Hey there wonderful Workflowy folks.
We’re ready to share our implementation of 🌈 colors in beta with you. Please keep in mind that the feature is still in beta and so there are some rough edges. We want to get some early feedback on what we have right now, so please feel free to play with it, start using it and sharing your thoughts with us💬 .
Feedback we incorporated
We read all your comments regarding the initial visual design and have incorporated some of that into this version. For example:
- Changed color palette to better support users with color blindness
- Added neutral gray color
What we have
We’ve implemented the three main things we mentioned in the previous colors post. To apply text highlighting, simply select some text and you’ll see the new option in the text widget.
Text color – You can apply this anywhere you like
Text background color – You can also apply this anywhere
Tags – Defaults to no color, but once you pick a color, it will sync everywhere
Keyboard shortcut – For applying the last style
What’s still missing
The key parts of the feature are there, but we’re still working on the mobile interface and on smoothing out some parts.
- Mobile interface for adding/removing colors
Where we would like feedback
What are your thoughts on what we currently have? Is it useful? Will you start using the feature? How?
Tag colors are currently personal and don’t apply to shared documents – thoughts on that? Highlights will be shared. The reason is that tags such as #today or #important are often different for different people, so the utility of colored tags would be diminished if you saw everyone else’s tag colors as well. However, there are certainly situations where you would want to set colors for everyone, and we haven’t yet taken the time to think this through.
Is there anything missing that would keep you from using the feature as it is now?
I think you chose a limited color palette because you think of Workflowy as having elegant simplicity and you believe the color UX is simple. But you’ve moved the simplicity to the wrong place on this feature.
WF is powerful and its power comes from the simplicity of its core data structure. You brag about the unlimited nodes and nesting, which you get from that data structure.
But if you think it’s valuable to have infinite nodes and nesting, you should see it’s also valuable to have unlimited colors and it’s just as simple as infinite nodes in a tree.
I need ~10 colors for meta node types and ~10 different colors for meta activity domains. Unlimited colors is the elegant solution to accommodate my need here and also abstract to solve other folks’ different color needs.
A limited palette seems more like superficial simplicity.
If I were to really get into the new templates library and I wanted to tag a node with its template type, which is how I already handle my personal node templates, I can only color code like 10 templates.
Tag colors are case sensitive while search is case sensitive. It would be more consistent if tag colors would be case insensitive too. So setting a color on #todo would also color #ToDo #Todo
So searching for #todo will return #ToDo #Todo #todo but if i color #todo the rest will have no colors.
It would be more consistent if color tags are case insensitive too
I’m using colors now for almost two weeks in both dark and default mode. I must say I like the color palette in dark mode a lot better than in default mode. The colors are more sophisticated and balanced. In default mode they’re all a bit too dark I think and still too much “in your face” (red and blue especially).
Will certainly be using this as a highlighter pen.
Changing the colour of the bullet itself would open up many possibilities of sorting and organising. I’ll even go one further and suggest being able to change the background colour of the bullet – the bit that becomes visible when there are sub bullets – this could add organisational and visual flexibility to those who would like it. Imagine being able to drop down the intensity of those bullets to near invisible!
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Great step! Some suggestions:
Totally agree regarding the search highlighting in yellow color, it clashes with the tag background color if one is set
Love your product and I’m a paid customer.
Some UI improvements:
Searching for a tag will highlight the tag in a yellow color that partially overlaps with the tag’s chosen color. The result looks weird, I think it should be highlighted in a different way (if at all).
I couldn’t agree more! It was not the implementation I expected. I guess like others I expected the entire bullet to be colorized not just the tag. Coloring the tag doesn’t make sense if you use the search often which I do constantly.
Just Amazing. Love the simplicity and ease of using colors.
Game changer. Can’t wait for the iPadOS app to get this.
One of the suggestion I’d like to make is to let users select white color for text, which is great because this makes it easy for you to build some cloze test documents and their answer sheets.
The behavior of colored topic copying seems incorrect.
1. When I copy a colored topic, its format is not copied.
2. The color format is copied only if the topic has the existing format(BUI) and the copied topic contains uncolored text.
Anyway, I love color function (especially for #tag) 😃
I hate to say it but I’m disappointed. I don’t understand why there are different colour palates for the font and background that mean you can’t have strong backgrounds. And why there is such a paucity of colours generally. Also why the background highlight does not apply to the whole bullet. Not sure if this will work but I attach a picture showing 2 bullets that use the 140+/tampermonkey/Stylus solution and the same 2 styled as near I can using the new solution. It’s not flattering to the new.
The problem with the old solution is it doesn’t work on mobile. A shame, but 90% of my WorkFlowy use is via the browser interface and I think for now I’ll stay with the great colour choice of the old solution and hope the in-house solution evolves.
While I too have been waiting for colors for years, I realize now the issue I am having is how to address color globally. I was expecting I would be able to highlight certain sections for color – for example everything that is personal or everything that is in the reference section, or everything that is a project. Now I realize it has to be done item by item. As a result, the only colors I plan on adding is to tags because it is a global change. It’s too labor intensive for me to go back and re-address my entire system.
I have enabled it in the settings but still don’t see the option. Is there any trick to using it? Please help. Anyone.
I reckon that this is work in progress, it works fine on my PC (app & in browser) but not Android tablet or phone. What are you using?
Not sure if this is a bug or intentional (not directly linked to colors, but in using colors I came across this issue): When I select text with the cursor, the formatting menu pops up, as it should. But if I use CMD+A to select the whole text (to color it all) the menu doesn’t show up.
Here’s a workaround.
Double mouse click will select the whole line & show the formatting menu.
This new feature is amazing!
For my part, all I need is reminders based on dates and it will be perfect.
Thanks for your work and long live Workflowy!
1. Is it possible to add an option to color the whole bullet but keeping this option to color the word we select too?
2. Is it possible to allow us to personalise our own colors and save them on the color palette?
Would it be possible to add color options to … menu? This would allow users to change color options without selecting text first (one less action).
Happy to see this addition and it’s well executed. Easy to find and use. One exception for me was that when I selected the text in a tag and applied color, that color did not sync everywhere. Applying the color using the pulldown does sync as you described. I found the difference in behavior a bit confusing. Also, it appears you can only apply a background to a tag. I’d value being able to apply color to the text only in a tag. And finally, I’d like the option of pick a custom color as one of the elements in the palette. The risk is I might make my outlines an ugly mess, but that’s on me. If you don’t want to offer a custom option, then I’d like to see a greater number of choices.
Is there any plans to search by colored text as well?
Awesome, thank you.
More colors please. Even own colors.
Please add the option to highlight the whole bullet not only the text.
it would be great if copy/paste chould keep colors.
Is the color option available to all subscribers or only a portion? I ask because I don’t seem to have this available even using beta. I highlight text and usual text options available no color editing.
Hey Daniel, you have to turn on the feature by going to the settings menu and scrolling towards the bottom to toggle colors on.
Thanks Rodolfo. I eventually turned my brain on and figured it out but I appreciate you replying to my question.
I had this problem in the desktop app. But as soon as I opened the settings in the browser the color option popped up in the app as well. Maybe this helps you, too.
Jesse, one suggestion I can see is to have the ability to apply the color choice to multiple bullets that are selected/highlighted. Other idea IO thought of is perhaps about applying the color to underlines. People may have more opinions about that one 😉
Coloring all selected bullets would be appreciated indeed!
I like that the color menu has the last used color on “speed dial” – that helped me today already.
Still, it would be cool to be able to apply the colors to the whole bullet/node (not just function-wise but also to keep it classier in design, when the color is meant for the whole paragraph). Maybe in the future. This first steps helps already tremendously 😉