June 11, 2013

Draft – Version Control for Writers


Writing can be considered a team sport for many professionals, and yet few tools have been established to help groups of people work together on text documents without overwriting each other’s work or accidentally saving older versions of the file being edited. Draft is a tool that writers can use to solicit feedback from editors and work collaboratively with peers.

Create a new document from scratch, or import a text or Markdown document to add it to the files you’ve saved inside the cloud-based platform. Type directly on your browser screen, and Draft will auto-save your work along the way. When you’re ready to get some new eyes on your project, hit the “Share” button and send the provided links to friends or colleagues. Collaborators will be invited to participate by editing the text you’ve sent, adding their own two-cents, or leaving notes or comments alongside particular passages. Draft will send you an automated email each time a collaborator has made changes to your work, and as the creator you’ll be allowed to accept or reject those changes before they go through.

Another major component to Draft is the platform’s professional editing feature. Users can “Ask a Pro” to edit their document for just $5 or $10. Draft employs a staff of college-educated editors who’ve all signed non-disclosure agreements, so you don’t have to worry about your ideas being compromised when you use the editing service, and you’ll still maintain full control over which edits are ultimately approved or rejected before your project is complete.

Practical Uses:

  • Get help editing an essay you’re writing for school
  • Work together to write a screenplay with friends who live across the globe
  • Make sure collaborators aren’t saving over the work you’ve done
  • Find old drafts of the project you’re working on now

Insider Tips:

  • Draft works together with popular cloud services like Evernote, Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive
  • Writing is done using Markdown style
  • Users can publish their Draft documents to WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, or Twitter
  • Google Chrome users can download the Draft extension
  • Draft will host images and format those images inside documents

What we liked:

  • Writers can compare previous drafts of their work to see what’s changed
  • Draft makes it easy for people to ignore the edits their collaborators have suggested
  • People can mark specific versions of their documents as major, to make it easier to find those versions in the future
  • Users who add their publishers to Draft can get automated reports comparing the popularity of specific articles or posts

What we didn’t like:

  • Draft doesn’t offer a robust FAQ or help section for new users


Company Info:

  • Launched: March 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • Founded by: Nathan Kontny
  • Web site:


  • Free
  • Professional editing is $5 for 15 minutes or $10 for 45 minutes

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