Friday, February 02, 2007

OmniOutliner 3

For the past couple of days I have been using OmniOutliner 3. It's part of the software bundle that came with my MacBook Pro. I haven't been this impressed with an application in a long time. Description from the Omni Group's website:

You can use OmniOutliner's document structure to create hierarchies of main headings and subpoints that can be expanded and collapsed, which are immensely useful when it comes to brainstorming new ideas, drilling out specifics, and lining up steps needed to get everything done. But you aren't limited to outlines - you've got multiple columns, smart checkboxes, customizable popup lists, and an ├╝ber-innovative styles system at your disposal.

I currently have three outlines that I crafted in OmniOutliner:

  1. IT goals for my main client.
  2. A white paper about Metro Ethernet.
  3. Outline of Wendell Odom's book CCNA Intro Exam Certification Guide.

I've done outlining before using Word and OpenOffice and compared to OmniOutliner, both of them are clunky. OmniOutliner makes it very easy to insert new columns, attach files (e.g., PDFs) to particular items in the outline list, and to add notes to outline items.

Outlines can be exported to a variety of formats including HTML, RTF, and RTFD, so sharing them with others is easy.

OmniOutliner 3 also runs a lot better on my Intel Mac than Word 2004, which is proving to be a bit sluggish running in Rosetta. (Strangely enough, Entourage seems to run fine. I haven't worked with Excel under Rosetta yet.)

OmniOutliner Pro offers some increased functionality over OmniOutliner Standard, and I'm giving serious thought to upgrading. I'll work with the standard version for a little while before doing so, however.

OmniOutliner is a Universal Binary, so you can run it if you have either a PowerPC or an Intel Mac. Trial licenses are available, and the Omni Group has some sample documents available for download so you can get a better idea of what can be done with it.

No comments: