Workflowy: A Surprisingly Powerful Note-taking App

I’ve always been a fan of to-do lists and productivity tools and have used a number of them in the past. From Google Keep to OneNote to Evernote, I have tried all the popular options and never really felt satisfied.

Workflowy came along and eased all my frustrations. It’s the simplest and lightest note-taking app you can find anywhere and works wonderfully for keeping notes, organizing projects or simply making lists and collaboration.

Workflowy is a web application that can be accessed from most modern web browsers, though you can also get it to work offline by using its Chrome application, meaning that you can take advantage of the unique features it provides whether you’re operating a Windows, Mac or Linux machine.

In addition, it has mobile applications on iOS (iPhone and iPad) as well as Android, so you can always view and edit your lists from virtually anywhere.


The first thing you notice about Workflowy when you open the app is its simplicity. There is no fancy layout here or formatting options. Instead, you have broad white space, like a blank sheet of paper, and a single bullet point to begin.

Workflowy is built around those bullet points, allowing you to create lists as well as notes using the points.

The most distinguishing feature of Workflowy compared to other note-taking applications is its ability to create a hierarchy of nested lists, which means that you can keep every related item in one place instead of making separate lists for them.


You can narrow down into each bullet point and divide your tasks into smaller bits, allowing you to focus on one thing at a time.

It also allows you to mark off each item once it is completed. For example, I used Workflowy to brainstorm this article, and when I was done, I simply checked each entry off the list.


Workflowy offers powerful sharing features, allowing you to share your notes with people (no signup or login required) via a secret shared link, allowing you to control what they see and don’t see as well as giving editing permissions if desired.


In addition, you can export your Workflowy items in different formats, including formatted, plain text or OPML format, enabling you to copy and paste into any other program.


Other useful features include the option to receive a daily email digest of your activity, star important items for quick access, reduce mouse dependency by offering several keyboard shortcuts that get you through the program pretty quickly, print items, tag related items and search for text within lists.

While Workflowy is a handy tool, there are a number of things you cannot do with it like setting alarms and reminders, attaching files or formatting text. If you need these features, then Workflowy may not necessarily satisfy all your needs.

However, the developers have promised that some of these features will be included in future updates of the application.

That’s just about all there is to this app. It’s free to sign up and use the basic features, but there are paid upgrades for more storage space, automatic backups to Dropbox, password protection on shared lists, etc.

For such a lightweight application, there are so many benefits, and the added advantage of its simplicity makes it easy for one to use, whether it is for personal or collaboration purposes.

Have you ever used Workflowy? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments section.