Add a Task to TaskPaper with Drafts Using Dropbox Actions

TaskPaper has long been my todo-list iPhone app of choice, because it stores its data in a simple text file, not an XML file or some proprietary format. Oh, and the text file syncs with Dropbox, so I can edit my todo list in any iOS Dropbox-friendly text editor, or on my Mac. However, instant capture is not TaskPaper’s strong suit. It does not have an URL scheme that allows you, say, to enter some text in Launch Center Pro and have it added as a todo in TaskPaper. I have in the past come up with various hacks, from using Launch Center Pro to prepend a task to a text file in Nebulous Notes, which I sync with my TaskPaper Dropbox folder to using Drafts to send an email to IFTTT to add a task to my TaskPaper file in Dropbox.

Now that Drafts — a note “capture” app that lets you send your text to various iOS apps and web services — supports Dropbox Actions, I can finally send a task straight to my todo list from Drafts.

In Drafts settings, tap on Dropbox Actions:

and then set up the action:

I have TaskPaper sync with the /TaskPaper folder in my Dropbox account, and my primary todo list is titled Inbox.txt. You of course can change the filename and extension (and even folder) as needed.

The key here is the template: I’ve included a hard tab, followed by a dash and then a space, followed by [[draft]] which includes the entirety of the text of your draft.

    - [[draft]]

This is how a line in the actual text file should be formatted if you want a task to show up as part of a project. Without the dash followed by a space followed by the text, your text just shows up as a note. With this Dropbox Action set up, just enter your draft, tap on “taskpaper,” and Drafts will put the task at the very top of your todo list. All you have to do is use the TaskPaper menu to move it to a project.

If you’re reading this on your iPhone, just tap on this link to import the Dropbox Action into your version of Drafts.


  1. Cool Hack! :-)

    How did you create the hard tab? Is there a Way to do it with the iPhone?

    Makes me Crazy not to know it.


  2. Josh KG says:

    Perfect! I just grabbed Drafts for this workflow and then couldn’t get that formatting right (too lazy to go to my mac for the tab!). Thanks for saving me the effort!

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