I’m really curious as to what purpose iA Writer serves when you’ve got Drafts, Craft, Scrivener, and DEVONthink already…I know a lot of people seem to really love iA Writer, but I just can’t figure out where to use it (especially over something like Ulysses). No judgment here, just honestly curious!
TLDR: Daily brain dump to maintain state and surface new thoughts, morning review of knowledge + open questions, then get things done as guided by scheduled tasks, active enquiries and whatever else is top of mind beyond that.
- Daily note in Drafts (template: random quote, first thoughts and prompts for reviewing where I am with things) then a cross-link to a top-of-mind sketch of things to do which gets updated as I move through the day.
- Then the overview (iThoughts map; an index of knowledge areas, principles and open questions I’m grappling with). I move around it to reconnect with my knowledge and/or spend some time pushing an active item towards something concrete (knowledge or action). Some knowledge items/branches connect back to specific drafts or run a search action in Drafts for specific phrases/tags/keywords.
- During a typical day I’ll then move back and forth between Drafts and GoodTask, getting things done. I’ve been a diehard fan of GoodTask for ages, but even more so now that GoodTask has built-in Kanban boards. I manage projects via GoodTask as well as just tasks: I’ve got support for Gantt visualisations via Mermaid.js, and I use project IDs to link to related notes in Drafts.
Notion: I use for specific databases (a subscription tracker, a family genealogy project, a few collaborative projects that benefit from shared databases/trackers)
Also: keeping eyes on Craft— looks great, and I love the fact that it’s so well functional on iOS out of the gate (one of my irritations with many other apps is how the iOS versions are often feature limited “lite” versions), but again, there’s nothing I’ve yet seen that tempts me away from what I already have. I can see it maybe being in the Notion zone for me— useful for sharing curated resources with people, or collaborating with others on shared content…
I haven’t tried it in a while, but in my experience Ulysses doesn’t work so well when you’re opening external markdown files. iA Writer’s better built for that.
Judgment is fine; I’m not easily offended!
I use iA Writer because of its organizational features and the ability to add external data sources, which as far as I know, cannot be done in Drafts. I also dislike the organization paradigm in Drafts. I only use the free version of Drafts for simple snippets, in particular the action to send a draft email to my email client. This ensures that my wording is right without risking prematurely hitting send. I could use iA Writer for that purpose but Drafts is easier for this use case.
Scrivener is for complex, research-based, long form writing like the book I’m working on. Ulysses can do this and I’ve used Ulysses for some time but it is more limited than Scrivener and Scrivener is a one time purchase. I try to cull my subscriptions.
DEVONthink is a terrible editor. I use if for long-term storage and retrieval, not for writing.
- iA Writer for medium form, non-researched based writing such as proposals, blog articles, reports, etc. that I send to my EA who then puts the content in Pages for professional formatting.
- Scrivener is for complex long-form research-based writing
- Drafts is for creating draft emails (I really don’t need Drafts but I have it and its free)
- DEVONthink is for document storage including research, receipts, manuals, etc.
- Craft (replaces Apple Notes) is for meeting and project notes. I could keep these in iA Writer but I like the linking, page, card, and other formatting features of Craft for keeping my notes tidy. I can link any block of text to Things 3 or another other application
I hope that makes sense!
I use Obsidian as a front-end to DevonThink, thus my Obsidian vault is indexed in DevonThink. This also gives me a poor man’s iOS client for Obsidian, as I can do simple edits in DTTG and they are reflected back into Obsidian.
I like writing in Obsidian. I have a CSS that I enjoy (BlueTopaz) and it just feels fast.
Depending on the situation, I sometimes add backlinks twice: once natively in Obsidian and also using Hook to grab DT links or file links (mostly for images).
And I pretty much do all searches in DevonThink.
My adoption of Craft more-or-less coincides with my returning to doing work on the iPad.
For the duration of the pandemic, I’ve been using the iPad exclusively for consumption and social media. But a couple of weeks ago, I discovered it was very nice to work in other parts of the house, outside my home office, if I needed to get something done in the evening or on the weekend. And Craft came along soon afterward.
Craft is the one app I’ve found that suits my needs on both the Mac and iPad. Obsidian would be more attractive if it had a fully functional iOS client, as would DevonThink.
I’m really really curious about Obsidian’s upcoming mobile apps for sure. And DTTG, while pretty good these days, really doesn’t feel intended to be as functional as DT3. Not sure it really can be, honestly (with apologies to iPad-first workers!)…
I made a video of my up-to-date Obsidian workflow recently. Currently using raindrop.io, Amazon Kindle highlights/notes, and Obsidian for my PKM workflow
Funny, I was JUST looking at Raindrop again. Seems they’ve upgraded their Safari extension…but I can’t get it to install for some reason.
Most of my brain is in Notion. I use KeepIt to store documents which are in final form and archived (for example scans of bills, or tax documents). And then Google Docs for making anything that can’t be done in Notion (basically spreadsheets). Reeder to read RSS, and then anything interesting from web or RSS goes into Raindrop.io.
In Notion I keep my to do list, CRM, project management, notes and thoughts. I found the back linking in Obsidian et al just too much noise, so not bothered that Notion’s is less featureful, as I interlink using my own databases so that a backlink is only a backlink if it is because there is relevance for such.
Federico Viticci is all in on Craft. He talks about his workflow in the latest episode of AppStories.
He recommends creating a “dashboard” document, which appears to be a combination scratchpad/inbox/table of contents.
I have been thinking along the same lines–only not just one dashboard, but a hierarchy. I think of them as landing pages.
I expect Federico will love Craft for a few months and then move on to something else. Lucky sonofagun has managed to turn app-hopping, which is a vice for the rest of us, into his career.
The Obsidian community refers to these as “Maps of Content” (MoC), coined by Nick Milo: (and yes, this is yet another course, but Nick’s got lots of free content out there too)
I quite like the idea: it’s sorta like a folder, only you can put descriptions down and structure things loosely and so on. It is very useful!
This is one of the thing that draws me to wiki-style document manager. Maybe the main thing.
I like the idea, but it seems like one of those things where you spend time on the organisation rather than on the creation.
That means, it’s a balance that for some people pays off and saves time and/or thought processes that can be better used elsewhere.
For others, probably including me, it takes up more time and/or thought processes than it saves.
I’ll have a listen and see if it might work for me, so thanks for the link.
Haven’t been able to jump down the rabbit hole this week to test out Craft. Had other pressing issues.
I am finally coming back to considering Craft again.
I am trying to understand if Craft will replace an app for me or not. I mentioned earlier this workflow. Does Craft replace any of these areas or does it help in addition?
Craft replaced Apple Notes for me. I used Apple Notes for typed and handwritten notes—Craft can do both, though the support for Apple Pencil is more limited in Craft than one finds in Apple Notes. From the end of December through last week I’ve modified my workflow, which I’ll now settle on for the remainder of the year.
From Apple Notes to Craft
From Ulysses (dropped subscription) to Scrivener
Dropped Draft subscription, I use the free version for composing sensitive emails before sending them to my mail client
Dropped Fantastical subscription, went back to Apple Calendar.
From Omnifocus to Things 3
I don’t consider Craft a document repository (nor was Apple Notes for me). DEVONthink is my document storage application for all research, receipts, tax papers, etc…
Craft is what I use for all work and personal notes including project dashboards, notes, meetings, etc. It is working perfectly for this purpose.
Federico Viticci is all in on just about every shiny new thing that spends a lot on marketing.
He does change apps a lot! Right now he is using Good Tasks. I expect him to change to Todist (sp?) soon.
This is scarily close to what I have done recently too… excluding Ulysses as I have no need for that. Craft is my one and only note app, I have dropped OmniFocus for Things and will not be renewing fantastical. Oh and dropped drafts too.
Great minds …