How the Craft App Could Change the Way You Work

Productivity, but not as we know it

Key Takeaways

  • Craft is a Mac and iOS app that totally reinvents document-based productivity.
  • All your work is linked into a connected web for instant access.
  • Craft can also interlink with other apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Someone using a computer on a small table with the Craft App open on the screen.
Pixabay / Mockup Photos

Imagine an app that contains everything you need to work, integrates with all your favorite apps, and still remains uncluttered and simple. You just imagined Craft.

Craft is a Mac and iOS app for writing. It gathers links and clips from other apps, formats them beautifully, and interlinks everything, so what you need is usually no more than a click away. You also can quickly share pages with other apps, so you could use something like Ulysses or iA Writer to write your reports and so on, or add a link to Noteplan or Things to create a to-do item. Somehow, Craft is both focused and comprehensive.

"On a plane or on the go, using a laptop is hard and not at all convenient," Balint Orosz, founder and CEO of Craft, told Lifewire via email.

"I’ve tried to be productive on my iPhone and iPad, but existing solutions didn’t really work for me, so I ended up wasting time. I decided I wanted to fix the problem and build a product that helps you think and organize what’s in your head more effectively, across platforms."

What is Craft?

Craft is essentially an app for creating documents, but it manages to pack in quite a lot more. Here’s how I might use it to create an article like the one you’re reading.

First, I might read some news that gives me an idea. I’d clip that link to Craft in a new document. It can be a bookmark link, or I might clip the entire article using a Shortcut I created on iOS (Craft has good Shortcuts support). 

Then, after I get the go-ahead to write it, I’ll gather more links and write to some experts or relevant people to get comments and information. I will create sub-pages to keep these by typing a title, then clicking to open it as a new page.

Someone using the craft app on an iPad while sitting outside. / Mockup Photos

Then, when it’s time to do the writing, I'll send the whole thing to Ulysses (a long-form writing app) with a single click. Craft places a link back to itself at the top of that shared page, so I can easily toggle between them.

I might send a link (one more click) to Noteplan, to schedule the final article, or (if I could convince my editor to use Craft) collaborate on the piece inside Craft itself.

Get Organized

The whole point of Craft is how easy it is to get stuff in, get stuff out, and move stuff around. Every line in your documents is actually a block that can be linked to or shared.

This makes actually writing long-form text a bit of a pain, because the cursor and the keyboard shortcuts you’re used to from every other text-editor don’t work the same. 

But that’s fine, because you can do the actual writing in another app. That’s one of the points—you aren’t locked in. You can take the parts you like and use other apps for the parts you don’t.

For me, Craft is a hub for everything else, a dashboard for projects. I write a lot of articles, so having something that can quickly collate everything I need on the fly is a real boon. And others agree.

"After our first public release back in mid-November 2020, more and more people found Craft, and it was amazing to see how positive the users' reactions were," Viktor Páli, product manager at Craft, told Lifewire via email.

The Competition

Right now, the next-gen productivity app space is hot, hot, hot. Craft competes with Notion, a behemoth that is more like an operating system for information; Roam, a research app that automatically finds links between all your snippets and documents; and more.

These services re-think how we organize our data and work. Instead of each page existing as a single entity, like a sheet of paper on a desk, Roam, Craft, and Notion all treat them as a web of interlinked data.

It’s a simple but profound change, and because collaboration and sync are integral to Craft, it’s also perfect for the new work-from-home era. 

"So the reception [has been] amazing, but ultimately, our end goal with Craft is to build the next-generation productivity suite," said Páli. "One which will look very different than Word or Google Docs, and will enable users across the world to express their thoughts and collaborate effectively."

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