Some Updates – Drafts, Shortcuts, Scriptable, and Working Copy – A Workflow Story, Part 4

In this series:

I know I owe you a deep dive into my actual blog post and podcast episode publishing shortcuts now, but first I want to address an update to the image handling portion of my Drafts workflow that I talked about in Part 2 of this series.

At the time, Shortcuts in the iPadOS 15 beta had an issue in which the newly added ability to access iCloud directories outside the Shortcuts folder simply didn’t work. As a result, for shortcuts that needed access to the Drafts iCloud folder, I used an inline Scriptable JavaScript action which worked great thanks to Scriptable’s folder and file bookmark feature. Now, as of the latest iPadOS 15 betas, Shortcuts can access other iCloud folders quite nicely.

In addition, I’m now running the latest Drafts beta instead of the App Store release version. If you recall, I want to use the Drafts beta because Greg Pierce added folder and file bookmarks, which make it possible for Drafts scripts to access other iCloud folders as well. This is great – with the ability to access any iCloud folder from either Drafts actions or the Shortcuts app, I’ll have unparalleled flexibility to put files where I need them from either app and still be able to access them with the other.

However, since I still want a photo picker for adding images to blog posts in Drafts, I am still using a shortcut for the bulk of the Insert Images workflow. The difference now is that instead of putting copies of photos in both the Drafts and the Shortcuts iCloud folders, I can stick to just having one copy, and putting it in the Drafts/Library/Previews/images folder, where the built-in Drafts split-view preview feature looks for them.

Drafts preview images folder

Shortcut file save action saving the photos to the Drafts image preview folder

This is a minor change, but a big one, because it means now I only have to worry about images in one location for everything from previewing in Drafts while writing a post to grabbing the images for the site repo at publish time and deleting them from the iCloud folder.

Sorry for a slight digression from the exciting parts of my workflow,1 but I wanted to highlight this change because I’m sure my previous inefficient method of shoving images in two locations was just gnawing at you. It certainly bothered me, which is why I updated my shortcut to do it more sensibly as soon as I was able to.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go update the blog post publishing shortcut side of this automation house of cards to reflect the fact that it can no longer find images to publish in iCloud/Shortcuts/Drafts/images. I feel like someone should let it know.


  1. He said sarcastically ↩︎