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best outliner you use? (2018)

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Posted by Jan S.
Apr 11, 2018 at 07:56 AM


I’m sorry but I have to say it: Emacs org-mode is the best outliner.

At least on Windows there is really no competition—which has been really frustrating for me—and it doesn’t look like there is anything on the way. On the Mac there is some decent software available. But when it comes to features org-mode has it all: text editing, structure editing, column view, latex support, all kinds of linking and tagging, e-mail integration, calendar integration, contacts integration, web-browsing, bookmarking, password management, exporting (via the standard org-export or with pandoc [basically into every possible text format including table-of-contents, formatted citations, cross-references with template support and automation]), making websites, publishing to blogs etc.

Of course there is the “learning curve” argument. But (1) it’s justified by the feature list, (2) it’s really not that hard to learn. If you can learn Python-scripting for ConnectedText or LUA-scripting for NoteCase, then I would assume you can also learn a little elisp to customize Emacs/org-mode. (Most of it can be copied from public configuration files on GitHub anyway).


Posted by Bernhard
Apr 11, 2018 at 10:13 AM


Bernhard wrote:

> >Notecase Pro is a very descent software.

It should be decent, of course! Sorry.


Posted by Hugh
Apr 11, 2018 at 12:22 PM


Like Steve Z., I think that the best outliner that I have current experience of is Tinderbox. It is, of course, only for the Mac and its learning curve is legendary. But its capabilities are extraordinary.

At a day-to-day level, I favour OmniOutliner. Yes, I know that for some it seems a lot of shine and not a huge amount of substance. For me, its biggest flaw is that it doesn’t have clones. But what it does have is staying-power. It’s been developed on and off since the early days of Steve Jobs’ second coming at Apple, and the nature of Omni’s development team (and the other products they’ve created) means that there’s a good chance it will continue to be developed for some while yet. If you decide to learn how to use OmniOutliner, which is anyway not difficult, you can be fairly sure that it will still be there in active development next year and the years after.


Posted by Jon Polish
Apr 11, 2018 at 01:23 PM


On Windows, I find InfoQube to meet virtually all of my requirements. It goes way beyond Ecco Pro’s capabilities and is very reliable with data. Very close in second place is Ultra Recall.

Although I really like Scrivener (it has a decent outliner) I do most of my drafts in WhizFolders. Why? Not sure - it does what I want it to do and I’ve used it for a very long time. RightNote deserves mention too. At times I consider using it for my drafts because WhizFolders can get clumsy when dealing with tables, images and attachments.

I would use NoteCase more but its rendering of web clips, limited formatting, and lack of tables restricts me.



Posted by Jon Polish
Apr 11, 2018 at 01:42 PM


One thing I forgot to mention is WhizFolders’ ability to open various topics in their own window. This coupled with having several WhizFolders documents open provides great flexibility.



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