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I've been searching an app that is able to represent information as a tree structure, so I found outliners. But all the outliners contain information as something like "tree-list", with expanding folder down and collapsing them up.

But what I'm really looking for is an app that is really similar to Windows Explorer or Mac Finder with the icon folder view but is intended to contain plain (some combination of text, pics etc.) information, not files, so that I could for example store a whole "slide" intended to matrices (I'm a math student) with text and pictures without need to store text in one file and pictures in the other.

I'd really love to have iOS 7-8-like opening style for folders, so that you could "dive into" some subject, but I guess, these are just dreams...

Is there something at least somehow similar to what I described? Preferably on Mac.

migrated from productivity.stackexchange.com Jun 23 '14 at 7:40

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I'm not sure if I understand correctly, what you want, but Freeplane (http://freeplane.sourceforge.net ) could be a solution.

  • Is is a mindmapping software (free and open source), so it is able to create a tree view of data.

  • Nodes can contain mathematical formulae (based on LaTeX syntax).

  • Nodes can contain images (however the image itself is not saved in the mindmap file itself but in separate files, but Freeplane manages those files automatically, if you want.)

  • Nodes can easily be collapsed to hide all their child-nodes. So you can quickly and easily switch between overview and detailed view.

Simple Example Mindmap

Freeplane can do a lot more useful and cool things, just have a look at its web page and the gallery.

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You could also try notecase pro. It is a fairly powerful outliner and has quite a few features you need. I am presently evaluating it and it certainly has a lot of good features. http://notecasepro.com

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Take a look at org mode: http://orgmode.org/

It comes with emacs and you can make outlines with links, images (referencing the file), tables (with formulas too) and many more. And if you want you can export to html, latex. Much more than an outliner.

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I couldn't quite tell from your question, what the purpose is for the info you want to capture. For general info, you could look at http://workflowy.com

If you are looking for task manager that does outlines and checklists, then look at http://GTDnext.com

For a more visual representation, I've always liked Mind Manager, but it is a bit expensive.

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If I understand you correctly, what you're looking for is something like DevonThink:

http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/comparison.html

I have used it extensively, but still haven't learned nearly all its functionality. Definitely a capable program, but Mac-only. There is an iOS app, but from what I understand it's getting re-written because of sync problems with the desktop.

But the desktop version has been rock-solid and handles many different file types with excellent search capabilities.

If you're wanting to try it out, DT Personal has plenty of capability for most purposes. I used it for several years before upgrading to DT Pro.

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The tool that precisely meets your needs is XMind. It allows you to easily compose such structures and you can instantly change the views choosing from a host of formats from mind maps to tree lists as you see fit. XMind is open source and free and can be used on Mac, Windows and Linux. There is also a portable version available for free that you can use with tools like dropbox or google drive and never lose your notes. You can also mix and match different media types ranging from text, images, videos, audios and LateX code (math stuff) with the best formatting options among all open source mind mapping tools.

They also have a commercial version that lets you present directly off your notes but that's an added use case.

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