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About Travel Notes

Ever since my friend Stef introduced me to it, I've loved Workflowy. I use it to take notes of meetings, type out concepts and strike off todo lists. I don't always use it, because sometimes I feel like writing in IA Writer, Google Docs or just an old fashioned email. But of all of these apps I might love Workflowy most, because it fits my style.

In high school history classes I wrote down the important stuff and connected everything with arrows. And nowadays when I take written notes, I write them in lists: Agenda items, issues, possible solutions and actions. Workflowy facilitates just that: taking note in lists. A match made in heaven!

Using Workflowy for travel

Most of you might know I’ve been travelling for a bit, last year. Guess how I prepared for that trip..

You’re so right! Yes, I started making lists in Workflowy!

I planned to free roam through South America for at least 4 months and I wanted to do that with as little luggage as possible. So for two months I worked on this packing list. Yes, two months. I know. ?

A year later I’m still really happy with that packing list. And I think it’s very valuable for me as a starting point for a new trip and it’s nice to share with others interested in packing light. As I was writing this I, already got distracted by updating it.

Get to the point, Bram

Okay, sorry! So I travelled South America and wrote down my notes on every possible destination in this one South America Workflowy list. Fellow travellers would tell me which places they loved and hated. They would send me their Word documents, e-mails and Whatsapp messages with loads of tips. I added all that information to my lists, combined with my own research.

The result: a very sharable document of awesome places to go in South America (and some places to evade ;-).

This story is important for me to tell you, because all those great people I met were so kind to share their experiences with me. A favour I, off course, gladly returned! I’m convinced those shared experiences were at the core of the awesomest travelling experience of my life.

But there’s more

Because although I loved my own list and others loved it. Something’s been gnawing ever since I returned from my trip in may last year. And that’s an idea to improve the experience-sharing experience! Yeah!

I have nothing but love for Workflowy, really. But I believe:

  1. There’s a better way to take travel notes
  2. A way that is as easy to share as Workflowy lists …
  3. … but way easier to make your own.

I will develop a design prototype to show you (and myself ;-) how I think this should really work.

The plan

  1. Make a three-month plan
    1. See the main Travel Notes Workflowy-list
    2. See the estimate (pdf) I wrote to myself
  2. Write down the concept (I’ll publish it here soon)
  3. Create a data and user flow.
  4. Do some scribbling in a sketch book
  5. Build a prototype, save show the world!
  6. Decision time. Keep going, or take a hike.

I’ll keep you updated on Twitter (the easy updates) and come back here for the big announcements (IPO’s, celebrity ambassadors, etc.). Any feedback you have to give is great. Share your experience!

Next up: the concept. Stay tuned.

Cheers, Bram

PS I just posted my first blog post in English!