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Digital Sticky Notes Outliner


Paul Keith:

So I was browsing for old Download Squad topics and saw this little OSX outliner here:

Tree is a novel, lightweight outlining and organizing app for OS X. It's similar to apps like OmniOutliner, but with an important twist: the "Treeview" mode turns your outline horizontal, so new lower-level items branch out to the right instead of down. Tree handles traditional outlines, too, with customizable labels, fonts and numbering.
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I thought damn...another application besides OmniOutliner that makes me want to buy a Mac just to hear if the hype justifies it being a great outliner.

Then I thought, wait a minute... I've used Freemind before, why didn't that work for me? Then I remembered how slow and bulky it is and it's bad for lots of texts.

I remembered app speaking highly of 3m's digital post-it software and even posting a screenshot of it but when I tried it, like many sticky note applications, it just felt clunky and more suitable for sticky note contents rather than long articles.

I don't mind OneNote per se but it can be difficult to read the outlines. The non-horizontal ones often felt more like they're better for cutting down ideas, it's just you leave them alone after that and try not to read it or open the text anymore.

Then with regards to the offline start pages, they usually take up too much memory with widgets or look very poor and "notepad"-ly as with Samurize. Then there's the case that the notes are hard to export and you're back to the sticky note pads where you need to constantly open a container showing all the sticky notes in order to access it and it's only easy to start writing one, not editing or viewing all of them in a snap. Very un-Igoogle or Netvibes as far as the feel went.


I always liked the Tomboy Notes model that comes in default with Gnome. I just hate the Wiki model but the systray app for it can be very easy to spot tons of notes. It just needed more of a drawer app and an easier location for the mass exporting of notes.

I thought that would be a good model for a lightweight horizontal outliner. Write your text, add OneNote's icon tagging, enter a hotkey to type a header sub tree and when you press enter, out pops a second Tomboy Note screen connected to the side as if you opened a second sticky note only it's already slid to the side of the application and then you have your lightweight horizontal outliner.

Add a way to preview the contents on hover and a Freemind like shortcuts and now you have a much more lightweight and barebones Freemind that can reside within the systray and can show actual long texts in an easier to read format. Even better, add a way to easily manipulate the windows with GridMove but have two side by side windows linked so that a new outlined item can follow the shape of the window being resized and you can have a mindmap.

I'm sure nobody else wants to say this so here goes.  :o
Keep it simple. What do you want, what don't you want? It also seems you'd be a hard person to please! ;)

Paul Keith:
Lol, considering the amount of people here who use heavy duty outliners, I feel this is simple.


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