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

Why I Went Back to Workflowy

A bunch of tools in a workshop

In early 2015, I decided to thin out the number of tools that I was using. I wasn’t using dozens of different tools, but there were a couple or three that overlapped.

One of them was Workflowy. Or so I thought … I tried using Simplenote for the tasks that I did in Workflowy. It didn’t work out quite the way I had hoped. I go to the point where I felt I was awkwardly shoehorning those tasks into Simplenote.

So, in late 2015 I signed up for a new Workflowy account. Why? Workflowy works in a way that mirrors my thought processes. There’s definitely a flow to it, and because I use Workflowy in a focused way I can quickly keep track of what I need to do and can plan effectively.

What do I use use Workflowy to do? What I used it to do in the past:

  • Create editorial calendars for my blogs
  • Plan various other pieces of writing
  • Outline books, essays, articles, and blog posts
  • Track tasks

I could do all of that in tools like Simplenote, Google Keep, or Evernote. And I have in the past. But, as I mentioned earlier, it felt like I was trying to fit the square peg of what I do into the round hole of those tools. It could be done, but not as comfortably as I wanted to.

I don’t regret moving away from Workflowy. It was a good learning experience, and one which showed me both the value and the limitations of the tools I use.

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