Rough Draft

Write now. Edit later. Remember, it's just a rough draft.

#2 Product of the DayOctober 23, 2015



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Andrew McLaughlin@mcandrew · Medium
I've been using First Draft in beta for about a month, and have really loved it. I've experimented with a bunch of flows: First Draft --> Hemingway; First Draft --> Medium; First Draft --> Simple Note; First Draft --> Google Docs. All of them are useful for different functions, but they all start with First Draft. It took me only about 1 or 2 pieces of writing to get used to the backspace = full word delete action, and now it's second-nature, and has made first drafting noticeably faster. The other feature I really love is the ability to drop in placeholders for links, videos, images, etc., without interrupting my flow to go find the thing, insert it, and then continue where I left off, with all the cognitive transition costs that entails. Above all, I really appreciate the remarkable attention to simplicity. Fantastic work, David and Ben.
Ⓜatt hartman@matthartman · partner @betaworks
@mcandrew totally agree about the simplicity. I also like to use it in full-screen mode to maximize focus on writing. I hadn't thought about it before, but the way you describe it going to Hemingway, Medium, etc is actually really similar to how I use the mobile Drafts app. For mobile, it's the easiest way to compose. First Drafts is accomplishing this on desktop by being the most clean, easiest place to start writing longer form content -- regardless of where I ultimately want it to end up.
ben WatanabeMakerHiring@benwtnb · 96 Problems
@mcandrew Thanks for your kind words and sharing your flows! We've got some updates coming to make the transition between platforms even easier 😄 @matthartman looking forward to getting you the iOS beta! We're trying to go beyond just shrinking First Draft for iOS/iPhone like some of our team's favorite multi-platform apps by @MacGuitar & @FiftyThree.
Timothy Buck@timothybucksf · Product Manager
@mcandrew Thanks for sharing your experience. Seems like a solid tool.
ben WatanabeMakerHiring@benwtnb · 96 Problems
There's a lot the team and I would love to say about First Draft, but most of all would love to hear your questions and answer them! First Draft was inspired by the experience of failing multiple times at writing a book on a computer, and finally succeeding at a first draft of a book in paper. We wanted to combine the best points of writing on paper with a computer. Mainly we wanted to help writers "stop sweating the small stuff," aka the words, and focus on getting their idea out!
Cat NooneHunterHiring@imcatnoone · Founder & CEO, Iris
Been using this since Beta and absolutely stoked to see it finally launch for everyone. Previous to First Draft, I was never really comfortable using a writing app, I preferred putting my content right in Google Docs thinking only about the editing I needed done. However, I love that First Draft forces me to be uncomfortable and accepting of the first draft that comes with every piece I write. Love the simplicity, how it gets out of the way and allows me to just write. Highly recommend and can't wait to see where the team takes the platform.
ben WatanabeMakerHiring@benwtnb · 96 Problems
@imcatnoone We've been absolutely stoked to have you as a beta writer cat! 🙏 All your feedback really made First Draft grow into what it became, and is really what makes me love Product Hunt. There's no place else where you can meet other makers and get such great constructive positive feedback. Happy to hear that the beta "forces [you] to be uncomfortable," we really want to make experiences that make the user take notice! Thanks again for writing in First Draft Cat!
Anna Cates@_annacates · Interaction Designer & Entrepreneur
Love the site (the "typing" is a really cool way to show what the product is about), love the onboarding and the simplicity of the UI. Everything is set up just right to get you focused on the task, no clutter, everything appears and disappears just as you need it. Really good job.
Corey LeeMaker@factorzero · Designer
@_annacates Very happy to hear that. We spent a ton of time trying to get the onboarding just right.
Benjamin Cates@catesb · CEO,
@factorzero @_annacates Hi Corey, Ben here, Anna's much less talented (newish) husband. :) Anna was raving about the UX in First Draft and insisted I try it so I did and I am not disappointed. I did, however, find what may be a bug. When deleting something (which I try desperately hard to avoid as apparently I have strikeout OCD) I noticed that in the following word there is no space between the strikedout word and the new word. Is this by design? Because to me it is a bit strange. Also, it took me a few seconds to notice the location of the prompts at the top. I am not sure how to describe this, but my eyes didn't go there naturally even after I knew where it was. I would consider trying to make it part of the page itself like the other texts. Other than that great job.
Anna Cates@_annacates · Interaction Designer & Entrepreneur
@catesb @factorzero Agreed about the prompts in the top, it's a small thing but the focus is on the white area most of the time, so my eyes don't "see" the change of the instructions on the top unless I look for it.
ben WatanabeMakerHiring@benwtnb · 96 Problems
@catesb @_annacates Hi Ben, Ben here too :) I tend to hit space after striking out something, as I feel the same way as you. First Draft automatically strips out double spaces around strikedout words, so your export will still be clean. Maybe we should make the space by default. Thanks for the idea! I'm a little confused what you mean about the prompts. They should paste into the page once you select one. Do you mean the button itself? Thanks for your thoughts and we'll work to improve! This is just version 1 so we'll be working hard with an update coming next week including all the great feedback from Hunters, including you!
Benjamin Cates@catesb · CEO,
@benwtnb @_annacates Hi Ben, I was referring to the prompts you show during the tutorial. The ones with the yellow okay button to the right. I would maybe try and find a way to put it inside the main part of the page where text is typed. Cheers!
Adam Runner@damrunner · Growth executive, development activist
This is fantastic. I've been looking for something to help me merge the convenience of word processing/digital file management with my philosophical preference for handwriting in pen (you know, because you have to commit to the words that come out of your brain-piece without trying to perfect them).
ben WatanabeMakerHiring@benwtnb · 96 Problems
@damrunner Exactly! Ink, whether on a typewriter or ✒️, just connects and commits you to your writing. We made this for writers just like you to make the writing of the draft faster and transition to editing easier! Hope you enjoy just 📝'ing!