This year I’ve incorporated a few new web-based applications into my work/life process, and I thought I’d share my experiences with them here. Initially, I’ll make a brief weekly report for a month introducing an application. After that, I’ll mention additional discoveries if/as I find myself using them regularly.
First, I wanted to write about Workflowy, a great web platform that promises to help “organize your brain.” I had been looking for something that could work as a catch all for quick observations, links and websites I wanted to remember, and the flexibility to organize, reorganize, and add to developing ideas. WorkFlowy works great for all of this. I do use instapaper to quickly bookmark sites, but in terms of keeping running lists and moving reorganizing information in endless ways, Workflowy is terrific. It’s part to-do list (you can cross off or “complete” items) and part outlining tool (you can nest items into endless hierarchies and use key shortcuts to expand and collapse (zoom in and out) with ease). A basic account entitles you to create 500 new items per month, and you get 250 additional items for every friend you refer. I can easily see how a heavy duty user could run out of their monthly quota, but for me, it hasn’t been a problem so far. You can also tag items (for easier searching or grouping) and share particular parts of your workflowy with collaborators–you can share parts big or small. While I haven’t yet taken advantage of the sharing features, I can imagine that they’re pretty exciting. I use workflowy to keep track of books I want to read (for work and for fun), ideas for new classroom activities and teaching modules, as a place to start very rough drafts and half-baked ideas, and more. Its mobile app works really well, too, and its most recent update even supports working offline. Hooray!