Hi! I'm Tanner.

I'm a software engineer at Apple. I write here occassionally.

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Workflowy - Reinventing the Outline

Even though I can’t remember where I found Workflowy, I know I won’t forget what it is like to use it. In short, Workflowy is an outlining application on the web. It is not complex or advanced, but it is awesome. Why is it awesome? Because it mimics the way you think according to the folks over at Workflowy. While I can’t exactly figure how that works, I like how Workflowy works. Workflowy lets me create an outline however deep I need it to be just like any old outlining program. Where the cool part comes in is that I can click on any specific item in the outline and focus on it - all the other content disappears letting me select and focus on one specific part of the outline. Perhaps this video can explain it a bit better.

I played a bit around with Workflowy to organize some small thoughts I had, but I though I could really test out the program by taking notes for a class. So last Friday I took notes for my CS 1331 class on Workflowy rather than using Pages to normally take notes. My initial feeling that Workflowy would be awesome was only confirmed by this test. I love the ability to take notes in a hierarchy of College -> CS 1331 -> Notes -> November 5th, 2010 all without knowing I’m taking notes in such a deep hierarchy. Another of my favorite features is the ability to collapse specific items in case they are too long and interfering with the cleanliness of the outline. The ease of use of the website also makes it a breeze to work with. I could not imagine outlining working anyway.

While Workflowy has a few bugs here and there, it is nothing significant enough to prevent daily usage. I would highly suggest checking Workflowy out if you are into organizing and outlines.

Thumbs up to Workflowy team!