Tag: Productivity

  • Craft – My Evernote Replacement

    I’m an app geek. I love testing out new apps and seeing if they fit into my workflow. Unfortunately, while I love testing new apps, very few keep their spot on my devices. One of the latest apps that has earned a place on my dock is Craft.

    Background

    I have used Evernote since 2011. I store a large variety of information in Evernote and have tried many apps to replace it. I really love Evernote, but it’s slow, and sync is not always as reliable as I would like. The editor is outdated, and the way content is linked is blah. Evernote does some things great like their web clipper, emailing in notes, tags, and their search is top-notch. But, I’m always looking for something that can serve my needs.

    I tried Apple Notes, Bear, Notion, ZOHO Notebook, and Microsoft One Note; none of them convinced me to switch. Then I saw Craft, and it looked interesting, but they marketed themselves as a way to “craft documents,” and that is not what I wanted to do. But, as I looked closer at Craft, I saw it could be more. More recently, they have marketed themselves as “taking notes to the next level.” So I sat down and imported all my Evernote notes in Craft (no direct import, but I did it through another app, Bear).

    What is Craft

    Craft is a block editor that helps you stylize your content. It started as a document editor, but people (including myself) have found many more uses for it. The 2.0 edition of Craft introduced eXtensions – a way to build in even more functionality to an app.

    What is a block editor?

    A block editor works in blocks. So each paragraph is a block, and each image is a block. You can drag and drop each block, so it’s easy to adjust your document as you need. In addition, each block has the potential to store more content in that block when you click on it. It can sound confusing until you start to use it, but it’s the easiest way to store and organize a lot of content. Even WordPress is going to a block editor.

    What do I use it for?

    2022 Craft dashboard
    My Personal Project Dashboard

    Currently, I use Craft for

    • Content Creation – I’m currently drafting this post in Craft. It’s great to write in, and I can quickly move my thoughts around.
    • Second Brain – I collect quotes, meaningful articles, web and graphic design ideas, color swatches, fashion ideas, recipes, and so much more. I have it all beautifully formatted inside Craft.
    • Project Manager – I’m only managing personal projects right now, but it works great. I can centralize all the documents and ideas for a project, create tasks, and send those tasks into Things. I hope Apple Reminders integration is coming soon because I prefer Apple Reminders for my personal work.
    • General Storage of essential Docs – I like to track my photo inventory and what software and plugins I’ve bought. I also keep track of my house documents and maintenance. Craft is not made for storing data like this, but it’s easy to do.

    What I love

    • App Interface – The iPad interface is beautiful, minimal, and functional (my three favorite things). I wish the Mac sidebar looked more like the iPad sidebar but a beautiful all-around app.
    • Fast – This app loads fast, syncs fast, and is fast to use. Unless you have super speed, this app will not slow you down.
    • Block Editor – Once you get used to the block editor, it’s fast to stylize your text.
    • Cover Photos – I love having images in my posts instead of just text. You can add your pictures or photographs from Unsplash.
    • Style Features – You can make anything look beautiful. Just look at my receipts page in Craft. It makes me want to look at my stored receipts.
    • iPad App – It’s just fun to use. So is the Mac app, but the iPad’s experience is just outstanding.
    • Support – Craft has a very active Slack group. It’s easy to request features, get support, find the latest eXtension to add functionality and more.

    What I want to see in the future

    Craft actively develops and implements new features, but a few features are missing from my workflow.

    • Web clipper – It’s not hard to get things into Craft, but it could be a lot easier with a dedicated web clipper. There are shortcuts to share, but I love how the Evernote clipper can pull article text without ads.
    • Send tasks to Apple Reminders – you can send tasks to other apps like Things but not to Apple Reminders. Being a native Mac app, I always found this strange. I’m hoping this gets fixed soon.
    • Grammarly – I would love to see a way to use Grammarly efficiently. Right now, I take my document and put it into Grammarly before posting.
    • Email Note – If I could email a receipt to store for later, that would be great. I know this is not the app’s purpose, but it’s a feature many people request.
    • Send post to WordPress – I would love to see this feature, so I did not have to stylize my posts twice. Sending directly to WordPress also might help the process stay on my iPad.

    Conclusion

    If you like taking beautiful notes, then look to Craft. Of course, it’s capable of much more but even just using it as a note taker is a joy.

    Check out Craft (not an affiliate link)