How To Create Templates in Drafts for iPad

Ludo De Angelis
3 min readDec 2, 2022


Source: Draft 5 Review (MacStories)


There’s something about the limitless creative potential within ourselves reflected back at us by a tauntingly empty blank canvas that is inspiring — in a panic-attack sort of way.

Mix in a highly-flexible, seemingly-overpowered writing software app that is Draft and one can quickly become a sweaty affair.

Luckily, we can solve the challenge of sweaty clothes by utilising:

  • copywriting frameworks
  • with templates

Save time and pit staints when sitting down to bang out an article.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Create an automation, called an Action
  • The Action will “insert text” (your framework)
  • You win

Now let’s dive into the mechanics.

Automations & Actions

It helps to think of using templates with Drafts as running an automation. Drafts calls automations “Actions”.

You can build an Action to create a shortcut, add a file your cloud storage or even run Javascript.

When making an Action you can name it, use a colour and use an icon.

Opening the Steps within your Action builder if where you actually build your automation.

There is a lot you can do but for the purposes of this articles, we’re simply going to run through how to create a template for some popular article structures.

You can also hit the “+” button in the bottom right of the sidebar and Visit Directory. Here you can browse already made automations. Have a look around for automations that will work with the apps you already use.

Popular task managers like OmniFocus and Things have some pretty deep integration here.

Steps to Create an Outline In Drafts

Step One

In the sidebar, tap on the “+” icon and then New Action.

Step Two

Name your action (i.e. PAS Outline Template) and give assign it a colour and icon.

Step Three

Tap on Steps, then hit the “+” in the upper right hand of the pane.

Scroll down and under Utility group, you will see “Insert Text”. Tap on that.

Step Four

Fill out what you want your outline to look like.

For example, we can use a general copywriting framework — AIDA.

(Since Drafts is a markdown editor, we can also add the relevant markdown if we like.)

When you’re finished, hit “Save & Exit” in the top right of the pane.

Step Five

To use your new template, simply open up a new draft and open the sidebar on the right.

Most likely your new automation saved at the bottom of the list so you’ll have to scroll down.

Tap on it and boom. Your template fills in your empty draft.


Using templates in Drafts save you a lot of time and makes your writing consistent. Two points of friction you’ll never have to deal with again.

Hope this article helped you think more deeply about your relationship with technology. If you’re feeling stuck and creatively unfulfilled, drop me a message and we can chat about it.

Ludo ✌️🖤

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Ludo De Angelis

I write about creative fulfilment, our relationship with technology and living a good life.