How a little tool called Workflowy can save your sanity

Today I’m introducing a new guest blogger to Business Plus Baby – Christelle Donaldson of The Handy Marketer. Over to you Christelle!

When it comes to work, I am a very organized person and I make the most out of the tools available at hand. I plan my week, I plan my day, I set reminders, I block time on my own to work on key projects, nothing escapes me. But at home, it can be a different story. I forget to pick up the mail, to put the trash out on the right day, to call my parents when I said I would and worst, to pay bills in time. My husband keeps getting frustrated with me and told me once: “don’t you have a whole army of tools that you use at work? Can’t you use them at home too?” Good question.

I tried a few options: Evernote, Google Tasks, Teux Deux, Reminders, Remember the Milk.  All these fancy apps that can do wonders, if only you stick with them long enough. But that was always the problem, getting used to the app, finding how best to use it and building a habit of looking at my tasks regularly. I found all these tools to be too sophisticated, offering too many options, needing too many clicks to update them.

And then I learned about Workflowy. I instantly fell in love with it and started using it seamlessly at work and at home.

Workflowy is an online tool for taking notes and making lists. It works quite differently from other applications in the way that you simply write lists and keep adding new lists or sub-categories. You can also zoom on a list, collapse or expand items, mark them as complete, use hash tags and search through your lists, making the tool very powerful yet simple to use.

Here is why I love Workflowy:

  • It’s simple: You don’t need to learn how to use it, it’s almost like writing on paper. In fact the help menu is very small since it is so easy to use.
  • There are no distractions: the interface is very minimalist so there are no distractions around. You just write on the page and do nothing else. Workflowy doesn’t offer the option of formatting your text, so you don’t fiddle around.
  • It’s online and mobile: Workflowy is a cloud based tool so you can access it anywhere as long as you can find a browser and an internet connection. This is why I love it, because I can use it at the office and at home without having to install a new software on my computer. The mobile application is also very practical and can work offline.
  • It’s printable: you can choose to print any part of your lists, whether big or small, and make it a full page document. Very practical for shopping lists!
  • It’s beautiful: this might not be important to you, but I look at my list all day so I’d rather have something pretty to look at.
  • It’s free: with a free account you can create hundreds of items per month. So far I never reached the limit, and I know that I can increase it if I need.

I encourage you to have a look at the tool and try it for yourself. And if you are still wondering what you can use it for, I’ll give you a sneak peek into the way I organize it, just from a task management perspective (you could use it for much more):

Workflowy-setup-1

What about you, what tool do you use to stay organized?

Christelle Donaldson is a busy mom working as a professional marketer and blogging at The Handy Marketer. She offers practical marketing tips and is the author of Business Blogging for Beginners.