Things I Like: WorkFlowy

February 3, 2020 K.O. Herston 4 Comments

Practicing law (and living life) requires us to organize large amounts of information.

To help manage this problem, I’ve always been a big advocate of outlining with the help of outlining software. And no, Microsoft Word in outline view is not outlining software.

In its most basic sense, an outline is a list of subsidiary lists. But an actual outlining program takes that concept much further with things like infinite lists, the ability to view lists in isolation (called “hoisting”), advanced search features, tagging items, and so forth.

Outlines help me prioritize, prevent me from forgetting things, and increase my productivity.

For most of my clients, I maintain outlines for

  • to-do lists;
  • legal arguments;
  • legal research;
  • witness examinations; and
  • anything else that’s important.

I also maintain personal outlines for things like repairs needed at home, weightlifting routines for the gym, items to get at the grocery, etc. If I need to remember it, it’s in an outline.

For well over a decade, my outlining software has been NoteMap. It was developed by a company—CaseSoft—that was later acquired by Lexis Nexis. After Lexis Nexis acquired them, they focused on improving their law-specific (and very profitable) software like CaseMap, TextMap, and TimeMap. NoteMap didn’t generate enough income, so it was abandoned around 10 years ago.

NoteMap devotees like myself slowly migrated to other outliners. I stubbornly held on, knowing all the while that the day would come when I would have no choice but to make the switch.

That day finally came. My outlines became too valuable to trust with software that hasn’t been supported for a decade. The risk of losing everything, including a legal research outline that’s the product of 15 years of work, was too high.

The top-rated outliners these days are WorkFlowy and Dynalist. After trying both, I chose WorkFlowy, and I’m delighted with my choice.


Both provide infinite outlines and all the features power outliners like me expect.

Both have instant syncing between mobile apps and desktops. This is helpful because most of us keep our phones with us. If I’m walking the dog and think, “I need to call so-and-so tomorrow,” I can easily add it to tomorrow’s to-do list from my phone before I forget it.

Both allow for secure sharing and collaboration with others. I share some work-related outlines with my paralegal and home-related outlines with my wife, for example.

Dynalist has more bells and whistles, none of which I need. I found they got in the way more than they helped.

I prefer WorkFlowy’s clean, simple, minimalist interface.

WorkFlowy is free for up to 250 items per month. For $5 a month or an annual payment of $49 (which is the plan I use), WorkFlowy Pro provides additional functionality like unlimited lists, automatic backups to Dropbox, password-protected collaboration and sharing, custom themes and fonts, and premium support.

If you want to become more organized in and out of the office, I highly recommend you try WorkFlowy. Start with the free account and see how it goes.

As with other “things I like” posts, I receive nothing from WorkFlowy or anyone else in exchange for my recommendation. I’m just a paying customer who loves their product.

Things I Like: WorkFlowy was last modified: January 31st, 2020 by K.O. Herston

4 People reacted on this

  1. I cant believe you are/were a notemap user too. Best program ever for organization. I too have struggled with the idea that notemap is so old.

    Thanks for the recommendation….I will take a look.

    1. I lived and breathed NoteMap. The problem is NoteMap uses a proprietary file type. So, if it crashes, you cannot import your files into a different outliner. Your outlines will exist in a file that cannot be opened anywhere. That became too much of a risk for me.

  2. I’m not in law but work in a sensitive sector as well (government tech). How do you handle data security and Workflowy? I don’t think they have end to end encryption.

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