Frank And His WorkFlowy Book

WorkFlowy Book Cover

Frank, from productivitymashup.com, has written a 254 page book about WorkFlowy! How cool is that? The book, “Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy“, is entertaining and crammed full of WorkFlowy tidbits. He describes using it with different productivity systems, extending it with external tools and a lot of stuff in between. As one of the creators of WorkFlowy, I found the book interesting, so you should be able to learn from it even if you’re an advanced user. Check it out.

After looking the book over I thought, “Wow, Frank is a prolific, entertaining writer and he seems to really enjoy WorkFlowy. Maybe I should see if he wants to write on the blog.” We talked, and lo and behold, Frank starts blogging in a few days. He’ll include some content from the book as well as original stuff. We shall see where it leads, hopefully up and to the right 🙂

Anyway, welcome Frank! Thanks for investing in WorkFlowy!

40 Comments

  1. I too have read Frank’s book. Frank-ly, it’s mind-blowing!

    Though there is a LOT of text. I’d love to see some it converted to bite-sized video lessons.

    Well done all 🙂

  2. I’m kind of amazed that someone has written an entire book and hasn’t been part of discussions already. In any case, can’t wait to read his book AND see some blog posts!

    1. He’s a prolific commenter and has had guest posts before. I guess I should mention that in the post 🙂 He only told us about the book about a week ago.

    2. Finished with the book a little over week ago… It’s hot off the Adobe InDesign press.
      My sincerest appologies for the delay – In my defense, I spent many moons looking for the right cookie cutter so that all the books would have the same shape and thickness.

  3. His book is fantastic! Opened my eyes to new ways to use Workflowy and I can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for the blog! The more Workflowy the better!

  4. I have started to read the book yesterday evening, and I am at page 227 right now — addictive!

    Written in an entertaining way, it discloses lots of useful and inspiring insights and goodies. I can’t wait to finish the book, and I am looking forward to the blog contributions to come — as well as the second edition of the book.

    I hope that the Workflowy ( WF ) team does take up the ( hidden ) suggestions to improve ( even more the already excellent ) WF application.

    I have the following remarks for guys with a Mac:

    – Stylish for Safari does exist! Install it from https://extensions.apple.com/details/?id=com.sobolev.stylish-5555L95H45

    – Marked ( http://marked2app.com ) by Brett Terpstra with its clipboard preview for Markdown and all the available export formats, is your friend.

    In this context, the following Markdown ( paragraph break ) structure is a suitable alternative to the proposed one:

    – Write any ( sub ) header using an ( indented ) bullet point.

    – Use the note section for any other ( standard / formatted ) text. Reason: One can just write as usual. All paragraphs / text blocks — enclosed by / with trailing empty lines — are converted as expected. At least with Marked 2. The hack with the ( blank ) note, including the necessary space, is not needed! Sweet.

    Last but not least, for people loving Google Chrome, the Clip to Workflowy extension ( https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clip-to-workflowy/cfifjihfoegnccifkcdomdookdckhaah ) is more than convenient.

    Many thanks to Frank and the WF team!

    1. Thanks Stefano!
      Awesome news for Safari users 😉
      Been tinkering with the “Clip to WorkFlowy” Chrome extension. It’s addictive and makes you want to find use cases for it.

    2. Thanks for the illustration Stefano. No worries (boet)… you can keep that up there. That would work nicely… one would just have to get comfortable with that workflow. My main hangup would be that I wouldn’t be able to shuffle paragraphs around as easily as if they were all in bulleted lists… and although the notes are all expanded in the shared list, they would collapse when you’re not working with them. BUT… there is a way to flip a switch with Stylish and pop in some CSS code that keeps all notes expanded. That would work.

      Have you seen where I describe setting up a hotkey with PhraseExpress where one could, say, use Ctrl+Shift+Enter to move to the next bullet and automatically create a note with an empty space in the preceding bullet? Otherwise if one had to do that manually every time, it would be a PITA, for sure. I’ve also got some animated GIFs linked to in the book that show what happens when one uses PhraseExpress (a text expander) to automate what would ordinarily take a couple of key strokes. Take a look at the following:
      http://www.evernote.com/l/ATRDfLexkMhNioScmMAq9gecwYmAXwJulLU/
      http://www.evernote.com/l/ATQaXjao5ZhOY7AlpLiyc8VgziST6mS8JCM/

      I think both methods have their plusses and minuses. Thanks for pointing that out Stefano 🙂

    3. Valid point Frank. My suggestion is somehow on ( constrained, in a positive way ) middle ground. Note that ( sub ) headers should ( read: suggested ) always be on their own — with full note display via Stylish, it is a delight reading one’s own work in WorkFlowy too.

      I have studied your PhraseExpress ( PE ) elaborations and have adapted some of your insights for TextExpander ( TE ). Nice!

      Lekker aand.

    4. My thoughts exactly. I can picture exactly what you’re describing. Incidentally, it’s hard to find good CSS code that actually keeps ones notes expanded. Even with some themes that are actually based on that. Kind of a hit and miss thing. Also, I need to develop some use cases for that exact hack.

      BTW, have you tried the “no bullets” Stylish hack for reading? I’ve read a couple of books in WorkFlowy and hidden the bullets so that you’re just left with paragraphs. Read quite a couple of books in WorkFlowy, in fact… something I hope to expand upon in some shape or form in the next edition of my book or a blog post.

      Go Bokke!

    5. I’m using the following CSS for full notes:

      div.notes div.content {
      display: block !important;
      height: auto !important;
      overflow: visible !important;
      }

      and I do not have any issues. Seems to be working fine.

      Yes, tried out your “no bullets” CSS and I like it. Reading books in WF — sounds intriguing. I am curious, how you go about it … While writing in Markdown — with the paragraph break / note approach as described previously — I rather keep the bullets. They are welcomed and not distracting anchors.

      Go Bokke!

    6. Just created a separate style for expanded notes. You know, it might just grow on me. You’re right about sub headers being on their own… that takes care of the reshuffling part. Then on the odd occasion a tad bit of cut and paste if necessary. Overall it looks fresh/ clean.

      You know what would be nice… a couple of simple YouTube videos/ tutorials demonstrating how easy the process is… how easy it is to set up in Stylish and then flip a switch for whatever styles you want.

      We could then do a series on this blog for those who might otherwise be scared off by what seems to be complicated code.

      You’re right about the bullets. I rather like them. They become invisible before long. Also, what I do is lighten them a tad (make them a little more opaque)… and I’ve made then just a *wee* bit smaller.

    7. It is precisely the same approach I am using: separating the “no bullets” and “full notes” CSS into their own ( Stylish ) rules, for easy de- / activation. I like to have the choice, depending on what I am currently working on. Most of the times bullets are displayed, and I can read the full notes, without having to zoom into the item.

      Sounds like an interesting side project! I am in. Let us collaborate via … WorkFlowy! 😀

      Tweaking the appearance of the bullets, making them more “personal”, is good. I have changed the shared part only, to let them stand out more.

    1. Good point Wilhelm. I’d like to come out with an EPUB at some point… most definitely for the 2nd edition, which will be complimentary, because you already purchased the 1st edition. I’ll consider bigger font size next time ’round. Then my book would be like 400 pages long 🙂

  5. I have to say that I’ve used WorkFlowy every single day since March of 2013. I like to think that I know my way around the neighborhood. And yet, Frank’s book has introduced me parts of town that I never knew existed and shown me things that this *amazing* thing can do that I hadn’t even thought to ask about. A fantastic resource that I’m enjoying tremendously! Well done, Frank, and thanks!

    1. There seems to have been a global issue at iTunes that affected many apps…not just Workflowy. I do not know if Apple has fixed this yet, but please keep trying.

  6. I pretty much live in Workflowy. Haven’t really played with Markdown but after reading the book I have already started adapting my meeting agendas and notes.

  7. I read your book. The fact that I completed it after just two days means that it was an interesting read for me. I’ve been looking for the most versatile productivity app, and I thought workflowy was just that. And your book convinced me.

  8. Have fun with the blogging here Frank! And thanks for the book. When I discovered it, there was not a second of doubt, it was an instant buy. 🙂

  9. Hi, I’m completely unexperienced with HTML/CSS. Playing with the tag css from the book. Any idea how I can colorize the background of the complete line where the tag is and not the tag himself only?

    1. Your best bet is with a Chrome extension called “Painter for WorkFlowy”… And then set it to highlighter mode. I haven’t figured out how to do the same in Stylish yet, if at all possible.

  10. Great book! Nevertheless, there are some rare cases to be additionaly explained. For instance, in Win the hotkeys ctrl+shift+0 do not work, if there is a language setting for changing the language is set to ctrl+shift instead of standard shift+alt.

    1. It seems to work for some while not for others, depending on browser, OS, versions, etc. Keep in mind that there may be some teething problems, since the Ctrl+Shift+9/0 used to be Ctrl+9/0. Apparently it was not documented anywhere and was still an experimental shortcut. I’ll be thankful for as long as it sticks around… However, it does not currently work for me either. 9 works for me but not its 0 counterpart.

  11. Perfect, Frank! Thank you. Workflowy is one of the coolest things around…. the genius is in its simplicity. Now, you’ve showered it with pixie dust and it does magic!

  12. Hi Frank,

    You have a book, wow! I’ll be reading your free book sample for now~

    I was wondering, do you use both evernote and workflowy?
    If yes, what are their roles to your productivity?

    I’m planning to use Evernote for my upcoming 2 businesses, and I’m just testing the waters for my workflow system.

    Btw, I like your Kanban Calendar: Evernote Series! Thank you for that

    1. Hi Eizu,

      I am/ was a raving Evernote fan. There are some distinctly different use cases for both WorkFlowy and Evernote… but I have come to use WorkFlowy as my go-to for absolutely ALL of my doing within the last year.

      That is not to say that Evernote is amazing. WorkFlowy just outclasses it when it comes to writing, organizing, planning, researching, etc. Having said that, Evernote does a bang-up job of storing, searching for and visualizing documents such as PDFs, they have fantastic OCR technology which searches for words within images… and they do a great job at web clippings. So Evernote (and Dropbox) is mostly for storing stuff. WorkFlowy is where it all happens 🙂

      Yep, I put a crazy amount of work into the Evernote Kanban series. Glad you like it.

  13. Hello Frank.
    I am using WorkFlowy about 5 weeks now and am interested in your WorkFlowy-book. Is it possible to buy and what is the price. I live in Denmark and will send the exact adress if I can buy.
    Best regards
    Jørgen

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