We need Outliners!

That is the premise of Jeremy Wagstaff’s article in WSJ. Here’s why:

An outliner, to coin a phrase, creates lists of anything — recipes, the U.S. Constitution, your CD collection, all the Loose Wire columns ever written — which are stored in the form of a one-sided tree. It’s easiest to think in terms of cutting your screen in half, and on the left having a list of items. Click on one of the items and more details about that item will appear in the right-hand window.

You get a view of the overall issue/document/list, and then you get a view of the detail, all at the same time. The left side is usually called a tree, because you can add branches and sub-branches to it, all of which can link to chunks of text (or pictures, or tables, or whatever you want) which appear in the right-hand window. Simple. And not that unusual: If you’re a keen word-processing person, you’ll know programs like Word have an “outline” feature, which will nest all your headings and subheadings in a tree, so long as you’ve applied the right styles.

they really are great places to store large amounts of digital data. They’re more flexible for storing your contacts than, say, Outlook, because you don’t have to fill in any fields. Just copy and paste in the person’s contact details from their e-mail and that’s it. They’re more flexible than database programs such as Microsoft Access because they allow you to store data in any size or format. Just add a branch somewhere and throw it all in. It’s flexible.

Jeremy’s recommendation: MyInfo, from Milenix Software (USD 30) – developed by 22-year-old Bulgarian called Petko Georgiev, who has been working on it for the past four years.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.