Ending the Workona Experiment (What's Next?)

I recently exported all of my data from Workona and canceled my recurring subscription. Based on how I work, Workona became little more than a 2nd-tier bookmark repository. I'm not even sure if that is the proper way to describe how my good intentions were overrun by persistent bad habits. I had a chance to explain myself during Workona's exit interview. Normally, I wouldn't bother telling the company why I'd canceled; however, over the past few years, I've corresponded with people who work at Workona. I wanted to reassure them that it was a case of "It's not you, it's me." Here is my response to the question of what annoyed me about Workona:

My own pack-rat tendencies. I made too many Resource Sections, couldn't remember where to put tabs, came up with the idea to "pile and search" by storing every new tab in the default Resources section. Of the hundreds of tabs I had thus squirrelled away, I only ever used SIX on a continual basis.

This is NOT a reflection on your product (although search is not as helpful as it might be...going to the web when I have the resource tucked away somewhere.) Indeed, as I modify my digital retention framework, I'm leaving behind the cabinet-folder-file paradigm for the tagged database paradigm. Eagle.cool for images, Readwise Reader for docs and a simplified Workspace environment using Opera.

In essence, Gmail got one thing right with its labels and filters: the physical location of digital content needs to be known only to the software, so that it can be retrieved at will. This was why I loved the early Evernote. It's also why I migrate to solutions like I mentioned above. Eagle.cool requires a lightbulb moment. When it pops for you, you will do everything in your power to store all images in its database. Readwise Reader saved my sanity, as it allows me to forward all of my newsletters from Gmail to the app.

So, what am I going to do about bookmarks? Arrrgh! Here is a grim truth: bookmarking is like sweeping dirt into a corner because you can't be bothered to bend over and scoop it up with a dustpan. Every informational website looks like gold. My solution is to be more discerning. If I really want to be able to reference a website, I'll store the link and/or a copy of the page as close to where I'll need it as possible. My proximity model looks like this:

  • Current Project Folder
  • TiddlyWiki
  • Readwise Reader
  • Capacities.io
  • Opera Start Page
  • Opera Pinned Tab

Current Project Folder

 For example, each week, I assemble links for my newsletter. A simple text file holds the article and raw links.


 This app is a portable wiki-style database. I use it for my publishing business. Live links are stored inline with text. This is my 2nd-most frequently used file (behind Opera.)

Readwise Reader

 The next generation of readers has too many goodies to detail here. Google it if you're interested. I'm developing the habit of sending web pages (not just newsletters.) Part of that habit is to immediately click the Open in Reader button and tag the page. This is what Workona is missing!


 This is a second-brain project. I'm still playing with it and learning how to use it. It claims to be a place for all your information and differentiates itself from Notion by NOT being a 2D table-based database. The demos are fascinating, but will I ever need that level of granularity? If this product had come out in 2001, it would have changed the way I worked!

Opera Start Page

 This is a funny one: I initially hated the start page because it had news and shopping links. However, after the 14th time that my pinned tabs got shuffled or lost, I decided to keep my occasional links on the start page. Once I honed the behavior of the start page, it no longer suggests sites and it doesn't show news. I love it!

Opera Pinned Tabs

 I used to pin over a dozen tabs. Now, I keep a more manageable seven, including Gmail, Facebook, Substack and my YouTube playlist. These will appear only when my "Home" Opera workspace is open. Opera workspaces are nifty focus-enablers that do what Workona does, for free!

So, the Digital Diet continues. Burp!

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