Flowin’ With Butterscotch

What follows is a guest post from Seth Coster, whose studio makes awesome games. I had the misfortune of downloading one of his games, and, I’m not kidding, it took over my life for a while. You probably shouldn’t play Flop Rocket unless you really want to get addicted, stay up late playing it, neglect your family, stop showering and other terrible things!

Hey, readers! Seth Coster from Butterscotch Shenanigans here. We’re a three-man game studio (and family business) based out of St. Louis and Dallas. We’ve launched four major titles on iOS and Android: Flop Rocket, Quadropus Rampage, Roid Rage, and Towelfight 2. Our games have accumulated over 4 million players to date.


Now we’re working on a huge game called Crashlands, which contains dozens and dozens of hours of gameplay, narrative, and lots of complex systems, including crafting and creature taming. Crashlands is big enough that we needed a seriously flexible and useful collaborative project management tool to make it happen, and that tool JUST SO HAPPENS… to be Workflowy. 

The Old Way

When our studio was first formed two years ago, we had never handled projects of the magnitude of games. So when we looked for project and task management software, we didn’t know what to get. After trying out a bunch of stuff that was pretty rigid and generally forced us into a particular way of doing things, we got fed up and just resorted to using a shared Google Doc for all our project management.

It was great to have essentially a blank sheet of paper to work with, where we could put everything where we needed and organize it as we liked.

We just added tasks to the bottom of the doc, and as we completed stuff, we’d cut/paste those completed tasks into our game’s patch notes, which were logged just above. This gave us a record of all we had done, and a consolidated spot to store our tasks. Over time, though, this approach got incredibly cumbersome. As the doc grew, it involved a tremendous amount of scrolling up and down, ctrl+F searching, and scanning for what to do next. 

Then, we stumbled across Workflowy. AND EVERYTHING CHANGED.

The Better Way

Workflowy allowed us to maintain our old approach — putting stuff wherever we wanted, organizing things at will, and keeping a record of our patch notes — while also removing literally every problem we had previously been having.

The fact that we now have nested lists means we can keep every project in one place, instead of a separate doc for each, and just visit each list as we are working on things in that area.


Instead of having to cut and paste completed tasks, we can now just drag them into their appropriate changelogs, and then minimize those changelogs for later viewing. And if we complete a smaller task that we don’t need a record of, we just mark it as complete, and it shoots off into the ether of the interweb, never to be heard from again.

We also developed an “inbox” system, through which we can give urgent tasks to one another. For non-urgent items, we just add tasks on a project basis and tag each other appropriately. If I ever want to see just my part of a project, I just type my name into the search bar at the top, and BOOM! A customized, nested list of everything I have on my plate.

All in all, having Workflowy has streamlined the crap out of our process and made our game development dramatically easier. Anyone working on a mid-size to small team (or even solo) who wants to make awesome things happen… get on this train. It’s going places.

Thanks, Workflowy team!

A Useful Hack for Repeated Tasks in WorkFlowy

WorkFlowy user Gwynn was trying to add the following as a comment to the post about using tags for dates. She had trouble, so she emailed us. I thought it looked good, so I’m just adding a post :) Thanks Gwynn!!!

To simulate repeating tasks I add a tag to indicate when an item must be repeated (#weekly, #monthly, #annually). When I’ve finished a task I don’t use the Complete button but rather update the #d-yyyy-mm-dd tag to the next due date. Once my date tag is updated the task no longer shows up in my date searches and so it drops off my radar until next time.

e.g. 1

open pool #d-2015-05 #annually

When I’ve completed opening the pool I don’t mark the item as completed but instead update the date tag to #d-2016-05 because I’m using an #annually tag.

Since the tag is updated it will no longer show up in a #d-2015 search (nor a #d-2015-05 search).

e.g. 2

change furnace filter #d-2015-02-13 #monthly

If I’m on top of things and change the filter on the 13th I will update the date tag to #d-2015-03-13 since that’s a month away.

If I don’t get around to changing the filter until the 25th (instead of the 13th like originally planned) I will update the month portion *and* the day portion so that the next time I do a filter check is roughly a month later. So the date tag will become #d-2015-03-25.

You can do a #annual or #monthly search to see what tasks fall under those tags. Also, since you don’t ever actually Complete a task it doesn’t disappear so you can describe in detail what steps to follow without losing them when the task is complete. I find this very useful as I can create a bare bones entry that I can refine over time as I actually do the tasks.

I hope this is information is useful to you.



How to Use Text Replacement to Power Through Your Daily Rituals and Repetitive Projects

Joe Williams of Zen Optimise came up with this really cool way to work with repetitive content in WorkFlowy. It’s so slick, we’re probably going to build something like this into WorkFlowy. We asked him to write a guest blog post and make a demo video. 

Don’t pay attention to the annotations in the video above. Just watch what he’s typing, and notice how typing a few letters instantly creates a whole list.

Super Fast Templates

If you have tasks that you repeatedly do, over and over, you’ll probably be looking for ways to save time and energy. WorkFlowy is great for this out of the box as you can easily setup project templates that you can copy, paste and reuse.

But imagine if you could do all that without the need to find the project or copy and paste. Instead, you could simply define a short (and easy to remember) text snippet to pull in several repetitive tasks that make up a daily ritual, a repeatable project or anything else that you do over and over. This has the potential to save hours of time if you do a lot of process oriented work!

You can do this by combining WorkFlowy’s new import plain text feature and a text replacement software of choice.

Text Replacement Software

There are quite a few on the market but below are the ones I have either used (and liked) or heard good things about:

For Mac

For Windows

That’s it, a nifty way to boost your productivity for repetitive tasks by 100% or more! Please pop in a comment to let us know of other text replacement software you’ve found useful or another way to save time with repetitive tasks.

WorkFlowy Is For Thinking

Click video for full size

I just saw a blog post outlining why someone prefers WorkFlowy to other note taking and list making tools. It included the gif above. I liked the summary, because it emphasized something that’s hard to describe: that WorkFlowy excels at helping people think clearly, and link thoughts together. Have a read if you like, it’s called, “WorkFlowy to the Rescue

Better support for Swype and 3rd party keyboards on iOS 8

swype-logoIf you use Swype, you can now hit enter and it will create a new line, as expected. Enjoy Swyping!

Update: Unfortunately, we have had to disable this change. It created a serious bug in the normal iOS app, causing hitting delete with one character left in an item to also trigger a “return” event, and thereby wreaking all sorts of havok (you don’t expect hitting backspace to create a new item, right?). We’ve looked into a better way of doing the fix, and are hoping to implement it soon.

WorkFlowy Feature: Expand While in Search Mode

It used to be that in search mode, you only saw:

  1. Items matching your search,
  2. Their descendants
  3. Their ancestors.

This annoyed a lot of people, especially those who use tags heavily, because sometimes they needed to explore their WorkFlowy document while a filter was active. Now, you can do just that, you can expand any list while in search mode.

A fair number of people seem to have been really annoyed by this issue, so hopefully this saves you a few gray hairs!

Note: The root level of a zoom level currently doesn’t have the ability to expand in this way, so let us know if this gets in your way.