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Windows How to do outlining

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I love doing all my text work in evernote so it's with me wherever I go.. but I'm trying to make my life a little easier.

I'd like to do an outline in evernote with different levels of indentation.

There's an indent button in the toolbar which is inefficient, but can work ok... it has a keyboard shortcut though it's a bit hard to reach. It'd doable.. but unfortunately the formatting doesn't stay if pasted into another document which makes it quite limiting.

There's lists, which are more practical seeming, and appear somewhat more nicely, but they are limited to 2 levels. They can be pasted to other programs, but hierarchy is not maintined (list item or non list item).

I can use tabs, which can carry over, paste-wise, but they are frustrating because I do not start the next line at the same indendation.. I have to hit tab until it lines up.

How do you do outlining in evernote? Is there a better way that I'm missing? because this seems like a really useful capability to have

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Short answer: Evernote doesn't do outlining. As you note, it's possible to do some limited layouts with bulleted or numbered lists - hit ~tab and ~shift+tab to demote / promote lines; but if you're looking for headings and styles and other conveniences, you're out of luck. Of course you could use another form of dedicated local or cloud outliner (I'm boring, I use my MSWord) and then cut/paste the document into Evernote, or -if your outliner generates a supported file type- you could embed or attach a saved file.

It's pretty hard IME to make a good outline directly from a source - you need some rough notes to be working on; and the best way to use Evernote might be 1) for the rough notes stage, which then can 2) be extended by the more coherently formatted outline and 3) (if necessary) by a more fleshed-out "final version". You'll have the audit trail of previous versions of the notes, and a shiny new copy of your latest draft as the current note.

If there's not already an add-on for Evernote (see Trunk) that helps with Outline note-taking, there probably should be - but Evernote's concentration on improving their core process will likely mean any more advanced formatting of text notes is still somewhere over the horizon on their route plan.

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Thanks for the considered reply.

I am probably an edge case in that I use evernote pretty much just for the text capabilities.. for tagging and sorting all the text/notey type things I write up so I can get at them from anywhere and search through them easily. I haven't been in a situation where I felt it would be particularly useful to use the other features.. just hasn't ever felt necessary. So from that perspective I guess I'm not really using it for what it's meant for.. and that's why the features I specifically want are left in the dust a bit, but I haven't found any other service that has quite the same abilities with organizing text in the cloud, desktop and cross-platform.

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No problem at all - but in many ways Evernote's text capabilities are just icing on a very big storage and searching cake. In part I'm using Evernote like a traditional folder structure on my hard drive - files are going into Evernote as attachments or embeds (new word?) in the same way that I'd file them in a ~me ~documents ~work ~project1 type of tree layout - except I don't have to worry about exactly where I file any document, because I can Search for it easily: and those files that annoyingly could go in two or three different folders.. just get 2/3 tags instead. And they don't get hidden away in the 3rd place I think to look because I forgot exactly where I did file them.

Having said all that, I still use Word and Excel and Adobe and Outlook for their different special purposes - I just save all the files in Evernote. Along with several kazillion archive documents and press cuttings and random things of interest.

It's fine though to use Evernote just for the storing and searching - have a look around and see what outlining software you might use to generate some files to stick in there.

:D

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just saw this on google alerts for evernote. PRweb. No idea if the product actually works.

Through an intuitive and innovative design, MagicalPad allows professionals and students to take notes, organize ideas, build outlines, prioritize actions and share their thoughts seamlessly.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 808449.DTL

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Would really like a dedicated outline mode like Onenote. It is so much more intuitive and the way people think. just having a nested heiarchy would be a big step forward. the way it works now is brain dead.

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Would really like a dedicated outline mode like Onenote. It is so much more intuitive and the way people think. just having a nested heiarchy would be a big step forward. the way it works now is brain dead.

It's the way you think I suppose. Doesn't necessarily mean it's the same for everyone though.

If it doesn't work for you because it is 'brain dead' then why not find a solution that does?

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outliner tools have been around for 25+ years. Word / ppt even have an outline mode. OneNote serves most of my needs but the mobile / integration is lousy. I've been trying to work with Evernote for 2 years .... hoping they are listening to user feedback.

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Thanks for the feedback!

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I too would love to see some improved outline capability, but I don't think we need a huge new "mode" or a plug-in or anything. The current tool is very close. In my opinion all it needs is to have a few things:

1) the tab key indent (*****-tab reverse indent) instead of instead of inserting 5 spaces.

2) when indenting a numbered item is should include the "parent" number e.g. "1.1" or "2.3.1" instead of just "1." -- the bulleted list is smart enough to pick a new kinda of bullet, so the numbered list could do that. Heck..already the numbered list is smart enough to renumber the lines the next level up!

3) The ability to select indented lines of text and cycle between bullets, numbers, and nothing. Currently it can't do that...it just gets very very confused...

I think that is all that is needed...am I wrong?

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1) the tab key indent (shift-tab reverse indent) instead of instead of inserting 5 spaces.

For normal text, Windows client uses Ctrl+M to increase indent; Ctrl+Shift+M to decrease it.

For lists (bulleted and numbered), Tab indents (not by adding spaces), Shift+Tab dedents.

You can mix and match bulleted and numbered in the same list; just indent a section, then flip to the other style. You can mix normal indented textin, too, but you have to work at it a bit.

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I'm still waiting for Evernote to offer a standardized Roman Numeral outline format that can be reverse highlighted with colored fonts and a black background utilizing a hierarchical promotable / demotable gif-style movable italicized numbering system. Shouldn't be too difficult to code.

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I moved most of my notes to Evernote from OneNote due to the cloud storage features and ability to access my notes from so many different devices/form factors.

However, outlinning is the one feature that really, really bugs me about Evernote. I guess it's because it is done so well on OneNote and SO poorly in Evernote.

Here is what I'd like to see.

  • Ability to create a collabsable and expandable the outline. I want to be able to hide whole areas of my outline. This makes navigating a large outline very easy.
  • Ability to indent and outdent using indents, not spaces.
  • Formating that is preserved between Evernote clients. (Ipad, Iphone, web, win/mac clients, etc) I should never loose my outline, just because I edited the outline on a different device.
  • Abiltity to choose from a wide variety of outline formats. Some people like bullets, some roman numerals, some legal numbering, etc.
  • Abiltiy to export my outline to word, outlook, ppt, mind manager, etc without loosing the fomating.

To me, it feels like the basic editing features of evernote have taken a back seat to the other features. While I LOVE the other features, I think that focusing on the basics will help keep more people in Evernote and help insure the don't stray and look for other solutions.

Any chance we can get a Evernote Product Manager to comment on plans for doing this?

Thanks!

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Any chance we can get a Evernote Product Manager to comment on plans for doing this?

There's always a chance, but in general they do not comment on their feature roadmap.

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Honestly, this is one of the things that I would like to see most.

On the other hand, I'm easy to please in this regard - all I need are a few basic outline formats and I'd be off and running.

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  • Formating that is preserved between Evernote clients. (Ipad, Iphone, web, win/mac clients, etc) I should never loose my outline, just because I edited the outline on a different device.

That might actually be a lot of the reason why we cannot get outlining - so hard to maintain across all platforms. IIRC, html coding doesn't do outlines, so how would your ideas work on the web version? Other folks may have it right, that you use the right program for the right job. In which case, it may be MS-Word for outlines ...

I am not a lover of MS-Word, so if there is a better outliner that is compatible with EN, I am all for that. In the meantime, EN (Win, desktop) does allow me to do that first quick outline using just numbers. Fleshing out has to be done in Word. Of course, if any one from EN would like to prove me wrong, I will be happy to say thank you!

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html coding doesn't do outlines, so how would your ideas work on the web version?

Not an outline, but certainly an outline-like list:

<ol>

<li>

<ol>

<li></li>

</ol>

</li>

</ol>

I don't use outlines a whole lot myself, and probably wouldn't use the feature if it was implemented, but I know a lot of people who really want them.

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+ 1. Like the previous poster, I switched to evernote from onenote mainly for the cloud storage features. But the lack of basic outlining features caught me a bit by surprise and is really frustrating. This needs to be improved.

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Don't have a clue about the level of difficulty of implementing in Evernote, but a quick google search on "html collapsible list" results in quite a few methods for doing this with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Several of these go back to 2007 or earlier.

Of course, doing this in an WYSIWYG editor makes it more complex.

At least one iPad app seems to have mastered this: http://www.magicalpad.com

Don't know how well it actually works since I haven't used it.

But the

looks good.
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Even the forum editor has the capability to indent a list.

  • Outlining Helps Group Similar ideas
    • Indenting lets you understand parent-child relationships
    • another child

    [*]This is a basic feature in most editors

    • This is major oversight in evernote
    • EverNote should implement this feature - low hanging fruit

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Even the forum editor has the capability to indent a list.EverNote should implement this feature - low hanging fruit

? Evernote already has it; I use it often.

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To throw my voice in. I, too, would love to see an outlining feature in Evernote. Outlining is a basic feature of note taking, and it seems like simple outlining is possible, but it's very crude and under-developed.

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it is crude. i don't use it. i just use dashes.

- outlining

-- it isn't so bad in plain text

-- i just add some dashes

-- it works fine for me

-- of course, hard core outliners will scoff

-- my notes will export fine and work in just about any program, though

i'm sure en will make a lot of people happy with better outlining. until then, and maybe even after it comes, i'll roll old school.

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it is crude. i don't use it. i just use dashes.

- outlining

-- it isn't so bad in plain text

-- i just add some dashes

-- it works fine for me

-- of course, hard core outliners will scoff

-- my notes will export fine and work in just about any program, though

i'm sure en will make a lot of people happy with better outlining. until then, and maybe even after it comes, i'll roll old school.

Yeah. I use external tools for real outlining (lots of indent/outdent & re-arrangement) and then copy the finished product into a note. Been using Workflowy web app recently for the job.

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