Craft: A Next-Generation Note-Taking App

Craft logo

I think the value of a good note-taking app has been underestimated, despite the fact that there is no shortage of options. OneNote, Evernote, Apple Notes, Simplenote, Google Keep, and countless others are well-known for their note-taking abilities, but for the most part, they kind of all do the same thing. That makes it hard to choose one over another.

In 2021, I became a big fan of Workflowy. It had a simplicity that the others lacked, and an organizational scheme that complimented the way my brain thinks. So, I moved all my notes from OneNote to Workflowy and I haven’t looked back since. I’m still really happy with it, but every so often I see an app that makes me do a double-take. Craft is one such app.

What is Craft?

Craft is a note-taking app, but it’s not just any note-taking app. Craft was Apple’s Mac App of the Year for 2021. Don’t have a Mac? No problem. It’s also available on iPhone, iPad, or on the web at craft.do.

Visually, it’s very attractive. A lot of time has been devoted to the design and layout of the Craft apps. Each app is optimized for the platform it runs on and Craft has gone to great lengths to try and ensure feature parity across devices.

Like Workflowy, Craft allows you to nest notes within notes, but it does so with panache. They’re called Cards, and you can style them exactly the way you want to make them instantly appealing.

Screenshot of the My Documents screen in Craft.do

With Craft, you can quickly add links to reference another note in your library. This makes it quick and easy to jump between notes without having to search for them. It works online or offline and it has some great collaboration options like real-time editing, and the ability to share any note with a link.

How Does Craft Work?

A good note-taking app needs to have a way to organize your content. In Craft, you start with a document. As you might expect, documents can be filed into folders. When you edit a document you add blocks. Every paragraph is a block and could include text or images, but you can also group blocks together to make a linked page.

Like most note-taking apps, it takes a little bit of time to get your head around the organizational structure, but once it sinks in, you’ll be up and running in no time. Here’s an example.

Screenshot of the Mac app for Craft showing Travel plans to some European countries

There is a full suite of editing tools at your disposal to style your notes. You can have titles, headings, sub-headings. For more organization, you can have bulleted lists, numbered lists, and checklists. There are four fonts to choose from, dozens of text colors, and the option to indent text like a quote for emphasis. Tables, line dividers, and even a LaTeX editor round out the editing tools at your disposal.

How Can I Use Craft at School?

For teachers, Craft could be a great digital lesson planning book. You can organize your notes into classes and easily share a lesson with a substitute or your principal via the sharing menu.

Going to a conference? Take Craft with you. It is tailor-made for taking notes at learning sessions or professional development. Everything is searchable, so you will quickly find everything you need when you come back to look at your notes later.

Working with colleagues on some new curriculum ideas? In Craft you can create collaborative spaces where you can invite others to work on the same documents with you. You can invite up to 20 people to a shared space for free.

Screenshot of the Craft iPad app showing a mixture of text, images and a checklist.

How Much Does Craft Cost?

That brings us nicely to the question that has probably been circling in your brain for a little while now – how much does Craft cost? The tiered pricing structure has a generous free plan that gives you 1000 blocks to get started. That sounds like a lot, but when you remember that each paragraph is a block, it will soon add up.

The Pro Plan is $44.99 per year, but students and teachers can apply for a 50% discount. It’s good for a year. If you are still using Craft at the end of your 12-month plan, you can re-apply for another discount. If not, no problem. You will still be able to access all your notes on the free plan, and you can export everything to a variety of other note-taking apps if needed.

Conclusion

I use a lot of Google tools at work, but for my needs, Google Keep just isn’t enough as a note-taking tool. It’s great for curation, quick notes, and to-do lists, but for anything more than that, I struggle to make it fit my needs.

Right now, I’m using Workflowy, but after using Craft for a couple of weeks, I see no barriers that would prevent me from moving everything from Workflowy to Craft. It’s quick to use, intuitive to organize, and powerful enough to become your go-to tool for all your digital productivity.


Craft was one of my top picks from this week’s Tech Nuggets newsletter. If you want to see apps like this in your inbox every week, subscribe at bit.ly/technuggets.

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