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Up-to-date outliner rating matrix?

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Posted by David Fass
Jun 26, 2008 at 11:29 AM


Hi.  I’m in the preliminary stages of writing a book, and I’ve been using a hodge-podge of tools to keep track of story elements, plot points, characters, and other assorted cruft.  I’d like to find a nice outlining/note tool that I can use for all these bookkeeping tasks, one that makes navigation and structural-modification very easy.  I have tested Jot+, TreePad, and ActionOutline, and I found disappointments with each of those.  (I already have StoryView, which is an outlining tool geared toward scene manipulation, but not for assembling loose ideas.)

I saw mentioned on this forum Ultra Recall and WhizFolders, and I plan to test those next, but this is all fairly time-consuming.  So I wonder: Has anyone on this group compiled a matrix of modern outlining tools, perhaps rating each one?  It seems like everyone here has one or two favorites, but it’s very hard to figure out which would be best for my needs, and there are very few software reviews out there on the web.  So, again, is there some objective comparison of the different tools available (written within the past 2 years, hopefully)?  Thanks very much. —Dave


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jun 26, 2008 at 12:48 PM


Paul Kurucz put together a matrix like this at one point several years ago. I do not know if he has kept it up to date, but here is the link:


Good luck.

Steve Z.


Posted by Hugh
Jun 26, 2008 at 02:58 PM



I don’t know of an up-to-date matrix of the kind you’re seeking. About 18 months ago I searched for almost the tool you’re looking for (not quite - I also wanted a reliable drafter), and only found it in Scrivener on the Mac.

Here (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/links.html) you’ll find a list of Windows writing tools (scroll down), some of which include the functionality you want. Of these, Liquid Story Binder (http://www.blackobelisksoftware.com/) is probably the most accomplished.

Otherwise, Power Structure and Power Writer are also worth investigating. They’re no longer developed as far as I can see, and somewhat clunky, but Google will turn them up.



Posted by David Dunham
Jun 26, 2008 at 03:07 PM


That matrix is kind of thin on the Mac side.

is a pretty extensive list of Mac tools, though I don’t think he makes any attempt to rate them.


Posted by David Dunham
Jun 26, 2008 at 03:08 PM


Argh, never know how to format stuff with different forum software. How about this for the URL: http://www.pure-mac.com/pims.html


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