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:
No matter how phenomenal WorkFlowy’s zoom, there’s no way I’m about to zoom in 1 bullet at a time to get to a list buried 7 or more layers deep. And bury my lists as deep as I want, I must. The heart wants what the heart wants. Yes… I want to have my cake and eat it.
Basically, Lea Verou is looking to add quick-access shortcuts to parent lists right from her home page, so that she can reach any children list(s) therein in a snap – no matter how deep they might be. I think the use of tags as demonstrated in the video is a clear contender.
List title tags and workflow tags – a brief explanation
This is the little tip that goes a looong way. A little power tip. It’s no coincidence that I wrote about this in my very first post in this space. I’m going to give you a quick show and tell below, but also do go ahead and download these 2 chapters from my book, just for making it past the intro and the video. These 2 brief chapters will give you a crystal clear understanding of the dynamics I’m going to be showcasing today.
Here’s the gist of it:
- You add a unique tag to the parent list wherever it might be and the same unique tag to any child list downstream that you’re wanting to get to.
- That way, when you click on your “List Title Tag” on the home page (or wherever), the child list you want gets filtered for. Whoomp there it is. Now just click on its bullet.
Above I’m fast tracking to a list of interviewees for blog posts.
- You can also convert a keyword in your parent or child list into a tag by prefixing it with “#” or “@”.
- You’ll see that I’ve gone a step further and created an index of tags on my home page, each of which represent either an important part of my workflow or a full-blown project or database I need to access at the drop of a hat. They have replaced the list titles themselves, and given me a minimalist interface through which to get anywhere I need within my one zoomable document with ridiculous ease.
The benefits of using tags as shortcuts
- You can call them what you want
- You can convert any keyword(s) in your list to a tag
- They cut down on clutter and tend towards a minimalist environment
- They can be removed by exploding (Alt+Click)
- I love that they show a hierarchy of parent lists when filtered for. You get context.
- You can build custom “menus” (as seen in the video)
- You can diversify your strategy since we have “@” and “#” tag nomenclature
- If you search for a tag as opposed to clicking on it, we have the Tag Helper Menu thingy.
- Tags filter “downstream” (children lists), even in sibling (adjacent) lists, so you don’t have to have your tag in the exact parent list of a child list you want to locate. That’s why any tag anywhere on your home screen filters your entire WorkFlowy. That’s the premise of my setup.
Search a tag from anywhere in your account with “WorkFindy”
Clicking on tags filters downstream, not upstream (up a hierarchy). So if you’re buried deep in a list and you wanted to search a tag globally within WorkFlowy without first going back to the home screen, there is rawbytz’s WorkFindy utility (bookmarklet and Chrome extension), so it can be used in any browser, including on mobile.
And then some…
I use List Title Tags and Workflow Tags all day, every day… but I also make use of 5 other fantastic ways of navigating around WorkFlowy, no matter what list you’re in:
- Internal hyperlinks (included in the free download). You might also want to take a look at this post. Scroll down to, “A saved search index”. There’s an animated GIF.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts to reach any list anywhere: Take a look at this post. Scroll down to “feature 1”. This is also a simple power tip you’ll want to take advantage of!
- A tailor-made WorkFlowy bookmarks and bookmarklets system. Here’s the post. I use this a fair amount.
- WorkFlowy’s Starred Pages Menu: Scroll down to the animated GIF under the section, “Your Unicode on demand.”
- WorkFindy. I’ve already mentioned it above. Do yourself a favor and play around with this fantastic tool.
Getting back to where you were
This would not be complete without mentioning the keyboard trick to navigate back where you came from after clicking on tags or links, etc. This is primordially essential. I obligate you to try this out.
- Please, for the love of Pete, do not tell me that you’re navigating back by hitting your browser’s back arrow… or the WorkFlowy toolbar arrows…
- Do yourself a favor and try Alt+Back/Forward Arrows. There is a trick to it, though: You need to hit your Alt key once to take the focus to your browser and then Alt+Left Arrow to navigate back. Once you’re at your destination, you can hit Alt again to focus on your WorkFlowy document once again. Practice makes perfect.
- On the (Chrome extension) desktop app you can use Ctrl+[ and Ctrl+] to navigate back and forth.
Go forth and tag
No amount of explaining is going to convince you. Make your life easy and start tinkering around with this. Have fun! And comment below. Please.
Also, you could comment on, like, retweet, mention or scrapbook this post’s tweet: