Article in App of the Week category.
Craft is the Note-Taking App That’s Saved Me From Headaches
If any of you out there have been early adopts of an app, you may be used to the often shallow feature set and occasional…
If any of you out there have been early adopts of an app, you may be used to the often shallow feature set and occasional bugs that come with. Very rarely do I meander across a 1.0 app release that is so elegantly designed and well-implemented that it crushes any of my expectations and preconceived notions about what a note taking app can do. I don’t mean to try to over-sell Craft but it truly has blown me away. It is both visually striking as well as incredibly robust and works across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Luki Labs has put much effort in to how you interact with Craft. That includes using external peripherals such as the Magic Keyboard or the touchscreen. Near everything can be dragged and dropped, text can be swiped left or right to change its style with a slick on-screen menu, and a Quick Menu can be invoked with just a /.
To keep things concise, I’ll say this: anything you’d expect to see in a text editor is here. You can style your text, change the size, adjust the color, and plenty more. Notes can be tagged, organized, and nested. Not to mention some fantastic sharing options.
Unlike a lot of modern text editors that keep things simple and focus on the text, Craft puts just as much emphasis on the visual style of your notes. You can place an optional header image on your note that fits right in. These hero images are placed with slightly rounded corners and inlaid credits nearest the lower-right corner. You can create styled blocks with your note that have light background colors to help them stand out and can be grouped into rows and columns.
Organization is a massive pillar within Craft. Notes can be organized into folders and can be nested as needed. When in a note, there is a small angled arrow in the top left corner to take you back to the main screen. On iPad, if in a nested note, as you approach that corner with your cursor, the breadcrumb trail appears. It is a wonderful little touch. Now, when I say notes can be nested, I mean literally nested into one another. These linked notes are fantastic for staying organized. Luki Labs made this visually beautiful by created a box around the linked note and an overlaid snippet of text from the connected note that decreases in opacity as it approaches the bounds of the box.
Unsurprisingly, there are oodles of Apple-specific features here, all natively created. The onscreen menu that appears when you tap the / key is a godsend, pulling up the ability to run actions, style a list, change color, insert media, and much more. If using a keyboard, it can be controlled with the arrow keys. Just so intuitive and thought-out. When you launch the app for the first time, you can get started almost instantly by using Sign In with Apple. This protects your privacy and simplifies the onboarding process. There are also widgets here for your iOS 14 devices.
Possibly the most impressive single feature is real-time collaboration. You don’t just share notes, but you can both edit a note at the same time a la Google Docs or Apple Pages. Craft asks you to create a “Space” before inviting others to join. It will show an activity feed of what changes have been made, saves backups and versioning, and in-note comments. It is more robust than I’d even hope for.
No joke, I could write twice this volume going into every detail on Craft but the app is best explored for yourself. Craft has a delightful onboarding flow where you try out the features for yourself to familiarize yourself with app. Oh, it also happens to be entirely free to use. The free version includes 1000 blocks of text and PDF export while Craft Pro includes unlimited use, 30 day version history, in-doc search, high-res image and video uploads, and additional card effects. In my mind, it is easily worth it. Paying subscriber right here, and proud of it. If you take notes — whether a lot of a little — I implore you to give Craft a try. As the name implies, this app has been intricate crafted to be powerful and wonderful to use on any device you need it. Dive in for free and see how much better Craft is than Apple’s own Notes app or even the forsaken remains of Evernote. You can thank me later.
But enough about other people's apps.