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outlining in the left pane, text in the right?

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Posted by incandescentman
Nov 18, 2011 at 09:51 PM


Is there an app that displays keyboard-editable hierarchical structure in the left pane and text editing/word processing in the right pane?

I’m looking for a Mac or web-based app that will allow me to create and modify hierarchical structure (in the form of multi-level bulleted lists) in the left pane and do text editing/word processing in the right pane.

I wish I could combine Workflowy and Scrivener into one tool.

The good thing about Scrivener: It displays the hierarchical structure of my document in the left pane (with headers, subheaders, subsubheaders) and displays a text editor/word processor in the right pane.

The problem with Scrivener: Creating new sections, moving sections around, nesting one section beneath another, etc is cumbersome. Every time you want a new level of the hierarchy, you have to choose “new text,” name it, and use the trackpad (not the keyboard) to drag it to where you want it in document folder structure. Blech.

The good thing about Workflowy: Creating and modifying the hierarchical structure is so easy. You create a new list item simply by hitting enter, promote by hitting tab, demote by hitting shift-tab, and move list items around easily using the keyboard.

The problem with Workflowy: no text editor pane.

What I want is a tool that’s like Workflowy in the left pane?quick keyboard-based creating and modifying of hierarchical structure?but with a text editor/word processor in the right pane.

With the tool I envision, for each bulleted list item in the left-pane hierarchy, I could enter right-pane text. At the end, like Scrivener, the tool would “compile” a Word document, excluding the hierarchy of headers and subheaders and including only the right-pane text.

I can hack a solution to this with Workflowy by just entering body text below various list items in the structural hierarchy and adding a #bodytext tag for each paragraph of prose, then running a search for #bodytext and exporting only the paragraphs that appear thus tagged. But it would be more far more useful to have a split-screen navigation so that I could see the body text in a separate pane from the hierarchical structure.

I looked at OmniOutliner, and with that tool, I do not seem to be able to select and export by hierarchical level, so I don’t think I could isolate the body text.

Does such a tool exist? What solutions would you suggest? Thanks!