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Lack of up-to-date outliners

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Posted by Cyganet
Aug 1, 2020 at 08:27 PM


So, you want Windows non-cloud programs that are still being developed, and it sounds like the outliner is used for planning and writing documents rather than managing a to-do list.  I see two families of programs that could fit:

1) Single-pane outliners where the tree structure is inside one main document.  The text (paragraphs, headings, bullets) can easily be moved in the hierarchy using the keyboard.
- MS Word: each document has an outline view, and dragging headings in the view rearranges the document. Maybe not typically seen as an outliner, and perhaps not your preferred text editor
- FreePlane: the mindmap structure is very easy to use as an outliner, and it can be exported to a text document for further word processing
- InfoQube: its outlining capability has become very easy to use in recent updates
- Indigrid: this is plain text only, and can show multiple columns in the outline so you can refer to one part of your outline while you write in another part
- Emacs Org-Mode: also plain text, requires learning Emacs. Both Emacs and Org-Mode are continuously updated
- Visual Studio Code: not quite an outliner, but it can show you the outline structure of your plain text document, so similar to MS Word in that sense

2) Two-pane outliners or hierarchical notebooks where the outline tree is next to a collection of separate documents that can be rearranged in the tree
- Scrivener: the binder and the outline view, allow for sophisticated outlining. I like to use the binder, and make the column a lot wider to write longer titles
- cherrytree: already mentioned, hierarchical notebook with tree of pages
- The Journal: its notes pages can make an outline tree, page titles can be colour coded and icons added in the tree
- Zim Wiki: the newest version has just had an updated Windows build. Open source and free, so easy to check out

For handling references that can be manually created, look at Zotero, which can also be used fully offline.  Zotero can integrate with MS Word, VS Code, Emacs, and Zettlr (mentioned earlier by jaslar)