Using Workflowy as a Agile/Scrum tool, for personal use

I enjoy the Agile Scrum project management workflow at my workplace where we use Atlassian’s Jira & Scrum tools for managing various projects. While, one may not need all the hefty features of a enterprise tool for managing personal projects, it would be nice to have a free tool with support for such a Agile Scrum workflow.

Some of the features that I expect in a Agile Scrum tool (for personal use) are:

  • Having the ability to create and manage sprints and a backlog
  • Usage of epics to categorize the list of items to be completed in a project
  • Being able to assign story points to stories
  • View progress in a sprint – with story points as a metric
  • Being able to mark items as done

Trello has been referenced for use as a scrum tool, which may need a few tweaks/hacks. While, this may work for others, I was looking for a much simpler alternative like Workflowy. In case, you haven’t heard about it before:

WorkFlowy is an organizational tool that makes life easier. It can help you organize personal to-dos, collaborate on large team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, plan a wedding, and much more.

For my wishlist of Agile/Scrum features mentioned above for personal use, here is how Workflowy can be set up:

  • Workflowy supports tagging so, tags can be used as epics for categorization
  • (hack) Use tags with a specific prefix for assigning story points to individual items
  • View progress in a given sprint using a bookmarklet

As indicated in the screenshot below, I am using  “SP-” as a standard prefix for assigning story points to individual items.

The JavaScript snippet below looks for tags starting with “SP-” on the page and displays a alert box indicating the story points for total, pending and completed items.

To use this in workflowy, simple create a bookmarklet in your browser with any name of your choice and the minified version of the code below as the URL. To see the progress in a given sprint or a view, simply click on the bookmarklet and it will display the progress.

Note: when using this bookmarklet, please make sure to have “Completed:visible” in workflowy (top-right corner). You may change this back to “Completed:hidden” after viewing the progress.

javascript: (function() {
    var allTagText = jQuery('.contentTagText:contains("SP")').text();
    var doneTagText = jQuery('.done .contentTagText:contains("SP")').text();
    var numberPattern = /d+/g;
    var allSprintStoryPoints = allTagText.match(numberPattern);
    var allCount = 0;var doneCount = 0;
    for (var i = 0; i < allSprintStoryPoints.length; i++) {
        allCount += parseInt(allSprintStoryPoints[i])
    var doneSprintStoryPoints = doneTagText.match(numberPattern);
  if(doneTagText.length > 0) {    
    for (var i = 0; i < doneSprintStoryPoints.length; i++) {
        doneCount += parseInt(doneSprintStoryPoints[i])
  } else {
    doneCount = 0;
    alert('Total: ' + allCount + '  ' + ' Pending: ' + 
          (parseInt(allCount) - parseInt(doneCount)) + 
          '  Completed:  ' + doneCount);

Minified version of this code is available here.

Magento Site Performance Optimization – Book Review

magento-site-performanceIf you are interested in performance optimization tips for a Magento CMS based website, checkout Magento Site Performance Optimization by Packt Publishing.
This book uses a step-by-step approach and enables you to learn topics like – Magento’s caching techniques and how to optimize a Magento site’s performance.

Starting with the right hardware, tuning MySQL and exploring built-in Magento caching mechanisms – this book covers the topics necessary to understand how to optimize a Magento site’s performance.

What you will learn from this book

  • Configure MySQL for high performance
  • Optimize the database model
  • Take advantage of Varnish, APC, memcached, and FPC
  • Explore built-in Magento caching mechanisms
  • Install and tune Apache, lighttpd, and Nginx for Magento
  • Supercharge your website with external services
  • Use the Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine to serve Magento
  • Gain more customers by enhancing your website

Magento 1.8 Development Cookbook – Review

Recently, I got a chance to go through the recipes in Magento 1.8 Development Cookbook. It covers over 70 recipes to learn Magento development from scratch. A good reference for every Magento developer!

After reading this book, you will be able to customize the look and feel of your Magento shop and work on theming, catalog configuration, module, and database development. This book also has recipes for creating modules to modify or extend Magento’s standard behaviour.


magento 1.8 cookbook


Highlights of the book:

  • Install Magento on a custom web server
  • Add your own touch to a Magento store with a custom theme
  • Speed up your store with some performance tools
  • Customize and extend backend functionality with forms, grids, and more
  • Build your own shipping module
  • Manage the display of your products
  • Understand database design patterns

A practical developer guide packed with recipes that cover all the parts of Magento development. The recipes will start with the simple development exercises and get the more advanced as the book progresses.

This book starts with the basics. The first thing is to create a test environment. Next, the architecture, tools, files and other basics are described to make you ready for the real work.