First Look: Dashword

Announcing Work Journaling newsletter from Work Futures

I’ve wanted for some time to launch a newsletter on what I call work journaling, focused on the tools and techniques of journaling for both personal and team research, planning, reflection, and coordination. I am launching a newsletter today called Work Journaling, and in the coming weeks and months I’ll be profiling tools like, Taskade, Roam Research, Dropbox Paper, Hypernotes, Clover, Craft, and more. I will also be discussing techniques like Zettlecasten, Bullet Journal, and others.

I am launching today with a very short profile of Dashword, since this is my first go with Substack’s new subsidiary newsletters feature, and I am shaking down the new affordances.

As a subscriber to Work Futures I believe you will be seeing these posts, but Substack hasn’t really clarified all the questions of how signups on subsidiary newsletters will work. My plan is to operate as two independent newsletters, once the dust settles.

I saw the producthunt post for Dashword, and it caught my eye because of its columnar layout for outlines.

At the website they say Dashword is

A simple tool to structure thoughts, plan projects, and create concepts.

Here’s the ‘What is Dashword’ help page that’s included when you download the macOS app (which is the only version right now):

You can toggle to an outline view if you find that easier to use. The shortcuts work in either mode. There is a dark mode as well.

I confess that I have a specific use case in mind for Dashwood, which is creating agendas for meetings, however that led to a number of issues, mostly due to the early status of the tool, and my unfamiliarity with it:

  1. Can’t import — I hoped to be able to import an earlier agenda as a starting point, from a table in either Markdown or Word. No import at present.

  2. Can’t export or print — I had hoped to be able to export or at least print the outline. Not supported (although I could print a screenshot, I guess).

  3. No tasks — I had hoped that tasks would be supported in some way, at least as rendered checkboxes. No dice.

  4. No sharing — Ultimately I have to share the agenda with others. Would be great if others could comment, annotate. Not at this point.

The layout is pretty, even without using some of the (few) other features like notes on the outline elements.

But it’s way too early for real use.

Aside from the numbered list above, my wishlist would include a third view, a text view, where the numbered ‘main nodes’ would be rendered as headings, and each top-level child and its children would be rendered as a paragraph, like this:

in process with the city

three phase parking parking recommendations. still not clear what the city plans to do. [ ] need to follow up with the city.

I will take another look when there is another major release.