Outlines. Oh, how I hated outlines. All those rules about indenting sections and sub-sections were tiresome and I was certain there’d be no need to use outlines as an adult. Fortunately for me and my students, outlines could not be easier and more effective to organize thoughts, projects, and workflow thanks to this app.
Scribe’s The Wrong Name
As a teacher I’ll take a bit of an issue with Scribe’s name as an outliner app. The word scribe has changed through the years.
Scribe (the word, not the app) was often a professional copyist, then an official historian or writer, and later scholars and teachers, and more recently a writer, or journalist.
So, Scribe (the app, not the word) fits closely enough because it’s a tool for writers, but is easily adapted to much more.
Because today’s digital outliners have so much capability I tell my students that learning to use an outline means improved organization skills.
Scribe (the Mac app) doesn’t blaze much new ground but it brings the right blend of features to the digital outliner of the 21st century.
For example, keyboard shortcuts are built-in, as are the options to expand and collapse text, and a simplified way to reorganize and reorder sections of the outline.
Scribe’s keyboard shortcuts make quick work of expanding and collapsing text within an outline. It’s not cluttered with word processing-like tools (a one-click pop-down menu gives you all you need), and there’s little to learn other than how an outline works.
The app comes with the standard array of modern OS X components– fullscreen capability, versions support, autosave, outline symbol formatting, OPML import and export, plus a few extras from simple things like checkboxes to audio recording.
Yes, audio recording. Scribe records audio using your Mac’s built-in microphone (or any mic connected to the Mac) and synchronizes the outlining to the audio, making the app a good note taking tool. Outlines can be saved to iCloud and synchronized between different Macs.
There’s no shortage of outline tools for iPhone and iPad, and that might be Scribe’s only weakness. It’s Mac only.