A Little Outliner, Named 'Little Outliner'

Truth in labeling.


Three years ago I mentioned an intriguing, easy, collaborative cloud-based outliner named Thinklinkr. It doesn't seem to be around any more, and its official blogsite doesn't appear to have any entries since 2011, so ... the wheel turns. Following today's earlier note about memento mori, this is probably a useful reminder that the concept applies in the tech world too, and even to cloud products that aren't made by Google.

Thus we have a natural intro to "Little Outliner," shown above. It is an extremely simple online outlining tool designed by Dave Winer, creator of a long string of influential programs and applications (including those wonderful early outliners ThinkTank and MORE). Here Winer has collaborated with a young developer named Kyle Shank. A difference between Little Outliner and, say, the seemingly departed Thinklinkr is that Winer's and Shank's new product stores its info locally on your own computer, so it wouldn't vanish if the program or company does.

You can read a nice Gigaom interview with Winer about the program here. While we're at it, Workflowy is another interesting, light, cloud-based outliner that unlike Thinklinkr is still around. And you can never go wrong with a look at Dave Winer's history of great outliners, at Outliners.com. I also examined this historical theme a while back, in my homage to the greatest outliner of them all, the late and lamented GrandView.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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