Keep our fingers on the keyboard

I’m new to Dynalist and really like it but I find that I too often have to move my fingers from home position to get things done like using shortcuts for editing and navigation. One competitor’s tool is much better about this. I’ve not listed their name here in order not to give them free advertising on your forum. That tool includes some Vim-based keystrokes for navigation and moving items up/down/indent/outdent. This makes it easy for the user to “sculpt” a list of items into a hierarchical outline. You might also extend this capability to document and folder handling as well. I could envision using, say, “^” (or some other user-selected key) to enter a shortcut mode in which the keys would all act as action keys to move items up/down/indent/outdent and navigate.

Feel free to contact me directly for the specific competitor or for other questions.


Since I first wrote this post, I’ve noticed the Keymap section of Settings. Could we just get Cmd plus the right/left arrow keys as alternative indent/outdent shortcuts?


Dynalist Pro users can customize shortcuts, if that’s what you’re looking for.

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Can we customize indent/outdent?

Also, it’s more than that. See how GQueues implemented their Vim keyboard shortcuts. Something more like that is what I’m after. Plus a less awkward way of handling shortcuts in general. Basically a more Vim-like experience. Hopefully that makes sense.

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@samm, thanks for pointing out that shortcuts are customizable!

@David_Cherniawsky, most of our “action” shortcuts are customizable, but unfortunately they don’t include very basic ones like indent, unindent, create new item, go up a line, go down a line, etc. Plus with our current shortcut customizable shortcuts require at least one modifier key.

But to answer your question, unfortunately that’s not the direction we want to go in. Vim-style shortcuts are convenient but they require modes. For example, in apps like GQueues and Checkvist, you get powerful shortcuts the don’t require even modifier keys, but that also means you can’t directly edit an item without first go into text editing mode. I think that would kill the editing flow in Dynalist. I hope that’s understandable!

Thanks, @Erica. I’m glad you grasp the situation. I appreciate your position on the edit mode and that you are willing to share that position.

I understand that shortcuts are customizable but not in a coherent manner in my opinion.

Having such disparate sets of keys to move items up/down versus left/right seems clumsy.

I feel like a good compromise would be to open up customization of the indent/unindent shortcut with the end game being to allow one to have a cluster of keys like this (omitting modifiers)…

h: unindent
j: move down
k: move up
l: indent

which would satisfy some Vim similarity and keep at least the right hand on the keyboard.

To your point, I think this would help improve editing flow (and that guiding principle I totally agree with).

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I’d like to second the request for customizable shortcuts for indent/unindent.

One of my favorite ways to use WorkFlowy is to first collect brainstormed items quickly in a flat list, then later structure this list by moving and adding levels. In WorkFlowy on Mac I’m able to use Ctrl+Shift+arrows (Alt+Shift+arrows on Linux) which maps to indent/unindent/move up/move down for the restructuring operations. I just hold down Ctrl+Shift and then tap the arrow keys until the line or group of lines is where I want it to be.

It seems like a small thing, but I’ve found that it makes a big difference in speed and brainpower required. I’d love to have this ability in Dynalist.


@David_Cherniawsky @BryanN

Thanks for the input! Will take them into consideration :slight_smile:

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I’m delighted to find customizable shortcuts for indent/unindent in the current web client! Many thanks!

(Check it out, @David_Cherniawsky)

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Nice! Thanks for the heads up. Of course, my Pro trial ended yesterday…:disappointed:

No worries! Email us ( and we can extend your trial.

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Hi guys,

I’m trying out Dynalist and I’m liking it a lot so far, however there’s one thing that makes a scratch in the experience. I’m used to opening/collapsing outline levels by just pressing “Tab” (as in org-mode). In current config, Tab is already a key which can be used without any modifier - it’s assigned to indenting by default, however even if I unset it from that function, I still cannot assign it to anything else - system forces me to always use a modifier.

Is there any way I can do this right now? I tried to edit config files, but it looks Dynalist is syncing settings from the server each time the app starts. If there’s no way round, would you consider allowing user to use Tab for something else - as it already a special key in use without modifier? :slight_smile:

Your observations are correct.

For shortcuts customized by the user, at least one modifier key is mandatory, but that’s not necessary for built-in default shortcuts.

The reason was that we don’t want you do be able to specify keys like g and make Dynalist unusable. Freeing keys like Tab is doable, but they might cause other issues, since they have some browser default behaviors (Tab for jumping to the next text field, for example).

Plus Tab is conventionally used for indenting text in other text editors, so we didn’t think people would want to customize this.

By the way, what are you planning to use for indenting and unindenting if not with Tab and Shift+Tab?

Hi Erica - thanks for stepping by!

I understand your concern with issues that could result from allowing any keys without modifiers to be assigned as specials. That why I am only mentioning something as harmless as Tab :).

To answer your question - for indenting and unidenting I am also using orgmode-style keys, so: Alt+← and Alt+→. With Tab onboard, I could replicate core orgmode keyboard experience in more modern /Dynalist/ way.

Ok, I see!

Do you mind posting this as a new feature request, since it’s no longer about the original request? Namely, allowing Tab in shortcut customization.

Alright, cool - new topic is here: Allowing Tab in shortcut customization

Would you be able to move our posts from this topic about the issue to the new topic for better clarity?


Definitely, quoting some of our discussions here would clarify the new topic.