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Posted by Daly de Gagne
Aug 6, 2010 at 07:25 PM


It has taken eight years, but I am back with a Mac - and it seems better than ever. But now for the hard work of moving stuff, setting up some new software, and getting some work done!

I said here I had looked at OmniOutline, downloading and printing out its manual. Now I have it running, and I am not sure I like it. Most noticeably I see it appears to lack tag capability, for line items in the outline. Am I missing something?

Also, have downloaded Mori - it seems to have an interesting system of tag and smart folders, as well as providing for columns.

Am not clear on relative pros and cons of Mori and OmniOutline - I realize I need to do some searches here for older posts. In the meantime if any one is able to say something about these programs, I sure would appreciate it.

Also have downloaded DevonThink, but haven’t really got into it as yet.

And I’ve downloaded a few word processing and writing related programs - eg. Open Office, Mellel, Scrivener, and IWork. Anyone have any thoughts - other than perhaps how I will get any work done at all as I try to figure out which of these programs are keeper.

I also downloaded an academic reference program - Sente 6 - which makes itself sound like the absolute cutting edge for managing references, and keeping abreast of the literature.

Honestly, I think I am in CRIMP overdose mode - I have had the MacBook for less than 24 hours! But it feels great!

Thanks for any input y’all may have.



Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Aug 6, 2010 at 08:12 PM


Hi, Daly,

You’re where I was two years ago when I switched back to a Mac for my personal use (still on a PC at the office). Luckily from a CRIMP overload standpoint there are fewer choices on the Mac than for Windows. Anyway, for what it is worth, here is my two cents:

The can’t miss application for any CRIMPer with intentions of writing is, of course, Scrivener. It’s a dream application, with one of the most active user groups I’ve ever seen.

I wouldn’t bother with Mori, as the developer—not the original developer, but someone who took over development a couple of years ago—seems not to have any interest in further improvement, and I found it a little buggy when I tried it.

OmniOutliner is probably the second most powerful outliner for Mac, after TAO (and now NEO, if that has been officially released, by the same developer as for TAO). OmniOutliner is a little more user friendly, but in truth I haven’t warmed up to either one. Since I purchased Tinderbox, I use that for my outlining, but I wouldn’t recommend spending all that money just to use the outliner mode.

The other unusual choice as an outliner, one worth checking out, is Taskpaper. It is developed by the original developer of Mori (which used to be called Hog Bay Notebook or something like that). Taskpaper doesn’t provide columns, but it does allow you to tag any item. It’s quite ingenious and very elegant in its simplicity.


The problem with Mac software, as I see it, is so many of these developers have turned their attention to creating iPad apps. I’m not sure how much further development their Mac apps will get, at least in the short term. That’s another reason to choose Scrivener as Keith has stated in no uncertain terms that he’s not interested in developing for the iPad.



Posted by David Dunham
Aug 6, 2010 at 08:58 PM


Sounds like you may be after a complex application, but if all you want is outlining, check out Opal. (And any member of this forum can contact me for a discount.)


Posted by Daly de Gagne
Aug 7, 2010 at 03:54 AM


David, thanks for the note. In fact, I did download Opal this afternoon, and will look at it carefully.

I used to use ACTA and quite liked it.

While I don’t want an overly complex application, I do want an outliner which will allow me to handle columns, which is why Opal is probably not sufficient for my needs.

I’m surprised that OmniOutline while allowing for columns seems to have no tagging or cloning capability. In fact, I see on the forums that in 2008 the developer asked people to explain how they would use cloning. I would have thought that by that late date cloning was no-brainer.

Mori has some interesting capability, but its ability to add custom columns is convoluted, and requires setting up a new file for each new column added. I set some date columns, but to my chagrin they did not function as date columns according to any kind of a format.

I like DevonThink as a database program, and think I will stick with it. It has a better understanding of information processing needs than does EverNote.

Incidentally, running EverNote in Mac, I see even more clearly how the Windows users of EN have been given short shrift.

In terms of Outline programs, why is it so hard for anyone - in either the Mac or the Windows world - to create an outliner with the understanding that metadata columns (easily defined by user), cloning, tagging, etc are all essential elements for handling information and/or ideas?


David Dunham wrote:
>Sounds like you may be after a complex application, but if all you want is outlining,
>check out Opal. (And any member of this forum can contact me for a discount.) 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Aug 7, 2010 at 11:27 AM


As far as I am aware, the only single-pane outliners featuring both custom columns and cloning are TAO and Tinderbox. Tinderbox is a bit pricey to be purchasing just as an outliner. But you might look at Tinderbox’s little brother, Twig. I think Twig’s outliner has all the power of Tinderbox, but at about a third of the price. If you do try Twig, be sure you are able to export your outlines satisfactorily. It seems Twig’s export capabilities are one of the areas in which its functions are reduced from the big application, and the big application doesn’t have the most intuitive export capabilities to begin with.




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