If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for the perfect app to take notes. Especially when working and traveling at the same time, staying organized and being able to access all my notes can be quite a challenge. As a minimalist traveler, I simply don’t have the space to drag around 15 folders and notebooks. What I want is a system that makes it easy for me to add my data, organise it, and get it back out when I need it. And I want my data to be my data.
And I’m happy to say that I’ve found one that meets almost all the criteria for me: Craft Docs. In this article, I want to discuss five reasons why I left Notion, and I tried to find three reasons that made it hard for me to switch. But there weren’t too many. As you can guess, I really like Craft. But I’ll try not to fangirl too.
I also did a YouTube video about this topic, so if you prefer watching over reading, have a look. 🙂
I discovered Notion almost two years ago and have used it extensively. There’s a lot I like about it, but there are also a few things that drove me crazy. For example: I hated that it was so bloated and slow. And it doesn’t really work well on mobile. And it was a nightmare to move information from one point to another. In the meantime, I tried other apps, like Obsidian and Roam Research, but they didn’t completely win me over, although I loved the backlinks, but I can’t justify the price Roam charges. A few months ago I made the switch from Notion to Craft.
I think you need apps for different tasks, I’m not a fan of squeezing everything into one program. The apps I currently use are: Evernote, Google Calendar, Todoist and Craft.
I use Evernote to store all the files I want to keep and find one day, such as receipts or random notes.
To organise my life and manage my tasks, I use a simple notebook, Google Calendar and Todoist. I already made a video about how I stay productive, I’ll link it below in the comments.
Craft, and before that Notion, I use as my personal wiki. This is where I record things I’ve already worked on, so it’s condensed information that I’ve already sorted in my head.
And now let’s talk about the reasons why I left Notion and switched to Craft.
Reason 1: The looks
I love the way Craft looks. It’s so clean and minimalist and organized.
It’s easy to keep it that way.
The way it’s structured: you can create separate spaces, for example I have one for work and one for personal stuff. Within those spaces, you can create project folders. Within the project folders, you can create documents. And then within a document, you can create more pages. So it’s very easy to structure the whole thing so that it works.
And even if I decide that I want to turn some content into its own page later, I can select everything and group it and it will create a new page.
And you can choose to have a simple looking link or one of those beautiful, customizable cards.
Craft also looks great on small screens. I always disliked that about Notion, because on small screens it arranged content weirdly and cut words off halfway.
Reason 2: The functionality
I like how easy it is to organise and enter content. I suppose there are too many features to discuss, but the ones that are essential to me are all there. For once, I love toggles, and they integrated them in the last update. That was one of the main things I missed after switching from Notion.
I love that they support Markdown.
I really like their ios shortcuts, it makes it very easy to add information to Craft.
Oh, and did I mention you can create backlinks? That’s really powerful.
And what amazes me the most is that they are packed with amazing features while still looking light and minimalistic.
Reason 3: Fits my workflow
Craft really fits my workflow.
For once, I really like using the Apple pencil and writing by hand. For some reason, it helps me think better. With Craft, I can easily add scribbles to my document.
I can also annotate PDFs right in the program.
And it’s easy to move things around.
Craft is super easy to navigate. In the desktop version, there are tabs with recent content that are easy to switch between with keyboard shortcuts. I love that I can open documents from different spaces at the same time. For example, I have one section for work and one for personal content. I can open them all at the same time and not have to switch between the spaces.
I also use the breadcrumbs at the top a lot.
And on ios I can protect my data and unlock it with touch ID.
Reason 4: My data is mine, if I want to
This is probably my favorite part, and they released it with the last update. My data can be stored either on their servers, locally on my device, or in a cloud like icloud or google drive.
Reason 5: Export functions & sharing
I love how easy it is to get my data out of Craft.
First of all, it creates beautiful pdfs by default.
Then it integrates directly with various programs. I often use it to transfer my content to Ulysses, which is my favorite writing app. And since Craft also supports Markdown, it integrates seamlessly.
I love that I can create deep links to a page. I often add these to Todoist when I set up a task and know I need a specific page. When I click on the link, it takes me directly to Craft and I can start working on it immediately. It speeds things up.
You can share a secret link so others can see your content right on the web.
And you can collaborate on documents with others.
3 reasons that made the switch hard:
So now, as promised, here are three reasons that make the switch … well, not really hard. Let’s just say there are a few things I miss…
Reason 1: Apple only
I have an Android phone, and Craft is only available for Apple products. But… as you may know by now, I don’t have a very high opinion of the usefulness of the Notion app on my phone.
But Craft is very transparent and open about the things they are working on. They’ve already announced that they’re are working on a web version, and there will be an Android version at some point in the future.
Reason 2: No databases
I’ve used a couple of databases in Notion. For example, one to organize my print-on-demand designs and all their data. By the way, I made a Skillshare course on how to set up a relational database for this. I’ll link that one for you as well.
Craft has already announced that they won’t be integrating databases, but they will be releasing tables soon. And tables will already cover most of my needs, so I’m happy with that. Since I can create pages within pages within pages, and I can drag and drop things, I feel like it will work well for me.
Reason 3: Pricing
Unlike Notion, which has a free version, the free version of Craft is limited to 1000 blocks. But I still decided to pay for the pro version. Also because I think they deserve it for all the effort they put into developing Craft.
I love that they really listen to feedback from their customers, and there is a very active group on Slack. They communicate very openly, and they release updates at a very high rate. And they have fantastic service. One time I had a question and sent an email, and Victor responded within an hour… And that was on a Sunday. I think the price they charge is very fair and they deserve every penny of it. And they also offer an educational discount.
So, to sum things up. I love it. Since I switched over, I’ve have never looked back.
It has a few very minor flaws, but I trust them to fix all the little issues. And I love how responsive they are and how open they communicate. I wish more companies were like that.