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Outliner with support for image attachments

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Posted by Alessandro Vernet
Apr 5, 2018 at 05:15 PM

 

I have been a WorkFlowy paying customer since 2014 and use it to keep track of all kind of notes, including about books, articles, restaurants, travel plans, people I meet, things I’ve done (“journaling”), health data, gifts, ideas, recipes, and more. In all, I currently have more than 70,000 “nodes” in WorkFlowy.

I still have lots of good things to say about WorkFlowy; however, I have found it not supporting image attachments to be increasingly limiting. I’ve tried putting images somewhere else like Imgur, and using a link in WorkFlowy, but haven’t found this workaround satisfactory.

Hence I am today looking for an alternative. And where could one find a better community than this one to ask for advice?! My “requirements” are:

1. Outliner-like with support for infinite nesting, folding, and focusing on a sub-tree.
2. Supports image attachments, showing a thumbnail inline with the possibility of viewing the full-size image.
3. Works wells with a large number of “nodes”.
4. Provides quick search, which I use constantly.
5. Has a good mobile app, at least for iOS, that syncs, and can be used offline, at a minimum for searching and viewing (both text and images).
6. On the desktop, I’m using macOS, so a web app or macOS app will do.
7. Less than $100 to purchase or, if subscription-based, less than $50 /year.
8. Has a history being maintained, regularly updated, and supported.

Here are some of the alternatives I’ve looked at pretty closely:

- OmniOutliner ($80: $60 macOS + $20 on iOS, for the Pro with attachment support) – Benefits: it has a long history, is regularly updated, and seems like a good match for my requirements. Drawbacks: despite having been updated recently with v5 on macOS and v3 on iOS, the app interface feels dated; more importantly, the way it handles image attachments, with no support for thumbnails, is only marginally better than a link to Imgur.
- OmniFocus ($60: $40 macOS + $20 iOS) – Benefits: cheaper than OmniOutliner, and feels more modern, even in v2 (with v3 coming up soon). Drawbacks: not better than OmniOutliner for images, and I am hesitant to use an app for something it isn’t designed for.
- MindNode ($55 - $40 macOS + $15 iOS) – Benefits: fresh UI, thumbnails for images. Drawbacks: after some testing, I am thinking that mind maps are not appropriate for the use I have in mind. For instance, when MindNode shows the result of a search in the outline sidebar, it doesn’t show the parent items, so the result is a potentially long list of matching nodes, and the lack of context makes searching through large documents much harder. (Yes, you can click on the item and see where it is in mind map, but with a large mind map, the parents are not easily visible there either.) This is not to criticize MindNode, but to say that mind maps might not be the right tool for the job.

In addition to those, I’ve considered but quickly eliminated Mindly (looked encouraging for a first version but doesn’t seem to be actively developed anymore) and Dynalist (at $96/year, is just too expensive for me).

Finally, another option would be to go with a more traditional note-taking app that isn’t an outliner, like Evernote, Bear, or Google Keep. Those generally have good support for images, can handle a large number of notes, have good search and mobile apps. But it would be a shame, as organizing information in a tree structure and working with that tree (fold, focus, search) seems to be the most inline with the way I think.

I’m looking forward to reading any feedback you guys might have!

Alex

 


Posted by Paul Korm
Apr 5, 2018 at 05:51 PM

 

Alex of the three, I would only consider OmniOutliner as a best-fit for your requirements. 

OmniFocus is not good for outlining.  Attachments are iffy. 

There might be web-based solutions?  Not sure.

 


Posted by Chris Murtland
Apr 5, 2018 at 07:25 PM

 

Dynalist is very Workflowy-esque, and they support image attachments. You can choose to display images inline or only show when hovering over the image link. I don’t think you can view a thumbnail and a full size image, however - the images are always the same size.

 


Posted by Dellu
Apr 5, 2018 at 11:13 PM

 

There is no good outliner in the mac. The focusing (hoisting) feature specially is very rare.

For my test, Neo used to be one of the best outliners that checks all the features you are asking for (I am not sure about the image thought). But, the app is dead, unfortunately.

Have you considered OneNote?
I am not sure if the sections in Onenote are comparable with the sub-tree you are talking about.

 


Posted by Dellu
Apr 5, 2018 at 11:19 PM

 

Onenote supports only 4 level embedding though.

Notebook > Section > Page > Subpage.

 

 

 


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