In the world of personal knowledge management applications Craft and Logseq are two really good options. Each with their strengths and weaknesses. The main thing to note is that Logseq is an Electron application like Obsidian and for some people this might be a big red flag. There are things you can do with a proper Mac app which you can’t do with an electron application.
For example, I like to dictate and I can’t properly do that with Logseq. I also usually find that Mac applications are prettier and generally a joy to use. The electron app is another level of code running on top of the Mac system and works differently. The good thing about Electron apps is that they are multi platform. You will have versions that will work on Windows and Android and maybe even Linux. This means you can learn one set of Keyboard shortcuts for the application which are not dependent upon the platform you’re running the app on.
So let’s make a detailed comparison between Craft and Logseq.
When you compare Craft and Logseq, upon initial opening of the applications, Craft is so much prettier. The pages for the documents have nicer formatting options and it’s button click easy to add titles, subtitles, headings and so on. You have a panel on the right-hand side giving you a good number of formatting options. You can style whole blocks as titles, subheadings or as body. Then you can also make groups of blocks into pages or cards. It’s a piece of cake to make your documents visually appealing and for us visual learners that’s really important.
You can also make the right panel disappear and have that good stuff appear as fly in menus. Have the whole of the screen available by hiding the left panel too.
Synchronisation Is a Huge and Important Difference between the two apps
Craft gives you synchronisation of your data across devices built into the application. You can use the application on your iPhone, your iPad and in the web application in the browser and anything you put into it will be immediately available on your other devices. It synchronises automatically and you don’t have to think about it.
The synchronisation you get with Craft is phenomenal. When you want your data everywhere then Craft is the way to go.
With Logseq – You can do it with a tricky set up with Git and using Working Copy app on iOS. It works but takes time and geekiness to set up.
Logseq doesn’t have synchronisation built into it yet. It’s coming at some point in time and will be a paid for upgrade. Which is fair enough, because the makers of the application have to monetise at some point in time. If it’s always going to be free it is not going to survive for very long. Talking about money, Craft is a paid for application although it has a free version. The free version is good for trying it out and you get plenty of time and space so you can work out if you like the application in terms of its utility for you. Having to pay a subscription will be a red flag for some. Only you’ll know if there is value in paying $5 a month (paid annually).
Graph View of Logseq
We all have multiple devices these days and it really is nice to be able to put things into one device and to see them magically appear on the other devices. The synchronisation I get with the Drafts application is one reason I have kept using it for so long. It’s an incredibly useful app and is my go to application for adding text into any device. For many people looking for a good personal knowledge management application if they get 90% of what they want from Craft and have the synchronisation then they will stick with Craft. This will be the case even though Logseq has impressive flexibility and personalisation options.
The Nitty-Gritty of using Logseq or Craft
Both of these applications give you a journal or calendar as a starting point for your writing. Logseq actively encourages you to start by entering whatever into the journal and spreading out from there.
You can work with Markdown syntax just the same in either application. Both use the forward slash to make things happen to your text if you are a keyboard expert and use it in preference to using the mouse or trackpad.
The precise way it works in each application is different and you can use the arrow keys or letters to get what you need. The big difference with Logseq is that you can add a huge number of plug-ins into your options available from the forward slash.
Mac and iOS
While Logseq being mostly keyboard-based is great, the usage on iOS is poor and the app looks half baked. Weird choices for icons. They don’t match up with the icons on the Mac app. Craft on the other hand looks magnificent out of the box and just works just as brilliantly on whatever platform.
Working with other apps like Drafts
I can send things from Drafts much easier, compared to the way it works with Logseq or Obsidian. Drafts is my text input application of choice. When I want to capture an idea I’ll do it in Drafts and then decide after where I want to put it. Might not be important for you but certainly affects my decision.
Logseq feels more geeky because of the configurability. Seems like it does more and it has the visual graph thing. So many more ways to link between documents and blocks.