A Good Word for WorkFlowy


Geek-moment here. Move on if you’ve come for more snakes, vegetable glamor shots, or endearing stories of marital bliss. That, for another time. This is for that one soul out that suffering anguish for want of this solution.

Outlining is the way I think and organize and brainstorm. I have used Checkvist, OmniOutliner, Ecco Pro, Circus Ponies Notebook, Fargo and other outliners over the past couple of years.

And I’m here to tell you that, for most if not all outlining needs, I seem to have settled for good on WorkFlowy.

Most of my use of this one-thing-well app has been writing out the text for presentations–maybe a half dozen over the past 8-9 months. But the demands bumped up a notch now that I will have to create agendas, meeting notes and minutes in a form that others can readily access.

ANd here I hit a deal-killer glitch. Or so it seemed.

Try as I might to find the right bulleted list-outline format in Word, every time I copied the WorkFlowy text into the word processor, things fell apart, visually.

But at last, with very prompt help from the kind folks at WorkFlowy, I have the answer:

From WorkFlowy, export your outline as “formatted” (vs plain text.) Paste that into an email body–at least it worked with G-mail. I can’t say about others. Google Documents was also suggested but I had less good luck there just bungling around on my own earlier.

Copy the outline from the body of the email. Paste into a new Word document.

The resulting outline is fully capable of promoting-demoting any given outline level (but not expand-collapse), and the document can be formatted with numbering systems.

So I’m happy. I can use my MacBookPro or even my iPad to take notes in WorkFlowy. I will always have my notes as part of my WF file, even on my iPhone. And when ready for approval by others and archiving, I can finish with the notes outline in Word for archiving.

To download your own free personal copy of WorkFlowy to love and cherish for the rest of your outlining life, click this link, and I’ll get some more space to “make lists, not war.”

BTW, the screenshot is of my WorkFlowy (collapsed) outline for the neglected book. Will I ever convince myself there is an audience for such an effort that warrants that use for the time and energies that remain? Dunno.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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