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Replacement for using Ecco mostly as single pane outliner

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Posted by ndodge
Feb 24, 2021 at 07:49 PM


I’ve used Ecco Pro for many years, and it may be that finally I’m not able to run it at work (might need admin privileges to run after latest Windows update).
I use only Windows for work, writing patent applications.  I use Ecco to dump a lot of potential content for the patent application, organize it, rearrange it, collapse/expand heavily, and often write preliminary paragraphs in Ecco, then move to Word.  I often use multiple tabs (are they called notebooks?  Can’t remember, and can’t open Ecco right now to check).  I also really like the ability to add another notebook to a window to get a side by side view of two outlines.  It’s critical for me to have a clean interface, to avoid distraction.  I’ve tried InfoQube a few times, and I’m sorry, but the interface is just not for me.  I use Dynalist for managing personal todos, but haven’t used it for the larger amount of content my work would entail.  So I’m looking for options for my type of workflow, on Windows.  I don’t use Ecco to maintain, long term, a large database of items.  I use it to whittle down a large pile of information into eventual paragraphs, using basic expand, collapse, move, rearrange outline operations.  And although the single pane view is where I spend 90%+ of my time, the side by side view and multiple tabs are helpful.  I don’t use other Ecco features much, like columns or linking items between folders or filtering.  I do use styles occasionally, to make top level items stand out more.  I like the hotkeys to expand collapse items at different levels.  So, I know this gets asked now and then, but any hints on what my best options might be on Windows ?

Thanks in advance.


Posted by Cyganet
Feb 24, 2021 at 08:49 PM


You’ve already mentioned the two outliners that first come to mind: InfoQube and Dynalist.

Another that would work is Emacs Org-mode, a great outliner that meets all your requirements though it has a learning curve. A potential set-up could be using Markdown in VS Code, which approximates an outline using heading styles.


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Feb 24, 2021 at 09:51 PM


I’m leapfrogging over Dynalist and InfoQube, since you’ve already decided they won’t work for you. An outlining app that is now defunct, but which might still work is called Noteliner. It is very clever. You can download it here:


Here’s the webarchive of the original home page:


From your description of how you use ECCO, perhaps an app like Scrivener—incorporates an outliner, but really isn’t one—would work:




Posted by Chris Murtland
Feb 24, 2021 at 09:54 PM


I really liked Noteliner as a quick and simple single-pane outliner. I even stress-tested it by loading a handful of books from Gutenberg, and even with 1.2 million words in a file, it operated pretty quickly (although loading time was not quick).

Unfortunately, development ceased, although I think you can still download it from the web archive - https://web.archive.org/web/20151020061833/http://www.noteliner.org/i/Main.html

Have you tried the pared-down Outliner version of InfoQube? It has a simpler interface. See bottom of https://www.infoqube.biz/download


Posted by Chris Murtland
Feb 24, 2021 at 09:59 PM


Nice simultaneous posts about Noteliner :-D

Also, I *think* you can run Ecco from a USB stick, although I’ve never tried it. You can get the “installation” files from https://groups.io/g/EccoPro (after signing up) - you don’t really have to install it, just extract it somewhere.


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