I love WorkFlowy. Dump your brain into this versatile web-app. Tame it with intuitive and flexible outlines. Tag to connect the disconnected. Zoom to focus. Power in simplicity. What’s not to love?
While WorkFlowy’s standard tag/text search is great for showing context and relationships, there are times you don’t want the noise of an outline. You just need a simple, flat list.
FlatFlowy is a bookmarklet that hides the “breadcrumb” header, removes indentation, hides parents, and (optionally) hides notes. The result is a simple, flat, distraction-free list when searching for tags or text in WorkFlowy. It works as a toggle; click once for flat lists, and again to return to the standard view. FlatFlowy is compatible with most browsers, even mobile ones.
There are two versions: Show Notes and Hide Notes. Which one you choose will depend on how you structure things in WorkFlowy. You can install both to test (or use). As of version 1.7, you can run both simultaneously; no page reload is required.
I use the Show Notes version, and here’s why: When a search yields a ton of matches, FlatFlowy can dramatically reduce the number of items to scan. You can easily toggle to view context. The Hide Notes version will omit any matches in notes, so you may not see complete search results in flat view.
View the FlatFlowy code
Big Hat Tip To: the fabulous Erica Heinz for the original CSS and screenshot. Thanks Erica!
- Flat mode takes effect only while searching for tags or text.
- You can open two WorkFlowy tabs and keep one flat, one standard.
- A page refresh (F5) always clears FlatFlowy’s custom stylesheet.
- FlatFlowy doesn’t work when viewing shared content via a shared link.
- Important! Don’t move or multi-edit items while viewing a flat list. Since some content is hidden, you could get unexpected results.
- Launch FlatFlowy with the keyboard in Chrome with this tip.
- In the Show Notes version, a match in notes will not show a bullet, making clicking on a nonexistent bullet, uh, difficult. Click on the note text and press Alt+Right to zoom from flat mode.
- FlatFlowy doesn’t work with WorkFlowy’s special search operators.
Drag to the bookmarks bar.
- Make sure your bookmarks bar is showing.
- Open FlatFlowy’s desktop installation page.
Create and edit the bookmark manually:
- Bookmark this page, and save it to your favorites folder.
- Select all the code in one of the boxes below and copy it to the clipboard.
This version hides notes in flat mode:
This version shows notes in flat mode:
- Open the bookmarks menu and edit the bookmark you just created.
- Edit the title to whatever you want.
- Clear the URL/Address field, and paste the code you copied above.
- Save your changes and exit out of the bookmarks menu.
Happy flat flowing!
From any website or Workflowy page. Select text or enter it. Simple. Surprisingly useful.
WorkFlowy’s excellent search feature confines search to the current bullet and below. When you are zoomed on your “Work” node, you only search (or filter) on Work, and in most cases that is a good thing.
But what if you are zoomed multiple levels deep and need to search all of WorkFlowy for a tag or phrase? Maybe you’re browsing a website, and need to search WorkFlowy?
What is WorkFindy?
- A Google Chrome Extension that makes searching WorkFlowy a snap.
(also available as a bookmarklet for non-Chrome browsers)
- WorkFindy always searches ‘globally’ from your WorkFlowy home page.
- Select text and WorkFindy searches for your selection.
- With no text selected, enter search terms into a prompt.
- Inside WorkFlowy: results appear instantly in the same tab.
- Outside WorkFlowy: results open in a new WorkFlowy tab.
- Assign a keyboard shortcut at the bottom of the Chrome Extensions page. Do this! It really helps. I use ‘Alt+W’, and never click the icon.
Where is WorkFindy?
View the WorkFindy bookmarklet code.
- WorkFindy makes a great WorkFlowy launcher.
- To launch your home page: activate WorkFindy with no selection, immediately press Enter or click OK.
- Or simply enter search terms to get somewhere in WorkFlowy faster.
- Convert a “child” search into a global search: Select the search box text and activate WorkFindy.
- Slow computer and/or huge outline? Tired of waiting for search results with each key press? Use WorkFindy instead for instant searching when you say so.
Ask WorkFlowy users what new features they want, and reminders is usually near the top of the list. With iOS 9, Siri gets some new functionality that makes creating WorkFlowy reminders a snap.
To use this tip you need to view WorkFlowy in iOS Safari and not the app. In iOS, there are lots of good reasons to use Safari for WorkFlowy (alongside the app), but that is a future blog post.
Here are the intricate instructions:
- In Safari, zoom on the WorkFlowy bullet you want to be reminded about.
- Tell Siri: “Remind me about this tomorrow 9 am”
- When the reminder sounds, simply tap the Safari icon to jump to the WorkFlowy bullet.
WorkFlowy offers an excellent Chrome App, and it’s popular… 230,000+ users according to the Chrome Web Store. There is good reason for the popularity:
- Offline support: A requirement if your internet connection is patchy or non-existent.
- Focus: WorkFlowy is all about focus. The app offers a clean window with no bookmarks bar, no address bar, and no tabs to distract you.
- Workflow: some users simply prefer a separate window vs keeping a tab open in the browser.
So, What is “WorkFlowy Window”?
Confession: It’s a name I made up… for a feature already baked into Chrome. If you are a Chrome-ninja, you probably already know about it. But I suspect many non-ninjas (and even some ninjas) may not be aware of some compelling advantages WorkFlowy Window offers over the Chrome app.
First, let’s talk about what WorkFlowy Window can’t do, and it’s a biggie: Offline. If your internet connection is reliably patchy or non-existent, you can stop reading. In fact, I still use the Chrome app, but only in offline situations.
The Compelling Advantages Stuff:
If your internet connection is non-patchy and reliably existent, and it’s the focus and workflow you desire, WorkFlowy Window gives you that and much more:
- Multiple instances: You can put WorkFlowy Windows side by side. While you can’t drag bullets between them, you can use the standard edit operations (including multi-edit) to copy, cut and paste bullets between the two.
- Custom Shortcuts: Speaking of multiple, you can setup custom shortcuts to launch instances into specific nodes… make one for “Work” and one for “Personal”.
- Chrome Extensions! That means Stylish, WorkFlowy To Google Calendar,
Clip To WorkFlowy, and WorkFindy to name a few. You can access most some extensions via keyboard shortcuts or the right click menu.
Update! Unfortunately, changes in Chrome 49 have neutered Chrome Extension keyboard shortcuts in Window mode. The Chrome gods giveth, and the Chrome gods taketh away.
- Copy Bullet URLs via right click on the bullet.
- Back/Forward Navigation via right click menu
- Find on Page via Ctrl+F (and Ctrl+G to quickly navigate through them)
- Increase/Decrease Font Size via Ctrl & +/-
- Search Google by selecting text, and right clicking
Sounds Good, How Do I Do This?
- Launch WorkFlowy in Chrome. (Zoom on a specific bullet if desired)
- Click the Chrome’s Customize icon (3 dots) in the upper right.
- Select More Tools > Add to desktop..
(No menu item? See instructions below)
- Name it as you like, leave Open as window checked, and click Add.
- Voila! Chrome creates a desktop shortcut to your shiny new WorkFlowy Window.
Windows Tip: If you want to pin this to your Windows Taskbar, launch the desktop shortcut, and pin that instance to the taskbar by right clicking on the icon.
How To Restore a Missing “Add to desktop” Menu:
- Enter ‘chrome://flags‘ into the address bar.
- Type Ctrl+F and search for ‘The new bookmark app system‘
(For languages other than English, search for translations of ‘bookmark’and scan the hits.)
- Click on the drop-down menu and change to Enabled or Default
- Click the RELAUNCH NOW button at the bottom
- Chrome will restart, and More tools > Add to desktop is restored.
Note: You may need to close Chrome and launch again for the change to take effect.
Alternate Method: WorkFlowy Bookmark
- Install WorkFlowy Bookmark from the Chrome Web Store
- Inside the Chrome App Launcher, right click on the shortcut and select “Open in window” and you’re done.
Note: With WorkFlowy Bookmark you will have a single shortcut launching to the home page, but you can launch multiple instances, unlike the Chrome App.
Alternate Method #2: Convert To Popup
Update 6/5/2017: This is now my preferred method for creating WorkFlowy Windows.
- Create WorkFlowy Windows instantly and on-demand with the Convert To Popup Chrome extension.
- Activate via the toolbar icon or keyboard shortcut to convert the current tab into a distraction-free window.
- Or right click on a WorkFlowy bullet (or any link) and select Open in Popup Window.
- Works on any tab or link, not just WorkFlowy.
(and how to fix it Windows)
Update 12/8/2015: WorkFlowy has changed these shortcuts for Windows users, but left them the same for Mac and Linux users. Chromebook users are reporting problems.
WorkFlowy has great keyboard shortcuts, including a handy hidden pair that allow you to quickly navigate between siblings in your WorkFlowy outline. They are great for reviewing a list of items, in all of WorkFlowy’s zoomed and focused splendor. And if you use WorkFlowy, you may have list or two to review.
Mac & Linux:
- Ctrl+Shift+0 goes down the list
- Ctrl+Shift+9 goes up the list
- Alt+Shift+0 goes down the list
- Alt+Shift+9 goes up the list
Let’s have GIF Master Frank of Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy fame show you:
Warning! This pair is addictive.
If you use Windows you may discover Ctrl+Shift+0 doesn’t work, meaning you can only go “up” your list… and that pushes this tip into the “not so handy” column. Here’s how to fix it:
* Hit the Windows Key and type *”control”*
* Open the Control Panel desktop app
* Under: *Clock, Language, and Region* Click: *Change Input Methods*
* On the left Click: *Advanced settings*
* Under: *Switching input methods*, Click: *Change language bar hotkeys*
* With *Between input languages* selected, Click: *Change Key Sequence..*
* Click: both *Not Assigned* radio buttons, and Click: *OK*
* Click: *Apply* and *OK*
* Restart the computer
Do you bookmark a lot of webpages in WorkFlowy? Looking for an easy way to create links between distant WorkFlowy bullets? Clip To WorkFlowy to the rescue. With a single click, the webpage title and url get captured, formatted and copied to the clipboard for one easy paste into WorkFlowy. Paste into any browser, the Chrome app or the mobile apps.
Clip To WorkFlowy comes in three flavors: Google Chrome Extension, bookmarklet, and the Workflow App for iOS.
1) Google Chrome Extension:
- The webpage title becomes a WorkFlowy bullet item, and the url appears in the note.
- Optionally activate with a keyboard shortcut.
- Special formatting for intra-WorkFlowy links.
- No special permissions and no persistent memory footprint.
- Currently no support for selected text.
- Find it in the Chrome Web Store
- Works in most browsers.
- Supports selected text, which appears after the url in the WorkFlowy note.
- Requires a manual copy operation at the prompt.
- Option to launch your WorkFlowy home page by pressing “OK”, or go manually with “Cancel”.
- Special formatting for intra-WorkFlowy links.
- View the Clip To WorkFlowy bookmarklet code
- Click the bookmarklet and follow the instructions at the prompt.
- Important! See this special note, if you plan to use Google Chrome (or Opera) and select large amounts of text!
3) Workflow App for iOS:
- Access through the iOS Share Menu
- Supports selected text
- Works in Safari and apps that use the in-app Safari browser.
- Automatically copies and launches WorkFlowy in Safari so you can paste.
- Special formatting for intra-WorkFlowy links.
- Requires purchase of the excellent Workflow app
- Get Clip To WorkFlowy for Workflow (Version updated Jun 14, 2016)
I use a lot of bookmarklets. They’re great for all sorts of tasks… but they have some drawbacks. First, they can eat up space on your bookmarks bar. To add insult to injury, Chrome offers exactly one option to customize the favicon: the blank page… which means you better name them and use more valuable space on your bookmarks bar. And you have to use the mouse to activate them. You can nest your less-used bookmarklets in folders to solve the first issue, but what about keyboard shortcuts?
There is an easy way to create keyboard shortcuts to bookmarklets (and websites) and it’s all built into Chrome without the need for extensions.
Let’s assume we have an existing bookmarklet on our bookmarks bar, and we’ll convert it to a keyboard shortcut and free up some space. For this example we’ll use a bookmarklet called “SiteSearch”. It searches the current site for any selected text, and with no selection it presents a prompt to enter your own site search terms.
If you want to play along at home, you can create your own SiteSearch bookmarklet by selecting all the code below, then dragging it to your bookmarks bar.
- Right click on the bookmarklet and select Edit to show this:
- With the Name field highlighted, hit tab to move to the URL field.
- With all the code in the URL field selected, copy it to the clipboard.
- Hit Cancel to close the edit form.
- Right Click on Address Bar and select Edit Search Engines.
- Scroll to the bottom of “Other Search Engines” until you see three empty boxes.
- Enter the bookmarklet name, SiteSearch in the first box
- Enter a keyword shortcut. In this case, I use ss because it’s fast to type.
- Paste the bookmarklet code into the URL box.
- Press Done, because.. well, you’re done.
How to use it:
- Press Alt+D (or Ctrl+L) to highlight the address bar
- Type your keyword ss. The first match will be the bookmarklet name.
- Press Enter. Boom! You just activated your SiteSearch bookmarklet with keyboard.