James Eaton

May 14, 2021

Processing a week of work with Craft

I am really started to get into the flow of Craft! Though, I should mention upfront, there is not one correct way to use Craft. It’s an incredibly flexible platform that allow for flexible note-taking and idea creation. After a few work weeks using Craft for all my notes, reading, meetings, etc I feel like I am starting to see some trends and workflows emerging when it comes to how I am using Craft to get work done. Because the ultimate goal is for the tools we use is that they would move to the background and the actual work would emerge. So, with all that said, let’s look at a few ways that Craft is helping me keep my content connected during the week.

This Week - a weekly note

Each week I start a new note called “This week - (date)” and start a brain dump, usually on Sunday evening or early Monday morning. I get all the thoughts out of my head and just dump things on page as the come. Craft makes adding text so fast and fluid that I actually enjoy the process of adding text, to-do items, and bulleted lists. After I add my thoughts, I begin to organize them and make sense of my thoughts around what needs to happen.

One great feature of Craft is the ability to link notes to other notes using the “@“ symbol. You can quickly link to an existing note, or create a note if what you type does not match a note or a section of an existing note. I will create those pages for meeting notes inside of my “This Week” note and begin to start linking things together. This is the real power of Craft! You can start to see relationships come together as you thoughts get linked together. It’s a new way to think about notes because I used to combine different meetings or ideas into a note together, but now I am not worried about having too many notes or things becoming overwhelming because there are systems in place to keep content in the right place.

When something new comes up in a meeting, I perform the same process again by either linking existing notes or adding new notes. If someone mentions a new project or a new message series, that will become a new note. I will then use a new tab to open that note and write down anything that might be helpful in the new note for future use. If I find myself in another meeting where that project or series comes up, I don’t have to start from scratch or make a note to remember to find a note, I just use the “@“ symbol and add that existing note to my current note. Even as my notes grow over time, I am always linking back to the right sources martial to keep my writing and thoughts consistent. If someone asked me where we were with a specific idea it would take a quick search for that topic or idea and I would find a note with the most current information.

I had someone miss a meeting earlier in the week and needed to connect with them about some of the things we talked about. I did not have to rifle through various notes or try to remember what was said because I had a detailed note from that meeting on my phone. We sat down and I basically ran through the meeting notes with him, found some follow-up questions at the bottom of the note, and I was able to get this person all the info they needed in a few minutes. I added that content to the note and updated everyone on the team with some next steps; it was fast and there was virtually no friction.

Clean up

When a new week begins, I simply create another note titled, ”This week - (date)” and then I open a new instance of Craft on my iPad. You can use Command + Shift + N to open a new note in split view automatically (a very nice feature that every app should have!). I open the note from last week on the left and the new one on the right and do a quick clean up and bring over any blocks that need to be done this week. I used to use the Bullet Journal method (analog note taking) and one of the best ideas from doing a Bullet Journal was the monthly review. You would bring tasks and items to a new month that did not get completed and spent a little time reviewing what happened last month while planning for what was coming up.

Each week is a tiny chance to start fresh and pick up any low-hanging fruit that I can act on. If something did not get finished, there is a good chance that it has become more of a project than a task and I will add it to a new note and create space for that content to be created. I am always reviewing what is happening, what I accomplished, and where I need to go and all of that can be done inside a few notes.

This is one example of how Craft is helping me get work done with a simple framework. I love Craft because the app did not make me do this, it just didn’t stop me from doing it. There are so many tools and blocks to build with (the pieces of content are literally called blocks), and I am finding new ways to build those blocks to something that works for my system. If you don’t do some kind of weekly review, I would encourage you to give it a try. This could work in any note-taking app, so don’t feel like you have to use Craft. This idea could work in Google Docs, Apple Notes, or anything in-between.

In my next post, I am going to be sharing how I handle web clips, book notes, and notes from articles that I read online. Thanks for joining me on this year-long Craft journey. I am taking this one step at a time and grafting new ideas into Craft as I go! If you have an idea for how I could do something in Craft, let me know.