Mirrors: Create live copies of any bullet and put them anywhere

Today we’re releasing a very powerful and flexible feature to all our users, we call these mirrors. Mirrors let you take any bullet and create a live copy of it. That means that any change you make to one mirror is automatically reflected in the other one. So any sub-bullets, tags, dates, links etc. that you add to one will show up in the other one.

What are mirrors useful for?

There are many use cases where we think mirrors could be really useful, but some basic examples are:

1. Pulling items from a meeting bullet into a project bullet. This is better than copying and pasting because you also get the entire context of that meeting for free.

2. Taking smaller chunks of work from a project into a today or to-do list. This way you keep the structure of your project intact without having to copy and paste back and forth when you want to add details, mark something as complete or assign it to someone. 

3. Creating different views for different purposes. You can mirror related items into separate collections or views. Say you’re outlining a novel and want to keep everything in order but also make a list of all the chapters where a specific character appears. You can just mirror those chapters into a new bullet for that character and see if their development makes sense throughout the story, and if it doesn’t make changes directly from the mirrors without having to open up each chapter.

4. Turning journal notes into a source of inspiration. Mirrors let you take journal or diary entries and mirror important items into places where they’ll be more useful. Say you get a great idea and want to remember it for later, you can mirror it into an ideas bullet. Or say you have a profound realization and want to remember that for later, just mirror it into a musings bullet. This way you don’t have to choose a single place to keep things if it makes sense for them to exist in multiple places.

5. Mirroring an entire project into a today bullet. Since you can mirror bullets of any size, why not just mirror an entire project somewhere you check everyday. This way you can open up the entire project at any time from where it’s most comfortable for you without having to move back and forth within your WorkFlowy to work on it or check the progress of something. Super convenient.

It’s worth noting that you can make multiple mirrors from a single bullet – and any change made from any of them will be made to the other ones. You can also make multiple mirrors of different bullets at the same time – for example if you wanted to mirror a couple of items from a project into a to-do list. Additionally, you can check where all the mirrors are for any given bullet from the item menu, so don’t worry about losing track of them.

How to make a mirror

There are four, count them, four different ways to make mirrors. 

1. From the item menu – Click on the item menu for the bullet you want to mirror and choose ‘Mirror’, then just paste the mirror anywhere you want.

2. With a keyboard shortcut – Place your cursor anywhere on the bullet you want to mirror and press CMD+Shift+M on Mac or Alt+Shift+M on Windows, then just paste the mirror where you want it to go.

3. Inline – Wherever you want to place a mirror, just start typing double parenthesis ‘((’ and you’ll get a prompt yo type in the name of the bullet you want to mirror. You can use the arrow keys to highlight the right bullet and then press enter to select it.

4. Shift+dragging – Select the bullet or bullets you want to mirror and then hold the shift key while you click and drag the bullets where you want them to go. Protip: This method works great with the sidebar when you want to mirror things somewhere deep in your WorkFlowy.

Deleting mirrors

You might be wondering what happens when you delete mirrors. If you have more than two mirrors, you can delete them and the remaining mirrors will continue to live their happy mirror lives unperturbed. If you have only two mirrors and you delete one, the remaining mirror will go back to being a regular bullet.

Mobile support

On mobile devices, you can create mirrors by swiping left on the bullet you want to mirror and tapping ‘mirror’ from the item menu. Then just paste the mirror where you want it to go.

Now, check out some real examples

To get you started thinking about how you might incorporate mirrors into your WorkFlowy, we put together a page with videos and templates so you can try them out for yourself!

24 thoughts on “Mirrors: Create live copies of any bullet and put them anywhere

  1. I noticed mirrors in the experimental options and have immediately adopted them. Great feature, and a great write-up with the suggested use cases. For me it solved the problem of having a standard meeting agenda to review a backlog then another to plan the backlog. Before I had to have a manual procedure to transfer the changes, now they are simply the same backlog!

    It would be even more awesome if the (()) shortcut idea could be extended for the duplicate action, perhaps using {{}}?

  2. Fantastic! I’m super excited to try them out. I especially like the ‘((‘ search-to-mirror feature.

    1. The bee is an emoji, I like to use emojis to help me visually recognize important sections instead of just having text.

      1. Ignore stupid question above. Typing while tired. I assume you are just using the Windows emoji picker?🥓

  3. Mirrors are a great feature. As a longtime user of Workflowy I think mirrors may be one of the best updates yet! I am extremely grateful that you are continuing to support and develop this app. Thank you!

  4. This is perfect. Best update ever. I’ve wanted something like this, and here it is! It’s Christmas!
    Thank you.

  5. I have been using this and am happily reinvigorating my use of workflow for tasks again – one thing is as I now understand “Why can’t others see this?” modal can we then remove the constant message under every bullet for myself and the others who can see them as I now know to create the bullet first in the share and then mirror it to the daily lists – it shows up for them too. The person is shared on both lists so can see both yet even when this is the case we still get the constant reminder under each and every bullet.

  6. As I’m settling in to the use of these, a couple of feature suggestions:
    1) to be able to see a list of, and easily navigate to, the several parents of a mirrored node, e.g. by mouseover on the bullet.
    2) When I delete a bullet with 250 descendants, I get a warning—that’s good. But if what I’m deleting is a mirror, I don’t need that warning as I’m not risking data loss. The warning just makes me momentarily anxious.

    Even with the above, mirroring is a killer feature for me!

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