Like Quicksilver but for outlines.
August 7, 2012 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Is there a web-based (or Mac+iOS) outlining tool which allows you to enter a task or item to be placed on the outline without selecting which section it should go into first - but is able to quickly assign that task or item to a section from the keyboard without a cut and paste operation?

I'm looking for a tool that will allow me to call up a quick text entry box on my Mac or in my web browser, enter in an item, and then be able to select from a list of outline sections which to assign it to.

In addition, it would be great if that tool would allow me to quickly jump to a section of the outline, either through a search box or a keyboard shortcut with a list of items - the less mouse input the better.

This is possible using Word 2011 by setting up an outline with bookmarks and then setting up macros to move the newly entered task to a bookmark (or jump to a bookmark), but I'm sure you're as tired of using Word as I am, and outlines I create there can't easily be called up on an iPhone or iPad.
posted by I EAT TAPAS to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you looked at OmniOutliner? There's an iPad version, as well. To view on an iPhone, you could export to text, RTF, HTML or Word, which are all viewable formats in Safari and other viewer apps.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:20 PM on August 7, 2012

The pro version has a clipping service that patches into OS X Services and lets you quickly add snippets of text from other applications into an outline. There's AppleScript support, as well. I think I ended up uninstalling the service, but it sounds like it might be useful for you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:29 PM on August 7, 2012

Have you seen WorkFlowy? It's new, and I'm having a great time making outlines and lists with it.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:49 PM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've looked at all three, and to the best of my knowledge, none of those allow me to do a series of operations like this...

* Enter task or item
* Assign it to section
* Enter a different task or item
* Assign it to a different section
* Enter a third task or item
* Assign it to a third section
* Jump to an unrelated section to review tasks or items

...without doing a lot of back and forth between the mouse and keyboard. I probably should have bolded the phrase from the keyboard in my original question. If there are keyboard shortcuts in any of those apps or services that would allow me to do all of the above without touching the mouse, please let me know what I missed.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 1:00 PM on August 7, 2012

I don't have my laptop on me, but perhaps you could look at the OmniOutliner demo. If I remember correctly, there are keyboard shortcuts for most of its functionality. You could probably use the keyboard shortcut for the clipping service, Command-Tab to OO and then use the other shortcuts to move the item to the correct section. Knowing the right key combinations would require some research, though, because I don't know what they are off the top of my head. Hope this helps.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:13 PM on August 7, 2012

It looks like Control-Command-ArrowKey moves selections throughout the hierarchy. You might look at the Reorganize menu to see the association of actions with keyboard shortcuts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:19 PM on August 7, 2012

Looks like you can also hit Return to enter a new item and then the Control-Command-Arrow keys to move the selected item where you need it. Use Esc to switch from edit to selection mode, and the arrow key to select an item. Cutting, copying and pasting are the usual Command-X, -C and -V. If you have multiple outline documents, you could use Command-` to switch between documents.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:29 PM on August 7, 2012

To access the keyboard shortcut for the OmniOutliner clipping service, open up the Keyboard system preference. The default appears to be Command->, but this can be reassigned or disabled in this system preference applet. To use the service, highlight some text in another application and type the shortcut. It will bring the selected text into OO. Then you can use the aforementioned and other keyboard shortcuts for further editing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:38 PM on August 7, 2012

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