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Action Outline on offer at Bits du Jour, 2011-11-21

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@rjbull: Thx for the link to Noteliner. I'll definitely check that one out.

re: Outline 4D - actually not much like Ecco which I also used to use. It's primarily designed to be a writing/plot outlining tool for movie scripts and novels - although it can be re-purposed to handle other things once you get your head around it. "Try before you buy" is a must with this tool since you either love or hate it. I have yet to see an in-between reaction to it. (In that respect, however, it does resemble Ecco. ;D)

Thx for the link to Noteliner. I'll definitely check that one out.-40hz (November 22, 2011, 04:03 PM)
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I reported that Noteliner 3.3 Build2b wouldn't open for me on Vista Home Premium.  The author e-mailed back to say there did seem some compatibility issues with Vista/7 that he hopes to iron out in the next release.  Version 2.7.08, the last one I had, does work.

re: Outline 4D - actually not much like Ecco which I also used to use. It's primarily designed to be a writing/plot outlining tool for movie scripts and novels -40hz (November 22, 2011, 04:03 PM)
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Yes, that would be different; I always thought ECCO was heavily slanted towards business.

A little warning:
the right to update (upgrade, they call it) is per year, not per version's number.
I have 3.3, but must pay for 3.4 (if I would, which I won't).-Curt (November 21, 2011, 04:08 PM)
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Well, now I have version 3.4 never the less. I received an email a few minutes ago, offering the upgrade for $20 today only. Unfortunately the offer is for registered users only. I took the offer because I really like this program, despite their harsh upgrade policy, ("per year, not per version's number"). Who knows, I might even get version 3.5 for free...

Steven: "I could not find much in the way of lauding or criticism on the Net." - Well, that was before the cnet review which says it all: You couldn't be more comprehensive in stating the problems with such kind of sw.

At the end of the day, there's two features which would constitute a strict minimum in such sw:

- A hit table. Meaning, not having to jump from one find to the next, perhaps 60 times before you finally get what you need, but have sort of a table, a list, possibly with attributes but not necessarily so, but with the context of your finds. You can replicate this feature wherever it's missing, with a good external search program (for AO, this would be File Locator / File Locator Light = Agent Ransack, and even for European characters if you don't mind entering them as 4 special chars instead of your ä or é), and you'd even get the context of your finds. Problem is, back from such an external hit table, you can't jump back to the corresponding line within the item in question, but you'll then have to go back to your PIM (here: AO) first, go to the file in question there, press control-f, enter your search term again (and presumably with its immediate context, in order to avoid false finds)... So an internal hit table, be it multi-file (as in MI) or just for the current file (as in UR), is absolutely necessary, from there, with a mouse click, you'll be in the line you need to work on.

- Boolean search. Less necessary than point one, but also extremely important. Why? Because of all these false hits you'll get with Boolean search missing. Most general searches (= will be different when you search for customer names or such, e.g.) will be about rather general terms, with some other probable terms within their vicinity, but with the control-f in AO and such progs, you'll never ever find them - or you'll have 60 or 180 "hits". Hence the interest of external progs like File Locator above, in spite of the incredible fuss to then get to your real hits, manually: They not only give hit tables, but hit tables of finds in the form of "abc [AND] xyz [OR] jkl [NOT] mno" - you will not appreciate this functionality enough before having to search, one by one, 200 or more finds in the form "abc" only, in programs like AO and without having a knowledge of the existence of progs like File Locator.

So, as explained above, external search progs can help you out from sheer madness when using progs like AO, but I think it will have become evident that you should avoid any prog that doesn't offer both of the aforementioned features.

Any other elaborate feature should be considered "nice to have" in comparison, but unproper search is dealbreaking.

And then, we've got all these annoyances with otherwise sophisticated sw, e.g. the continuous absence of formatting in the tree of (rock-solid) UR (whilst MI offers this feature but isn't stable enough) - etc., etc., etc. - there isn't any one decent of such progs. But AO and such might work for people who've got 1,000 or so different items - in many weeks, that'd be my weekly output.

Anyway, if ever you've got your stuff in such progs like AO, have a very close look on tools like FL that could save your day, and many days in a row.


You'd probably like the way AllMyNotes Organizer does things.  It offers Google-like as well as simple search, and the hits are presented in a sort of "mini-tree" that clearly indicates that things are filtered.  It's one of the ones that only operate in memory, so it won't do for really large databases, and its other features may or may not grab you.


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