BIG Update to Craft!

I admit it, I’m becoming a Craft evangelist! There is a thread on First Impressions of Craft but I think this update deserves its own thread. You WILL want to take time to read the list below. :slight_smile: As Barney would say, this is “big!”

Below are the features of the new update:

1.2.2 - Craft Update - Craft Connect, Improved Tabbing & Many More

Happy 2021! :tada: We’re kicking off this year with an amazing update and some announcements.

In our newest release, we’ve massively improved our tabbing and windowing experience for Mac and iPad. You can now have multiple spaces open at the same time, drag and drop tabs both in the same window - and across windows. On the Mac (already available on iOS) we’ve also added spotlight integration, so you can open Craft docs via a simple search.

We’d also like to announce Craft Connect - a way of ensuring that your data is yours- not just in a technical sense, but on a practical one as well.

And finally added a new shortcut (create document with title & content), improved our export & import with backlink support, and improved performance significantly across platforms.

What’s New In This Version

  1. Tabbing & Multi-Window Improvements

On macOS, you can now :

• Drag and drop tabs to change their order

• Drag out a tab to create a new window

• Drag tabs across windows

• Open a new window with cmd + shift + n

• Have multiple spaces open in separate windows

• Made the minimum size of windows smaller

  1. Introducing Craft Connect - your data is yours

We’re thrilled to introduce our work and plans on Craft Connect. Expect to hear about this a lot more in the coming weeks and months - for now, you can find a short summary below.

With the work around Craft Connect, our goal is to ensure you have full, practicalownership of your data and support you in connecting your thoughts and work across multiple products. While we have many file-based export options available, file-based workflows still make it challenging to easily port data between apps - meaning that while you do have technical ownership, this doesn’t always translate to practical ownership.

To address this, we are adding direct integrations with other apps and services - so you can export, import, and connect your content with one tap. In this update, you can send content directly to Things, Drafts, OmniFocus, iA Writer, Ulysses, Bear, Day One, and NotePlan. We will continue to exponentially increase coverage to both other apps and services over the next months. If you have any apps or services you’d love to see, please let us know here.

As part of Craft Connect we will also be releasing in 4-6 weeks our "offline spaces"feature - meaning content you add in offline spaces will never touch our servers - and you can choose if / which provider (iCloud, Dropbox, GDrive, Git etc…) you would like to sync with.

We will also continue to heavily invest in improving our shortcuts coverage, URL schemes, and building out our APIs - all which will allow you to access, transform or move your data in your preferred methods.

Our goal with Craft is to build a tool that enables you to think and write better and more efficiently - and embrace the fact that thinking and content creation often happens across different touch-points and products.

  1. Markdown Bulk Export and Import Improvements

We’ve significantly improved our Markdown export and import capabilities, new features include :

• Increased our import file batch limit from 200 to 2000

• Blocklink support for export and import

• Added Craft flavour, which is compatible with Obsidian

• HTML tag support within a markdown document

• Automatic link detection within a markdown document

• Subfolder support for import and export

• Automatic name duplicate detection for files during import

• Creation date processed of files and kept during import

  1. New Shortcut - Create a Document with Title and Content

With our new shortcut you can crate a Document and also add a markdown formatted content inside it - allowing you to set up templates, or recurring note creation in a very easy way. Also, stay tuned - we’re working on significantly extending the number of shortcuts we support!

  1. Spotlight Search Integration

All your Documents are now added to MacOS Spotlight - so you can search and open them directly via spotlight search.

  1. Performance Improvements & Glitch fixes

• We’ve significantly improved Craft’s performance across all platforms

• We’ve added folder names to the list view on the home screen

• You can now switch workspaces from the tab Bar on macOS

• Hook Integration on Mac now possible

• Fixed issue where Craft appeared blurry on a secondary/external screen

Have a great week, and happy Crafting!

If you have any feedback, don’t forget to join the Craft Community & share it with us!

The team at Craft.

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Okay now that Craft Connect thing looks VERY interesting. If I can use cloud providers which have E2EE (such as pCloud) and access that on all my devices, I’m sold.

@KillerWhale I’m also experimenting to see if Craft can replace Ulysses. IF so, then I will have one app for all writing, note taking, and PKM. I’ll continue using DEVONthink to store research documents but not for editing notes–DT is terrible for that. See this article:

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I think I’ll stay in Scrivener, but Ulysses is definitely on the subscription chopping block for my light writing needs, given all the cheaper alternatives there are.

Maybe time for me to take another look at Craft.

How do you integrate DEVONThink with Craft. You’ve got a bunch of notes for a project in Craft, and resource documents in DEVONThink - how do you link them all together? Do you use Craft as a front-end to DEVONThink, or can you use DEVONThink as a front end to Craft as well?

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This seems as good a thread as any to ask: I’ve recently rekindled my love of Scrivener, having just used to write a decently long client advice memo…but now I’m wondering something: does Scrivener really support any kind of automation? I don’t think it has an AppleScript dictionary or even URL schemes. Has this ever mattered? I know it plays nice with other apps, but I believe those are custom integrations.

I’m also looking at replacing Ulysses, which just has never really clicked for me for whatever reason. Craft, on the other hand, particularly as it develops, seems very very promising. (Does it bother anyone else that the indentation has no structural significance and is basically just a display thing?)

Craft now works with Hook, which means it should be perfectly compatible with DT3 using links!

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I honestly don’t know because I have never felt the need (and I have big writing needs; Ulysses did not cut it for what I considered to be a light project compared to my main fare). Indeed, I don’t think that really matters as Scrivener is akin to a DAW to me, that is a production environment. It does wiki-linking but in a rather clunky way. I do my thinking in Obsidian, which is an entirely different beast, where I use linking and custom queries to make my stories emerge. I absolutely can’t see myself writing anything remotely complex in Craft. I can, however, see myself thinking in there (that is, replace Obsidian).

Yea, I think that’s where the competition is. Unfortunately, Obsidian gets a MAJOR leg up because of its use of simple, independent Markdown files that can be indexed in DT3, accessed by any number of text editors, and added to easily enough with some Drafts actions (that I use many times per day).

Craft…is a database app with a custom sync engine and despite the growing export options, can’t really compete with Obsidian.

(Side note: if Drafts could arbitrarily open external files, it would be the only Markdown editor I’d ever need, particularly once Greg releases the custom syntax definition features).

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Emphasis added.

OK – this offhand comment catches my attention. I was under the probably mistaken impression that my data in Craft was local only unless I synced with MY iCloud account. But this implies that for now – until the as yet undefined “offline spaces” shows up – that’s not the case.

Is Craft storing our data on their servers or isn’t it?

They’re quite clear about this:

Does the app use iCloud for sync?

No, we use our own backend solution - iCloud doesn’t allow real-time sync. Also, collaboration & web share wouldn’t be possible.

We also wrote an informal note about our Data Policy, you can read it here.

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Thanks. I totally missed this. I see it says “However at this point we do not provide end-to-end encryption of your data.” Glad I didn’t invest much time with Craft. Dead to me now. It may be true that “your data is your data”, as they like to say, but they should add “… but it doesn’t receive the highest level of security end to end”.

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So to us laymans is our data secure?

I’ve been taking to the developer on their Slack about this, as I won’t be using Craft until there’s E2EE. It’s not a priority but they’re listening to users. I’m also thinking there’s a possibility that offline spaces could provide E2EE if you put the files in a cloud service that provides that. I will test this as soon as there’s something to test.

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As much as with any cloud provider.

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Yes. I store my research documents in DT and link them to Craft in a Craft “dashboard” for my PKM notes by subject. As time moves on, after I have made notes from all of my relevant research stored in DT, .e.g, for the book I’m writing, all the material I need will be in Craft but not the actual documents themselves. I do not believe applications like Craft, Apple Notes, Bear, Uysses, etc, are ideal document repositories, even though one can attached documents to them. DT is my respository and search database.

Craft is becoming my PKM/ and note taking and perhaps a replacement for Ulysses app. I’ll have to do a lot of experimentation with Craft before I move from Ulysses but if I can, I will save money and have my writing and notes in one app. I currently use the notes and material sheets functions in Ulysses but I’m finding Craft’s page/card feature to be easier to use.

At this point, I certain I’m going to be using Craft of all notes, including PKM. What is to be determined if it will replace or merely supplement my work in Ulysses.

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I like Scrivener and have used it a lot in the past but I just found it too fiddly. It reminds me of DEVONthink in complexity. Ulysses is just easier for me to use and I prefer all of my writing projects to be in one library rather than the need to reopen different libraries like in Scrivener.

But if I understand them correctly, in 4-6 seeks one can store all notes in iCloud-which I personally consider secure.

Technically, no, though it depends what you mean by “secure.” If someone got access to Craft’s servers, then definitely no, all your information is stored in plaintext. This is enough for me not to pay anything to them…yet.

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Oh… I see people’s concerns then. A slight worry!