This feature is available in Workflowy Beta.
Please make sure you have the Workflowy Labs toggle on in your settings panel.
The search function in Workflowy is a critical part of most user’s day-to-day flow. Having all your information live within a single space is only as useful as the tools you have to group and selectively browse that information. Search is a critical part of that experience.
Today we make search even more powerful with the addition of several new operators. These new operators give users even more ways to browse and consume their information.
What are the new operators?
These new operators allow you to search for even more types of content including mirrors, images, backlinks, colors and much more.
If you click on the search bar or hit the ESCAPE key, you’ll notice that there’s a new tab at the bottom right of the search widget. That sections contains the new operators. You can also simply type them at any point during your search and they’ll invoke the autocomplete widget.
What can I find with ‘is:’ ?
is: lets you to search for the following item types:
- Complete items
- Items that you have shared
- Items that have been shared with you
What can I find with ‘has:’ ?
has: lets you search for items that have:
What can I find with ‘text:’ and ‘highlight:’ ?
Basically, both text: and highlight: allow you to search for text based on its color or the color of its highlight.
These two new search operators are particularly interesting because they allow you to incorporate note taking systems usually reserved for paper and highlighters, and use them within Workflowy.
Now, not only do the colors provide visual cues as to what the content means, but they can also provide additional functionality.
Some ideas of what you can do with text: and highlight:
- Highlight errors when proofreading a text the only show those errors
- Highlight items you don’t remember in your study notes then only review those items
- Color code study notes by type of information to make studying more efficient (formulas, vocabulary, quotes, dates)
- Color tasks based on the day of the week they should be done
Song referenced in the title 🎶
Great feature. I would be more than happy to filter by the number of backlinks using operators. That would make it easier to identify important material.
What we really need (or I at least) is substring search, e.g. “640” finds “a6400”. I know it can’t be indexed with a FTS index, but adding it optionally, so that one can choose to use it even though it’s slow, would be great. Would be even better with a trigram / GIN index of course;) (even without it, loading my current workflowy data (16K nodes) into an SQL database, it takes <3ms to find a substring / pattern match)
OH VERY COOL !!!
Pleaaase add a “not” operator !
not(is:Complete) would be awesome !
it’s already there, but not so obvious i guess… just type the minus sign at the beginning:
Awesome! I love these new ways of searching. So helpful and reason to love WF even more! Thanks!!
This is fantastic! I ESPECIALLY need to be able to find mirrors. I’ve wanted this for a while, and you’ve built that and more.
Very cool! As usual Good job
Well done as usual.
Hey, are you guys a public company yet? How can I buy stock in you before Google swoops in and buys you?
Don’t listen to Renee – never sell to Google!!
Repeat that after the offer …
But no to Google, yes to WorkFlowy.
Can you add: has-in-parent:XYZ
An operator that finds all tasks that are within parent XYZ
What’s wrong with going to node XYZ first and then doing the search?
I don’t even know that you have Highlight! Good job~
Very cool! I usually highlight “quotes” in italic already. It’s kinda like “hidden/reduced bloat” tags. I can see it having great potential 😀
Now all we need is node creation date (automatic and hidden), tables and possibly somehow push notifications (would make me a blissful one-app-no-clutter person) 😀
Extraordinario chicos !!! Ufff esto es muy bueno
A disfrutar y seguir así !!!!
has:link would be nice as well 🙂
You guys are killing it, keep up the great work! I hope we can see more feature parity between desktop and the mobile app in the future.
Love the title of your post! I played Sade while reading.
Never give up the cheesy titles.
I love the highlight: feature! I use different highlight colors in Google Play Books to categorize written content (character development, vocabulary, key moments, etc.) I’m excited to see how I can use this in WorkFlowy now.
Wonderful job, guys! Thanks for doing this – very well done!
Feature request: has:childs, has:links and has:DATE
The is:mirror will save me a lot of headache.. thank you, WF team!.. Hopefully you guys are getting enough sleep. 😉
Wow this is great! I especially like the has feature. Gives me more options for when I need to capture original content.
Great additions! Is there a way to search for any bullets that have children or don’t have children? Sometimes I need to know which bullets I’ve filled in for example.
Could you please stop force feed your news through WorkFlowy?
Awww.. really? I actually probably wouldn’t know about half of the new features if it weren’t through the notice in WorkFlowy.
News like these are right on spot!
it’s what websites and opt-in newsletters are for. it feels very invasive to have stuff pop-up in a space for which I pay a fee. like someone tacking up a flyer for a charity concert inside your house….while you’re sleeping.
I actually disagree with this sentiment 🙁 I love seeing these new feature announcements – the announcements they make in-app are always specific to some new feature I get to use.
Agree with Zack.
I believe the opposite of this trolling claim is true. I blame WorkFlowy for being too shy and not always letting us know when they launch a new feature! Sometimes I have to come to the blog to see what’s new because new add-ons are not always communicated in the app. I wish they always did, even the smaller improvements so we can start using them instantly and don’t miss any new features improvements!
I’d object if WF was promoting a sale- that sorta cheezy stuff, but this is relevant info. It’s there, then it’s gone. But you have your opinion, that’s perfectly fine with me.
Just add option in settings to enable/disable. Some people find them very useful.
I could see making it optional, but geez, this is awesome to see new updates right in the app!
Can you say more on the ‘text:’ operator please?
It’s all there…
“What can I find with ‘text:’ and ‘highlight:’ ?
These two new search operators are particularly interesting because they allow you to incorporate note taking systems usually reserved for paper and highlighters, and use them within Workflowy.”
Hey Everett, basically both text: and highlight: allow you to search based on either the color of text or the color of a highlight you may have applied to some text.
Oh, gotcha! But TBH, I’d expect such an operator to be called “textcolor”, or simply “color”, but definitely not “text” 😄
I agree, “textstyle” might be more appropriate
color: makes sense for colors, but the new text: operater can also search for bold, italic, and underline, so the broader “text” seems more appropriate (to me).
So ‘style’ maybe style:purple and style:bold would work
Agree! If it is about color, then include that word. My first thought was ‘heck, isn’t search already about text?” 🙂