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My New Dropbox “Quick Note-Taking” App: Drafts 1.1

In my review of Drafts 1.0, I wrote:

Drafts is neither a text editor nor a minimal Twitter client. Drafts is a frictionless way to capture and save ideas that also happens to be integrated with system functions and applications you may be already using to elaborate on those ideas. Drafts can be used as an inspirational notepad to store the genius idea you have while you’re brewing coffee, or when you’re busy writing something else (just fire up Drafts, and quickly dictate your text if you have an iPhone 4S). I would like to see an even faster way to email text (like Captio or Note 2 Self do) as well as support for Evernote and more text-based iOS apps in a future update, so here’s to hoping the feedback on this initial version will be strong enough to encourage Greg Pierce, the developer of Drafts and Terminology (which the app also supports for definitions), to consider more functionalities and an iPad counterpart.

And from my Dropbox Writing Workflow, about the service I use to save "quick snippets of text" into Dropbox:

I am not always writing long form content. In fact, most of the time I am simply saving ideas and short sentences in Dropbox. The web service I use to quickly get bits of text as .txt files into Dropbox is Send To Dropbox. Using my “Attachments” folder, Send To Dropbox connects via OAuth to my Dropbox account and gives me a unique email address I can email stuff to.

Drafts 1.1, released today, delivers in the two areas I used to find myself dabbling in: quick notes and Dropbox. Aside from a new icon by Wet Frog Studios, some minor UI refinements, and better feedback for executed actions, Drafts 1.1 comes with direct Dropbox integration to let you easily save a draft with one tap into your Dropbox account. Drafts will save notes as timestamped .txt files, meaning that, if you're clever enough and want to automate your quick note-taking workflow, you could build rules in Hazel to look for specific timestamps and content inside the Apps/Drafts folder in Dropbox.

Personally, Drafts 1.1 fills a particular void in my workflow -- a native iPhone app whose sole purpose is to save quick bits of text as single .txt files in Dropbox. With Drafts 1.1 and TextDrop, I can reclaim control of my drafts without being forced to use Send To Dropbox (which still has the obvious advantage of working anywhere). I like how I can type text into Drafts 1.1, hit the Dropbox sharing button, forget about it, and then access my text snippets with TextDrop, iOS file managers like ReaddleDocs and GoodReader (which allow you to directly edit text or "open in" other apps), or my OS X Dropbox folder.

Drafts 1.1, however, doesn't just bring a few enhancements, bug fixes, and Dropbox support. For instance, third-party app integration has been supercharged with direct support for Sparrow (text will be passed along as email body, and the cursor will be automatically placed in the Subject field), Messages, and Simplenote. Even better, Drafts now lets you configure the apps and actions you want to keep visible in the sharing list with a dedicated menu; installed apps are automatically recognized, whilst supported-but-not-installed ones have a link back to the App Store (the App Store link button could use the same fresh coat of UI paint the icon received). You can enable and disable actions with a double tap.

Typically, 1.1 updates don't fundamentally change the nature of an app, as they improve on existing features and fix glaring omissions of the first release. For me, Drafts 1.1, with the addition of Dropbox and more stability, feels like an all-new app that now sits in my iPhone dock to quickly save .txt into Dropbox. If you liked the functionalities of Drafts 1.0 and were waiting for more, I highly recommend Drafts 1.1, available on the App Store today at $0.99.

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