been added to the action drawer. In the top right corner of the drawer, you’ll see a clock-like icon located in between the search and menu icons. This contains the log of every action run, rather than finding it in the draft information screen, which is on a per-draft basis. This not only provides a nice log, but provides quick access for when you’re de-bugging scripts. I’ve been doing a few large scripts as of late, and it has been saving me time along the way. You can also delete the logs as you go, if that’s your particular cup of tea.

In addition to the log, individual action steps can now be disabled in your actions by swiping on the step in the action editor. This is useful when you want to troubleshoot errors and check steps along the way. Another useful option for this is for when you are someone who likes to move around apps. For example, many of you know that I like to change up my task management app of choice. Rather than create all-new actions every time I switch, I can simply disable the URL block for GoodTask and add a new URL block for Things or OmniFocus or 2Do. I don’t need to clutter up my action drawer with similar actions that are based on a URL scheme any more. I’m going to need to refactor some of my actions, but I can already see how this is going to benefit me in so many ways. I’ve even done a packing list action for you already to show you how it works.

Event Action Step

You can now create calendar events by simply tapping on an action which brings up the default system card for event creation, as you would see in Calendar.app. There is a simple default action in the directory which creates a single event that takes the first line of your draft as a title, and the body of the draft as a note. You can select the rest of the parameters as you would in the calendar. when completed, you’re back in Drafts, ready to go.

I’ve already modified this to take a selection rather than a draft (I don’t usually use the note field in a calendar event entry), so that I can quickly add meetings or personal events from a larger note, rather than having to create a new draft when I want to create an event.


We’re a month into the new version of Drafts, and already there’s been some added features which were missing from the previous version, as well as some carefully considered features to help make life a bit easier for users. There are some other small features added, so be sure to read those in the release notes.

GoodTask 3.6 Update

There has been an update released today for my task management app of choice, GoodTask. There is a lot to unpack with this update; you can read more in the full details for the update.

There are some great things that I want to quickly highlight:

  • Full Drag/Drop support: There is a comprehensive list found in the full details. A couple of really nice touches include the ability to drag one or more tasks onto another task to create subtasks. You can also drag subtasks out to be full tasks.
  • Smart Button: Navigating your lists is now easier than ever.
  • Enhanced Tasks page: if you swipe from left to right on a task, it now puts you into the Quick Actions screen of your task. From there, you can use swipe to go to the other screens or the buttons at the top to change from screen to screen.
  • Subtasks: Subtasks have been improved by including them inline as part of the task. This allows you to see what is left of a small project and move forward.

I’m sure I’m missing some items, but it’s the things that are making me stick with this. I’m absolutely loving my time with GoodTask.

GoodTask is available on the App Store for Free with an optional (but highly recommended) IAP of $5.

Perfectly Mobile

In this modern world, I love the idea of mobile computing. And for the longest time, I was doing just that with my iPad nano (a.k.a. the iPhone Plus). Then I added an external keyboard, and things started to improve for my productivity. I started envisioning a future of an iPhone Pro, where iPad features were added to a smaller form factor. For a long time, I thought that would be all I needed.
Continue reading “Perfectly Mobile”

Lesson Learned

Earlier this year, I set out with a goal in mind to have a new domain to call my own. And last weekend, I did just that, and updated my blog. I had wanted to try a few things, so I started looking around and asking others questions about how to do things.

That’s when I realized that I spent last weekend wasting my time and this wasn’t going to work the way I wanted it to. Lesson learned. Time for plan B.

The previous version of this site was on WP.com. And while it’s good for most people, I really wanted to tweak a few key things to have it fit the personality of my writing. I wanted the formatting of the site to come from my voice, as if you could hear me writing it.

In my daily conversations, I have small asides that are relevant[1] and add to the conversation. They don’t take away from the conversation when talking[2], but that is hard to convey in written form. Using footnotes is a great way of doing them, but for how I speak, they generally aren’t good for my own use.

Enter Bigfoot. No, not the mysterious creature pictured in hundreds of blurry images around the world[3], but the popular footnote format used most famously in Instapaper.

This is exactly what I wanted to use to convey how I speak. And that is simply not available on WP.com; I checked with a Happiness Engineer (seriously, this is what they are called) and he confirmed that was indeed the case. So it looked like I was giving up on that convention on my site.

I’ve been told a number of times that if I’m going to write, I need to write for myself and write in my own voice. I need to have that as part of of my style with my blog. Sure, I could get by with the footnotes, or changing my writing style. But that wouldn’t be me. That wouldn’t be my voice. That wouldn’t make me happy.

So that’s when it hit me: I wasted my time last weekend setting this up all wrong. Is a WP.com site easier to manage? Yes. But does it do/look/feel like what I want? No.

So after some research — and admittedly not enough of it — I decided to try to a self-hosted install of WordPress. The install was smooth,and installing the necessary plugins was a breeze. I chose a new theme and published.

I decided to stick to this for a bit until I started reading up on installing the footnotes I want. Reading code is like reading another language for me.[4] I couldn’t find a helpful post to save my life: everything was verbose in the language of CSS, PHP, JS, jQuery, etc. But thanks to this plugin, it was a breeze.[5]

And so now that the site has been revamped again, I’ve learned my lesson. Hopefully now I can settle into the rhythm of writing.

The upkeep of the site will be different, and there’s sure to be a learning curve[6], but at the end of the day, this is what is good for me. And while you don’t have to live with me on a daily basis, it’s going to be better for all of us going forward.[7] This writing style is better suited to sharing my voice, and makes me feel just a bit more human.


  1. Debatable  ↩
  2. Oh look, a bird!!!  ↩
  3. Seriously, why the hell are they always blurry?  ↩
  4. And I suck at English enough.  ↩
  5. Do you know how long it took me to find this? So out of my league here…  ↩
  6. I still have to figure out removing the footnotes from the bottom of the page. If you know how, get in touch. (Update: I figured it out.)  ↩
  7. Kudos to my family and friends for putting up with my shit. I don’t know how they do it, because I can’t stand it.  ↩