2018 WorkFlowy RoadMap

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January 25, 2018

ryan-hefner-190737

Happy 2018 WorkFlowy users!  We’ve decided that it’s time to start sharing our thoughts on where we’re heading, and what we’re working on next. Here’s a summary of what we’re currently thinking so far for roughly the first eight months or so of 2018.

Big Picture Plans 

Our current plan is to work on the following parts of WorkFlowy, in the following order. We expect most of these projects to take between 1-3 months, but it’s hard to say, so we aren’t making specific time estimates. We recommend consuming the following with many grains of salt.

  • Mobile App Redesign (In progress)
    • Why? This is one of the areas where our product is weakest, and it is the top complaint from new users. Having a terrible mobile app (yes, our current mobile app is terrible) is also untenable for a software company in 2018. Or 2014 for that matter 🙂
    • Note: The mobile app redesign is in progress and pretty far along. We are testing the first versions with small groups of users now, and will be testing with Alpha users in the weeks to come. If you want test the new mobile app before it is released to the public, just join WorkFlowy Alpha!
  • Bringing Improvements from Mobile to Desktop/Web
    • Why? We’re doing a bunch of things on mobile that will also be welcome on desktop, like a quick add button linked to a location of your choice (and inbox type feature for those in GTD land), better starred views navigation,  and a visual overhaul to make the whole app look more modern and attractive.
  • Teams and Collaboration Improvements
    • Why? Right now you can share in WorkFlowy and content will sync between users and devices. But you won’t know what other people are doing, and they won’t know what you are doing. You won’t be able to get their attention if you want to, and you’ll both probably move onto another tool for your collaboration needs, even if you prefer the way WorkFlowy organizes information. Fixing this situation is one of our top strategic priorities, both for growth and revenue, so we’re going to plug away on it.
  • Dates & Reminders
    • Why? This is the top feature request (alongside mobile improvements) from existing WorkFlowy users. We simply need to do it.

We do have rough plans beyond this as well, but we’ll just share this for now, because we expect things to change as we work, get feedback, continue to figure things out.

Onward And Upward

We are excited for the new momentum we feel at WorkFlowy and we hope you will soon have new and improved experiences to enjoy.

Note: This post is part of an attempt to communicate better with our dedicated users. Please don’t punish us for our transparency. We welcome critical feedback on this and everything, but just remember to be kind when you give it. If you are frustrated, just remember that we are trying really hard and that harsh words genuinely sting.

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tmenier
4 years ago

I don’t much care about dates/reminders (I use other tools for those things), but I’m super excited that a revamp of the mobile app is top priority. That’s #1 on my wish list by far. Any sort of teaser visuals you can share?

I think the main problem with the current app is that it’s hard to make indented lists work on a small screen. That doesn’t mean hierarchies can’t be represented effectively though. I’m sure you’re far along in the design phase, but I hope you’ve looked at Clear for inspiration on this. I think the way they tackled hierarchies with pinch gestures is brilliant. For those who haven’t seen Clear, this video is a little old but gives you an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S00H-rz7fGo

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago
Reply to  tmenier

Email alpha@workflowy.com to get in on the testing of the new app.

Mary
4 years ago

Good ideas and plans. I worry a little about making the interface more “modern.” One of the big appeals of Workflowy is its simplicity and straightforwardness. I’ve grown into Workflowy and now depend on it utterly, using it countless times a day. If it becomes “pretty” or something, it might also become constricting. I do thank you for the transparency and for being open to our comments.

Malcolm
Malcolm
4 years ago

I’ll just say my top priority for collaboration is making it real-time, so I can see others’ cursors and what they’re typing immediately. In theory, the discrete nature of workflowy nodes should make this easier than other contexts like google docs etc.

I use workflowy for collaboration regularly and this would be super valuable!

Btw, anyone looking for Workflowy+Dates might want to check out https://complice.co/and/workflowy (an unofficial integration I built for my goal-oriented day-planning app Complice)

JoeJoe Flack
4 years ago

I feel like Workflowy is a hidden gem in productivity apps. I can’t see it being for everyone, but for those that would use it, it’s so powerful. I feel way more productive with it.

Whatever you do, keep it performant! That’s one of the things I love most about it.

Are there any parts of the technology stack that powers workflowy that are open source? I’m a Python and a JavaScript guy myself (https://github.com/joeflack4), and I’ve had plenty of ideas for how to unlock even more power with the app. Particularly, I’m interested in the following things:

– API
– Webhooks
– DataFrame Node
– Right now every “node” in a workflowy object is, for the most part, a rich text string.
– I could see a spreadsheet / data frame node as being incredibly powerful.

axxo
axxo
4 years ago

What about two factor authentication (2FA)? Very basic and effective security feature that will go a long way to protect your customers. Why haven’t you enabled this yet, or at least made it so that people can log in through their 2FA enabled Google accounts?

RedQuine
RedQuine
4 years ago
Reply to  axxo

I was just about to ask that. I sometimes want to log in through public computers and I’d much rather be able to do so without worrying who will log in next!

kschach
kschach
4 years ago

This sounds great! If possible, an API would be great to have as well for integration with other apps (IFTTT) etc. I would love to be able to add an item to the inbox by voice via Google Assistant, for instance.

Heather Sharkey
4 years ago

I am a professor and a Workflowy devotee. I appreciate the simplicity and minimalism of the interface. Breaking my life into nugget-sized, do-able tasks helps me to remain productive and focused, and wards off panic from overload. Thank you so much for providing this service!

Mary
4 years ago

I second that.

Josef
Josef
4 years ago

I’ve been using Workflowy for everything, lately for writing, teaching and presentations. It is my favorite program and I hope one day it will be the only one I will ever need. For that to happen, it would need more word-processing functionality, hyperlinks, image and video embedding, and a slideshow function, at which point I will disavow all else.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago
Reply to  Josef

I think we’ll eventually get to the point where you can disavow all else 🙂

David Rhoades
4 years ago

My top request: I would like to have the ability to embed videos (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) or images that would be hosted off site. I’m a teacher and use a Smartboard to project my WorkFlowy notes to my students. I can include links to online resources, but having the ability to embed videos and images into the notes would be awesome.

Todd
Todd
4 years ago
Reply to  David Rhoades

I am not a teacher, but I still think this feature would be great! For Workflowy I think the key thing that would make this feasible even at the free tier is, as you say, the embedded media is hosted offsite. No new storage costs. 🙂

danskeel
danskeel
4 years ago

Very nice, I’m looking forward to this updates. I recently stumbled upon your `Dy*st competitor` and yet it’s more advanced for now I decided to wait for workflowy to implement it in its own way. In workflowy, I feel more at home. All shortcuts and all the behavior in web are so polished. Keep on going, you won our hearts)

Miss features:
– dates
– modifier key to search for tag outside of current focus
– internal links

Thank you. Whole my life is there.

simplejournaliste
4 years ago
Reply to  danskeel

I agree completely with your 3 points, especially the second one (searching tags outside thé focus).

Ed Escueta
4 years ago

I’ve been using Workflowy for a very long time now and I’m really happy with the results. I become more productive and more organized.

Rob Nichols
4 years ago

I love the simplicity of your web app. Please don’t over complicate things!!! The more minimal the better. It works beautifully as is!

Adam
Adam
4 years ago
Reply to  Rob Nichols

Yes. Yes and yes.

Collins Agbonghama
4 years ago

Awesome. Can’t wait for it. Yay!

thomastraum (@thomastraum)

ok. hope this will ever happen, don’t think you have done anything of note for your users since years, no harsh words, simply the truth. I left for Notion a few weeks ago but still hold a subscription and would love to see a real product cycle.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago

Yeah, it is true. My primary motivation is building momentum, moving the product forward. I’m hoping that at year end people will both see a lot of improvements that they love and have the worry that we’ll lose our soul to bloat be put to rest.

adamzuba
4 years ago

What I’m really looking for is an opportunity to link some files from my laptop. So when I have the app I can paste a link and it opens the file or the folder.

Dd
Dd
4 years ago

Would you consider Alipay as a payment method? I’m from China, Alipay is a better payment method here.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago
Reply to  Dd

Yes! We certainly hope to.

Wouter
Wouter
4 years ago

Thanks! Please keep the layout and UI as beautiful, clean and fast as it is now, I believe that it’s biggest strength compared to similar tools. Keep up the good work!

Ine
Ine
4 years ago

Very excited!

simplejournaliste
4 years ago

I am a french journalist and writer. I love your app for his simplicity and élégance. If possible, I would appreciate :
– Internal Links
– Dates (with or without reminders)
– Encryption
– Word counter.
Best regards from Paris.

Ricky
Ricky
4 years ago

That is great! With dates and reminders, we also look forward to internal links (between projects and projects) and support for Markdown!
With regard to dates and reminders, I’d like to say, “don’t only bind an online calendar, such as Google calendars, outlook calendars…” It is best to use the ability to generate calendar subscriptions (Icalendar).

Miren Berasategi
4 years ago

Just +1 to the “please remember to keep it simple”, which is the main reason I started using it and continue to use it today. The calendar and reminders part worries me most in this regard.

Oh and BTW, I never thought the mobile app is terrible at all! I perfectly suits my requirements.

Looking forward to see how things go!

Matthew Woodhead
Matthew Woodhead
4 years ago

Excellent news !
Like many I am a loyal user but do need certain features that competitors try and tempt us away with.
Reminders are a real big must and I would love to see attchments
Great news and have fun 🙂

Matthias De Cnuydt
Matthias De Cnuydt
4 years ago

Looks great! Workflowy is the backbone of my entire organisational system… (my life really :)) and I like all of your suggested improvements (esp. the app redesign). HOWEVER, I am sure you are aware of this, but I hope you won’t forget, the thing that sets workflowy apart from other organisation apps is its SIMPLICITY. It can do so much, yet it is so simple… That’s what I love about workflowy. I hope this doesn’t change 🙂

janvanderploeg
4 years ago

Great news. About the visual overhaul: I hope that the current themes and font’s and the way Workflowy is presented (like a sheet) now stay stay in tact. I switched to Workflowy because is powerfull simplicity.

janvanderploeg
4 years ago
Reply to  janvanderploeg

In addition to what I wrote, two points: improve printing. I now see fewer bullets printed than possible. And a scrollbar is printed. Could be better. Second is that I echo everyone who advocates maintaining the power of Workflowy: simplicity. Never change a winning team.

Marie, happy user
Marie, happy user
4 years ago

Workflowy is marvellous and I use it for everything. For me it will still be great even if you never improve a thing. This is why I’m a paying customer who is really happy to give you money!

I’m glad to hear you’re working on new things. I just have one request: please don’t make the Workflowy app require any more permissions than it already does. Please don’t add any privacy-invading features. Please! Thanks for keeping this in mind.

Oh, and my wishlist only has one thing on it: encryption.

Thanks, Workflowy people. I love you for the amazing work you have already done. You are amazing.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago

Yes, we definitely want to support client side encryption (data is already encrypted in the database, but that’s not nearly the same, obviously)

Nikolay Chubenko
Nikolay Chubenko
4 years ago

Will you do the translation? I want to help with Russian, Ukrainian.

Worried anon
Worried anon
4 years ago

I believe date and reminders are a huge mistake. If you try to be a Google Agenda you will lose your focus like everyone on tech. There are so many relevant ways to grow…

Dr Andus
4 years ago
Reply to  Worried anon

It all depends on how it’s implemented. Dates are a key element of any organisational system, so there is a genuine need for making it easier to work with dates. Reminders is just an extension of that, as what’s the point of dates if you’re not reminded of their passing? Easy communication between Google Calendar and WorkFlowy would be a plus (I deliberately didn’t say ‘integration’ – I’d be happy if I could easily copy and paste back and forth, though there might be some mileage in having some more formal links, such as when a Google Calendar reminder goes off, it could bring up the linked WorkFlowy entry in a new browser tab, and the other way round?).

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago
Reply to  Worried anon

We aren’t trying to be Google Agenda. Dates will just be another tag type, to be used like any other tag. We will then build search features (creation of new lists based on searches, notification based on searches) that are generally useful/needed, and will let us/people design a dates/reminders system that is perfect for them, and unique to their situation. In short, it will be done in the WorkFlowy way, which is to build features that are as general as possible and that combine synergistically. There will probably be some calendar/time specific features beyond the date picker (maybe syncing with external systems or whatever), but we are not going to become a time oriented product, and we will strive not to change/compromise/bloat the core.

dadapotok
4 years ago

I tried to quit for Dynalist instead of waiting for the sleeping giant to change, but the Dynalist has so many sync errors when edited from multiple devices that it’s no use to me, so I’m back, and I’m glad that WF is changing. Hope Calendar feature will be implemented the right way.

Ryan Beachum
4 years ago

Great job in listening to the users and taking action. I love the desktop version and have been disappointed by the mobile app. But, clearly you guys have heard that enough already and i’m really looking forward to the new mobile app.

jirwilkinson
4 years ago

I like WorkFlowy the way it is. Simple. Nowadays apps pretend to do it all and I dont need that. Maybe esthetic redesign and a a little improvement in little things could be useful, but please don’t complicate things. Now workflowy it’s my favorite app.

May
May
4 years ago

Thanks for your work! I love WorkFlowy!

webbydoug
webbydoug
4 years ago

Sounds awesome!

Danny Tjahyadi
4 years ago

Workflowy is one of the apps that I use everyday. Thanks a lot for the great work!

H3
H3
4 years ago

I’ve been using your app everyday. What I like is the search capability.
The only thing that is a bit annoying is that I need to scroll the screen all the way up to use the search capability.
Would be fantastic if we could get easily to search function from anywhere

Nemo
Nemo
4 years ago
Reply to  H3

Pressing Esc does that

Ashton
Ashton
4 years ago

Don’t change! I love the app just the way it is. Simple! It’s so perfect.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago
Reply to  Ashton

We will be making it simpler and more perfect 🙂

Kevin
Kevin
4 years ago

Hi Jesse. Longtime user here. Reading your post made me realize two things: 1) how much I appreciate and rely on WorkFlowy, and 2) that it’s time to offer support in a substantive way. So you have a new WorkFlowy Pro subscriber.
I love WorkFlowy for it’s simple, clean interface (I cringed when bold and italics were introduced, but I’ve relaxed into it). There are a few rough edges, but WorkFlowy the only “life” tool that I’ve stuck with over the years. I’m looking forward to what’s in store. Keep up the good work. And BTW, the mobile app could use some attention, but it’s far from terrible!

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thanks for your support!

Hugh O'Donnell
4 years ago

Didn’t see the need for changes, but then I’m just a simple user. The iOS app works for me, but if there’s anything new on the horizon, I’m curious. Just for the record, though, I’m not a power user, just an outliner who appreciates the absolute best outlining app in the universe!

Felix Niland
4 years ago

Sounds great! Thanks!

jh
jh
4 years ago

love this app. looking forward to the updates.

Koushik Kumaraswamy
Koushik Kumaraswamy
4 years ago

Thank you for your post. I like the simplicity of the product (no clutter + lots of white space) and ability to flow at the speed of thought. The ability to zoom into a thought/ item to further elaborate is extremely useful; please chalk this feedback to one in the win column for the product team. Great job!

Frank Sirianni
4 years ago

I use WorkFlowy for multiple things. And I’ve read many reviews of WorkFlowy, and you’re right-Dates and reminders seem to be the biggest “complaint” that these reviews mention. Can’t wait to use the new features 🙂

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago

Good stuff, looking forward to seeing these features.

48lizards
4 years ago

Sounds very cool. What would a dates feature entail?

Patrick Foley
4 years ago

Thanks for including that simple link at the top of the product to this simple post. Really helpful!

Clint
Clint
4 years ago

Love the transparency.

SMV
SMV
4 years ago

Thanks so much for keeping us updated. I’m not going to be using the calendar and collaboration tools (though looking forward to mobile app update), so I’m going to agree wholeheartedly with this previous comment:
*************************************
I know you’ve heard this a gazillion times from your users – but it’s worth saying again – whatever you add or improve, please make sure it doesn’t come at the expense of Workflowy’s simplicity and “bullet proof” nature.

Debby Kirkman
Debby Kirkman
4 years ago

I really like the idea of adding dates and reminders. On the iPhone app, it’s really hard to move items from one part of a list to another and to delete an item. Those are on the top of my wish list. I use Workflowy multiple times a day and look forward to hearing about the progress.

esucces.dk
esucces.dk
4 years ago

Bring Dates & Reminders and I’ll pay now and forever AND recommend to everyone I can think of! Keep up the good work!

marcelo
marcelo
4 years ago
Reply to  esucces.dk

I’ll second this 🙂

supplementarians
4 years ago
Reply to  esucces.dk

Flattery will get you nowhere! Dates & Reminders has been the #1 requested feature for many, many years. They’re never going to do it.

Jesse Patel
Jesse Patel
4 years ago

I’ll take that as a friendly challenge 🙂

mariocpinto
4 years ago
Reply to  esucces.dk

+1,actually +1000

Navashdenie
4 years ago

I love your app, site and your SIMPLICITY! 🙂 I’d like to stay with it. I don’t need any changes either. 🙂 Thank you so much for your concept and work.

Odin
Odin
4 years ago

Fantastic post, really good roadmap and absolutely looking forward to see these features in alpha 🙂 Great work on a truly amazing app 🙂

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