How about outlines? This is one of those sleeper things that I learned early in high school and it ranks up around typing as one of the most beneficial things ever learned that seldom gets shared with others. It’s time to share. Here’s an outliner app that works on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Sharing information between devices has become one of my rallying cries for the Apple ecosystem. Cloud Outliner uses iCloud to sync outlines between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The app itself is much what you’d expect. It outlines.
Cloud Outliner is straightforward and very much a digital version of the outliner process we learned in school. The lefthand sidebar holds the outlines that are synchronized via iCloud. Yes, it lets you organize your outlines in folders for easier management.
The toolbar at the top lets you select a line item and move up or down or indent left or right. It’s also smart enough to give you font options, check marks for check lists, and the ability to collapse or expand.
And, as you would expect, the iPad version looks and works much like the Mac version.
Not bad, right?
What does an outliner do for your life? As we learned in high school, outlining helps us think and organize visually. Outlines are good for simple check lists, as task managers, and excellent for projects where many details have to be managed. And, of course, writing.
What inspires me about Cloud Outliner is the ability to sync between devices– an increasingly important requirement for apps I use– and it features a pretty good rich text outline editor packed with mini-word processor features.
- Drag and Drop functionality for sorting and reordering rows
- Multi-selection feature to reorder rows, change indentation, or delete them all at once
- Optional checkboxes that facilitate selection
- Optional automatic numbering (3 styles)
- Adding notes to data and list items
- Customizable text size, color, and style
- Highlighting important rows using different text colors and styles
- View completed tasks
- Collapse/expand functionality for all items
- Filters for displaying only checked or only unchecked items
- Undo/redo operations
- Cut/copy/paste data to outlines or even external apps (Notes, Mail, Safari, etc.)
- Automatic highlighting of links and phone numbers
The iPhone version works much the same way but requires a few more taps and swipes thanks to the lesser amount of screen real estate available. There’s also a light and dark mode.
There is plenty to like with Cloud Outliner, including options to password protect an outline, export and import the standard outline OPML files, and do all the basic macOS and iOS sharing. Amazingly, it even syncs up with Evernote.
- Flexible multi-tier document manager
- Highly visible color stickers to mark important records
- Password protection
- Customizable document templates
- Duplicate document operation
- Export of outlines to PDF and HTML
- Import and export of OPML files
- Sending outlines by email or an instant messenger
- Share outlines to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reminders, Notes, Email, Messages
As is the case with many utilities that can make us more productive and efficient, Cloud Outliner is an acquired taste and requires a bit of discipline to master, even though it can be used immediately.
iCloud sharing. A Dropbox option would be a plus because outlines don’t take up much space and iCloud sharing can be painfully slow at times. Otherwise, if you think and need to capture notes and tasks and make plans, Cloud Outliner is the way to go but it’s a leap of faith– no try before you buy option for the Mac (and it’s a bit more expensive than iOS version).