Workflow Confusion - Drafts or Obsidian?

There has been some interesting discussion lately on about how Drafts plays a part in everyone’s daily workflow. Some people use it for everything, including their note storage, while others only use it for the purpose in which it was originally intended: where text starts”. I’ve been caught up a bit in some confusion in my own setup between Drafts and Obsidian.

For quite awhile I was just using Drafts for everything. I generally write stuff that comes up during the day in a daily note. Most of my other notes are just text as well so in most cases that works fine. The problem is the times I need to create screenshots or embed other documents in a note. Drafts fails there because it’s not designed to store binary files. This isn’t a problem with Drafts as it wasn’t designed for this (remember…where text starts) but it’s a problem for me since the work-arounds are painful.

Right now I copy over my daily note to Obsidian which is the tool I’ve finally settled on to be my note storage. I’ll attach my screenshots at that time. The system works but needless to say there is still some friction and where the confusion sets in. If Obsidian is as capable of storing notes as Drafts, can be automated, and exists on iOS and macOS where I spend the majority of my time, what is the point in using Drafts at all for my daily note?

I’m having a real tough time answering that question. I want to have one place to store everything that happened during the day and create notes as necessary off of that after later processing. I’m thinking of things like meeting notes or notes on a particular subject. Since I am mostly sitting at a Mac all day it seems that it would be smarter to stick with Obsidian for the daily note and use Drafts as a companion app. Obsidian handles binaries embedded in notes and has some wonderful extensions for refactoring” of notes.

That said there are two huge areas where Drafts has a major advantage over Obsidian:

  1. The speed at which I can open a new document and start typing vs Obsidian. There simply is no comparison.
  2. Integration with iOS and macOS for automation. Obsidian simply doesn’t have the level of integration with the platforms it exists on that Drafts does with iOS and macOS.

For a daily note scenario neither of these items are very important, because I’m sitting at a Mac all day with Obsidian always open. However if I start to think about Drafts as a companion app instead those two factors become a lot more important.

The place that Drafts shines is when I’m out and about and the speed and integration factors come into play. If I start to think of Drafts as a small notebook where I can jot things down quickly, the workflow becomes more about making sure I process whatever was created that day and use the automation capabilities of Drafts to help put those items in the right places.

Having multiple inboxes isn’t the problem, it’s dealing with them that is. What will serve me better is having a consistent process and time in which I deal with all of the stuff that comes up during the day. Any tool can help with that but if the process isn’t there the tools are irrelevant because they all can become a mess. Right now I don’t have that consistent process set up.

I need to rethink how I’m approaching things. It seems obvious to me now that Drafts is not the place to put my daily note since I have Obsidian open all day. It really just serves me best as a temporary place to hold ideas, etc. until I have time to process them. This goes against my (probably wrong-headed) idea that I need one tool to rule them all” but really why is that even a requirement? Why not use each tool for what it is best at instead of trying to shoehorn everything into one place?

April 23, 2023