650: Craft Deep Drive


I’m pretty sure I really should NOT listen to this episode because of this post. :rofl:


Good show.
Highlighted the main +/- points of Craft, soberly.
“Sober” is good.

Totally agree… I think I’m in big trouble when I hit the play button

I don’t think it’s “silly” at all for @MacSparky to not want to carry around a big, heavy, bulky 16" laptop. It’s heavy to lug around, and doesn’t fit well on a lot of surfaces out in the wild. I’d worry about dropping it as well, regardless of whether insurance might reimburse me. It makes perfect sense to me to want a light, smaller MacBook Air to take on the road to Disneyland, coffee shops, and on longer trips. :slight_smile:


I enjoyed that!

I reckon, for me, I’m going to use both craft and obsidian.

Partly because I enjoy using both.

Partly because they both annoy me in different ways. Craft is (as our hosts both mentioned) sometimes a bit of a pain to use - it can be irritating. And, the same for obsidian, especially in iPad. I expect both to get less irritating over time.

Now, a question:

If I’m using both, what kinda stuff is best done in craft and what’s best done in obsidian?


Yes! I wish I’d said that in the episode @Clarke_Ching

Have thought about this as well. Thought about having day-to-day work management in Craft because of the integration with calendar and reminders. I also thought about producing nice looking material in Crafts to share with people (teaching material for my students). Obsidian is for messing around with everything else and can be messy since it is just notes for my self. Reading notes, personal stuff etc

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Craft is my favorite 3rd party iPadOS app. I teach one-one, sometimes online, but my in-person setup is like this, with my iPad connected to a portable external display:

I not only use it to make notes on the fly for the student, but it’s also interactive, visual and complimentary to their paper note-taking. After class - the notes are immediately available on the web due to automatic cloud syncing. The notes scale really well - when there is a new class, the past notes are turned into blocks, allowing the student to intuitively navigate and explore previous classes on the same page, without it feeling cluttered.

The beauty of Craft is not a single task it does, but how everything comes together in elegant ways from creation to publishing.

I also built my entire iPhoneography website with it: flow.rishio.com. It works well with my landing page www.rishio.com. I really hope they expand on web building capabilities.

I love the App, it’s one of those rare full blown Applications for the iPad for those of us who use the iPad as our main and only computer.

On a side note, I wonder what @MacSparky will do when the 12” ultralight Macbook comes out :popcorn:


Great examples — thanks for sharing!

I think “sober” is the perfect description. The episode was fair but lacked passion. Normally, David and Stephen are more passionate about an app or service. I got the impression that they believe Craft is perfectly “serviceable” and “useable” but they did not seem particularly enthusiastic about it. That is perfectly legitimate and honest. I was just a bit surprised. I figured they laud the app or be someone dismissive but they came across as “luke warm”

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Surprisingly, I only heard the faintest Siren Call while listening to the episode. Perhaps that is progress for me! :slightly_smiling_face: That said, I would prefer to use Craft rather than Apple Notes because Craft has a number of advantages, including easier export and backlinks. But, I haven’t found a seamless way to send a todo from Craft to Reminders that includes a link to the todo or note, which is essential for my work. My only option would be to use Things or OF, which I’m committed to not doing. :crossed_fingers:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

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I haven´t had the time to hear the episode yet, but I am not surprised about that at all.
Craft is a very colorful app, with a very good marketing team.
But beside that, I am not able to find any advantage I could take from this rather expensive app.
For example, I still search for an app, where I could annotate, highlight and cut out my PDF´s I have stored in DT3 (and yes, I know that DT3 has much improved on that side too).
Craft is even not able, to draw a straight line when it comes to highlighting a text, like other apps easily doo.
I want to highlight a text, not create a personal piece of art while I do so. And those little annoying behaviors I found a lot during the few days I testes Craft earlier this year.

Craft is an app, a channel like MPU could not completely ignore, due to their marketing, but I do understand, if there was not much “passion” for the app.


Seconding what @Rishio and @Kullenej have suggested—Craft is really good for sharing content with students. I teach at a university and create a shared Craft note for each course. During class, I take notes using Drafts for whatever may come up incidentally. After class, I simply copy the content from Drafts to the Craft doc and students immediately have access. Also, since those notes are in Markdown in Drafts, the formatting carries over to Craft.

I feel like I have been tinkering with recent innovations in PKM since I purchased DEVONthink in 2018, dabbled in Notion in 2019, played around with Roam in 2020, and concurrently used Obsidian and Craft in 2021 and 2022. I feel like I can’t be alone in exploring these different tools, so I do enjoy hear how others negotiate these possibilities like in this episode. These days I’m just using DEVONthink, since I can throw anything at it, more or less, and Craft. It’s very typical for me to have Craft documents as a kind of ‘front page’ to content linked from DEVONthink. I also really like the sharing capabilities of Craft, not to mention the pleasing user interface on, in particular, iOS/iPad OS devices.

One thing that’s missing from Craft for me—unless I’ve somehow neglected it—is a menu that would allow me to easily scroll through different level headings in a document. This works really well in Drafts, and I wish Craft had something similar. (DEVONthink has this for markdown notes in OS X, but not in DEVONthink To Go, I believe.) This kind of quick accesibility within a document strikes me as particularly useful on mobile devices, since scrolling through a lengthy document can be unwieldy without a mouse.


This is an intriguing idea to me! Could you elaborate and perhaps show a redacted screenshot or two? I’m handling this slightly differently. I have all of my research in a DEVONthink database. I created a separate INDEXED database to an Obsidian vault that only contains my notes/thinking about research that is housed in DT. In short:

  1. DT Research Database
  2. DT INDEXED Database to my summary notes on the research housed in DT
  3. I Open the summary notes from DT in Obsidian




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I’ve been thinking about a similar workflow but without Obsidian.
I would like to take meeting notes on my iPad using Goodnotes and save them in DT.
I know this is possible but I don’t know how to set it up with minimal friction (index GN to DT, automatically add dates to GN etc).
Anybody out there do that?

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One thing that’s missing from Craft for me—unless I’ve somehow neglected it—is a menu that would allow me to easily scroll through different level headings in a document.

I use the Table of Contents eXtension and find that it works well:

It dynamically generates a table of contents using headers that look like this. Clicking on a table of content entry scrolls to that section of the document.

Craft eXtensions are in beta and only currently available on the Mac. You can turn on this beta feature by going to Preferences > Advanced and enabling “Craft eXtensions - Developer Preview” as shown below.

I hope this helps!


@Bmosbacker Let me see if I can find something useful to share in terms of a screenshot and I will follow up.

Thanks, @timstringer . I have been using Craft eXtensions, but didn’t know about the Table of Contents one until I heard this very episode of MPU this morning. Just installed it; looks good. The catch is that one thing that makes me gravitate towards Craft in general is the parity between OS X and iOS/iPad OS apps. The extensions, however, as you note, don’t work on iOS/iPad OS, which makes them of limited use—for now, I assume they will eventually make their way over. (And this nice table of contents extension is just the kind of thing I need on a phone or tablet!)


You’re welcome, @cwc. I’m looking forward to being able to use Craft eXtensions on the iPhone and iPad. It would also be great to have a built-in table of contents feature, along the lines of what’s already supported in Ulysses and Google Docs.