App Spotlight: WorkFlowy comes to iOS

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Screenshot by Rick Broida
WorkFlowy for iOS

They don't teach organization at business school, yet it's as vital to business success as any other skill. Take it from someone who's chronically disorganized.

Or was, until WorkFlowy came along. This browser-based tool provides the simplest possible structure for organizing your tasks and ideas, yet once you start using it, it's impossible to live without.

And now there's a mobile version in the form of WorkFlowy for iOS. Like the Web version, it's completely free. Also like the Web version, it's indispensable -- though I do have a few gripes with it.

WorkFlowy starts you off with an almost entirely blank page (unless, of course, you're already using the Web version, in which case the app syncs to provide all your existing data).

It's really just an outliner, but one that's fast, easy, and unobtrusive. To get started, you create a heading for something: a project, a goal, ideas, your daily to-do list, or whatever.

From there you follow traditional outlining "rules": press the right arrow to increase the indent, left arrow  to decrease it, and so on.

You can opt to show or hide complete items, and there's a search option for easily jumping around long lists.

However, the app falls short of the Web version in a few key areas. You can't relocate items by dragging and dropping them. You can't tap a bullet point to engage a list of options (complete, share, delete, etc.).

Worst of all, there's no Undo option, which tripped me up several times when I inadvertently tapped Complete -- thinking I was completing my editing of an entry, not completing the entry itself.

Perhaps the most ironic thing about WorkFlowy the app is how closely it resembles WorkFlowy in the Safari browser on my iPhone. They're just about identical, which means the app is kind of pointless; it offers zero benefits (that I could find) over the mobile-browser version.

That said, WorkFlowy itself is anything but pointless. I routinely use the service to organize my work projects and ideas, daily tasks, and occasional brain dumps.

Here's hoping the next version of the app makes a stronger case for actually using the app.

Have you found a mobile organizer/outliner you like better? If so, tell me about it in the comments.

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