Two entrepreneurs, Mike Turitzin and Jesse Patel, created WorkFlowy (opens in new tab) in 2010 to help people manage and organize their tasks. They got the idea during a startup camp run by Y Combinator, one of the world’s most renowned startup accelerators.
The central feature of the WorkFlowy app is its text-based nested list and its minimal yet elegant interface. This to do list app (opens in new tab) has developed a significant fan base around the world, now with over 2 million registered users and 15,000 paying subscribers.
We decided to see for ourselves whether WorkFlowy was worth the hype around it.
WorkFlowy: subscriptions and prices
The WorkFlowy app is freemium. There is a free version that anyone can sign up for, but with limited features compared to the premium version that you have to pay for.
Unlike many to-do list apps, WorkFlowy only has one premium subscription and you can pay monthly or annually. It normally costs $4.99 per month, but you get 20% off that price if you pay for a year at once.
There is a 7-day free trial, with no payment details. You can always cancel your subscription at any time, but we couldn’t find an official money back guarantee policy on the website. It indicates that WorkFlowy is unlikely to offer a refund, which we consider to be a drawback.
Signing up to WorkFlowy doesn’t take much effort. All you need is a valid email address that the platform will send a verification code to. Enter the code on the login page, verify it and you’re good to go.
WorkFlowy is a fairly simple to-do list app. From your dashboard, you can add as many tasks as you want with a simple click of a button. The defining feature of the app is its text-based nested list. That is, you can add an infinite number of task lists under each task you create.
For example, under a task titled “visit the gym,” you can create a to-do list of each exercise you want to participate in. Under each exercise on the list you can indicate which trainer you want to perform with. Under the name of the trainer you can choose when you want to train, and so on.
There is no limit to the number of nested lists you can create, and this feature will help you create a solid workflow plan.
You can add tags to any task you create so that you can quickly filter and visually identify them. Likewise, you can easily search through all your tasks, no matter how bulky they are.
One interesting feature we observed on WorkFlowy is the use of backlinks. When you type a to-do list, you can create links to any part of a previous to-do list. This feature allows you to connect different parts of your to-do lists to create an interactive workflow.
Collaboration (opens in new tab) is another notable feature we observed on WorkFlowy. You can share a link to your list and anyone with that link can view or edit your to-do lists, depending on the permission you give them.
WorkFlowy: interface and use
You can access WorkFlowy via the web-based interface or via the native apps for desktops (Windows, macOS and Linux) or smartphones (iOS or Android). WorkFlowy is one of the few to-do list apps we reviewed that has a native app for the Linux operating system, which is commendable.
The interface of the app is minimal to an error. We give it 5 stars on the ease of use criterion.
There is a direct support email that you can contact if you have any issues with the app. There is also an official help page with comprehensive user guides and frequently asked questions about the platform. Ideally, if you can’t find satisfactory answers, check this help page before seeking immediate support.
WorkFlowy: the competition
WorkFlowy’s main competitors are Notion, Evernote, and Trello (opens in new tab). The main advantage over these competitors is the great user interface.
WorkFlowy: Final Verdict
The WorkFlowy app does its primary function of creating and managing to-do lists excellently. The user interface is very easy to understand and makes the app enjoyable for users. The nested lists feature makes planning your workflow exciting, or at least during our product testing.
But we noticed some notable drawbacks when testing the app, including relatively expensive and no offline access.
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