Equivalent To Drafts, But For Windows?

Is there an equivalent to Drafts, but for Windows? Unfortunately, I am getting a Windows machine mixed in with my Apple products. I have become a Drafts addict.

What would give “equivalence” in terms of your high level requirements? Drafts does a lot of things and nothing else does everything it does, but there may be something based on the key features you require.

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Fair question.

I use Drafts for Journaling.

I use Drafts as “a place to start a writing, and then hold until finished”. Then I fire the writing off in the direction that I need for it to go.

To dictate a writing, hold it until I am sure it is like I want it, then send to wherever I need for it to go.

Send to CardHop.

Group message.

Append to a Draft.

Share.

That’s my regular uses for now.

Okay, based on those details, I have some questions for you. Perhaps even some leading ones…

  1. Are you saying that you want to do all of these things on Windows (including the non-Windows app CardHop and Apple’s group messaging)?
  2. The “directions” you mention. Are some of those particular apps or services on the Windows side of things? If so, what?
  3. Are you wanting to share the data you input on Windows with Mac, Mac with Windows, both directions, or neither and have independent data in each ecosystem?
  4. Do your requirements all need to be addressed by a Windows app, or would interacting from/via Windows in some way and having an always on Mac with automation tools also be viable?
  5. When you mention dictation, I just want to confirm that you are referring to the automatic text transcription from audio using anything that is available, and not specifically the Siri dictation trick that Drafts uses to allow extended dictation. Correct, or not?
  6. Is an i*OS device a valid alternative for you for any of the interactions you have in mind for tackling on Windows?
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Aaaaaahhhhhhh. THANKS for making me think, and thanks for digging deeper!! Seriously.

Here’s where “I” stand:
. I use a iPhone XR and 2017 IPad Pro for personal use, AND, to run my business.
. The Apple IOS/iPadOS 13 update cost me a lot. I lost documents and photos (iCloud Drive), plus weeks of “cleaning up” time. (STILL cleaning up).
. I work some in Airtable, and as I am sure that you know, Airtable does not have a good IOS interface.
. The new Apple laptops/desktops are not only getting too pricy, but even not thinking about price, the recent experience has caused me great concern.
. THIS lead me to bite my tongue, and ordered a Windows based desktop for a alternative/back up. It arrived today.
. I ABSOLUTELY WANT TO be all in on Apple, but I can’t put myself back in that position again. Literally thousands of people depend on me to be on “the internet”.
. I have a website. Have recently moved to a better host, who uses CPanel, and all the related trappings.
. My THINKING IS, to do everything that I can to not be 100% in a Apple OS, and not be 100% in a Microsoft OS.
. I am exploring, and that is the right word for me at this time, moving my Contacts into webmail/Mailman/Horde on my hosted site. To keep
It short, to move EVERYTHING that I can onto my hosted site.
. I have been in the extremely long process of moving out of iCloud Drive, and back into Dropbox. (My folders go back to 1957).

Now, to be more direct To your last questions:

1 - Do all these things in Windows? Would be nice, but I seriously doubt it’s possible.

2 - “Directions”. That would be things like email, save to a doc/pdf, etc, so yes, available via Windows OS.

3 - The data will live either in Dropbox, or on my host server.

4 - At this time, IOS and a Windows environment will co-exist in my World. When it comes time to replace the iPhone and/or iPad, I can’t predict what will be my options.

5 - You are correct on the dictation.

6 - Yes. As long as a IOS device stays in my life AND is reliable.

In NO WAY am I “bad mouthing” Apple. I am simply covering my bases better for any future hiccups.

I came here for great advice, because this is where the smart folks hang out. We all only have 24 hours in a day, and right now, I am burning through them fast trying to “relearn Windows”, (been out since XP first dropped), AND learn all the hooks that you have so graciously brought up. Again, THANKS for trying to guide me, and I am looking forward to your advice!

And a edit, just because I just did this, and I think it’s important. I gather quotes, and have “thoughts” myself. Currently, I save them in Drafts. I am considering to start saving them in either Airtable or SQL Lite, which is on my host server. So there’s yet another of my current Draft actions. type it there. Maybe keep it there, or send it to somewhere else outside of the IOS spear.

That’s quite a bit to digest, thanks. I think you’ll want to continue experimenting as I think you’ll find the balance changes over time. I use a variety of platforms at work and outside of it, and mixing and matching tools is a frequent occurrence … but as far as possible I also try and use the best tools I have for a job whenever I can. I’m fortunate in that I usually can switch to what I need when I need it, or delay to when I can get to it later. When I can’t, I make do.

If you need content creation and reference crowd platform, I think Drafts is out, but that’s not to say you can’t use that to capture and save when you are on your Apple devices, or that you can’t import to operate on it when required. But that Drafts experience on Windows is out.

I’d suggest looking at nvAlt/nvUltra (coming to all Apple platforms) & a text editor of your choice on Windows (VS Code/SublimeText/Notepad++/etc.) and Dropbox for plain text (including Markdown) focused content, and either a Dropbox based filing system with a suitable word processor for more advanced needs; alternatively something like Google docs/Quip, or Evernote may suit better here. There are many pros and cons, particularly around searching and what automations you can do. I think exploring these for your own needs might be time well spent.

In terms of actions-esque manipulations, you’ll find that many advanced text editors have plug-ins that you can utilise and create, though the learning curve I’d say is higher in all cases than it is for Drafts actions. I’d also suggest looking into what you can do with Autohotkey. Think of it as like the coder’s Keyboard Maestro for Windows. I’d rate it as more accessible than say Powershell, but it is still a text based rather than visual block based language. But it can get you through a lot of sticky automation situations in just the same way as Keyboard Maestro can on the Mac.

For dictation, Cortana can do it, but there are also many web services that can as well, e.g. Google Docs. The two things I’d check for are how good it transcribes based on your voice, accent, etc., and how comfortable you are with the company receiving the content you are dictating. There’s always the option to install a Dragon dictation (Nuance) option for local transcription, but there’s a notable cost associated with that, and I can’t help but think that the cloud-hosted machine learning tends to hold the edge over the personalised localised approach; but I have a strong northern UK accent so I’m not always favoured by transcription in any case - as is often evident from conversations with my voice activated home assistant.

I hope that gives you a few ideas of what you could start to look at, but you’re obviously on a journey with this one. I hope it’s a good one :+1:

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THANKS! There is some great advice here there. I will explore the avenues that you mentioned! Super good advice. :+1:t2::+1:t2::+1:t2: