Are you happy with Dynalist?

Just wondering what other people’s experience with Dynalist has been so far… At the moment I feel Dynalist has everything I could need. I don’t need any fancy features and I love the minimal design. However, I’ve been tempted to switch to Notion because it makes it easier to display different kinds of information (tables, boards, galleries, etc.). Plus, it’s a lot cheaper ;). But I still like the ‘feel’ of Dynalist if that makes sense. I’ve used it for a while and I find it difficult to let go.

I’ve been looking for an app that I can turn into my ‘second brain’. I don’t like having to use 10 different tools… I feel I can do that in Dynalist, but it has quite a few limitations. Maybe I need something like a wiki (e.g. Notion).

Here’s what my current setup looks like if any of you are interested…


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Unfortunately a deal breaker of Notion for me is lack of offline access. Also, the app takes like 5 seconds to start on my android phone.

I can’t say I’m entirely “happy” with Dynalist but I’ve not found anything better.

Every single day I find myself thinking at least one of these thoughts:

  • If only the tag autocomplete match algorithm matched by arbitrary substring, not initial substring! (This is one thing Notion does really well) Come on, it’s probably just one ^ symbol in a regex somewhere! (If someone could point me to the relevant bit of js, so I can locally override it, would be grateful)
  • If only there could be real WYSIWYG! Or at the very least markdown syntax highlighting (think the way markdowns are shown in Sublime/VSCode, or how Markor on Android shows markdown)! I really like my colors, highlights, bolds, italics, underlines, and I read my own notes much faster when those visual cues are present. When I use Dynalist it feels like going back to notepad again
  • Without WYSIWYG, at least some kind of button on mobile in the meantime that allows you to wrap selection with ** or __ …
  • If only I could rename tag across docs!
  • If only there were an option when exporting as/importing from plain text, to have some way of preserving the distinction between notes and items (e.g. TheBrain’s plain text export will put a “-” in front of all the notes, and when importing will properly detect those). That would make my workflow so much smoother (since I often need to process my Dynalist documents using my own text tools )
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I’ve been a paid Dynalist customer since January 2017. I love it and have created 600-plus documents. I know Dynalist is positioned against Workflowy, Moo.do and Checkvist, but I’d love to see it evolve and expand, taking on Evernote and Notion. I’d love some more functionality.

I bought a year of Notion a few weeks ago to see if I’d like it better, but it is clunky and slow—and would take forever to import all my stuff into. Things transfer as bullet points instead of as toggles. Notion doesn’t show deeply embedded files in the sidebar, resulting in more clicks to find anything. With Dynalist, I’m hitting Ctrl+G all day long to find the right documents.

Dynalist has a great feel about it, is very fast and uses much less in the way of computer resources compared with Notion.

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My brother uses Notion as his second brain so I have quite a good comparison between them. Notion is a great tool but for me it lacks one thing and that is a good hierarchy+hiding functionality.
In Dynalist it is very easy to capture thoughts and a huge amount of content because it is always possible to collapse/expand bullets in an endless hierarchy. In Notion it is only possible to collapse/expand everything and you cant jump to a specific level. And that is what makes Dynalist special.
On the other hand there are some features missing in Dynalist which are strongly desired but unfortunately not implemented yet like tables and multiple tabs/panes (the last one fortunately possible with @Piotr’s Powerpack) .

I like the simple and minimalistic approach of Dynalist and that why I am a happy user since 2 years.

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Yup, I have to agree with this one. It’s why I’m still using Dynalist. Plus, it’s SO EASY to create stuff in Dynalist. Because it’s so minimal I don’t have to spend any extra time setting up a new document or page like I would in Notion. I would love some basic tables, but I use tags to get around some of my databases. It’s not perfect, but Dynalist feels more ‘natural’ than Notion.

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im still very happy with dynalist. the only thing the has been making me look around for other alternatives is the lack of offline support. im starting to get concerned about the about of personal information i have i dynalist (nothing incriminating but lots of personal notes and thoughts) and with the way things are going these days with security breaches happening every second week i would feel a lot better if i could store some documents on my NAS drive and sync between devices on my home network only.

notion looks pretty good alright. it would be neat being able to have in-line images again. i used them a lot in evernote, but i love using dynalist so much that i am managing just fine without that feature.

did they just recently add windows or android support? i remember looking at notion at some point and wrote it off for some reason or other. anyway, its no good now because i switched from windows to linux a few weeks ago so i would need a linux version first to even consider notion

im actually starting to think of this as a downside! its so easy i end up writing down every random idea i have. if i was using evernote i wouldnt bother writing down half of the things because i know things would get way too messy

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Except for the Pro pricing, which is simply unaffordable for me due to currency exchange rates [I stay in India], I love Dynalist and it’s the only note app I use. I’ve found ways to live without some of the pro features, so the free app is enough for me now. I’m also not too concerned about privacy as I’m not really storing the country’s secrets in it. :sweat_smile:

So, overall I’d say I’m pretty satisfied with it.

So…

Where are you storing the country’s secrets?

Just asking.

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How expensive is Dynalist in India compared with other countrys?

I’ve entrusted that responsibility to my cat. Jokes aside, I understand the concerns over privacy, so I don’t store any information I consider to be sensitive. I’m still very much a pen and paper person, and I tend to write a lot traditionally. I usually scan the important pages and keep them on my hard drive.

@Philipp Well I can’t speak for other countries, but $9.99 would be between Rs. 700 - Rs. 750 (with processing fees and such), and I’m not comfortable having that expense every month. I also do not wish to pay for an entire year as I don’t want to be tied to the app. If it was $4.99 - $5.99 a month, I’d have gladly paid.

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Dynalist has become an integral part of my workflow. I can’t function without it anymore.

In India not everyone has a credit card either, nor does all debit cards work for international payments.

I wouldn’t mind one time paid app that unlocked Pro features on phones only. Maybe a new unlock every year or two for major features, something like what Action Launcher does.

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@subhinay @himadri_sm

You’re probably aware of it, but don’t forget the referral programme as a way of offsetting the cost

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I switched to Dynalist this year after using Workflowy for years and years. I really wanted the calendar sync, and it has made a huge difference.

I would love embedding. I would love to be able to work on different files in Dynalist rather than simply have links to them.

Other than that, though, I’m happy.

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Embedding and working on different files is possible with the Powerpack 3 . Maybe something you should try, it’s a game changer :slight_smile:

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I discovered Dynalist last summer, following the (impending) demise of Toodledo, and it has likely become my no. 1 most important app. I know @Erica said Dynalist is not meant to serve as a to-do list (?!), but I definitely use it that way (among many other things), and it’s superb in this respect. (Toodledo’s note-storing capabilities are atrocious.)

I plan to purchase the annual Dynalist subscription next week, switching from monthly payments. (Hoping for no “50% off special discounts!” to be announced a few days after I make my purchase.) :joy:

As to payments, I regret PayPal isn’t an option. And, out of 5 (!) of my credit cards, Dynalist refused to accept 4 (!). It was a relief to discover that at least one of my cards got accepted here. I’ve been buying stuff online for decades, and I’ve never encountered such payment difficulties as here with Dynalist. Must be a Canadian thing, I guess? :wink:

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I think I meant Dynalist is not meant to compete with task managers like Things or Todoist, not that you shouldn’t use a todo list at all, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Not sure it’s a Canadian thing… Our payment processor is Stripe which is US based, and we use a US bank account. I looked up the transactions and didn’t see any paid payments, so maybe your other 4 cards were rejected before Stripe attempts to charge them. Do you remember what the error was?

Speaking of PayPal, we don’t have an automated system for accepting PayPal, but if you prefer we can arrange that. Just drop support@dynalist.io a line.

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Thanks a lot, Erica, good to know there’s an alternative should my “fifth” card fail one day. :wink: For now, it’s been working fine for monthly payments since the summer, so I’m sure it will work fine for the annual payment next week, too. The working card is Visa, while the rejected ones were all Mastercards, I think, but it’s weird because I’ve been using them for years for purchases from US Amazon, for instance. I no longer remember the error messages (from early September or so?), but they were terse one-liners simply announcing the payment had failed, with no specific reason given.

Yes, I was so blown away by Dynalist after discovering it I became a paying Pro user right away. And now I’m confident I can stay here for the full year. Toodledo is still sputtering along, but even if it goes away completely one day, I think I could replace its functionality satisfactorily with Dynalist.

Prior to discovering Dynalist, I was considering Remember The Milk or Amazing Marvin as Toodledo replacements (Todoist and TickTick didn’t impress me in my testing), but the ability, in Dynalist, to bookmark time-based search results, is a life-saver.

So, I have set up Dynalist bookmarks such as Overdue, Overdue & Today, Today & Tomorrow, Next 3 Days, Next 7 Days, Next 14 Days, Next Month, and Next Quarter, and the speed with which you can click through all these in Dynalist is quite wonderful, and in a way even more impressive than in Toodledo, the native to-do app. The heading sizes and color highlights in Dynalist are, I find, nice (and even richer, in fact) replacements for Toodledo’s priority levels. Of course, Toodledo offers more task-specific features, but I could survive without them if need be.

In particular, as mentioned, the note-taking functionality in Toodledo is very poor, so I have transferred all of my task notes from Toodledo to Dynalist, putting links to Dynalist docs in Toodledo tasks’ note fields instead.

But Dynalist can do so much more than just to serve as a to-do list. That’s the great thing about it. I’ve been using Dynalist to prepare outlines for articles I write, for instance. And I’ve been using Dynalist to share professional feedback with my team members, and they’ve been impressed by the clear structure of those feedback notes as offered by Dynalist. They couldn’t quite believe they could even insert their own reactions to the feedback notes without having to log in or set up their own Dynalist accounts, so that’s some amazing functionality for the professional user.

In short, to reply to Alem’s question, Dynalist has been a revelation. :sunglasses:

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Thanks for sharing your use case in-depth! That’s super helpful to us :slight_smile: