I have used a countless number of apps (webapps, mobile apps and Mac apps), for organising my thoughts and workflow. Trello, Simplenote, Evernote, Notational Velocity and many; and I mean many, mind-maping apps. In someway or another, I have found, most of them lacking or just simply, offering too much.
Never have I come across, an app - be it a web app, a mobile app or a desktop based app, that truly just works, for me. Then, I somehow stumbled upon Workflowy, on Google. It was love at first sight.
Workflowy is minimal. The only thing you can do, while using the app, once you register, is take notes and make lists. That’s it! And do this one thing, in a way that makes perfect sense, to someone like me. Workflowy is a webapp.
Why not Simplenote or Notational Velocity, you ask?
Both, Simplenote and Notational Velocity, are awesome too; but, neither has an option to view your entire though process, in a large list, or the ability to drill down into one single line of thought, and then, expand on it. This “thought”, can be an idea, a task, a project, an anything you might want to note down about, and work towards.
Over a period of time, when you have written your thoughts, as and when these come to you, scattered around, in Simplenote or Notational Velocity, it becomes very difficult to bring, related “thoughts” together, and piece them into something workable or coherent. Tagging and searching is fine, but actually being able to see the thought as a whole and then the actions that you want to take, to act on that “thought” or “goal”, is something that is missing, from all the apps I have used so far.
Why not the others?
Over a period of time, apps like Evernote, I use for storing long term data or data that I might need on the go - like an address I copied over from my desktop, to be made available to me, when I want to look it up on the go. As I mentioned above, most, if not all, of the others are just too complicated for me to be able to sort, search and then gather all those scribbles, into something tangible.
Workflowy’s entire existence revolves around one goal, and one goal only - To help you organize your thoughts. Their mission statement - Organize your brain, is exactly what this app delivers. What I love about Workflowy the most, is that it’s so focused on helping you organize your thoughts, in a very, very coherent way.
In a way, which allows you to write a “thought” down. Leave it be. Then after, say spending 3 months of writing related ideas, actions and thoughts around this one thought, when you finally want to take action on it, you can “drill down” and see you entire thought process in action - This blew my mind away.
Note, that in those 3 months, I will have other ideas, tasks and thoughts, un-related to any others I might have noted down before. In a pinch, I can see all of my ideas, thoughts and tasks, in a list, then drill down into something I want to work on, or need to work on.
I highly recommend giving Workflowy, a try. If you are anything like me, you won’t be disappointed.
Workflowy is free for jotting down 250 items/month. Post that, you need to subscribe to their pro plan. At the time of writing this post, upgrading to a pro plan costs, about $49USD/year.