I recently touched base with “rawbytz” a programmer and prolific WorkFlowy hacker – who pointed out that top of his wishlist, he wanted a slackline for Christmas. I had previously installed his “Clip to WorkFlowy” Chrome extension and all 3 of his amazing WorkFlowy Stylish styles. I have since gotten the scoop from rawbytz on half a dozen WorkFlowy hacks that he has either completed or are in the pipeline. He will be sharing all of those in good time here on the WorkFlowy blog. Today we’ll be taking a look at his Clip to WorkFlowy extension – but first, a wee bit of background, cobbled together from a couple of our conversations:
FRANK: Could you tell me a little about how you got into creating your own hacks for WorkFlowy? What sort of tech skills does one need to put something like that together?
FRANK: How did your WorkFlowy journey kick off? Did you get what you could really do in WorkFlowy right off the bat?
RAWBYTZ: I first found WorkFlowy in 2012 and was immediately smitten. But I required mobile offline capability, so it was a no-go. Once the iOS app with offline support arrived in early 2013, I migrated most of my system into WorkFlowy. It was short-lived. The lack of dates, and my lack of understanding of what was “under the hood” were factors. I kept Workflowy for notes and brainstorming (I LOVE WorkFlowy for brainstorming) and moved tasks and projects back to my old todo app.
And a funny thing happened. The more I “flowed” in WorkFlowy, the more I got annoyed with the lack of flow and overall clutter of my todo app. I decided to find ways to make WorkFlowy work. The blog post about Hidden Search Operators was a revelation. I could save nodes and complex custom searches in my bookmarks bar. I settled in on a combination of WorkFlowy and Google Calendar and I haven’t felt the need to look for anything else since. For better or worse, WorkFlowy has made me intolerant of the columns, icons and fields you find in other apps.
FRANK: What’s the motivation behind making your hacks available to the public? It’s got to be a lot of hard work.
RAWBYTZ: My motivation with the coding is pretty simple. Solve my own problems. If I think it might benefit someone else, I put it out there.
FRANK: Tell us a little bit about Clip to WorkFlowy and how you use it.
RAWBYTZ: As things moved irreversibly to the cloud, I came to realize the importance of as Stowe Boyd put it “the lowly, lowly URL as the irreducible atom of work management.”
The URL is the simplest way for different apps/services to connect. In other words, your web app/service better create unique URL’s for items or it gets crossed off my list. WorkFlowy excels at this. Every time you create a bullet, a permanent URL is created that doesn’t change even if you edit it, tag it, or drag it. Not all apps get this (looking at you Evernote!).
The lowly URL was the driver for Clip To WorkFlowy. So, I was bookmarking a lot of webpages and all that copying and pasting back and forth was a bit cumbersome. With a single click, Clip To WorkFlowy captures the webpage title and URL, applies special formatting and copies it to the clipboard for one easy paste into WorkFlowy. I use it to create links to everything: Gmails, Dropbox files, Google Drive files, and Google photos. I use it to create intra-WorkFlowy links and to save WorkFlowy searches right in my outline. Oh, and to bookmark websites… that too.
There’s also a bookmarklet version that works in most browsers, as well as a version for the awesome iOS app called Workflow. “Clip To WorkFlowy for Workflow”… clear as mud.
Rawbytz has been kind enough to put out a blog post especially for us (and set up a blog!) to walk us through a couple of easy steps with his Clip to WorkFlowy for Google Chrome Extension, bookmarklet and the Workflow App for iOS. He will also be sharing future extensions and hacks there.
Be sure to follow his blog… and while you’re at it, take a look at his twin post, Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Chrome Extensions. That should set you up with a keyboard shortcut for his Clip to WorkFlowy extension.
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