The Best App to Capture Quick Ideas on Your iPhone (& iPad!)

I recently discovered a great app for capturing ideas.

In fact, many of my recent blog posts started as a few random notes that I captured with this app.

It is now in my iPhone dock, right next to my todo list.

This app is appropriately named, “Drafts.”

And it will capture drafts of all your great ideas.

Capture That Passing Thought

We all have those great ideas.

They come and then often, they are gone!

If only you had written that idea down.

I used to carry a pocket Moleskine for just this task.

Now, I carry just my iPhone for most purposes.

Recently, I started using an app that has changed the way I capture ideas.

It is called Drafts, and all it does is capture ideas.

The minimalist interface supports one task: capturing ideas.

It does this better than any other app I have used.

When you open the app, it defaults to a new blank note.

It’s that simple. With 1 tap, I am ready to start typing the great idea that just crossed my mind.

The user interface is minimal, there is no bloat.

Most apps required several clicks to start a new note and get started. Even with Evernote, there are several extra actions required, including tapping in the actual text area.

With Drafts, there is no extra effort. Each time you open the app, you get a new place to capture an idea.You don’t even have to hit “Save.” Just shut your phone off or hit home.

What To Do With Those Ideas?

Drafts is great at capturing ideas, but what do you with them later?

Drafts has the ability to send, share, and export your ideas to almost anywhere.

There are almost too many to options to mention here. However, the best part is that you can turn off the ones that you don’t use. I did this to minimize the choices in my menu.

Here are some of my favorites:

– Email or message

– Send to Dropbox (and a special “append to file…”)

– Send to Things (to create a todo)

– Send to Evernote

– Send to Day One (for journal entries)

– Send to Twitter or Buffer

With version 2.0, Drafts is now available as an iPad app, as well.

It features a fast-syncing option that keeps your ideas in sync across your iPhone and iPad. It worked like magic in my early testing.

Here is what Drafts looks like on the iPad: (with menu showing)

Let “Drafts” Catch Your Ideas

I capture my big ideas in Drafts, and then later send them wherever I need them.

The new 2.0 version improves on what was already a great minimalist app.

If you need a capture app for your iPhone, I highly recommend Drafts.

Drafts for iPhone (App Store)

Drafts for iPad (App Store)

Question: What app do you use to capture those fleeting ideas?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sweet! Thank you for recommending Drafts. I’m a big Evernote fan/user, but my biggest frustraion with the iOS app has been the time it takes to actually start entering text. Will have to give Drafts a test drive.

    • Same here. 🙂

      Love that Drafts is quick. I use it on the go, whenever I need to “grab” a quick idea.

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  • donjones

    I use evernote for this with their widget that allows one push and note open, then syncs to evernote which I use for capturing all my thoughts. Saves a step or two for me.

    • Don, I have used their desktop widget in Chrome. Nice for getting things into Evernote.

      • Widget feature is the best. Draft works for you because you use Iphone.

        Btw I have just sign up and I’m really enjoying your blog so far. Thanks,,

  • dataequity

    @DonJones, ditto Evernote, I have it on every device, from my television, tablet, smartphone, desktop. Quite the ubiquitous app.

  • RaiDai

    Any suggestions for similar apps on Android ??

    • Sorry… I don’t have any Android recs at the moment.

      It’s iPhone and iPad for me at the moment. 🙂

  • I like that I can record it in one place and send it to so many different places. No need to start other Apps. This is the power for me.

    • I agree… it is nice to have *one* place to quickly capture fleeting thoughts.

      Then you can use them later… in whatever app you want. 🙂

    • That is exactly the reason I like the app so much.

      I can quickly capture a thought without thinking about which app to open.
      And then you can use it wherever you wish at a later time. 🙂

  • Thanks for the tip, Craig. Going to install the app on my iPhone now!

    • Yes, I am loving this app. Even more with the 2.0 update.

  • Hi Craig, I am new to your blog. Love this section. I am a MAC convert for the last two years, been a PC man for the last 30 years, before that the Tandy (yes i am old as dirt). Great Blog. Domenic

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  • I love this app. I walk around the golf course in the morning and make notes on things I see and things that need to get done. Later I send it to Evernote and add to my to do list. I have started using the dictation feature which makes quite a few mistakes, but I still think is faster than typing, especially when it’s cold out.

    • Yes, it is my goto app for capturing ideas. Love the simplicity that is opens to a blank document each time you open it. 🙂

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  • Keith

    Is Draft less battery intensive than using Evernote directly?

  • Ketan Wagh

    What is the best app for this purpose on Android platform? Can you suggest one.

  • jhgreene1960

    is android an expletive deleted around here? is there something akin to Drafts for us A*dr**d users. TMN you could appeal to the oither half of the world also….Imagine