WorkFlowy for quick outlines while traveling

Posted on Oct 18, 2019

I just got back from a conference in New York City. Riding the train up, I made a carefully constructed org-mode outline for what I would do each day, thinking that I’d update it on the go with beorg on iOS, and Emacs on the MacBook in the evenings. “Ha!”, said NYC. Org-mode on any platform (and heck, even a small paper bullet journal) was no match for the fast walking, avalanche of logistics, shaky bus rides, and limited space/time/energy I had to write anything down (with the goal of quieting my brain with a checklist of The Very Next Things I Need to Do After This Session). Taskmator for TaskPaper-formatted outlines would have been great, but the syncing after every single edit makes me nervous, and I still have regular Dropbox conflicts when I use it. Dropbox Paper would have been ok, but it shows you too much at one time. I even tried the iOS Notes app, but you can’t slide checklist or bulleted items up and down in it, so that was out.

I re-downloaded WorkFlowy for iOS after not having tried it for a few years, and it was a perfect solution. I made headings for each day I would be there, and could focus on any particular day as needed. It’s easy to reorganize items, and when I would re-launch the app hours after having been in other apps, WorkFlowy would always land me right back to where I had been last. It’s not what I would pick for fine-grained planning or for anything that I wanted to stick around for years (like org-mode can do), but for moving around in an unfamiliar city when you only have a few seconds here and there to make edits, it’s the best (for me).