In this Draft review, I’ll cover what I like about the software, where it can improve, and if it’s worth it.
Draft is a unique writing assistant that helps you share and edit documents, take notes, and transcribe long walls of text.
When sharing documents with friends, editors, and other writers, I struggle to manage the changes they make. It’s almost impossible to find old versions and visualize how it changed. But I started using Draft a few weeks ago, and it gives me complete control over my work.
So in this post, I’ll review Draft. I’ll cover my experiences with the writing tool, the pros and cons, and if it’s worth your time.
What Is Draft?
After years of struggling with annoying writing problems, Nate Kontny founded Draft in Chicago to improve the lives of other writers. You might recognize this name because he ran large companies like Y Combinator and Highrise.
Bestselling author Howard Linzon even said, “Draft is like Uber for writing.”
The first thing I noticed about Draft is how unique it is. Unlike other writing tools such as Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Copyscape, which focus on solving niche problems, Kontny aims to fix all the writing problems he faces.
- Sharing docs
- Managing edits
- Publishing it on various platforms
- Visualizing how your document changed over time
- Transcribing text
When sharing a Google Doc with friends, colleagues, or boss, it’s easy for them to make changes and override your original copy. So you’ll have to make a second copy to ensure you have the original.
But with Draft, you can share writing with several different people at once, and you get to ignore or accept any changes.
Managing older versions of your writing is also tedious with Google Docs and Microsoft. They usually save several versions of your copy, but finding a specific one is tedious. For example, how can you find an old draft that contains a paragraph you deleted but now want back?
Fortunately, with Draft’s simple interface, it’s easy to compare old copies and view how they changed over time.
Draft is 100% free. You don’t need to sign up for a free trial or enter your credit card details. Simply go to Draftin.com, sign up, and you can start using all available features. However, Draft is a new company, and as it releases new features, I’m sure it’ll start offering paid plans.
Who Is Draft For?
After using Draft to transcribe text, take notes, and manage edits, I feel it can benefit:
- Freelance writers
Transcribing allows you to repurpose content and grow your social media audience. For example, if you created a video and your audience loves it, why not turn it into a blog post?
Unfortunately, transcribing text takes a lot of patience and discipline. You’ll need to listen to the same audio five or six times just to ensure your writing is correct. This can be time-consuming if you don’t have the proper tools.
With Draft, when you arrive at the dashboard, click “New Document” and “New Transcription.”
From here, transcription becomes much more manageable. You’ll notice two green buttons allow you to create repeating loops for one to five seconds. Because everything is connected to your computer’s keyboard, you can write quickly.
Writing a book takes a lot of hard work, and you must effectively communicate with researchers and editors. If you’re using beta readers, you also need to take their feedback into account.
But if you’re using Google Docs, it’s quite challenging to see all the changes editors made and feedback from beta readers. This is where Draft comes in. It helps manage changes while allowing you to visualize the development of your book.
When editors make changes, you can automatically accept all edits. However, if you’d like to change something, simply go into your document history and reject the edit.
Draft can help you share your writing with clients, friends, and editors while giving you complete control of the original copy.
But, this writing assistant offers more than sharing features. It gives you critical insight into what your audience wants. For example, there’s no use writing 4000-word blog posts detailing everything beginners need to know about surfing when they prefer 500 words.
Go to the “Reports” icon on your home page, and you’ll find in-depth analytics that gives you insight into word count, post day, reading level, title length, and post time. This allows you to create the most compelling article possible.
How Does Draft Work?
Go to Draftin.com and click “Try Draft.” Here, you’ll notice how simple the interface is. There are only a few icons to choose from like:
- Contact us
- Privacy terms
On the dashboard, you’ll find a “New Document” icon alongside other features on the left.
My favorite feature is email note-taking. Draft gives you a secret email that you can use to send important notes, and it’ll save it to your dashboard.
Let’s say you’re shopping for groceries and get a creative idea for your book or articles. Simply go to your email, record your idea and send it to this email address. When you get home, log into Draft, and you’ll find it there.
Or, if you’re transcribing text, go to “New Transcription” and add your audio. Next, use the automatic loop feature to transcribe words accurately. Once you’re finished transcribing a few sentences, use the green arrows to loop the next couple of seconds.
Now that we know how Draft works, let’s put it through set criteria to see if it’s a valuable tool for writers.
Ease Of Use
When testing a writing tool, ease of use is an essential factor to consider. And this is where Draft shines. Unlike other tools that aim for complexity, Draft keeps everything simple while offering advanced features.
When you go to the dashboard, you’ll find it’s clean and straightforward. It offers version control, transcription loops, team collaboration, and image hosting.
It offers several features that streamline my work processes. One example of how Draft can improve your writing, is its simplification tool. I often found myself writing too much, even if I could say the same thing in fewer words. This problem is quite difficult to spot while editing because you’d need to proofread several times.
But with Draft, after you’ve pasted your work, go to the edit menu and select the “Simplify” button. This sends you to an editing robot that’ll make changes you can reject or accept. It aims to find and delete unimportant sentences and words while looking for repetition.
Create Writing To-Do Lists
When I first started using to-do lists, I’d write it in a notebook, but halfway through the day, I’d just forget about it. Or, if something unexpected popped up, the to-do list would become irrelevant.
Later on, I used specialized software. But keeping a tab open for this tool became a real headache, especially when there are another 8 tabs open.
Fortunately, Github created a style of Markdown that’s easy to use in plain text. You can use this to break down large writing tasks while avoiding the creation of microscopic jobs.
Draft integrates with Github, so go to the top-right head toolbar and select “To Do.” Next, add your to-do list, and it’ll appear on your dashboard. So when you’re finished writing a document in Draft, simply tick off your task and move on to the next.
Creating presentations is a real hassle, and you’ll need a specialized tool like Powerpoint or Keynote to do so. Fortunately, Draft offers a simple presentation feature, allowing you to create slides inside your writing tool.
You also have complete control of your slides, which is helpful when collaborating with others during a presentation. Version control is almost impossible with Powerpoint.
Areas For Improvement
Here are some areas where I think Kontny can improve his software:
- It tends to freeze when sharing large files
- Sometimes the simplify feature deletes important information
Freezes When Sharing Large Files
When sharing, pasting, and collaborating with others on large documents, Draft tends to lag. It isn’t by much, but if you’re struggling to meet deadlines, it can be annoying. If you’re looking for a tool that rarely lags, consider ProWritingAid.
Read our ProWritingAid review.
Simplify Feature Is Buggy
The simplify feature helps create concise writing. However, you’ll need to look through any changes the robot makes because sometimes it deletes crucial information. So when pasting your work, never accept all changes. If you want a tool that’ll clear up your writing without deleting information, try Grammarly.
Draft Review Testing Criteria
When testing and reviewing Draft to see if it’s a helpful writing tool for freelancers, I looked at the following criteria:
- Ease of use
Draft comfortably meets these criteria. The dashboard is simple yet powerful, making it super easy to use. Features like version control, transcription loops, and presentations also make your life a lot simpler.
Since Draft is free, anyone can use it, and you won’t have to pay a monthly subscription. Draft is a relatively new company, and they’re constantly releasing new features designed to help writers.
Why Trust Us?
I’ve tested several writing tools over the last few years. When I recently discovered Draft, I had to give it a shot. It promised complete control over documents, convenient transcription features, and detailed analytics.
After using it for a few weeks now to manage my writing projects, I’m impressed. Draft didn’t disappoint, and its features made my life easier.
I no longer struggle with Google Docs when managing and tracking documents. If I’m sharing projects, Draft gives me complete control over my writing.
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Draft Review: The Bottom Line
Draft is a well-rounded tool that helps writers manage and share documents, transcript videos, present slides, take notes, and compare old drafts. This makes it a must-have if you struggle to manage edits and suggestions. Draft is also a free tool available on both desktop and mobile devices, so you can write while commuting or waiting for your children at school.
- Draft is free
- It’s easy to use
- It makes managing and sharing your documents convenient
- The software offers advanced features like version control and auto-simplify
- Hemingway Mode ensures your writing is easy to read
- The analytics allows you to tailor your writing to your audience
- It tends to lag when sharing large walls of text
- Auto-simplify can delete important information