Monday, January 02, 2012

On outliners

I've been on the look out for a powerful outliner tool for a while. At work I use primarily the outline mode of Microsoft Word, and it does it decent job. Although it lacks search and tagging capability. OneNote appears to be great, but is only available on Windows only systems (I use a Mac). For my to-do list I build a system around I'll try to document this in another post. As for outliners, every so often I return to Evernote to check if they added a true outliner feature, but I walk away disappointed that it is more about the images and videos, than about providing the true outliner capability. I've been experimenting recently with as an outliner tool.  So far, I've been impressed about its snappiness, and copy/paste functionality. I started to keep track of a list of items I like in a good outliner:

(note: the copy/paste feature from Workflowy ain't perfect yet)

  • Outline are not the same as lists or a to-do list. Trying to do both results in a liger.
    • Outliners allow you to take organized notes, including larger text blocks, drawings or pictures.
    • To-do lists have more context
      • Priority
      • Location
        • e.g., @work, @home, @web
        • GPS: e.g., @TraderJoes, @Lowes
      • Items belong to Projects
      • You can organize items using tags, resulting in Smartlists
      • State: nextAction; waiting (following the GTD workflow)
      • Notifications/Alerts
        • Mobile device
        • Instant Message
        • Calendar integration
  • Outliners support many levels of Indentation
    • Supporting Folding (a must)
  • Notes should be easily converted to email
    • Send from the outliner
    • Or support easy Copy/Paste
  • Outliners allow for easy importing notes
    • From Microsoft Word documents
    • From email (forward email to a specific email address)
    • Copy/past text as note details.
  • Outliners shall support exporting notes
    • Microsoft Word (Outline mode)
  • Provide support for Online/Offline access
  • Organization of notes
    • Folders
    • Tags == context
      • SmartLists
  • Search
    • by date
    • by tag
    • by topic or keyword
  • Collaboration and access control
  • Formatting
    • bold/italic
    • color
Created with

No comments: