Anyone who has used an outliner app, Mac or Windows, iPhone or iPad, knows the value of a collapsible outliner tree. It’s a great way to organize information, brainstorm ideas, sketch out plans and procedures, and do it all in an easy to use, drag and drop to rearrange method.
A few Mac outliner apps are free or next to free, while others are feature laden and have a price tag and learning curve to match the weight of the built-in options.
Then there’s Tree, my favorite Mac outliner.
This is one of those outliners that resides in the middle of the food chain but has a few features you will not find elsewhere. As a mid-range outliner, Tree features plain text and rich text to make an outline looks compelling. There’s a tabs bar at the top so you can have multiple outlines open in one window.
Tree opens up text files, RTF files, and even OPML, which is the standard XML format for outliners (so you can share files with other outliner apps). The Toolbar has self explanatory options to Add Item, Add Child, Indent, Outdent and more.
Also built in are checkboxes for todo lists, notes, and color coded labels. And, of course, Tree does spellcheck and grammar but also displays substitutions.
Those features are mostly standard among outliner apps on the Mac but are not what makes it unique. No, Tree is unique because it has an expandable horizontal view.
That’s right. Tree does the expandable outline routine– but horizontally. That different view makes Tree one of the best tools you can use for organizing notes, procedures, plans, anything with a hierarchy.
That alone is worth the price of admission to Tree.