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What's your wishlist for an online outliner?

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Posted by prince
Dec 6, 2009 at 08:01 AM


Hi everyone,

I am working on a simple, easy to use, collaborative online outliner. Since I am still in early stage, I’d love to pick your brains about what you love/hate about your existing outliners, and what are the features that you’d love to have.

If possible, please include a sentence or two about which workflows and projects you use outliners for.

Thanks a ton,


Posted by MadaboutDana
Dec 10, 2009 at 05:49 PM


I’ve used loads of outliners over the years, working primarily in Windows environments, and while I’ve got my perennial favourites (the two that have lasted longest are EssentialPIM - the free version - and ListPro - of which I have a registered version that also runs on my WinMobile phone), and play regularly with a number of others (Ecco Pro - yup, it’s a bit clunky, but boy is it fast and powerful, and TreeDBnotes, which is simply amazing), the thing I still find myself yearning for is an OmniOutliner for PC. The reason: those lovely, lovely columns… Although a number of other outliners have columns (MyInfo’s been mentioned, Ecco Pro too), none of them have the enormous flexibility of OmniOutliner, where you can put anything you like in columns (including wrapped, rich-formatted text; not possible in either ListPro or Ecco). The closest thing I’ve found is OpenOffice’s spreadsheet application (Sheet), which is vastly preferable to Excel in that it actually supports WP functionality in individual cells. But it’s a rather awkward solution - I’d much rather use a dedicated outliner.

The other outliner worth mentioning here is SuperNotecard. It’s not often mentioned, but it’s extremely powerful. Just doesn’t (quite) do columns, although it comes pretty damn close…

So that would be high on my list of wishes - really good, flexible columns. OneNote kind of does them, it’s true, but (a) it’s a messy Microsoft product, which means the search function doesn’t work properly if you have Windows Desktop Search switched off - which I do - and (b) it’s quite expensive! Oh, and (c) it’s got all those dreadful 1,001 different ways of doing the same thing interface quirks that Microsoft excel in (aha! aha!). Simple really is best, at least where outliners are concerned. Which is why they tend to be developed for Mac, I suppose…


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