One major weakness of my Evernote workflow is that navigating between things is difficult. There are some shortcuts I use to create new notes or notebooks but moving around them and organizing them is a series of shortcuts I’m missing. Here WorkFlowy is wonderful.
There are three powerful shortcuts to share today.
- ALT-SHIFT-ARROW which moves notes up, down, left and right.
- ALT-LEFT and ALT-RIGHT which zooms out and in.
- ESC which searches your location.
To create your first item you type it then click enter. Each new line you make creates a new item. Getting things into WorkFlowy is just as easy as Evernote, but not moving them.
For 2014 (and a bit before) I’m tackling a year of experimentation (more on this to come). I’ll keep the best and leave the worst but first need a plan for how to spend each month. In WorkFlowy I set about creating a Year item and then under that listing different ideas for each month. To start I listed Write a Novel, Be Better at Home, Try new Exercises. I was just listing things to get them recorded, not ordered. When it was time to organize things, I used the handy ALT-SHIFT-ARROW shortcut to move my ideas around (Novel writing to November, Happiness to December) to places where themes might fit better in the course of a year.
In addition to moving things around when I’m planning out a project, I’ll also do this each night to prioritize my tasks for the next day. WorkFlowy is a dumping ground for all my tasks from emailing my students to downloading interviews to looking up a mythology course. At the end of the day then reorganize my general list using that ALT-SHIFT-ARROW shortcut.
ALT-LEFT and ALT-RIGHT
My favorite concept within WorkFlowy is the simplicity of the view you can have. I have some items that have many different subsets and like the layers in Inception, if you go too far down one you may forget where you were. ALT-LEFT and ALT-RIGHT zoom out and in respectively. That way I can dive in to look at the details of what I want to do in the January part of my project down to a specific question and answer. Year is the project, January-Food is the focus of one month, The bests is a category to explore, There are a lot… is a question within on category, Cheap. Healthy… are possible answers to the question. The key here is that zoomed in to this view my focus is clearly on answering this question, and answering in list form if necessary.
Zooming in like this lets me forget about everything associated with a note except for a core concept I’m focusing on at the moment.
The final powerful shortcut in WorkFlowy is ESC to search. I use this search most often with the tags I have, most notably #dc which are my work items. This list is fast to find and ready to read. From the home screen I hit ESC, then type “#dc” as my search term. I use this because there are times when I just need to get something done, like work.
Evernote has a lot of keyboard shortcuts and that may be why I haven’t mastered them, there are nearly 100 in all. WorkFlowy has 14, one of which is to show the shortcuts. That’s the appeal, a handful of shortcuts that are helpful to me.
WorkFlowy offers a free trial to see you how you like. If you sign up through that link, I’ll receive a bit more space in my account.