Craft is my workspace

The new-to-market app Craft has quickly won my heart and is now taking the lead as contender for my main digital workspace. This decision comes after writing down and deeply exploring what I need in a digital workspace.

Craft, for me, is my private, messy workspace full of diverse content and context. It’s kind of like my office environment + desk space + digital brain, as opposed to a polished presentation or creation. It’s for everything from capture to works in progress to published writing and presentations.

In the flip side, Obsidian is for building my body of work, which is more polished and used for this digital garden. While I debated between the two tools for a long time, I settled on Craft because it meets almost all my needs for my digital ecosystem.

How I Use Craft

Everything happens in Craft except task and project management. Things is for getting shit done and it’ll stay my number one because it’s that damn good at what it does.

With Craft, everything starts with my Interstitial Journal. I log what I’m doing in the moment—with a timestamp—and go from there.

Organizing my work

I take notes from conversations in Craft and then they’re linked to the date and any @-mentioned tags (also works). All people, companies, and touchpoints are noted in the app.

Since Drafts is for immediate note capture, when I process my Drafts inbox I send quite a few items to Craft. This includes fleeting notes and ideas, highlights from readings, and even longer-form idea capture. Wherever it starts, all of it ends up in either Craft or Things for the next level of processing.

I have multiple pages (eventually will be tags, I think) that allow me to quickly @-mention the page and then see what’s important. As examples, these pages show me everything I need under the respective category:

  • to-process — My inbox in Craft
  • to-write — A collection of ideas to write about, expand upon, and publish
  • to-read — For active reading related to a project or priority learning need
  • in-progress — Actively being worked on
  • waiting-on — Out of my hands and mind but not forgotten about
  • PRIORITY — These come first when processing
  • sparks — Ideas for the future
  • [ ] — To Dos, though I don’t really use this feature since it’s not that powerful

Organizing my projects

Once again, I don’t use Craft as a project management tool. Things is for getting shit done and keeping track of deadlines and dates.

In Craft, however, everything else resides. Documents that are project-specific are titled P: Project Name so I can easily find them. Each doc contains sub-pages within sub-pages of resources, writings, references, and all relevant digital bits and bytes, in an organically-unfolding structure that’s neither too much nor too little.

I don’t think about hierarchy too much as a quick ⌘+O brings up one of the speediest searches I’ve ever used and helps me find what I need (go native apps!).

I have created some folders because there are some things that need hierarchy, and I’ve used a PARA approach for this: Projects, Areas, Resources, Archive. Each of those folders has as few sub-folders as possible since hierarchy doesn’t really help. I only use sub-folders for categories like Household, Client Work, Crypto and topics I know will forever be grouped under that umbrella. Everything is still interconnected, but the folders make it easy to see only crypto content when I want, even if the word crypto isn’t actually found within a document.

I’ll expand more on this over time but for now this is my setup. Hope it helps!

What’s missing from Craft

Tags

Nested tags are coming to Craft—as I’ve seen mentioned in the Craft Slack community—though I’m not sure how they’re being implemented. I believe they’re modeled after Bear, which was one of my favorite features of that app. Can’t wait to have ‘em in Craft!

Unlinked references

I found immense utility in the unlinked references section of Roam Research and it’s probably what I miss most now that Craft implemented their daily notes and calendar features.

I learned about the concept when I was exploring Why I like Roam over Bear for improving my thinking. Since then I’ve been collecting my own notes, highlights from what I read, and so much more, and then noticing connections I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. That’s cool.

What’s even cooler is that I can write whatever I want in the system (Roam Research does this best) and not have to worry about linking anything together at all. Then, when a time comes for it to be valuable to have two or more notes linked together, it’s real easy to look at the Unlinked References section of a note and quickly add links between them.

I miss this a lot in Craft, and truly hope they build it in. But, for the time being, the fact that Craft does pretty much everything else I need my main workhorse app to do—and has a thriving community that’s fun to be a part of—is truly exciting to me.


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