There is a lot to say about all the several note taking apps out there in the world. They all serve the same purpose in a different way: information gathering. The two note taking apps I used the most to this day are Notion and Craft. You don't have to choose the one or the other, but here are some things that make the difference between them:
First and foremost, how do the apps feel and look?
- Notion is a web based app and even the "native" iOS/macOS apps use the web based version under the hood. It looks nice, works alright but because it's web based it sometimes has a one or two second lag. This can be annoying because every time you open a new page you get the spinning loader for a moment. An internet connection is necessary because Notion doesn't have offline support. You basically can't enter the app if you're not connected to the internet.
- Craft is a native app written especially for Apple devices. It's optimized for performance, feels buttery smooth, and the design fits perfectly in the ecosystem of Apple. The app works offline as well and will sync all your content between your devices when you reconnect to the internet. Prefer that your data stays on your device and is never sent to the Craft servers? They recently introduced "External Locations" where you can choose to store your documents local on your device.
I think we need to make a clear distinction in what kind of apps Notion and Craft are.
- Notion is more than a note taking tool. It can also solve your project management needs, act as an CRM or even be a workspace for your whole team. It has all the tools for all different use cases. You can create different workspaces, make databases, Trello boards, filter by tag and more.
- Craft is a block based note taking app. You can create multiple shared workspaces, create documents and put them under a (sub)folder. A document can have information, attachments, and subpages. There is no tagging, filtering, creating databases etc. Craft focuses on creating a organized place where you can store your notes.
- Notion has a generous free plan. It's free for personal use with no limits in pages or blocks. There is a paid Personal Plan for $4 per month (also free for students) with additional perks. Notion does also have Team and Enterprise plans for a low price.
- Craft has a free plan with 1000 blocks, where you hit your limit pretty fast. There is a paid plan for $45 for a year, which is pretty reasonable. They have a student discount for the paid plan with an additional 50% discount. If you purchase the paid plan via the App Store, you can share your subscription with the iCloud Family Sharing functionality.
Both Notion and Craft are great apps with great functionality. You can use them both, but if you are in two minds:
- Use Notion if you need advanced filtering and sorting of your data. You can create a workspace with a calendar, trello and database for your information. It has a generous free plan where the chances are small that you'll need a paid plan.
- Use Craft if you value great user experience, want a basic note taking app without much complexity and need offline/local support. You will probably need the paid plan because you'll hit the limit pretty fast.