You might be collaborating quite satisfactorily with one tool or another – but until you start collaborating directly in WorkFlowy, you’ll never know how miserably one dimensional everything else is.
The uniqueness and power of collaborating in WorkFlowy – as opposed to tools like Email, Google Docs, Slack, Trello and Evernote – is this: Not only do we (1) get to organize our collaborative efforts any which way we choose in one infinitely nest-able outline – but we also have the ability to (2) comment and input information concurrently into any part of our outline and (3) filter for any “updates” anywhere in a snap. These are just the broad strokes.
Here’s a must-read comment from Ksenia. She puts it better than I ever could!
I still use Email and Slack. Of course. But WorkFlowy has become indispensable to me over the last year since I started blogging in this space and collaborating with scores of WorkFlowy users. This is no small thing. The proof is in the pudding. It’s time to climb aboard this train and try some collaborative pudding in the dining car.
What’s in a name?
At its simplest, collaboration is a dialogue. Here’s part of a dialogue (in WorkFlowy) which might ring a bell:
You’ll observe 2 things from the above snippet:
- Each participant uses a name tag. Logical.
- Each new response is indented/ nested under the previous one. They don’t have to be… but you’ll see shortly that this helps to form a thread when filtering for new responses… i.e. you can follow the conversation.
When you’re adding to a collaborative WorkFlowy outline in an organic way, new entries could, of course, be added anywhere within an outline. So how do we painlessly find all new entries that someone else has purposed to bring to our attention – wherever they might be? The concept is child’s play…
If I were Romeo and I wanted Juliet to see any new entries of mine… I would also include Juliet’s short name tag (#ju):
… That way, when Juliet filtered for her short name tag (#ju), she’d see the 2 freshly squeezed entries below. To respond, she would include @juliet and Romeo’s short name tag (#ro):
… Juliet would then explode (Alt+Click) her short name tag(s) once she’s read and/ or responded to my most recent entries:
Above, you’ll see that when doing a further search for Juliet’s name tag, she’ll come up empty-handed. That’s because she’s all caught up with her correspondence. No more mail.
Tit for tat
On the flip side… let’s (1) filter for Romeo’s pending updates by hitting his #ro tag, (2) respond to Juliet and (3) explode the remaining #ro tags to get to “inbox zero”:
At the time of writing
On my home page, tucked away in a note… I have a saved search which allows me to filter for any new #fr tags others might have used in one of my collaborative outlines. Here’s a real-life example of an update I’m filtering for at the time of writing. I’m in cahoots with the Japanese team that brought us HandyFlowy and MemoFlowy. Sometimes, rawbytz and I give them feedback on apps they’re developing… thus you will see @michi (Michinari, the team leader) has tagged an update for both myself (#fr) and rawbytz (#ra). Once I’m done reading, I explode my #fr tag and I’m all caught up:
All in the same boat
The main reason I came up with the short (#) name tags is precisely for larger groups. You might want to bring a new update to several team members’ attention. In the shared list for the Japanese team, we have 6 people participating… so for some updates I post, my tagging convention might go something like this: @frank #mi #ir #ru #go #fr #ra. Individuals can then manage their own “notification” tags and explode them… or not. If I wanted to bring something only to Michinari’s attention, I would do this: @frank #mi
Above you’ll see a list of project areas each with their own outlines. Of particular interest is the bulletin board:
The newest entries are posted on the top, each with the date, tags and a topic. Below we have the inside of one of these entries:
Tucked away in the note of one of the lists, we have a couple of useful goodies: (1) a few saved searches which utilize WorkFlowy’s “last-changed:” search operator. This helps to isolate anything within the list that was changed within the time frame filtered for. (2) A couple of tags that help locate some key information throughout the shared outline. I always encourage the people I’m collaborating with to go wild and use their own tags where they feel it will be helpful.
Here’s the tag index for a slightly larger team of game developers I’ve been meaning to squeeze an interview out of:
Showing others the ropes
I’ve collaborated on quite a few interviews for WorkFlowy blog posts – right within shared WorkFlowy lists. My interviewees thoroughly enjoyed the process. Part of getting people comfortable, as with anything, is to show them the ropes. So I set up a basic interview template which walks them through some of the dead-easy guidelines:
Here’s that interview template if you’d like to take a peek.
I’ve found that onboarding people to thresh out a project in WorkFlowy is a piece of cake. Even for those who are just right now catching their very first glimpse of WorkFlowy. Heck, people don’t even need to have a WorkFlowy account to collaborate in WorkFlowy: you simply give them a link to a shared, editable list you’ve set up.
Of special interest: even if I do happen to chat with someone on Slack or via email, I often pull any important correspondence right into a WorkFlowy outline that we’re collaborating on… you know, consolidate stuff. A simple copy and paste will suffice.
Thusly, you bring the power of WorkFlowy to collaborative projects. This is really quite something. Nice in theory… but much nicer when you’re actually trying this out for yourself!
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