Dynalist is a direct competitor to Workflowy. These apps take making lists to the next level times 1,000. What’s great about this, is that Dynalist, like Workflowy, makes it easy to get your thoughts down quickly, and get them organized.

In this case I am going to use Dynalist to organize my thoughts around making this very blog post.

Sure you can create bullet points in a document, just like the Google Doc I am writing this very content in, but like I said. Dynalist takes this concept to the next, next, next level. And then Some.

There’s a lot that I can show you, but let’s start simple. Let’s go over basic navigation, and how to organize lists in Dynalist. I’ll copy and paste my outline from Dynalist, right into this document, and then I’ll share a link to the original outline in Dynalist.

  • The Outline
    • Organizing Your Folders, Documents, and Lists
      • Folders
      • Documents
      • Expanding / Collapsing
    • Navigating and Formatting Your Lists
      • Indent / Unindent
      • How to number children
      • Adding Notes
      • Re-order your list items
    • The Mobile App
      • Quick overview of the above, in the mobile app.

This was a very simple copy and paste from Dynalist. It came in formatted perfectly in Google Docs.

Here’s the live link to Outlining Your Content in Dynalist

Of course, you should check the link in a browser session where you’re not logged into Dynalist, to be sure it will work for everyone.

Organizing Your Folders, Documents, and Lists in Dynalist

With Dynalist you can create Folders. Within each folder, you create documents. Within each document, you create your lists. The search in Dynalist works really well, and there are features like Tags, and Bookmarks that make it easy to find what you have created in Dynalist.

Folders

Folders in Dynalist are just like they sound. A place where you store documents. This allows you to organize your “stuff” in Dynalist.

Need a tip for getting started? Create three folders as follows:

  • Inbox
  • Personal
  • Work
    • Content

I took it one step further for you, and suggested a sub-folder within your Work Folder for Content. You might even go another level with your content folder to organize your content outlines by subject, or by app.

The inbox is a great place to store things that you don’t know where to put yet, or for those fleeting thoughts that you want to get down quickly before you lose your train of thought. You can organize it later.

Documents

Documents are where you store your lists.

You can have one document for everything and store all of your lists in it. This is possible, because you can “zoom in” to each item in a list, and that becomes like it’s own document. Or you can create different documents for different kinds of lists.

The beauty of this is that there is no right or wrong here. No one can tell you how you should structure things. You just do it based on what feels right, and what works for you.

Expanding / Collapsing

As you develop longer, and more detailed lists, you’re going to find it handy to know how to quickly expand or collapse everything below a certain point within your list. The option is in the menu to the left of any list item.

Navigating and Formatting Your Lists

I think what makes Dynalist so powerful is in it’s ability to take a simple concept like bullet points, and add powerful features to it, that make it easy to format, and further organize your outlines and lists.

Indent / Unindent

This works just like any document. Click or tap on a list element, and tab to indent, Shift+Tab to unindent. This makes it super fast and easy to organize your outline at the speed of thought.

How to number children

I personally do not like numbered lists, but that doesn’t mean you won’t love them. Dynalist gives you the choice. Click the menu next to the item at the parent level (above the subs that you want numbered). There you’ll find a menu option that allows you to convert the bullets to numbers.

Adding Notes

Shift+Enter will allow you to add notes (outside of the bullets) so you can expand on an item in a list. You can also access this option in the menu to the left of each item.

Re-order your list items

This is important. The whole point of having a tool like this, is to be able to quickly purge your thoughts. Then you’ll want an easy way to move them around. Click and drag by the bullet point, is all it takes.

The Mobile App

The mobile app is really important to me when I look at a new app. It needs to give the same functionality as the web or any desktop app does. Dynalist’s mobile app works great. I have not run into any limitations in terms of what I want to be able to do with Dynalist, when I am on the go!

If you are looking for an app to help organize ideas, outline workflows, or generally keep track of your thoughts, Dynalist looks like a great way to go. What I really like about this app, is that the team behind it is rolling out updates regularly, which tells me that this app is here to stay!

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