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Now that OmniOutliner is going to be released for iPad today, I am going to go for it, and consider also getting it for Mac as well, when version 4 is released.

Now my only problem is that I am not sure if I will need it for anything. I am already managing my projects in Omnifocus, and my finances in YNAB, so I find it hard to find a use for this program.

If I was a student, I guess OmniOutliner for iPad could be very good for taking notes, however I am not student either.. Perhaps I could use this for brainstorming..

So just for interest, I would like to hear from OmniOutliner users what do you use it for? Perhaps it will give me a inspiration onto what I could use it for as well..

Last edited by devastat; 2011-05-12 at 07:36 AM..
My personal use cases are super-nerdy: lists of stuff I've lent to folks, comics I'm missing from my collection and want to chase down, lists of the various stats on pieces of imaginary gear for my imaginary dudes to chase in whatever online RPG I'm currently giving my money to...

Luckily, I've, you know, never written an Applescript to take the stats on all those imaginary pieces of gear and figure out which ones are "best" for my needs by assigning a numerical score based on the weighted values of those stats. I mean, that would just be silly. Yeah. Silly. Yeah. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :-)
I plan on using it in the classroom to grade students utilizing the checkboxes as the grade each student receives.
Here how I use it:

- every trip I have I make a checklist to don't forget anything.
- brainstorming for a project.
- write a report.
- GTD review.
- all the stuff that is not and action in OmniFocus, but it is a list goes to OmniOutliner.
- some budgets.

I'm used to OO and it's my tool for relaxing, compiling ideas, thoughts...
I just searched my hard drive for all my .oo3 files (over 100) and here's how I've been using it:

Master outline for a book I'm working on. This includes columns with checkboxes and pop-up lists for various stages of completion of text and musical examples.

Lists of my concert repertoire with timings. Very helpful for when I'm deciding what to play for a concert program.

Lecture notes for my classes and presentations.

Notes from books I've read. Especially useful for comparing and contrasting ideas from different books.

Personalized help files for various applications (LaTeX, LilyPond, ProTools, etc.) of things I can never remember how to do.

Lists of various Renaissance and Baroque music publications and manuscripts.

Lists of candidates for faculty positions and their qualifications.

Working through just about anything I find confusing.
I've had hundreds of random little files with
* low security pass codes, bike lock combinations etc.
* text fragments of config files that I might want again
* summaries of complex processes that I might need to repeat
* half finished work (back and forth with a mind map tool via opml)
* how much holiday I have booked or remaining
* checklists for bags, e.g. Holiday packing, walking trips etc

Some were text files, some were word docs, some were spread sheets.

Now I have one app to bind them all :)
I once used it to do a security audit.

I got a list of security advisories from CERT. First I broke them up by application (like "Tomcat" or "Apache"). Then I broke them up by whether and how a fix was available, like "no fix", "fixed via a patch", "fixed in SVN", "fix requires a version upgrade", that sort of thing. That formed the structure of the outline.

Then I added a column for "severity", and a column for each of the services we ran that used each application. The service columns were of type "checkbox".

Then for each individual advisory, I evaluated whether that advisory applied to a particular service we provide. (For example, a vulnerability in the bundled Tomcat "manager" app doesn't hit us on systems where we already have that app disabled.)

Once done, I could collapse the "whether or how a fix is available" headings and get a quick overview of what we were vulnerable to and what our mitigation options were, which helped us plan. Like, if everything a given service is vulnerable to is in the "fixed if you upgrade" category, you know you can upgrade that app and don't have to worry about applying patches or pulling source from svn.

(I swear my favorite usage pattern for OO is to have a bunch of checkbox or "pop-up list" columns, for checking a set of things against something hierarchically organized. I even use this pattern when playing games, like for tracking XBox achievements or an RPG's quest chains.)
It is the digital napkin on which I scrawl the beginnings of every idea and project I work on.

I've outlined a Master's Thesis and a few (terrible) novels with it.

I've used it (with summary columns) to help make financial decisions.

I grade my students papers with a template that gives me all the fields I need instantly.

I have over 300 .oo3 files on my computer right now, and have probably used 5 or 10 times that many "Untitled" throw-away, digital napkin scrawl, idea organizers.
As you can see, I'm a teacher:
vocabulary lists; glossary
multiple choice tests
novel outline
class rosters
grade book
lesson plans
rubrics, checklists
comments on stories, essays
trivia questions
checkbook register
tax records
sentences with notes / vocabulary
course syllabus
attendance records
grammar charts
This may sound radical… But now that I can access (even if sub-optimally) my files on the iPad, OmniOutliner is taking up the role of Scrivener for all small to medium-sized writing projects, with proper text entry, attachments for documentation, etc. The extra export templates make OO a very powerful tool all the way up to the final formatting in Word/Pages.
That, in addition to the more 'traditional' use of outlines, lists, lab book notes, simple data sheets, and protocols.

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