Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Working with Fargo

If there’s one tool that I find almost indispensable, it’s WorkFlowy. I use it as an outliner, to keep track of my ideas, and to manage my tasks. WorkFlowy is definitely a Swiss Army Knife-like tool that helps keep me on track and productive.

Having written that, I know that WorkFlowy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or whatever hot beverage they prefer). Fair enough. But if you’re looking for another outliner, you might want to take a peek at Fargo. While it looks and acts a lot like WorkFlowy, Fargo does things slightly differently.

Let’s take a look at how to work with Fargo.

Getting Started

Fargo is described as:

a simple idea outliner, notepad, todo list, project organizer.

It can do all of that, and a bit more. I’ll discuss that bit more in a little while.

Getting going with Fargo is easy. Just head on over the fargo.io, and connect Fargo to your Dropbox account. Yes, you do need a Dropbox account to use it. Fargo saves your outlines to a folder in Dropbox. And, in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t cost anything to use Fargo.

Create a new outline by selecting File > New. You’ll be asked to name the outline. Give it a descriptive name, and then click OK. You’ll be presented with a blank canvas. Click the + icon on the left to create a new item. If you want to nest items, press the Tab key. You wind up with something that looks like this:

An outline in Fargo

If you need to, you can make elements in an outline bold or italic, add a strikethrough, and add links. As well, you can make your outlines public by selecting File > Get Public Link. This will generate a URL that you can pass to friends or family or colleagues. You can do that to, for example, have people view or review outlines or to share a todo list with others.

Working with Multiple Outlines

Unlike WorkFlowy, which is one long, continuous list, Fargo allows you to have multiple outlines. That lets you focus on a single outline, rather than having multiple nodes in view. You can, of course, have multiple outlines open. Fargo puts each outline on its own tab.

Tabs in Fargo

I’m not a big fan of the way the outlines are positioned when you have multiple tabs open. There’s a bit too much space to the left for my taste.

Saving, Importing, and Exporting Outlines

Fargo uses a file format called OPML. OPML saves the structure and content of outlines, so you don’t lose any information or formatting when you move your content around. Well, that’s the idea anyway. More on that in a moment.

If you’re using another outliner and want to move your data to Fargo, export it as an OPML file (which most outliners support) and import it into Fargo. But therein lies the catch. You can’t upload OPML files directly to Fargo. You either need to put it somewhere on the web or upload the OPML files to Dropbox and share them so you have URLs that Fargo can use to import the files.

Any formatting you applied to your outlines — for example, a strikethrough to indicate a task was completed — isn’t brought over into Fargo.

Anything Else?

Earlier, I mentioned that Fargo could do several things. Two of those are:

To be honest, I’ve never been able to publish a blog post or a presentation using Fargo. I’ve seen it done, and the results are quite nice. You might have better luck than I did.

Final Thoughts

While I plan to stick with WorkFlowy, I can see the appeal of Fargo. It’s a solid tool for creating an outline, and for doing a whole lot more. If WorkFlowy hasn’t impressed you or doesn’t have the features you need, I suggest giving Fargo a look.

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