Preserving URLs when moving bullets as in Workflowy

I wasn’t sure if this is a bug or if it should be a feature request. My memory might be mistaken but I thought that Dynalist was supposed to have the same feature as workflowy where in moving a bullet ( or a collection of bullets) doesn’t alter the URL of the individual bullet(s). As far as I have observed this isn’t happening, on the web version or the desktop version. Any comments?


It looks like the URL is preserved to me.

How are you moving them? I’m dragging and dropping them, within the same document.

Selecting them using mouse and then cutting with ctrl + x and pasting somewhere else with ctrl + v

Is this within the same document, or transferring the bullets to a different document?

If the latter, then the link would change. If it’s within the same document, it should remain the same.

This is a really important point, and one it took me a while to discover.
The folder option in DL is the only real substantial difference I have found in DL and WF, but it can make a lot of difference in function.

To me, this function is one of the reasons DL is better, but it is very important to consider this when setting up your workflow.
I tried to ignore the folder and document options in DL when I began using it but now regret it as I had to go back and change a lot of links.


That’s interesting. Did you change your structure from lists to documents & folders because of limitations (e.g. can’t share a sublist) or extra features (e.g. being able to quickly jump to a document)? Would love to hear your use case!

Extra features for sure! I think the documents and folders architecture is what sets DL apart.
That being said, when I first began using it I had not thought through my process completely. A case is point - Contacts.

I like to keep contact information in DL and I also track projects, tasks, and correspondence. When I discuss a project or task with a client or associate I note it under their contact info with a link to the project or task.
In the beginning I had everything in one big document because that is what I had been doing. After using DL a while I realized I preferred to have Contacts as a separate document from Projects so I had to go back and change the links. Better to know that in the beginning!
Love the app and am making a huge commitment to using it, so keep up the great work…


I just discovered that - when transferring bullets to a different document the links change (and I had cross-linked several items).


  • I choose to work with only ONE document (and forget about folders and documents).

By doing so, I give myself the ‘future’ option of being able to move things around from one place of the document to another, without losing the precious link connections.


@Eddie: really sorry that you have to work this way because of this limitation! Folders and documents are a big plus for the organization, in my opinion at least.

In the future, ideally we would love to have all internal links auto-update when you use our built-in way to move things around (see Move items to another place). That would make things a lot easier.


@Erica - I must add that - by taking more time upfront (hours if necessary) to define an organizational structure, one comes to appreciate the usefulness of folders and documents.

Of course, auto-updating internal links will always be very useful because it is guaranteed that the even the most thought-out structure will change in the future.


So when you move a bullet to another document, the URL for the bullet changes as it must contain the ID of the new document.

Solutions would be then to either:

  • Identify bullets by their own ID, search where that bullet is listed, then show that doc+bullet, or

  • in the database, but invisible in the UI, keep a redirect to the new location place and forward to that

The first might be more expensive search-wise, although you could work around it with 1) look for it the regular way, 2) if not available, then do a lookup for elsewhere

The second could be very expensive storage wise as you keep on having things that move around

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This might be an old conversation, but I think it would be great functionality. As part of diving into Dynalist, I’m attempting to manage notes similar to a wiki and running into this issue. Often, the bullet needs to be moved in some way, indented to add a higher category, or moved to a different subject. At that point, all links to the bullet are broken.

I’m going to throw some ideas out there, they may be completely off-base but based on what @ruud responded:

  • Have a document that captures all links. On a move, an event checks this list for link items pointing to it and updates them. I’m not sure if this is better than having it in the database, behind the scenes (not sure how pages are cached).
  • Similar to the above, but instead of a separate document, have the item contain a sub-bullet with all other bullets linking to it.
  • Use a visual indicator a link is broken (links to a non-existent item or empty item), then when clicked, the search is invoked for linking so it can be manually corrected. Not ideal, but would take automation stress off the system.

Moving bullets around documents should NOT break internal links… Otherwise users are forced to choose between secure links, but single document structure OR better structure with documents and folders AND broken links whenever they have to move things around. NOT good.

Also, cutting and pasting even on the same document breaks links AND changes creation date. Also NOT good.

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Hello everyone :slight_smile:

Can you please confirm that this has been resolved?
Can you confim that links between items won’t be broken if I move items between documents and folders, no matter how I do it (cut-paste or click-move)?

I don’t seem to encounter the problem but, as I will rely heavily on folders and documents, it’s important for me to know I’m not building my house on quicksand.

thank you

A quick test reveals that this has not been resolved. Moving a link target within a document (using the Move Item command) does not break links to the target. Moving a link target to another document (using the Move Item command), or cutting and pasting the target (into the same or a different document), breaks all links to the target.

Yes encounter this issue myself after recently moving into using more documents and folders. Would love to be able to preserve the links after moving into different documents!

This is why I dont use links but tags.

Is there a feature request for this in Trello, so that I can upvote it? I couldn’t find one perusing through.

While there are other features that sound way more interesting to me, this seems like something that just needs to get fixed…how many people have shot themselves in the foot by not understanding or remembering that this is how links work in Dynalist? I just ran into a huge headache with this because I (again) forgot that links break when moving a node between documents. I link into Dynalist from other tools, so the problem grows exponentially as more and more links break…


Big Dynalist fan, for months now, and I’ve widely evangelized it, but this may be the hill my usage dies on, alas … It’s a veritable bug that links to an item aren’t preserved when the referenced item gets moved to another document. This all but shocked me. Links are a sort of data we log – data that quietly gets lost when we relocate an item, such that there’s no way to tell what we linked to originally, because what actually happened (infinitely less usefully) is that we linked to its page.

This isn’t just a feature limitation; it’s experienced as an actual bug (lost data), given how linking functionality is presented / commonly understood, and unexpectedly destructive; in good conscience, it seems to me an asterisk is required when people encounter Dynalist’s linking for the first time, so that they don’t discover this limitation along the way, after deploying too many links that end up obliterated from item migration. Am I missing something here?

The ideal for my purposes (as someone who moves items around a lot, and who would rather they remain where created but also appear in other docs) is to offer something like Trello’s forthcoming “mirror cards,” allowing items to live in multiple specified places. This would not only keep me on Dynalist but push me happily to paid.

Any chance, @Erica?

Every tool has its UX nits, but this is the core shortcoming of Dynalist and it has me seriously considering leaving, with a heavy heart, because I’ve invested so much here. Linking, even as a sub-optimal workaround method I use to try having items “bilocate” (or “tri-locate”) is largely a broken feature. Can you advise on whether you see it this way, or if I’m overlooking a better way to do this? Thank you, Erica!

@11164 Hi there, @Shida is taking a look at this issue soon, thanks for your patience!

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