Friday, July 26, 2013


No 17 in a series of occasional reviews of iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps useful for English literature and language learning and teaching. 

This is one of the very best apps we've come across (and, as with several others in this series, it'll be just as good for teachers and students of other subjects).  At first sight it seems to be a straightforward outlining tool, and indeed that's one of its virtues, but the more you use it the more useful and flexible you realise it is. Using its zoom, indenting (and 'outdenting') and note tools expands the basic minimal opening page as much as you want.  Each page becomes a separate document, and very handily you can share each one separately. There are plenty of handy keyboard short-cuts and strong search functions, and you can export all your lists easily. The Help section has plenty of good short videos to explain the different functions.

One of the most impressive features of Workflowy is its virtually instantaneous syncing across devices, and this makes it not merely an iOS app. English teachers will probably use it most on their laptops, and then check up on the data via the (free) iPad or iPhone apps.
Workflowy is a very good app to recommend to students for note-taking and organising. For teachers, here are a few ideas:-
  • course planning, with individual units and lessons
  • brainstorming about future teaching
  • class lists 
  • resource lists
  • sharing any of the above with colleagues and pupils
  • using collaboration within the Department to design courses, exams and more
The basic service is free, and you can 'earn' more use, but there's quite a big jump to the paid version, which comes in at $49 annually, and Workflowy might well earn more money if they reduced this charge, since this a tool users are likely to become addicted to.

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