An outliner is a type of tool that makes it easy to organize information in a hierarchy (like an outline). I have been coding, using and trying new programs that act as outlines for years.
Long ago, I created a “workspace organizer” inside VisualAge Smalltalk. It was a classic 2 pane outliner (left pane showed the hierarchy, right pane showed the text contents of the selected node).
When I started working on jobs and projects that didn’t use VisualAge Smalltalk, I found Treepad Lite. It is a simple, free outliner that works very nice. But somewhere along the way it began having problems pasting. If I copy something and paste it and hold down the ctrl-v key it will paste and then ring an error bell a few times and then paste again. Sometimes it seems I cannot paste at all.
My friend uses a program called Vault. It is not free but it seems OK. I tried it and found that I liked some features and didn’t like others.
I found NoteCase not long ago and started using it. It does have a few problems .. some annoying and some scary (loss of work) but for the most part it is working for me. I don’t love it and just found out that it is no longer under development – so the 2 bugs I just reported will NOT get fixed.
I looked at KeyNote but it too is no longer under development.
I just tried it for a few seconds. It doesn’t let you embed links in articles and it saves the file as some RTF type format so your data is basically locked inside. I did like treepad line for this feature.. it instead would save data in ascii text so you don’t lose anything.
Is not an outliner.. and I want something to keep notes in a hierarchy of lists because my brain seems to like that.
JreePad is a free java implemented version of treepad. It is missing features.
Maple looks nice but doesn’t seem to have file attachments or links. It is not free.
Mempad is like JreePad.. small and simple but without many features.
SEONote is free but it feels a bit slow and has too many features. It also saves files as some RTF type format.
Feels a bit slow and has too many features again. It does have a free version.
So, here I am.. still looking for the right outliner software. I guess I’m going to stick with NoteCase until I find something better. I’m willing to pay for it (<$30) but it has to:
- save the file in a readable format – not RTF. this way the file would be readable from a text editor and searchable with other tools.
- support linking to file and urls
- would be nice if you could embed images (and it would save them in the file as ascii .. like uuencoded or something)
- paste MUST work every time
- would be nice if it would produce backups on every save (keep most recent N)
- formatting for fonts – size, color, bold, italic, etc
- formatting for lists
- formatting for indent/outdent
- small footprint
- can run from a thumb drive
- optional spell check
Does anyone have any other outliner suggestions that I should try?
Maybe I’ll just write my own..