An Offline, Desktop App for WorkFlowy

Screenshot 2013-12-18 10.45.12

Offline. That magical word. We’ve been promising it for years, and now, finally, you can use WorkFlowy in a plane, train or automobile. In the subway, under the ocean, in the desert. With a frog, in a bog, on a log. And so forth.

We’ve been using the desktop app internally for several months. I personally use it almost exclusively now, and am really happy with it.  There’s one caveat, though. We built the desktop application on top of Google’s Chrome browser. You don’t need to use Chrome to use the app, but you do need to have Chrome installed. Hopefully that isn’t too much of an annoyance for you. If it is, we’re looking into launching a desktop app that doesn’t require Chrome, but we can’t say exactly when we’ll get to that.

Oh, and one more thing. Offline is free. We’ve been saying offline would require a WorkFlowy Pro account, but we decided it was too important a feature and that everybody needed it. So, you are welcome. And also, you should still pay us, because, otherwise how will we feed our families? How will we keep WorkFlowy going?

So, what are you waiting for?

Install WorkFlowy Desktop

Workflowy as a Gift Buying List

This is a guest post by Mike Dariano. If you’d like to contribute a guest blog post, just email your idea to blog@workflowy.com

‘Tis the List Making Season
The season of gift giving is upon on and if you’re anything like me your list of naughty and nice neighbors and nieces is far from finished.  One of the best WorkFlowy features is the ability to see things from a macro and micro level.  In looking at my list from the big picture I can see who I still need to buy gifts for and zooming in, what those gifts are.  

How to Get Started
Start by making a List based on either the store you’re shopping at or the person you’re buying for.  Our family is in three different gift exchanges this year; an adult but you don’t know who, an adult and you know what they want, and a pair of children and you know what they want.  

To get started on my own organization, I created a list with each person we needed to buy for and then under each person a list of what they wanted.  Then – and this is where WorkFlowy shines – I got organized.  

  • Doug
    • steering wheel cover
  • Karen
    • Movie
    • Book
  • Carter
    • Train set
    • Puzzle

As I bought gifts for people, I crossed off the items.  An Amazon.com order took care of the steering wheel cover, movie, and book I needed.  Also, when I finish shopping for a particular person, I cross their name off entirely.  Doug and Carter need gifts to be purchased, Karen I’m done with. 

Staying Up To Date
Whenever I get an email then with gift requests – maybe Doug wants a new iPhone case – I can quickly add them into my WorkFlowy account. Then when I go shopping and hide the completed items I have a clean list to work from.

  • Doug
    • iPhone case
  • Carter
    • Train set
    • Puzzle

WorkFlowy has always been fast on my smartphone and I know that whenever I’m at a store and need to add a gift, who and what is right at my fingertips.

A Few More thoughts
Steve Stroh, WorkFlowy’s Semi Official Blogger, had some additional tips building on Mike’s ideas.

I use WorkFlowy for keeping track of gift giving the same way Michael does, but I add another layer of hierarchy to prioritize a bit when I’m under the gun at holiday time:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Work
I use WorkFlowy for this continuously, not just during the Christmas season. When I get an idea for something that would make a great gift, I capture it immediately for future reference. Another refinement might be to keep track of gifts RECEIVED from various folks, and then marked completed when I’ve written a Thank You note.

Why I went Pro

This is a guest post by Steve Stroh. If you’d like to contribute a guest blog post, just email your idea to blog@workflowy.com

As I explained in a previous post, WorkFlowy resonated with me immediately. I started using it so intensively and productively that at points it seemed scary. Scary because here was this fantastic app, that I found SO useful, that I was pouring SO many of my ideas into… that was free. Many great, free web-based apps have gone out of business, usually with just a few week’s notice. So I was relieved when WorkFlowy quietly, subtly offered the Pro version and a way to pay them. I’ve chided Jesse and Mike a bit that they made the Pro option a bit too subtle, in my opinion. I just scrolled through the blog, and nope – no mention there. It’s only if you have the free version that you see the video in Help and a “Learn more” link which mentions these features:

  • Unlimited Lists – Pro users can make as many lists and items as they want. Non-pro users are limited to 500 per month.
  • Backup to Dropbox – Never worry about losing your WorkFlowy data. Have full backups automatically uploaded to your Dropbox account every day.
  • Password Protected Collaboration – Pro users can share parts of their WorkFlowy account with specific people, verified by email address and password.
  • Offline Editing (Coming soon) – Want to use WorkFlowy when you’re not online? Go Pro! 
  • Theme and Fonts – Pro users get to change the look and feel of WorkFlowy with a library of themes and fonts. Make your WorkFlowy more personal.
  • Premium Support – We answer emails from Pro members first.

While I jumped on Pro because I WANTED WorkFlowy to start making money, and thus not close or sell out, the main selling points of WorkFlowy Pro, for me, were the Unlimited Lists and Backup to Dropbox. The more I used WorkFlowy, the more I wanted to use WorkFlowy, and after the transition between free and paid (I had a free account for my day job) I quickly bumped up against the monthly limits of the free version. Believe me, if you’re not bumping into this limit, you’re not using WorkFlowy to its real potential. When you can open up a new WorkFlowy list and just let the record your ideas as fast as they’re coming to you, simultaneously keeping ALL your various lists in WorkFlowy… that’s WorkFlowy really amplifying your creativity and productivity.

Backup to Dropbox eased my mind a lot, that there was going to be a complete copy of my entire WorkFlowy in my Dropbox account, updated daily. I’ve also enjoyed changing my WorkFlowy Theme (current favorite: Hacker and Font (current favorite: Light).

Unfortunately, I don’t currently collaborate with any other WorkFlowy users, so I haven’t been able to see WorkFlowy Collaboration in action for myself, but I’m sure glad that’s an option that’s open to me.

Offline Editing (Coming Soon), well, WorkFlowy has offline for iOS and there’s a Chrome App for Windows that works offline. They’re working on a generally available desktop app with offline. In my particular way of writing, Internet access is as essential to me as electric power, so I’m nearly always connected and so don’t miss Offline Editing all that much. 

I think of WorkFlowy as a professional power tool for the mind, and the annual fee is quite reasonable for how much more productive WorkFlowy enables me to be.

Disclaimer – The above is solely my personal opinion. I am a paying WorkFlowy Pro customer and have not been offered any incentives to write nice things about WorkFlowy. I’m just a fan of a great product and volunteered to write about it for publication in the WorkFlowy Blog.

Steve Stroh
WorkFlowy Semi Official Blogger
Seattle, Washington, USA