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best outliner you use? (2018)

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Posted by Chris Thompson
Apr 11, 2018 at 03:19 PM


My current top tools are:

Notion.so, v2: This is a web and desktop app with a novel flexible data model. Notes can be children of other notes (standard stuff), but also simulateously exist across a variety of metadata-supported views (calendars, kanban boards, database tables, etc.). Like Ecco, you can create subitems from any view, so you can for example create subnotes directly on a calendar item. The user interface is very good, it’s got a lot of buzz, and the company has venture capital backing, so I’m hoping it stays around for a while.

Tinderbox: Unfortunately Mac only and can sometimes feel like a research project, but there aren’t any other really good tools for using spatial views to make help sense of a large jumble of notes with arbitrary metadata. Really only necessary for complicated projects, but invaluable if you need it.

Scrivener 3: Solid writing tool, versatile, quite impressive in the latest version.

I’m not using Emacs Org-mode as much any more, but it deserves an honorable mention because it’s able to do an enormous amount of things if you’re willing to put in the time. Tiddlywiki is the same way. It *can* do everything ConnectedText used to do, but using it beyond a basic level requires getting involved in the community because everything is custom (batteries are not included) and resources are spread everywhere. It’s actually more of a rabbit hole than Org-mode, which does come with some batteries included.