2018 WorkFlowy RoadMap

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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.

262 thoughts on “2018 WorkFlowy RoadMap

  1. Thank you so much for the transparency! I’m impressed that you went out of the way to tell us not only what features we’re getting but how they align to your strategic priorities for growth and revenue – that’s an uncommon step and must have been hard, but it helps me empathize with new features that are coming, even if I’m not going to use them. Looking forward to the mobile redesign!

  2. One frightening bit: “a visual overhaul to make the whole app look more modern and attractive.” Gaaaahhh!!! The app as it is now is modern and attractive! One of the best things about it is how clean and uncluttered it is. Please don’t mess with that!!

      1. Yes! Please, please keep it simple and uncluttered. Be careful in your quest to make workflowy “do more” you lose it’s incredible power of simplicity.

      1. Yes – lightweight is what makes Workflowy great. I used notepad before but missed bullets with hierarchy – now I have it all. Don’t change best thing you have!

    1. Agree! The clean look and easy use are it’s best features. Change is inevitable, but don’t compromise what has made workflow great, simple organization and mind mapping.

    2. Yes! The current layout is nice and clean, but still makes it easy to find everything you need. I hate the current fashion for web layout to be all sleek and shiny and hide everything behind cryptic icons.

      1. Ditto. I used to have a subscription to Evernote until they added so many features it was practically impossible to leave a quick note on anything. So I cancelled Evernote.

        If you MUST add things, I do have a UI suggestion: make it two pages – 1 page looking like it does now, and a toggle switch to bring up the new features/restore basic page. *Maybe* some sort of “blinker” for teams.

    3. We aren’t going to make it crazy. We are going to fix spacing/typography, make it more visually appealing, and let people customize their own setup. We aren’t changing the core aesthetic.

      1. Somebody said it above – really if the community doesn’t like the new “visual update/upgrade/whatever”, I think it would be wise to let users choose between ‘Classic’ and “Improved” skin. Also, it would be even smarter to showcase the new visual overhaul to users in some post like this before release, so we can yell and go crazy on you before the actual release 😀 btw, we love you guys, don’t you ever forget that. 😉

    4. Seconded. Please take veeeeeery slow, veeeeeeery measured steps on this front. You’re way more likely to mess this up than improve it.

  3. I would love to see integration with google home, or failing that, IFTTT. Being able to add to do list items as I think of them by voice during household chores, child care, hanging out without a phone would be so helpful. Often by time I’m connected again I forget what I was going to add.

  4. Just to things,
    1. The mobile application is robust and fully satisfactory in my humble opinion.
    2. I hope you will allow WF to use hyperlinks before I die. It is the feature we really want.
    (or at least to explain why it is not possible to provide WF with hyperlinks, so we can stop asking for it).

    1. Yes, except mobile app does *not* work with bluetooth keyboard – no way to navigate workflowy with keys shortcuts on mobile (that’s only thing I do on PC/Mac). Can you make sure it works same as on PC?

    2. There are limitations to how the text editing works that make hyperlinks impossible. Fixing this underlying issue will enable us to support hyperlinks as well as a million other important features.

      1. Thank you for your answer. I will have to learn to be patient.
        Any way I prefer you to be conservative in any change you could do. WF is almost perfect as it is now. Simple, quick and reliable.

  5. I have tried everything out there. Name an app and I’ve tried it. I keep coming back to Workflowy.
    Yes, I agree with the pain points above and I am extremely happy to hear it is on your plans.
    This gives me even more reason to stick to this great product as eventually what i’m missing will be here.
    YES +1000 to mobile and reminders. Those are the only reasons I have left (briefly) workflowy.
    Congrats and let’s have a great 2018!

  6. Waw! New mobile app and dates\reminders – so glad that you finally got to it!
    When making a new mobile app for Android, could you please test it with Swiftkey keyboard? Right now there is a very annoying glitch with spaces not being added.

  7. I think it would be cool if you added a way to link bullets together,so that the same bullet with the same sub-bullets would be in two different parent bullets, if you can understand what I’m saying

      1. If I’m understanding this correctly – THIS IS SUPER EXCITING!!!! The ability to have THE SAME bullet show up in two different places will be a HUGE jump forward in planning, tasks lists, mapping out dates & time lines…. Of all the things noted in this post (and the comments) this is the one I’d be most excited about!

        Keep my tasks under their parent “project”, but also be able to map individual tasks into my “calendar” outline and check them done from my daily list… YES PLEASE!

  8. I love workflowy and use it every day. Love it and very appreciative for your program. For me it’s perfect as is, but there’s only one thing i would like to see different, and that is at the end of my day i love the satisfaction of looking back at what items i completed and checked off my list. When items are completed they either disappear immediately or linger visibly with all the other completed tasks. Would it be possible to have a third option that allows for completed tasks to be visible for say 12 hours or so and then disappear perhaps? thanks

    1. We’ll be adding a search helper to make it easy to search for this type of stuff, and also lists that contain search results, so that you could always have this list handy.

  9. Hi – thanks for sharing this! How about ability to add pictures? Links to associated documents is not an issue… but things like screenshots would be super useful to link to bullets. Just a suggestion. Thanks much!

  10. Hi guys,
    Am very far down the rabbit hole and use workflowy every day for everything. Thank you for such a simple and wonderful platform.

    Some thoughts for mobile platform [you may be on top of already]

    Swipes / gestures:
    thumb swipe left / right could be a great way to nest bullets in both directions.
    Thumb swipe(s) up / down to expand and collapse lists
    Long hold on the bullet [not the text] opens up a list of actions
    Tap on bullet highlights so it can be easily reordered and moved around
    Integration into IOS [& android] : the ability to export things like web addresses from native apps like safari to workflowy without having to go back into the workflowy app

    Keep up the great work

  11. Thanks for the update and roadmap.

    To me, Workflowy has the right amount of formatting — bold, italic, underline, and hyperlinks — to make it effective in presenting information, yet simple and clear (tabs might be nice). And simpler usually means faster. It’s a wonderful, flexible app. To be effective, you do have to figure how best to organize your information, but that’s really not something an app can do for you.

    Prospective features are interesting, but I echo the concern of other commenters who wouldn’t want them at the expense of speed and simplicity. I can link to a resource such as a video or a Google Sheet. Dates and reminders are also interesting, but an item might be associated with an arbitrary number of dates. Could a variation on a tag be used to record a date?

    With respect to the mobile app (for me on an iPad), my biggest frustration is the intrusion of the keyboard as I scroll. There is only a narrow band at right that I can use to scroll without invoking the keyboard, and I often miss. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to be modal on a tablet. A view mode would be similar to viewing an entry that has been shared without edit privileges. A button could toggle edit mode, bringing up the keyboard. View mode would let you more freely scroll and focus without having to shift focus when the keyboard springs up.

    1. We believe we have fixed the mobile scrolling bug in the upcoming version. Would be good to get your feedback on that. Can you email alpha@workflowy.com to join the test group?

      Additionally, yes, dates & reminders will almost certainly be tag based. We don’t want dates to be like in other apps, where they are tied explicitly to a “to-do” type of functionality. Dates may be equally useful when, say, writing a history book and keeping track of different timelines. We want to build a dates feature that is generally useful for information management, not just to-dos.

  12. I would really like to have a usable option on adding tags # and @ on a mobile with autocompletion.
    Your competitors, i.e. dynalist, has already implemented a lot of missed features.
    But it crashes much too often and is not as swift as workflowy.

    Implement the tags on mobile, and I will stay! 😉

  13. Do a visual overhaul only to make it even more minimalistic. I don’t need another Evernote or Notion. I need Workflowy to be crazy fast and minimalist. And I need the _fastest_ way possible to add items to my GTD Inbox.

    1. Yeah, the visual overhaul isn’t about adding complexity. It is about adding balance. We very much do not want to build a bloated project.

  14. Just please, keep the app as lightweight as possible (as it is now or better). Don’t make another turbo-jumbo heavy loaded app that the market is already full of. Many features may not be worth of the speed and simplicity they cost in return.

  15. As a long-time Workflowy power-user, I appreciate this post and your consistent hard work and dedication to Workflowy, Jesse. Kudos to you and your team for making– and keeping– Workflowy great.

  16. P.S. The only strong request I have is for the team to always keep users’ WorkFlowy data in a format which is easily read by a plain vanilla text editor– e.g., .TXT, CSV, OPML, HTML, etc.– and also let users continue to export their data as needed/desired. For me, this has always been a key strength of WorkFlowy, and I hope you’ll keep data portability at the forefront of your considerations as you and your team continue to add bells and whistles to WorkFlowy.

    All my best,
    Tom Wilcox

  17. I love Workflowy! I do have a few suggestions :
    1. Make a distinction between a line that represents a task to be completed and a line that’s just notes. You do have an “Add Note” button, but I like to take notes in full outline mode.
    2. Let mobile apps use the “Star” feature
    3. Let mobile apps select nodes to drag/drop, the way you can in the desktop app
    4. (Less important, but a thought) A “Super-star” feature, that forces an item to always be in view.

  18. I thought my #1 request was mobile improvements, but I changed my mind. It’s this: NEVER SELL WORKFLOWY TO ANYONE WHO INTENDS TO KILL IT. We don’t need another Sunrise scenario; my worst fear is waking up one day to the headline “Microsoft Acquires Workflowy, Promptly Shuts It Down.” The founders probably wouldn’t be sad that day but I certainly would.

    Do nothing other than avoid that and I’ll be happy. 🙂

    1. I love Workflowy but can’t use it at work without Two Factor Auth. Please implement Google login (which would provide a way for me to use two-factor auth) or add support for 2 factor auth to the Workflowy login.

  19. I agree with others here that simplicity is key and don’t want features and bloat mucking that up. But also agree that the mobile app needs serious improvement. So glad to hear it’s a priority. Also great to see the transparency in your communications. Please keep that up. I wonder if there isn’t a new and novel way to handle the viewing and navigation of list items without it being so fiddly (those little plus signs and indent/outdent buttons are awfully tiny targets for my grown up fingers). Can gestures come into play here? Maybe swipe up/down to increase zoom level, left/right to indent/outdent, double-tapping to complete etc. I don’t know. Just spitballing. I love workflowy. It’s been so useful to me in so many ways. Great to know it’s gonna keep improving. Keep it up guys!

  20. I admire your courage about keeping your tool simple and plain in an era where everything is complicated and has a lot of features. Less is more! I also admire your transparency. Disclosing weaknesses today requires a lot of courage, again. This post, unlike many others with a face and a name, really has a human taste.
    You have all my support!

  21. As a old Workflowy user, I appreciate this post and your dedication to Workflowy. Kudos to you and your team for making– and keeping– Workflowy great.

  22. You guys are awesome. There’s no productivity tool I’ve used longer than Workflowy. It’s one of the few that really does make my life better, and you’re working on exactly the things I think you should. Bravo.

  23. My number one request is a way to have side-by-side trees with drag and drop, with the left tree and right tree showing distant parts of the tree. It would help GREATLY with refactoring reorganization type stuff.

    1. It seems that you’ve recently added the smaller font size for the subitems and vertical rhythm is broken… 😦

  24. Thanks for including us in your plans. Full RTL cabalities are of great advantage for many users, whose lists aren’t in english

  25. Improvements are always welcome but please, keep it as simple as it’s now. The ONLY thing I’ve always missed in WF is the ability to add images (inline or via popup window) since I use it to manage all my work projects and that would be really useful. With that it would be simply perfect.

  26. Just add a clean and clear ‘revision history’ that would allow me to quickly see what changes were added where/when, by who/IP address. Food for thought.

  27. Plan hits exactly my use cases.

    (1) I mainly do task & project management with GTD, so an Inbox feature is interesting and will be used depending on the implementation

    (2) I think the mobile app could use a work over. Very much appreciate that.

    (3) I’m not that happy with my calendar integration in Workflowy atm, so having actual dates in app might help this, so very interesting for me.

    (4) Collraborative features: I found them a bit barebones, not sure what you add and if I will use it but definitely another area I find that could be improved.

    All in all, all the features are relevant to my use of Workflowy so I’m excited what you come up with.

  28. This is very good news! I love Workflowy and I’m excited to see what the new year brings. Thank you for sharing your vision.

  29. Main things I’d like to see are

    1) Ability to use PayPal for subscription.

    2) Embed images the way the RES extension does for Reddit. Place a + icon with a caption for opening and closing the image.

    3) Placing shortcuts on Android home screen to specific bullets.

  30. I started learning programming just so I can create a ‘Quick add’ / ‘Share to’ app for WF.
    That’s how much I miss it. =D

    You guys know the browser extension WorkFlowy Clipper? It does both functions beautifully. Maybe a drop-down of select lists is missing.

    The ‘Simple note’ action/shortcut/widget of the green elephant is a fine example of a bare-bones ‘quick add’ solution. (Note the auto-save feature even if we hit the back button =). Anyone uses it?

    ( My own CSS experiment: http://freestyler.ws/style/149999/workflowy-dark-material-rainbow )

  31. As an iPad-only user who has bounced off of WorkFlowy numerous times over the years, I’m very, very excited about the mobile updates. I fell in love with the concept of WorkFlowy, but unfortunately the loss of keyboard shortcuts has never allowed me to “dive deep” with the tool — its just too inefficient.

    I signed up for the Alpha and look forward to putting the new version through its paces ASAP.

  32. I have always desired an easy, unobtrusive way to know how many items are in a list.

    Having to select a long list to see this is cumbersome and could be improved upon. Or just an option to display item numbers instead of bullets. Or just display item count in the hover pop-up of the parent item!

  33. Any plans to add typographers’ or “curly” quotation marks? ” “real quotes” vs “double prime”

  34. I LOVE Workflowy! I certainly agree, keep it simple! I look forward to improvements to the mobile app. What would REALLY make my day would be to say, “Alexa, add [task] to Workflowy.” I’d love having an Alexa Added bullet that I could then go through when I get to my phone or computer and move the added bullets to their correct places. And if it weren’t Alexa, I would buy WHATEVER product you partner with!

  35. I use color a lot (via Stylish) and that’s the only reason I don’t use the desktop app.

    But my biggest wishlist item is some form of automated backup to dropbox, drive, etc. In fact, I just tried Export All / Formatted / click to download. It crashes repeatedly (Page Unresponsive).

    Love the app. Cheers, Richard

  36. Please, don’t follow the road of new fancy, attractive, visual, modern blah, blah, blah look.
    Old users will go away, and new ones never come. I they could, they would.

    You are first choice for guys who love your simple, puristic style. Don’t destroy it.

    I’m fine with new functionality, even I will not use it, but I love the though I can login the same workflowy in 2025 like today. With not fancy buttons, shadows frames, distracting colors, confusing switches (is it off or on ?) etc.

    Workflowy is a tool, like hammer, to do hard work for me. Not fancy, time killing, cool app for retarded bimbos.

    So, again. Please do not screw it up.

  37. Please, add SPELLCHECK to desktop app, in order you can work off-line and have this handy functionality available too. It would be ideal the spellcheck working as in Chrome, in the sense you can select/change multiple languages (e.g. I need to write in three different languages in Workflowy shared projects). Thanks for considering it.

  38. “Please, don’t follow the road of new fancy, attractive, visual, modern blah, blah, blah look.”

    Yep.

    The new font thing where underlined words are only partly underlined is really annoying and distracting, breaking up the reading experience.

    As I thought, they are tinkering with things that don’t need improving and making them worse for the sake of doing something.

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