Outline Apps? Still needed?


As well as a couple of mind mapping apps (which I use when I specifically want to link out topics in a more spontaneous way or need to present to a room) I do continue to use outliner apps. Primarily these days I use Omnioutliner, though I have some older ones still on my devices by the looks of it; I must migrate that data at some point.

It has support for multiple columns and data types as well as plenty of prebuilt options for templating, exporting and styling. It also permits sorting on individual columns.

Mac Drafts development aside, there’s the cross device availability of the software and though I’m not using the pro version on my Mac, there’s a huge automaton potential there.

I do tend to use it for simple outlining as I have several templates for things like packing and recurring projects but for simple check lists I probably do create the in Drafts more often.

The thing that’s really useful in the app (and typically with mind mapping apps too) I think is the way nested elements can be collapsed and consolidated.

Whilst Drafts has me covered for quick, brief(ish) outlines, I turn to a more specialised app for helping me do that. It’s just like if I were writing a book I’d switch to Scrivener and if I’m writing tehnical documentation for work with diagrams and tables I’d be using Microsoft Word.

Drafts is a starting point for a lot of my content and with version 5 it takes me further than ever before, but there will always come a time when a more specialist app will take you over the line … but it quite possily wasn’t the place to get you started.


Hello nahumck,
I mostly do it the other way around, starting with a fast outline and then exporting to iThoughts (which I prefer over MindNode 4 or 5) to add more details and rearrange things.
I also export them back to the Outline Apps sometimes.

I am going to check, if MarkDown outlines from Drafts can be used as well.



Hello sylumer,
yes, I looked at OmiOutliner already multiple times.
But again, it is an subscription App.
Their number is rapidly growing, which makes me panic…

Anyway, yes - the possibility to indent and outdent, to move single and multiple lines and to collapse whole sections is a great thing at Outline Apps.

Some of this is now possible with Drafts, but not the collapsing, I think.
(Did not yet check all actions)

But then, export to and import from iThoughts is also important for me.
Export is always easy, as iThoughts understands basically edited and arranged text files - as most mind mapper Apps.
But the other way around may be tricky.

This was the reason why I asked - maybe people did also go this road.
But it does not seem so.

Thanks a bunch!


OmniOutliner is not a subscription app.



That pretty much looks like subscriptions.
Going to have a closed look, thanks!

Apple should maybe write that more concrete…


Huh? It’s asking for a single payment to upgrade.


Yes, it seems so.
But that list of different prices looked like a subscription model to me.
My fault :grin:


I do use OmniOutliner and have for years. I’ve been using Drafts for some of the same things lately.

I would love to be able to collapse the headers in Drafts.


Downloaded it and testing the regular version.

But of course, collapsing stuff “text folding” is a PRO feature :expressionless:

And this 44 Euro instead of 11 Euro … that’s too much in my book.

Sooooo, please add this to Drafts :grinning:


Folding text is already in the feature request list in relation to Markdown headers. I’d suggest adding an entry to it for asking for use with outline lists too.


You are saying that collapsing sections in OmniOutliner is a pro feature?

I can’t test it because I have pro, but that’s a pretty standard outlining feature to lock away for pro users only.


Hello comfortablynick,
it seems so:


Reading that again, it looks like it is not available on iOS at all!

I’m confused…


Not to dwell on the product too much, but I don’t think that it is a Pro feature.

As I understand it, Disclosure rows available in Essentials is probably what we all think of in terms of expanding and collapsing an outline. I think it may also be in the free reader. Sidebar Sections is in Pro and may be what has caused the confusion.


If you watch the app video on the app store page you’ll see the first thing they do is uncollapse some rows, so definitely in there. Later in the video they demo the side bar sections functionality.


Yes, I reinstalled and tested this - it definitely is in the normal version.

But what is meant with “Text Folding”?
I don’t think that this is the sidebar thingy.


Googling for “text folding omnioutliner” gave me this…



I even downloaded the manual and searched for “folding” - to no avail :smile:

Anyway, i like it!

I think, even better than Cloud Outliner Pro, my current favorite.

Outlinely looks good, but finally did not click enough for me (and also is a subscription for more features like OPML export) …


I am going to buy OmniOutliner, it seems to be the best of the lot.


Hi, I’m a new user of Drafts 5.
I’m not nearly as technical as Drafts 5 allows, but I hope to learn more with time.

To answer your questions, I also use Cloud Outliner Pro. I’ve needed an outliner since first having one, about 20 years ago.

I may be premature in answering this, but I don’t think Drafts (or any other app) could serve as a replacement for an outliner, at least in my case, where the outliner is used heavily throughout the day, and Drafts has the benefit of being a quiet place to write.

I use Drafts specifically for drafting & sending emails & texts on a black background, without being distracted by the sight of my email inbox, a to do list or notes. I’ve noticed that when I use Drafts, I have much less editing to do when I’m ready to send, than when writing in my outliner, journal or notes apps.

The colored text in COP is helpful for me, but lack of image support calls for a separate notes app & no url scheme integration causes me to wander & occasionally, stray.