When comparing Workflowy vs Trello, the Slant community recommends Trello for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform to-do list app?” Trello is ranked 2nd while Workflowy is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose Trello is:
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists. The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
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Pro Outline-style hierarchy with zoom
Any sublist can be viewed as a top-level list. This sounds simple but makes WorkFlowy extremely powerful. For example, the same line item, "write my book," can simultaneously be a to-do in a task list and the container for an entire working document.
Pro Minimalistic interface
Interface has no clutter. It allows focusing on thoughts to note down. This keeps things simple and easy to understand, which can help keep everything organized in an intuitive manner.
Pro Easy to see an overview and organize notes
All notes are part of a list, which makes it easy to organize everything. Nested lists allow for organizing notes into hierarchical categories of infinite depth. All lists can be folded. WorkFlowy also has tags and instant full-text search.
Pro Tasks can be added and manipulated quickly
WorkFlowy allows entering many tasks very quickly – especially useful for meeting minutes or a "brain dump" when you have to type fast. After typing in all your thoughts, it's very easy to organize and sort multiple groups at once.
Pro Deep nesting
Workflowy's 'everything is in a tree' interface makes it easy to keep expanding on topics, no matter where, or how deep in the hierarchy they are.
Pro Super fast sync between devices
While adding a list of to-do on web, it syncs with iPhone and iPad apps very quickly. This way you can jump between devices with no delay of up to date content.
Pro Quickly focus on a specific topic
Enables users to focus on specific topic area, which is referred to as "hoisting" within Workflowy.
Pro Supports tags
Enables users to search by tags.
Pro Cross-platform web and mobile
WorkFlowy can be accessed from either a browser or their apps, which include a Chrome app for desktops as well as an iOS and Android app. This makes it easy to access ones notes no matter the platform or device being used.
Pro Import and export via OPML
OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is a commonly used standard for text exchange. With two-way support for OPML you are never locked into Workflowy. Importing/exporting via copy/paste of entire outlines is a snap.
Pro Text Formatting
You can have bold, italic and underlined text.
Pro Strong community
There are number of talented coders who help customize WorkFlowy with extensions and styles. It has an active blog and welcomes collaboration.
Pro Daily digest email
WorkFlowy can send you an email with that day's activity. It's a great way to track progress.
Pro Simple and easy to use interface
There are two primary columns: the board is shown on the left and all the other controls on the right. The main means of interaction is dragging and dropping to-do cards into the various lists.
The board structure is very customizable, and includes a variety of features that help along the way: color-coding, due dates, card images, checklists with a graphics bar that allows following progress easily, and card aging for cards that haven’t been touched in a long time.
Pro Highly flexible workflow
Trello calls items used in the workflow “cards.” Cards are double-sided and can contain subtasks as well as notes and other details.
Card columns can be used to simulate a workflow by moving cards from left to right as they are completed, or as a way of indicating task priority.
The workflow is highly flexible as the columns are completely customizable to suit the task flow. For example, tasks can be put through a workflow "idea > approved > in-progress > pending review > released" or simply "ideas > released" depending on the granularity level needed.
This makes Trello a great solution to feature management as it's possible to set up boards to handle everything from agile sprints to a more generic to-do list, all with status management.
Pro Free for unlimited users
Trello offers a very generous free version that has no ads, no restrictions on the number of users, and very little restriction on how the program can be used. The paid features are generally cosmetic, such as the ability to change the background, add stickers or integration with other tools.
Pro Great real-time team collaboration features
Trello has permissions at the board level as well as the ability to assign multiple people to each card. There are a lot of sharing options available and boards can be made visible for the public. It's also possible to subscribe to a card to be notified of its progress. The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy because it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also updates constantly to reflect real-time changes in progress.
The simplicity of the UI makes collaboration easy as it’s very simple to see the progress of each card and who is responsible for it. It also reflect changes on boards in real-time.
Pro Works well for visual thinkers
The UI is based around Kanban, so you can see all your tasks and their status clearly.
Pro Markdown support with well-rendered images
Trello supports Markdown, meaning that HTML input is represented appropriately. Cards with attachments are also rendered well. For example, images are shown correctly on the card, bug links are detected etc.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plug-ins
Voting, view, and calendar plug-ins further increase the functionality.
Pro Excellent for groups using agile software development
The responsiveness and layers of customization make it easy for team members of various disciplines to collaborate on the same task board.
Pro Lots of API integrations
Pro Cross-platform and cross-sync
Trello works on all modern devices through the web application and has native apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8/10 devices.
Each card can have one or even multiple task lists.
Pro Good performance
Pro Attach files to cards
Keep all of your files (images, documents, etc.) organized on their relevant cards.
Pro Great native app for Android and iOS
Pro Action history log allows you to rapidly follow changes
There is a global history system which allows to rapidly follow changes. There is also a notification system if another user updates the board while you're watching it.
Pro Features to add voting on cards
Trello offers support for features to add voting on cards, often referred to as 'power-ups'.
Pro Smooth media integration
Works like a charm.
Con Offline desktop app requires Chrome
The offline desktop requires installing Google Chrome first before the WorkFlowy app can be installed. This is not good news for non-Chrome users especially users who frequently uses Firefox or Safari as their default browsers, in which Chrome app also suffers memory leak and battery issues.
Con Doesn't work well in mobile browsers
The functionality of the mobile version of the site is a bit limited, while new features have been added such as the ability to move lines of text, even that is limited on Android to only being functional on Chrome.
Con Doesn't support images
Con Cannot use link-text
You cannot have text link to a URL. When you link to a website you have to post the full URL instead. Instead of having the name of the website or article like, Slant, you instead have to post
http://slant.co. It's especially annoying if you have a long URL that takes up a lot of space in the document.
Con No color coding
It's a black and white interface without the ability to differentiate based on color.
Con Doesn't work on all mobile phones
Not compatible with Android OS version 4.1 and 4.2.
Con No public API
Con Inconvenient interface
Notes automatically collapse, making them unreadable without user interaction. You cannot view multiple long notes at once.
Con Only supports one big text file
Although with Workflowy's focus feature this can work, you might prefer managing separate text files.
Con Subtasks lack features
Every task can have a list of subtasks which more closely resembles a standard to-do list.
These lack the functions that cards offer you. You cannot comment on a sub-list, give the sub-tasks due dates, or provide additional information. You are limited to only checking them off once completed.
Con Managing large projects may be difficult
Trello works best with medium to small projects and with very high-level overviews. It is less effective for projects that require very granular management due to the fact that it becomes considerably more difficult to keep track of various cards and priorities as they are pushed off the screen.
Con Can't create dependencies between cards
Con Not really a to do list
Trello is much more a workflow and project management program than a typical to-do app, which makes it overwhelmingly robust for those looking to jot down their shopping list.
Con Can't get one view of cards across all boards
However, you can view all cards assigned to you.
Con No quick deadline assignment
You have to open a Calendar every time to set a date without any quick options like today, tomorrow etc.
Con No multi-board aggregation
If you have multiple boards with tasks on them there is no way to get all the tasks on one board in a way that changes on one board will update the other.
Con Impossible to use Pomodoro timer connected to Trello on iOS
Con No desktop client
There is no Windows or Mac client now but you can still access all of the features through your web browser.
Con Light on features
Trello is focused on simplicity and as such forgoes certain common features that may or may not be important to you.