After almost a decade of using Workflowy, I discovered Dynalist, was very impressed, and within a few weeks, imported and switched over a couple days ago. There’s a lot I like about it, but after some real usage, it fails in a few key areas for my use cases. So here’s why I’m switching back. (Feel free to move this to a more appropriate forum category)
I have a very large number of items. I used Workflowy for taking all my notes on everything (checklists are actually a very rare use case for me, so I rarely remove items - I just find my brain thinks best in a hierarchical bulleted list, which these apps are perfect for). I was super impressed by how quick and crisp and responsive Dynalist was, but after importing, I’m guessing the sheer number of items took care of that; it was notably sluggish, moreso than Workflowy is at that number. I split up my monolith into two files, but it still has performance issues. And I don’t want to need to switch between files just to preserve performance.
The mobile app (which is vital to me to capture notes while I’m not at my desktop or laptop), while seeming marginally better than Workflowy’s, is now infuriating to deal with. When opening the app, it takes 3-6 seconds to connect/load. Then I navigate to where I want to add an item and add it, maybe one or two more, when suddenly it will interrupt with the loading screen again for another 3-6 seconds, and revert me to the top of the parent item, losing my place and often most of the item I was typing. This will continue 2 or 3 more times before it seems to stabilize, but that “open app to take a quick note” is the most common use case on mobile, so this is unacceptable for me.
There are a number of issues with moving items that I don’t have the energy to expound at the moment, but among them: You can’t indent an item under another item which has no children while dragging, something I commonly want to do. And bookmarks seem to break if they get moved to a new file.
And here’s the primary functional issue that was the dealbreaker for me. Dynalist tabs in the same browser seem sync to the view opened in the most recently used tab. This means I can’t have separate tabs with different views open with any consistency. This may in fact only be a problem when reloading, but much as I have huge note lists, I also have a ridiculous number of tabs, so I use a tab unloader, and so when I go back to a Dynalist tab that has been unloaded, it loses its place.
Workflowy has its annoyances, but overall is a smoother experience for my use cases. Perhaps I’ll try out Dynalist again after a few more years of polish.