Bob Elliott Uses WorkFlowy to Keep an Inventory of Over 170 Tools On-site

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Bob Elliott emails me every other week with new use cases for his WorkFlowy document. He’s really making WorkFlowy work for him. Bob’s simple yet powerful tool inventory we’re going to take a look at today saves him the heartache of having to look for his awl in all the wrong places.

Bob tells me:

I have started using workflowy as a tool inventory so that I can quickly find tools that are used infrequently and not have to hunt through all 8 pallets on this cart. I use this cart setup to be able to bring all the tools I need into a job, especially if its on the 24th floor of a high-rise building and I have to park the van some distance from the building.

I have tools contained in 8 pallets on a cart, backpack, and in a service van. I’ve memorized the location of tools that I use frequently and can easily find them. I have the tools and equipment inventoried in WorkFlowy lists according to where they are located in the pallets or backpack. When I need a less frequently used tool and don’t have its location memorized, I look its location up on my phone via WorkFlowy search, and can quickly find it.

I also use the lists as checklists in organizing what other tools and supplies will be needed for each job.

I’ll bet that whatever you’re thinking of putting into WorkFlowy, it’s going to make a better, more organized human being out of you if you do. The key is to simply use WorkFlowy – whether for knowledge work or hands-on stuff. Especially things you need to access every day. Sometimes I don’t click that I could actually be using WorkFlowy for a particular task or challenge – and invariably, whatever I do pop into my one zoomable document, is one thing less I have to keep in my head.

Test Bob’s shared list out for yourself and see exactly which pallet his “drill bit gauge” is in. You can also expand the entire shared outline by double clicking on the list title.


I’d like to invite you all to share a WorkFlowy list (big or small) with us below: any list that has at some point made a measurable impact for you. To share a list publicly:

  1. Duplicate a list and clean it up if you must
  2. Hover over your list’s bullet and hit “share”
  3. Hit the share button and copy the URL

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20 thoughts on “Bob Elliott Uses WorkFlowy to Keep an Inventory of Over 170 Tools On-site

  1. One thing I found VERY helpful (I think I saw the idea mentioned in a recent post), is as a note under my top-level nodes, I list all the tags I use under that node. That way I can click them right away, instead of having to type them in the search box, or scroll down until I find one to click on it.

    Example: https://workflowy.com/s/2ulmdwfvE5

    1. P.S. This is one optional column I could live with in WorkFlowy: a list of tags on the right, sortable alphabetically and by most used (and one that can be closed when not needed).

      1. Now there’s a feature request that’s got my attention: a keyboard shortcut to toggle show/ hide “Tag Index” (like the keyboard shortcut helper/ starred pages menu)… with a sorting menu to sort either by Title (alphabetically), Frequency… and also manually/ arbitrarily. This last option would allow one to sort tags by category.

        Preferably, the tag menu should only show tags within the context you’ve zoomed into.

        I create a lot of tag indexes, as you can tell from my book… but this sort of feature would mostly automate it. Brilliant!

    1. Hey Erika,
      Super organized 🙂
      I like the way you’ve grouped some of your items into “To do early”, “The day we leave”, “Last hour”, “Last minute”, “Last minute confirm”… because many things just can’t be done early. Some things have to be done at the last minute. It’s a no-brainer. Thanks!

      1. Yes, Guin… that’s the shared list I was talking about in the post you referenced. Still waiting for a confirm from Oleg 🙂 … But I’m not sure that anyone would want to archive their Calendar list with all their to-do’s.

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