The Explanation For Our Recent Downtime

Summary: I got a false alert that the issues were resolved. Foolishly, I didn’t look into it further and didn’t realize we had an ongoing outage. 

My deepest apologies for the two outages we’ve had in the past day. The first happened yesterday at around 5pm pacific time, the second today at around 6am.  Both were caused by the same simple, easy to resolve issue. In both cases, I did not resolve the issue causing the outage because I didn’t realize the outages were happening. Our monitoring system sent me alerts saying the issues had resolved themselves just moments after it pointed out the problems in the first place. I should have looked into the issues upon getting the alerts, regardless of their supposed resolution, and I didn’t. Thus, we had hours of downtime when we should have had minutes.

I am ashamed of the situation, and stressed by the potential repercussions on the trust of our users. Due to my actions, tens of thousands of people around the world were blocked from doing their work over the past day. My apologies to all of you.

Here is what I will do to prevent this happening in the future:

  1. I’ve added two new alerts to our monitoring which are direct indicators of our most common issues. These metrics will not incorrectly resolve themselves while an outage remains active.
  2. I will always look into outage alerts, even if I get an automated alert saying an issue is resolved.
  3. After an alert, I will look at our core metrics dashboards as opposed to my own app responsiveness to determine whether the app is healthy. Loading the home page is an incredibly dumb way to verify the health of our servers. I did it simply because I was away from my computer and have never seen a real outage falsely resolved  without additional alerts. That was a huge mistake.
  4. After an alert, I will monitor our user communication channels such as Twitter and email, to get a sense of how widespread an issue is.

Again, I am truly sorry for these completely unnecessary outages. We will do our best to maintain our previously wonderful reliability.

P.S. Please consider using our offline Chrome Desktop Application. This way you will have access to your WorkFlowy lists even if we have an outage, or if you’re away from the internet.

The Power of Reading Books in WorkFlowy

A post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.

I’ve read over a dozen books in WorkFlowy so far. But why? Why in blue blazes would I do that? Simple, really: For the unparalleled flexibility WorkFlowy gives me in being able to turn any scrap of information therein into a #todo, a #reminder or a research #category… and being able to take notes to my heart’s content – so that it all becomes part of my workflow.

If you haven’t yet put a book into WorkFlowy, it’s a crying shame: You’ve been missing out on possibly the most effective way to (1) act upon gems of information being provided and (2) to glean, gather and group research data in the simplest of ways. Hands down, reading and interacting with book content in WorkFlowy is the most intuitive way I’ve found to squeeze every ounce of practical worth out of any book. Continue reading “The Power of Reading Books in WorkFlowy”

Create a Customer Service Database in WorkFlowy – Don’t Throw Away Your Hard Work!

A post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.


I’m fast, but not that fast:

— “Dad, how many days until Christmas?”
— “About 6 months sweetheart.”
— “But how many days?”
— “About 180 da… wait… Siri, how many days until Christmas?”
— [Sexy monotone voice] “It’s one hundred seventy-eight days until then.”

… so I put the tools at my disposal to work for me: I could work things out in my head, but there’s an easier way. An easier workflow.

In a similar fashion, I could frantically hammer away at my keyboard only to repeat the same customer service information that’s been asked many times before (and which will certainly be asked many times over in the days to come)… or I could get a game plan together and have the previous answer(s) at my fingertips, ready to go – cut with the very same cookie cutter.

It feels really good to work smarter and save time. This brief post is about setting up a simple system (in WorkFlowy) to capture the insightful solutions and information that we already have in our head – so that we don’t have to type them out all over again, from scratch. Continue reading “Create a Customer Service Database in WorkFlowy – Don’t Throw Away Your Hard Work!”

Give Me One Good Reason Why You’re Not Creating Lists WITH Your Kids

A post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.

I’ve dedicated my WorkFlowy book to my daughter:

For Emma-Pearl: Each Pomodoro spent on this book meant less beach time for you. Though you don’t yet know all about lists and productivity, you’re on almost all of my lists… and hands down, the #1 beneficiary of my @Future-me tag.

I’m going to need to change this up a tad, because my daughter has caught on to list making in a big way since my book came out. I’m kicking myself for not having taught her about making lists much sooner. You know… little human beings are much more capable than we give them credit for. If you’re not making lists with your kids yet, you’re seriously missing out – it’s so much freaking fun!

Continue reading “Give Me One Good Reason Why You’re Not Creating Lists WITH Your Kids”

Picking Names out of a WorkFlowy Hat

A post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.

Pens and random scraps of paper are getting scarcer by the day. And we don’t always just happen to have a hat at hand… but at social events (even in these ever-so-modern times), we still do keep up with drawing straws, picking names out of a hat… and Secret Santa.

What we all do have at hand is a smartphone. Oh yes… and we have WorkFlowy. With about a minute of pre prep-work, you can show off how smart (and sophisticated) you are – and digitize this most basic of human practicalities. What you are about to witness is the reconstruction of a true story, which occurred on December 24th of 2015, at around midnight. I’ve only changed up the names. Obviously. Continue reading “Picking Names out of a WorkFlowy Hat”

Embed Google Docs, Mind Maps, YouTube Videos, Evernote Notes and More in WorkFlowy

A post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.

Sometimes serendipity runs its course – like the almost happenstance privilege I get to blog in this space… or stumbling upon JavaScript that powers a whole new subset of WorkFlowy use cases: the ability to embed web content from a variety of sources right into your outlines. I don’t understand the first thing about JavaScript (only how to copy-paste), so you’re in good company. Now let me show you a couple of gems I’ve been polishing.

Below you’ll see a handful of apps and services I was able to get to show up in WorkFlowy – each of which have highly practical potential. I’m positive that more than one will pique your interest… Continue reading “Embed Google Docs, Mind Maps, YouTube Videos, Evernote Notes and More in WorkFlowy”

The Simplest (and Most Powerful) Way to Navigate WorkFlowy – Hands Down

A post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.

About a quarter of a moon ago I happened upon this tweet by Lea Verou, a veritable rock star in the world of CSS:

This post is my response to Lea’s tweet… and then some.

I’ve put together a little video to showcase the incontestable speed and versatility of (1) Workflow Tags and (2) List Title Tags in getting to those far, far away lists, faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… literally. You’ll see:

Continue reading “The Simplest (and Most Powerful) Way to Navigate WorkFlowy – Hands Down”