Getting Multiple Text Snippets into WorkFlowy Without Skipping a Beat


Let’s say you’re reading an online article or an ebook in any desktop application… and you want to grab a highlighted portion of text > paste it to WorkFlowy > and continue reading where you left off. You can do this with just 1 keyboard shortcut…

Reading in your browser

In the below GIF all I do is (1) highlight the text I want and (2) hit Alt+2. This copies my highlighted text, jumps to my WorkFlowy tab, pastes my snippet and jumps back to the tab I was in.

Reading in an application

If I’m in any other application (Icecream Ebook Reader, Adobe Acrobat, etc.), all I do is highlight the text I want and hit Alt+1. This copies my text, jumps to my browser, pastes my snippet into my WorkFlowy outline and jumps back to the application I was in to continue reading. Look mum, no hands!

What’s in a keyboard shortcut?

It’s all about hitting one teeny keyboard shortcut to automate what would normally require a bunch of clicking between different browser tabs and/or applications – when popping snippets of your reading into WorkFlowy in a run-on fashion. Basically, way less fuss.

What you see in the GIF’s above is a 1-second pause after pasting to WorkFlowy… because I’ve set it up that way. Otherwise the process is so fast that you wouldn’t be able to tell that anything had been done… unless you went along to your WorkFlowy outline.

How do I set this up?

  1. Install a free text expansion app called PhraseExpress (Mac & Windows).
  2. Download one or more of the .pxp files I made for you and choose your own keyboard shortcut(s). All of that is accessible and explained in this shared WorkFlowy list.

Got any “simpler” tips?

The above process is already quite simple. It’s a quick, one-time setup… But if you’d like a two-second tip:

  • If you’re reading from a PDF, you can drag that directly into your browser like so (to keep what you’re reading close to WorkFlowy):

  • If you’ve got .epub (iBooks) or .mobi (Kindle) files, there are several good browser extensions/ add-ons and sites that will allow you to load these in your browser.

I hope this post stimulates you to find ways to get stuff into WorkFlowy quicker, all the while focusing more on what you’re reading 🙂

14 thoughts on “Getting Multiple Text Snippets into WorkFlowy Without Skipping a Beat

  1. Hi Frank,
    Glad to see the new post. This is what I get when I double-click on the .pxp link. “The document “TAB 1 – LAST TAB USED (4).pxp” could not be opened. PhraseExpress cannot open files of this type.”
    Not sure what to do about it. I’m really looking forward to using this trick.
    Thanks, Dave

  2. Hi Dave,

    Which script is it? That’s an interesting issue you have… because .pxp files are files written in PhraseExpress’ own language, (thus “pxp”).

    Do the file(s) you’ve downloaded end with “.pxp”?

    1. Hey Kevin,

      Thanks! I forgot that I’d paid 99c for the Chrome extension referenced in the shared list. The free extension, I’m sure, works just as well. I’ll give it a thorough testing and add it to the list.

    2. CLUT’s distinguishing feature is that you can cycle thru recent tabs with different keyboard shortcuts.

      I think I’ve tested virtually every last tab utility in the Web Store. Turns out getting 100% reliable, simple toggle last capability is complicated, but getting 95% is pretty easy and light on resources. I built Toggle Last Tab capability into Clip To WorkFlowy Beta (available anywhere in Chrome, not just WorkFlowy). So you can use that too, w/o another extension.

    3. Thanks Kevin and rawbytz,

      I changed the extension in my shared list to CLUT and also changed the kbs in the PhraseExpress script to “Alt+S” (CLUT’s default kbs).

    1. Hey Luca, are you by any chance on Mac? If so, within the next week I will get out the PhraseExpress files and scripts not only for this hack… But also everything I’ve written about over the last two years… Specifically for Mac.

      1. yes Frank, I’m on a Mac. I’m looking forward to your info, I’m interested in this auto copy & paste, followed your instructions, but I wasn’t able to make it work

      2. OK… I suspected you might be on Mac. In fact next week’s webinar is going to be on PhraseExpress… so I’ll have all the files available before then. There will be quite a few dynamics.

        You could compare the original script with the Mac script that another WorkFlowy user on Mac helped me with. The issue is different keyboard shortcuts (and a .pxi file for Mac):

        WINDOWS: {#CTRL -chars C}{#CTRL -chars 1}{#CTRL -chars V}{#ENTER}{#sleep 500}{#ALT -chars S}
        MAC: {#CMD -chars C}{#CMD -chars 1}{#CMD -chars V}{#ENTER}{#sleep 500}{#ALT -chars S}

        (Alt+S is the keyboard shortcut for the CLUT Chrome extension)

  3. Hello Frank,
    these are all great opportunities. Thanks so much.
    However the files are not working for me either.
    I have not been able to participate to the webinar. Any possibility you can share the .pxp or the resources?
    Thanks so much.

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