Here’s something interesting I ran across today, an app called “Craft”. It’s a more pure document type of tool, but block-based similar to Anytype, Notion, etc. What I want to point out specifically is the sidebar as shown at the time in the video linked below:
I like that the sidebar can be persistent and “minified” very nicely. It has some similar functionality to Notion’s “ellipses” or “3 dots” menu, which is another good example. What I like in Craft are some of the options, like disabling the cover entirely. But also on top of page-level functions, it has several different areas in its sidebar tool set, including one to add blocks with a drag-and-drop.
Benefits of a Blocks Sidebar Option
Now Anytype is already fairly fast to add blocks linearly, I’ll admit. But it could be even faster, especially for laying out more complex multi-column pages. Not only do you save the step of selecting the block type after creating it (because you are dragging it from a palette showing available blocks), but you can also create e.g. blocks next to others more quickly and easily, rather than create-below-select-type-drag-to-desired-location. Simply click desired block, drag and drop at desired location.
I wouldn’t want this to replace existing block add functions, but it could be a nice complement, along with other potential advantages of a multi-purpose sidebar like this. Of course it would need to be harmonized with the idea of a page sidebar, as I suggested here:
Some of these are potentially minor improvements, but I think there is a lot of overall utility in this kind of sidebar. And as I’ll be mentioning in another post in a moment, I think Anytype has a real chance to not just equal but differentiate itself from competitors like Notion by being more thoughtful and sophisticated in the way it lets people interact. Save some hassle here and there, and the tool as a whole ultimately becomes much more enjoyable to work with. And that can translate into more long-term adoption vs. competitors.