Preview the WorkFlowy Desktop App

I’ve been working on a desktop app for WorkFlowy, and it’s almost ready to go. Before we launch it, though, it would be super helpful if people would try it out and report any issues.

If you’re using WorkFlowy as your information home base, the desktop app is just a much better experience than the web app. Here’s why:

Why Desktop Is Better 

  • Full offline support
  • Super fast startup
  • More quickly accessible

I’m super happy about this impending release. I think it will become the primary way people use WorkFlowy on their computers.

Please install it and give feedback!

Once you install it, you can either leave comments on this post, or email help@workflowy.com with the subject: “[desktop] whatever your subject is”

Here are instructions for each of the three platforms the app will support:

After installing these apps, they will automatically update with new versions of WorkFlowy as we release them.


 

How to Install WorkFlowy for Windows

  1. Download WorkFlowy For Windows
  2. The file finishes downloading, click “Run”
  3. Windows will give you a big warning because the app is new and hasn’t been installed many times yet. To get around this, When you see the big blue window with the “Don’t Run” button, you have to click “More info” and then click “Run Anyway”.

image202017-04-1720at206-38-1320pm-public


 

How to Install WorkFlowy for Mac

  1. Download WorkFlowy For Mac
  2. Open the WorkFlowy-0.0.1.dmg file
  3. Drag the WorkFlowy icon onto your application folder, like normal.

 


 

How to Install WorkFlowy for Linux

  1. Download WorkFlowy For Linux
  2. Open your terminal and change the permissions on the file to allow execution, so something like the following (with a longer file name):
    chmod a+x WorkFlowy.AppImage
  3. Click on the WorkFlow.AppImage file or run from the terminal while you’re in there
  4. ./WorkFlowy.AppImage

 

 

175 thoughts on “Preview the WorkFlowy Desktop App

  1. I am not able to properly print my lists using either the PC Win10 desktop app workflowy.com via Chrome browser. I can only print less than a page of any list I’m trying to print from WorkFlowy.com. Printing any list worked easily and perfectly from WorkFowy.com until recently. The new desktop app simply doesn’t respond to any print requests.
    My workaround is to print from the soon to be obsolete WorkFowy Chrome app.

    1. Hrm, I can’t reproduce this in Chrome in the browser. So, you hit print on a multi-page list, and what happens exactly? Does it look like it is cut off?

      My guess would be this is somehow related to a plugin? Unless Chrome in Windows is printing differently than Chrome on Mac (which is what I just checked with).

      1. The cause of my printing problem with Win10 Chrome browser was the Norton Security toolbar extension. It caused long list printouts to be cut off to a partial page. The fix is to select toolbar option “Hide toolbar for this page”. My long list printouts from workflowy.com have been perfect since. This was an unrelated coincidence with the arrival of the desktop app. This extension fix doesn’t do anything for the desktop app that doesn’t respond to any print request. Meanwhile, I can happily use Chrome to cover that outstanding desktop app printing problem.

  2. I’d basically echo most (positive) comments above. I move around a lot between different company offices and computers, so use the browser version as I can’t just go installing the desktop version everywhere – and that will continue to be true. For the same reason as well as that I like the Stylish enhancements, I hardly ever use the Chrome app so the fact that it is being phased out doesn’t bother me. Likewise, although better mobile support would be good, I’m in front of a computer screen a lot more than I use mobile.

    Currently I’m storing a lot of reference material in WorkFlowy for an upcoming exam. If either the server or my laptop happened to be off-line for some reason when it comes to the day before the exam, it could have been a disaster. It makes me feel a lot more comfortable that I have the data available locally (I know the Chrome app would do that too, but I tend to forget it’s there).

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, the browser app is definitely necessary for lots of situations, but as my day-to-day, I prefer the desktop app.

      Re stylish, yep, we need to support stylish type dealios in WF.

  3. Hello. Congratulations for the desktop app. I used my css style after modifying the reset.css file. When I reloaded the app my style was gone. Is there a way to keep my css code? Thank you.

    1. I don’t think right now there’s a good way to do it, sorry! Definitely something I’d like to support, though.

  4. Great thing! Even greater if you would include tabs so that one can fast and easily access different sublists.

  5. There’s a need for being able to open more than one window. I use an “Inbox” list at the top of my Home level, for capturing all new ideas before I process them. If I’ve dived down a rabbit hole to focus on something, I don’t want to lose that place in order to get a non-related idea down in the Inbox.

    1. I’m also inclined to endorse multiple windows in addition to tabs. Both tabs and windows allow navigating quickly between different areas of focus. However, multiple windows also allows simultaneous comparison between the contents of similar/duplicated items – great for drafting and editing, and multiple zoom views of whatever item is focused upon, so one can see a focused item *and* its place in an outline.

      1. Me too – we have standard WF work flow procedures that we amend and update all the time whilst referencing the ‘default’ template versions – comparing like for like in windows alongside one another is crucial to this.

  6. It looks like a great concept, but I just cannot get anything to work, not even to login. Where can we get pricing information?

      1. I had the same issue logging into the Desktop version. I resolved the issue by adding the rest of my email domain. I had tourdejord and it should have been tourdejord@gmail.com. Since there wasn’t any error message, like we are used to these days, I was confused and thought it was broken. The cursor did however auto jump back up to the email field, which was my final indicator.

        I recommend adding error messages at login.

  7. re: deleted tags
    The desktop app also (as the web app) shows old tags in the drop-down list when I go to add a new tab. I have deleted all instances of the old tags, including hidden-completed ones. So the advice here: [https://workflowy.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/201100375-How-do-I-edit-or-delete-tags-] is still inaccurate.
    This is not a huge deal, but a few of the old tags are for people that now irritate me, so I hate being reminded of them : )
    re: log-in
    I’m a big WF user, and have just started evaluating the desktop app. One immediate glitch i noticed, is logging in. In the web app, I use LastPass to fill in the username and PW. It looks like the desktop app will require me to remember these credentials. This means I cannot use a high-entropy password which I cannot remember.
    re: tabs
    In the web app, I use separate Firefox tabs to stay logged-in to my three frequently-used WF pages, as a workaround to not having tabs. I lose this in the desktop app.

    1. Thanks for the thoughts. We have a left bar coming soon that doesn’t have tabs (should probably have them!) but which could solve some of the latter problems. Re last-pass, yeah, I get that. Can’t you just get the pass from the lastpass app? That’s what I do (though I use Dashlane).

  8. It’s possible to ‘extend’ the web app version using bookmarklets and user scripts. Is there any way to do this with the electron app, e.g. via the debugging port? I’ve tried using the console tab of the developer tools window, but clearly the Javascript environment is very different from the environment in the web app, e.g. there’s no ‘window’ variable to interact with.

    Is there planned support for extensions / user scripts / bookmarklets and the like?

    In case it’s relevant, these are the things I bind keyboard shortcuts to in the web app:
    – Navigating to a particular item: window.open(‘https://workflowy.com/#/theUUID’,’_self’,true)
    – Copying the title and URL of the currently displayed item within WorkFlowy
    – Creating a new item at the bottom of the current view: $(“.addButton”).click()
    – Creating a search dialog to avoid search-as-you-type behaviour
    – Saving right now rather than waiting: $(“.saveButton”).click()
    – Dismissing a notification

    It would be really helpful to have *some* way to make tweaks like this, even if it’s complicated to set up.

  9. Jesse, please disregard my previous comment about text expansion not working on OS X. After further investigation, OS X text expansion doesn’t work under Chrome either (due to issue 42434 in the chromium project), so the bug is clearly upstream.
    A third-party app called Typinator *does* work with the WorkFlowy app.

  10. And Jesse, please also disregard my other comment about difficulties expanding the desktop app using Javascript. After further digging in the developer console, it’s possible to get basically the same functions that I had with the web app (except the ability raise a prompt dialog, which I’m sure I can work around somehow).

    I’ll share what I’ve learned over in the technology channel in the WorkFlowy slack group, as I expect that’s where the target market is for that sort of thing.

    Or course, direct support for loading custom javascript would make it nicer, and it would be great to be able to disable search-as-you-type functionality on the desktop. When I use the search box as is, the UI grinds to a halt after typing the first letter – hence the need to tweak it by launching a prompt dialog first.

    Anyway – great app! I really like it 🙂

  11. Are there going to be any options to use Workflowy in offline mode on our Chromebooks in the future?

    1. Jesse, this is a problem for me as well. One very useful way of communicating where something is in a collaborative list is to send the link to a friend. This ability to send and receive links is crucial in our team workflow. Can we “put in” a link someone else has sent or generate our own link for where we are in the tree?

    2. Yes me too! We use Tasks in a Box for client task management and in each task we paste a link to the WorkFlowy procedure for this task – obviously we won’t be able to do this if is isn’t browser based on the web? Maybe?

  12. One thing missing from the desktop app relative to the web app (at least when in Google Chrome on macOS) is spellcheck. I.e. underling misspelled words in red.

  13. hello, there!
    I’m a big fan of workflowy. but, can’t download Mac version.
    it must be because I’m in China, now.
    in this country lot of services are blocked. I think download link are through GitHub and it’s blocked or something.
    wish you guys can offer me alternative download servers.
    thank you!
    ps- I’m using Window version app in my office, and have not found any bugs yet!

  14. First of all, WorkFlowy is simply wonderful and wonderfully simple!! Thank you!!

    I still prefer the Chrome version because…
    (1) I much prefer the piece-of-paper UI. It centers your outline in the app (in this case browser) window. On the desktop app, your outline is far to the left. Woof. It may seem like a picky complaint, but everything on the web is centered (this blog page, for instance) and it’s really nice to be able to look straight on at your content, not have to look to the left.
    (2) I’m really enjoying all the browser extensions and bookmarklets (colored node backgrounds via Re {WorkFlowy re-Painter}, FlatFlowy to hide parent nodes when needed, WFcount to add up time tags).

    My only request is, now with three versions of WorkFlowy (web app, mobile app (I use iOS), and desktop app (I use Mac)), that there be parity between all platforms. This seems to generally be the case right now, and it seems you’re just taking the same code and wrapping it in different packages for each platform. But the mobile app (iOS, anyway) does not have the full functionality of the web app. (It would be nice to be able to delete nodes in the mobile app, for instance.) And I would hope that as you flesh out the desktop app that you not skimp on the web app, but that whatever new stuff you add to the desktop app you also add to the web app. Please do this.

    Thanks! And thanks for making and maintaining the absolute best productivity/note/task app in existence today! It has significantly improved my life!! Seriously, thanks so much!

    1. Thanks for the thoughts! We’ve fixed #1 in the next release, #2, we hope to incorporate more of that stuff into the release, #3 mobile parity, yeah, that needs to happen!!!!

  15. Does the desktop app allow for local-only Workflowy use (i.e., allowing turning off web sync entirely) for people in privacy-sensitive fields? And if not, do you plan to ever make this an option?

    1. It doesn’t right now, though I believe some people have hacked their machines to prevent it communicating with the servers. I wouldn’t recommend this, though.

    1. Thanks for reporting this. I don’t think it contains a virus, though, I just looked into it a little, and found the following interesting:

      “Because Avira used a heuristic detection technique to detect this infection,it’s recommended that you submit the detected file to virustotal.com to see if it’s really a piece of malware or just a false positive detection from Avira …”

      My guess is that it detected something in the auto-update code that phones home to check for new releases of WorkFlowy and updates the app if they exist.

  16. I’ve been using the desktop app for a couple of weeks, either on my mac or on my pc and it feels great. I was skeptical, I thought the browser app was the perfect solution, but now I think I prefer to use the desktop app. Not sure, but I guess it’s because it’s easier to access with cmd + tab than looking for the browser tab

  17. How do you recommend pasting code blocks into workflowy, I’m a new user and downloaded the desktop version for Mac and love it, just not sure what the best markup language for code blocks is so each line doesn’t show as a new bullet. Thanks, love the simplicity of the UI and all that, just caught on the code part.

  18. Hey, Jesse. Great job with the Mac app…been wanting this for a long time so I’m extremely excited you’ve taken a stab at it. Pretty happy so far, only complaint is the lack of spell-checker (red-underlines). This is incredibly useful for me as I take a lot of fast paced notes in Workflowy resulting in consistent mistakes, and it’s tortuous to go back in and attempt to self-correct without spell-checker.

    Anyway, minor gripe, but if that’s something that could be fixed, that would be amazing! (or is it a setting I can just switch on?).
    Thanks 🙂

    1. Second that – Tasks in a Box recently released a desktop app version of their web app and no spell checking – now I realise I just don’t spell when I’m busy typing fast!! Gone back to using the web version for that reason alone as it was getting very silly replacing almost every word!

      1. Thanks for second’ing this, Tim. Thought I was the only one with quick-finger-mispelling! I’m still using the desktop app, hoping my dexterity improves, but it’s become somewhat of a problem when I review my notes later and can’t figure out what I meant to type :O

  19. Using the Mac app for a few minutes, I noticed the text is lighter than the web version. Would be nice if there were a full-on black text option.

    The app looks really nice! I like the lack of gutters.

  20. On OS X, there is no way to get the app window back if you close it. You have to quit out of the app and open it again. On a Mac, there is a distinction between closing an app window and quitting the app itself. So Safari can be open with no windows open, and you get a new window with Command – N or File > New Window. In Apple Mail, to get the main window back it’s Command – 0 or Window > Inbox. Workflowy has no way to get the app window back in a similar fashion.

  21. To bump an earlier comment, the mac app does not allow you to copy the link of the outline (no url address is visible). I regularly copy and paste the workflowy url and paste in my task management app so I can get straight to the the right point in workflowy.

    Will this functionality be added? Without it the web app is better for me.

  22. Awesome, I look forward to seeing this develop into a full-on desktop app.

    My only concern right now is the lack of a responsive design – for example, when I narrow the app window the options at the top (“Help”, “Saved”, etc) disappear.

  23. I’ve been seeing some recent issues with the desktop application, which I have using for several months now. Specifically, (1) double-clicking a list title no longer expands/collapses the entire list and (2) my lists no longer fill the entire screen when the application is maximized (i.e., there are huge white sections on either side of my list.

      1. Thanks James, that answers that question. Workflowy Support, still looking for an answer on the white-space issue. Also, I just noticed that when switching from my dual-monitor set-up to just my single laptop screen (i.e., unplugging from my docking station), the Workflowy application window gets stuck off-screen – even after a reboot. Only way to get it back is to select the icon in the task bar, shift+right-click it, select Move, and then use the arrow keys to move it back into view. (Microsoft Surface Book, Windows 10)

  24. Thanks for making such a great product! And I love the desktop app. At the top of my wishlist is definitely the red underlining for spellchecking. Generally, these lists are for personal use only but it’s a feature you get used to.

  25. I like the idea of a desktop app, but the lack of spellchecker is a deal breaker for me. I’m too sloppy a typist and to much of a perfectionist to work without it. I’ll stick with the Chrome app for now.

  26. Does the desktop app let you choose your own cloud storage such as Dropbox? I want my project files co-located for various reasons.

  27. Hi there. Enjoying this app but *really* missing a spell check feature. Should be pretty easy to add via Mac’s built-in Services…

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