I’m looking for an outliner!Why I’m lookingI’ve been creating outlines since high school. I started with pen and paper, then moved to text editors—first Word, then Google Docs, and finally, plaintext files. I’ve been creating plaintext outlines for about 5 years. I typically save my outlines as Markdown and export them using Pandoc if they need to be shared with other folks. I use outlines to take notes, plan projects, create documentation, and as todo lists. I’m a plaintext junky. Whenever and wherever I can, I use plaintext. I edit plaintext with either Neovim, VimR, or nvALT depending on whether I’m in the command line or not. The major hiccup in my plaintext-outline-life is when it comes to editing and creating plaintext outlines on the go. Typically, I use Coda on iOS…which is very much like bringing a siege weapon and a concrete mixer to a Pokémon card tournament. Coda is a spectacular piece of software, but very much not meant for maintaining plaintext outlines, notes and todos. I need a new tool. I want to supercharge my outlining workflow. I’m on the hunt! I’m looking for more than an iOS plaintext editor, I’m looking for a full(ish) featured outliner. What I’m looking forCross platform, both macOS and iOS (or web-based) Document syncing (Dropbox or SFTP preferable) Ability to reorder items in a list Preferably scriptable (e.g. I’d like to be able to setup reminders triggered off of certain markup so that I can use outlines as task lists…but this may be asking a lot) ContendersOmniOutlinerPlatformiOS macOS ProsSeems to be the tried and true tool for this kind of thing OmniGroup seems to be leaning into the whole scriptability thing lately ConsA wee bit expensive since I’d need to buy both the desktop and basic iOS clients Not 100% certain how interoperable their file formate is WorkflowyPlatformWeb “Desktop,” e.g. electron app iOS ProsI already have an account 250 free notes a month ConsWeird to say, but it is just really ugly, aesthetically TaskPaperPlatformmacOS ProsPlaintext 😁 I love how minimal this app is. It brings almost all of the functionality I’m looking for to what is ostensibly just plaintext! ConsPlaintext 😐 The biggest downside I’m seeing here is that there is no native first-party iOS client. Because the taskpaper file format is simply a set of rules around how to mark up a plaintext file, though, I could use something like Drafts or iA Writer for my mobile needs Other Thoughts@jthingelstad recommend that I also check out mind mapping applications. I’ve been doing a big of research there, too, but don’t think they fill the role with what I’m looking to do, mostly because they don’t mesh wicked well with my way of thinking. I like to think things together, nested parentheticals In writing this post, I’ve come to wonder if the real solution would be to separate concerns a bit? Find an app other than Coda for editing and creating plaintext on iOS (Drafts, perhaps?) Start to use a more feature-rich todo manager other than SwiftoDo At this moment I’m leaning towards OmniOutliner or Taskpaper…but I’m incredibly indecisive when it comes to this sort of thing, so who knows. Input always welcome! by eli eli (eli.li)
The biggest downside I’m seeing here is that there is no native first-party iOS client. Because the taskpaper file format is simply a set of rules around how to mark up a plaintext file, though, I could use something like Drafts or iA Writer for my mobile needs

I’d take a look at Editorial for an iOS app that supports TaskPaper tasks as well as text editor. I have also used Taskmator for iOS. I’m looking at a new workflow now that will use TaskPaper again.

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