Craft vs Agenda
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Craft is the strongest 1.0 note-taking app I’ve ever used. It offers a thoroughly native experience, taking advantage of all the best system features across its respective platforms, while also retaining the power and versatility of modern web-based services like Notion. Real-time collaboration is an especially exciting feature, and I love that even if someone doesn’t have a Craft account, they can add comments to your notes through public webpages.
It is a device on which I can rely regardless of where I am or the time of day I require it. It makes it easier for me to concentrate on the subject at hand. Because a Craft note or document may accurately represent my digital identity in a manner in which I am content for it to be viewed, I have no qualms about sharing it with anyone. Craft's structuring capabilities, which include pages, cards, and toggles, enable me to write longer documents of five pages or more in a way that makes me feel in control of the situation and makes it easier for me to see what I'm doing. This is made possible by the fact that I can use different organizational methods. The fact that I enjoy using it is the primary factor that sets Craft apart from other contemporary tools for increasing productivity for me. Other tools may do their intended functions, but using them can be quite irritating. People are able to feel the love and attention to detail that was put into the development of Craft, which is something that we see reflected in the response from our community. Because Craft already exists, I no longer begin each day with dread, dreading the location where I would be spending the majority of my working day. This is because Craft already exists. Now that I've had some rest, I feel ready to tackle the day's tasks of thinking, writing, and speaking in Craft. Craft is one of my favorite places to spend the day. To put it another way, the "how" is equally as important to me as the "what," and the need to find a solution to this issue was arguably one of the primary motivating factors behind why I began working on Craft.
Agenda is Mac-only for now, but the developer says that an iOS version will be launched in the first half of 2018. That won’t be a deal-breaker for everyone, but it does preclude me from making it my full-time note-taking app. After I began testing Agenda, I took some notes about last week’s issue of MacStories Weekly. Almost immediately, I found myself in Slack on my iPad with Federico and Ryan wanting to refer back to a note but couldn’t. Agenda doesn’t include collaboration features either. Although you can export a note and send it to someone, Apple’s Notes app and third-party options like Google Docs and Quip remain better solutions for collaboration.
The innovative way that Agenda arranges notes onto a timeline helps you move your projects along. The only note-taking software that tracks the past, present, and future all at once, Agenda is the only one that gives you the full picture while other apps concentrate solely on the past, present, or future. Make notes on the items on your current agenda as you get ready for another meeting. You can write them down or draw them on your iPad with the Apple Pencil, your choice. To help you remember why you did what you did, use earlier notes as a trail. Individual notes can have dates attached to them, and you can even link them to events in your calendar. The alternative is to put them "On the Agenda." Agenda-related notes are given a special status. You can find them faster because they appear in a special group in the sidebar and are easier to search for. With more languages being added, Agenda is presently available in English, Afrikaans, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese. Agenda's notes are elegantly styled and loaded with useful tools like tags, links, tables, and lists. A styled-text editor called Agenda combines the simplicity of entering plain text with the visually appealing outcomes of rich text. Headings, lists, indented blocks, and pre-formatted text are examples of styles. You pay attention to the content of your notes, leaving Agenda to take care of the presentation. It produces papers with outstanding visual appeal, consistency, and ease of conversion to markdown and HTML formats. Task tracking is also a breeze with agenda notes. There are other list formats, such as checklists, and incorporating additional in-depth content is a no-brainer rather than an afterthought. You can concentrate on your notes with Agenda's clear, basic design, which gives the impression that they are printed on paper.
Craft was a little bit hard to understand at first (that's on me--they explain everything very well), but once you get the hang of it, suddenly you have a place where you can truly organize your notes, thoughts, life goals, to-dos, all in one app. On top of this, you can layer this organization to your heart's content--if you're a creative type, you can have a "creative" folder with a "lyrics" subfolder with "melancholy" and "funny" subfolders, as well as a "sources of inspiration" subfolder with "quotes" and "aesthetic choices" subfolders within that. Just examples! Moving between these folders is super easy, so it's quickly turned into my personal little hub for all of the ideas I randomly come up with. More than that, it's fairly simple searching things so that if you're ever in a creative rut, you can pull ideas from when you weren't. Honestly I don't think I've scratched the surface of what this app can really do, but I'm really happy I came across it. Beforehand, I was just using my phone's Notes app, and while it was easy enough getting my thoughts down quickly, finding them again or being able to connect them to other thoughts was basically out of the question. Best part (although pretty common for note-taking apps) is that I can write stuff down on my iPhone while out and about, and then expand on those ideas later on my computer--very seamless in that regard!
Took me awhile to grab onto Craft despite all of the buzz, and now it has become my essential app, especially with the recent calendar and daily note integration. This fits the way I think/operate, and my most productive workflow so well, as it has become a place where I can keep a daily log of journal reflections, tasks, phone calls, meetings, etc, while also giving me easily accessible and connectable spaces to dive in and focus on projects, brainstorm, keep and plan long-term someday tasks and keep everything organized. It helps me think, plan and write, which is your mission.....but it really DOES help me do all of that! My only request is for a way to make the app text font size larger and easier to see. The control plus option that I usually use to do this currently functions to transform the text into larger bold headings, rather than to simply make the text larger so that it is easier to see. I can increase font size on the web app using this shortcut, but the web app still lacks many of the app features. For aging eyes looking at a laptop screen on a lap, for example, a way to make the font size larger and easier to see would be so appreciated!!
I'm a long-time user of Evernote who's constantly searching for a less problematic writing app. For the past 8 months, Evernote has been troublesome, including syncing problems, spinning disk issues when opening the app, disappearing files and other issues. The developers have also added a bunch of nonsense that NO ONE was requested, such as a task function and calendars. Craft is the closest I've found to a solid app that could replace Evernote. It is highly capable, syncs nicely and has a solid preferences menu. It also looks loverly -- the developers have obviously put a lot of care and attention into the app. It also starts up quickly, since it's built in native apps and not some third-party platform like Evernote uses that makes it work more like a web app. The deal breakers for me with Craft were the lack of tags (which I've come to rely on in nearly all my photography and writing work), the fact that it won't work outside of the Apple ecosytem (I have an iPhone 12 Pro Max and a Samsung Galaxy Fold 2) and the lack of tables. If you can live without these elements, Craft will suit you well. As a bonus, Craft costs roughly half of what Evernote is charging annually.
This app impressed me more out of the box than anything I have tried in a while. The changes from what loosely similar apps do seem at first incremental but are powerful in a way that opens up very plausible workflows. The key thing is turning a static collection of notes into something that can flow with your calendar - it took me a little while to grasp the intent, but when it clicked and I realized it is not just a notes app replacement I could imagine lots of immediate uses. It is well worth taking the time to find and learn all the features - there is quite a bit hiding under the slick surface (maybe I am slow, but it was the second day before I found the settings button on the right hand slide-in panel) and I already see several reviews complaining about the absence of things that are actually there in the program. You can’t insert images yet but I see from their blog it is likely in the pipeline along with other things, and I happily paid for premium. Thanks to the developers!
I’ve never been able to use traditional paper planners well. While I’ve always seen how they could, in theory, be useful, I’ve tried many times to incorporate them into how I do things, and they always end up abandoned. This app offers some adjustments in just the right areas for me - it has enough structure to help keep me organized, but enough flexibility to rearrange things more easily than trying to constantly rewrite a paper planner. The ability to toggle things “on” and “off” the main list, as well as the ability to link notes to the Apple calendar app are a huge pluses as well for me in keeping the most important things handy at any given time. I also like that other things can be kept a little more tucked away, but still accessible as needed. Long story short, I’m a HUGE fan of this app, and have used it pretty much daily now for about three years. It’s perfect for my needs.
This will be a “I have never written a review before until now” type of review, which is true as I have never taken the time to review an app I’ve purchase/downloaded in the past. After using Agenda for the past week, I decided to make an exception. Agenda is a solid performing useful piece of software. I use it for my work and personal life. For work, I created a work log so I can start my day out with knowing what I have done and what I need to do. I connect my notes to a calendar event so I can track what items came out of the meeting and tasks which need completing. At the end of the day I review what was completed and note what still needs to be done. Rinse and repeat. I do the same for my personal life. I can do this with other apps too. Agenda is different because of the ease of use and all the great features included. Excellent job guys. Keep it up.
|Easy to organise stories in story map
|It's fast to create tasks and the drag & drop system is easy to navigate
|Cannot upload stories
|Poor number of integrations with other platforms and tools
|UI is not always very intuitive
|Works with Apple Calendar & Apple Reminders
|Yearly subscriptions to keep getting new features
|No Markup tools for PDF previews
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