How Big Can a WorkFlowy Account Get?


September 10, 2012

We get asked pretty often how big a WorkFlowy account can get before starting to slow down.

The short answer is: really big. I’ll give more detail in a second, but first, a digression…

We’ve insisted on keeping every WorkFlowy account to a single “document” because of the elegance of this approach. When everything’s in the same “document,” you never have to decide when to create a new document or when to merge documents, and there doesn’t need to be a special interface for managing documents (like the document list in Google Docs) or moving items between them. It’s all one simple interface.

When you think about it, though, a WorkFlowy account is actually composed of many documents. Each item is its own document if you click the bullet to zoom in. Because there’s no difference between an item and a document, you never need to wonder about whether something should be “just an item” or a new document unto itself.

Now, back to the original question. Because everything in WorkFlowy is stored on a single virtual page, people often wonder what the limit is on the amount that can be stored on that page.

We’ve done a lot – and continue to do a lot – to keep WorkFlowy fast for large accounts. I’ve been using WorkFlowy for over two years now, and my WorkFlowy account has grown to almost 20,000 items. There is no noticeable slowdown. We have users with account sizes more than double mine, as well. These are large accounts, containing novels’ worth of text.

So the answer is: You are highly unlikely to run into any slowness. There are always bottlenecks, though, and we’re committed to continuing to eliminate these as our users’ accounts continue to grow in size.

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1 year ago

I’m rolling the dice I know, but I am resurrecting an almost ten-year-old post with one five-year-old comment.

I had stopped using WF briefly last year but am coming back more committed than in any of the prior seven years I used it. I usually hover between 12,000–17,000 nodes/bullets.

Before I start dumping (nearly) everything back in here again, I am curious: is there revised guidance on how big a WF document can get before search/usability start to lag…

Cheers—this app changed my life!


6 years ago

Hey Jesse, I know this is a really old post at this point, but I had a question concerning the limits on WF. I’m one of those accounts that has a little over double the 20k bullets you stated you had in this one (54k). Honestly, my account has slowed way down in the last few weeks. It’s getting hard to use. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong, or if I have hit a limit where the account cannot handle the number of bullets. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. I’m really grateful for the work you guys have put into this tool… it’s changed my whole productivity scheme.

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