Let's Talk - Productivity Systems and Workflows

hey MPU,

It’s spring cleaning time and I am re-examining my workflows and apps that I use. I am also trying to keep aware of what I have been not using that frequently. There is no particular order for stuff, just writing as I think right now.

Capture & Idea Station

  1. Drafts - quick notes, ideas, emails, phone numbers, conversations. Anytime someones tells me something or an idea that I get…goes in here…bad habit is forgetting to delete that item. I need to clean it out regularly.
  2. Omnifocus - any task that I need to take care of, or grab something from Drafts


  1. Fantastical - love it

Archive Station

  1. DevonThink - since 2023, I feel like I have just been dumping articles in here, or pdfs of sites that are interesting to me. I need to re-organize it.


  1. Obsidian - In 2022, I made the switch from Ulysses to Obsidian. I do all my sermon writing in there. I have yet to really fully utilize all its features. Perhaps, the way that is has simplified my life is that when I am writing a sermon and I need to reference a bible verse, I can just pull it from the vault and link it. Less time typing. I think the next step I need to do is really start making use of tags to get more from this.

Up For Debate (stay in Craft or switch to Notion)

  1. Craft - I pay for 3 accounts on here which I detest, but I see no other way around there system. I wanted to use the custom domain, so because there are 3 aspects of my life (Diocese, Parish, Personal) this is how they are divided out and each makes use of a custom domain. I create a lot of dashboards in here for events, records, etc.

Sometimes, I wonder if this would have been easier to do in Notion, but before I setup another app and subscription, just need to know if it’s really worth it. Here are some examples that I use Craft for (if anyone sees that Notion can be better suited let me know)

Diocese Level

  1. Dashboard that has multiple directories: Parish Directory, Clergy Directory, Letters and Forms, Meeting Minutes, Recordings. With the exception of the directories that contain super long tables that get really painful to deal with…the forms, meetings, recordings are either PDFs or folders that link to Google Drive
  • Caveat - I distribute the link for the clergy to access

Parish Level

  1. Newsletter - keeping a list of our mailchimp campaign URLs and then referencing the Craft Link to our church app
  2. Dashboards - dashboards for retreats, festivals, organizations
  • Caveat - I distribute the link for people to access within our app

Personal Level

  1. Dashboard (again) - Home Construction, Vacation, School, Christmas,
  • Caveat - My wife has access to it.
  • Can Notion provide me something similar (but also better) ? If I am getting the same features and workflow as Craft, might as well stay here.

  • Is there a better experience for

  1. sharing
  2. creating
  3. categorizing
  • Will I need multiple Notion accounts like I do in Craft if I need to share specific areas?

Thoughts on this long-winded rant


Sounds like you have a workflow that’s working pretty well for you. Just a few comments and suggestions, since you’re asking:

  • Many people seem to think they should be using more features or capabilities of Obsidian, but keeping it simple is just as valid as creating complicated workflows. Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. One of the main advantages of Obsidian is that you can tailor it to your own needs, however simple or complex those may be. Instead of looking into all the ways you could be using it, you can just wait until there’s something you wish it could do, and then go looking for a way to make it do that.

  • There’s nothing wrong with using tags in Obsidian, but a lot of people use maps of content (MoCs) instead of or in addition to them. I won’t go into them since there’s plenty of information out here, but just know that it’s a pretty simple concept.

  • I’ve never used Craft, but I find Notion a miserable place to actually write anything in. Ymmv, of course.


See: People who write extensively about note-writing rarely have a serious context of use.

Unless the time you put into tinkering and maintenance pays dividends later on, tinkering is most likely hobbying, not effective or even productive work.

That being said, it’s also not just about time saved, either.

Agreed, this is a lot but you’re obviously a busy guy. Similarly to my question in the CRM thread, I’m wondering if your north star can be making it easier to get assistance or collaboration in these tools in the future–maybe even hand them off. So I probably wouldn’t go with a single Notion account that will entangle all those different domains. (Also, I don’t really like using Notion, but that’s just me.)

IMO, throwing junk in DT is totally fine, unless you’re returning to it infrequently enough that you missed your chance to use the information. I bet organizing it 2-4x/year would be enough to keep it useful. You could schedule that. Echoing you being busy, I would just make sure that the files in DT are truly personal and not something that should be reachable by others.