The "Hierarchical List of Notes" in WhizFolders can be a highly effective thinking aid. All you need to do is, break up and outline your thoughts in short notes and rearrange.

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Whether you are making notes for writing, research or study, there is always a need to constantly rearrange your notes to make better sense of them. See many examples, later on this page.

The idea in WhizFolders is to manage and move the notes just by their "titles." You can select multiple notes by their titles easily and move them.

Do you realize what you have been missing in your word processor or text editor when it comes to managing your notes?

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When you have to only manage the titles of notes in a hierarchical list, you get the power of multi-selection of different notes in order to move, merge, export or print them together. This is the most powerful paradigm that is missing in word processors and text editors.

In a word processor, selecting the whole text of multiple notes for moving would be too difficult or almost impossible if the notes are in different places in the document. The multi-selection paradigm is missing in word processors. Without this kind of feature, organizing hundreds of notes in a big document, text file or mind map is not really possible.

How do you select multiple notes in WhizFolders to start with?

You just need to press Ctrl when clicking on the desired note titles in order to select them all. This is same method that is used to select multiple files in Windows File Manager.

Can you merge all these selected notes together to make a single note?

Yes. It's quite intuitive. Just do a copy to clipboard and it will join all the selected notes along with their titles to make a big note that you can paste in any other application. You can also export or print these notes as a single document where the titles of notes are automatically inserted with the text of the notes.

Can you select three different notes from the list and bring them together under a single item earlier in the list?

Yes, a simple drag and drop will achieve what you want. If, instead, you were using a word processor or text editor, the multi-selection paradigm does not even exist there. You can not select three different notes in different parts of a document at once.

What are the other advantages you get of organizing the note titles in a list like this?

You need to scroll less to look at the whole set of notes.

It's like looking at a table of contents, fully under your control. You have to scroll less to see the whole outline or tree of your notes.

You get easier drag and drop method to rearrange the notes.

If you just have to select the note titles and have to scroll less, you automatically get the advantage of easy drag and drop to rearrange the notes in the list.

You get easier methods to arrange the note titles as parent and child notes.

Just drag one or more note titles and drop them on another title. They become the child notes of the target note. Simple right and left arrow buttons are also there to quickly promote or demote the levels of selected notes.

In many operations, you get the advantage of auto processing of the child notes.

For example, when you drag or copy a note title to antoher place, its children are automatically included. When you do an export or printing, you get the choice of including the children if you did not select them to start with.

You can easily insert new information in the list by finding target locations to insert and intuitive paste operation.

If you have to paste new information, you can quickly scroll to select a target in the list and paste. The information is pasted as a new note with rich text and pictures included. Auto pastes to collect web clippings or text from other applications is also possible.

You can work on partial outlines or part of the list for certain operations.

In many operations like printing and export, you may need to process only part of the list instead of the whole list of notes. This is possible by the multi-selection feature already described above.

You get great add-on features for organizing all kinds of information in the list.

In order to let you find desired items faster, you can assign color or icons to the note titles. In addition, you can assign keyword tags or insert hyperlinks. There are many more features like logical search, hoisting, and auto paste listed under "Major distinguishing features" below.

If you often make notes while reading books, you will discover that the outlining list in WhizFolders is excellent for learning and can help you make notes on new subjects faster.

Here is an example. I was making notes from a book on copy writing. I used WhizFolders to deepen my understanding of the subject by organizing the notes in my own hierarchy and sequence.

It often happens when reading a book. The author's hierarchy and the order of the chapters may not match your own learning sequence depending on how much you already know about the subject. Organizing your notes in an outlining list helps a lot to understand the new subject because when you go to review your notes, you find them in the perfect order that you already have in your mind.

WhizFolders, Note Taking Software

What is the advantage of outlining in two panes here?

As you can see above, the left pane contains the hierarchical outlining list showing the titles of the notes. I call these titles "outline items" in the features section. You may have your own term for it, for example, some people know them as headings. The right pane shows the rich text content of the selected note. The advantage here is that you get a better overview of your whole outline with less scrolling because you only see the titles in the outlining list. A word processor shows you the content too in the same list but that requires too much scrolling and takes too much time to load huge outlines. Also, unlike a word-processor outline, each outline level item can have text or note content in it. Please see the presentation later for a more detailed explanation of the advantage of this approach. Also, we do have a "View Combined Outline" feature as described later that helps sometimes to see everything in one list.

Now please take a look at the outline in the left pane above. You can learn many aspects of how outlining helps from this example. The key points are explained below.

How to assimilate new information, breaking it up in manageable chunks

I made the above notes many years back when reading a nice book on copy writing. When I found something worth noting, I made a new note in the outline and put it properly in the hierarchy.

Note that I may not have followed the author's original hierarchy but made my own outline according to what I think fits where. As a result, I now have notes that I can review very quickly. Moreover, if I learn any new tricks that are related, I can insert them quickly in a proper place in the outline.

Reverse thinking, how to write a new book

Now let's take a look at this example from the reverse angle. If you were a writer, you could use this kind of outline to plan a new book on copy writing. You would be noting down thoughts and ideas on copy writing that come to your mind. But in this case, since the thoughts are random, you would be noting them down in different parts of the outline where they really belong. The end result would be quite like this but the sequence of creating the outline may not be same.

WhizFolders gives you features to easily move outline items from one place to another by simple drag and drop or promote/demote buttons. In the end, when you think a book draft is ready, you can print the whole book with the outline automatically converted into a table of contents. Or, you can export the whole or part of the outline to an RTF file for refining in a word processor or for sending to an editor.

Major distinguishing features of WhizFolders as a Note Taking Software and Outliner

I'm not going to list the usual features that you find in many two-pane organizers and outliners. Instead, I'm going to show you unique features that you may not find in other programs. Note that what I call "outline items" in these features are actually the note titles or headings that you see in the left pane above. What you are outlining in WhizFolders are these note titles by arranging them in a hierarchy. The actual note content appears in the right pane when you select a note title.

Word-wrapped outline items

You don't have to horizontally scroll the outlining list to see complete items. Each item is word-wrapped.

Highlighting an outline item

You can highlight specific outline items by changing their highlight color or by changing the icons.

Hoisting and hiding

You can hoist part of an outline to concentrate on it. Other parts of the outline are hidden from you to avoid distraction.

View combined outline

WhizFolders is primarily a two-pane outliner. But at times, you want to view the complete outline along with note contents, indented. Deluxe edition supports this feature.

Pictures, tables and OLE objects

You can insert pictures, tables and OLE objects, such as Excel Spreadsheets. What's the use? You can keep usage notes about the spreadsheet in the same note.

Inituitive copy/pastes

Copy, paste works just the way you would want it to work. If you copy some outline items and paste them in the same or another outline, the child items are automatically pasted. If you paste them in an external application like Microsoft Word, a merged copy is pasted.

Print a draft from full or partial outline

Just select complete or partial outline in the list and do a print or export to get a merged draft that you can use in your word processor for those final finishing touches. Acopy, paste operation can also merge the selected outline items, with or without headings.

Web clippings

When you paste information from a web site, the location is automatically pasted for reference. This is a great way to quickly collect information from the Internet and later research it by using the links pasted with them.

Connect notes with links

You can insert links that allow you to jump from note to related notes. Helps tremendously when reviewing and brainstorming the notes.

Bookmarks for files and web

You can insert links going to external files, folders and web sites. So you can use WhizFolders as a launchpad or bookmark manager with the added feature of keeping helpful notes about those links.

To Do List or Task List

You can turn your outline into a simple, free format To Do List by showing Checkmarks on each item. See the presentation for an example.

Automatic paste (Watch Clipboard)

An outline note item is automatically pasted when you do a copy clipboard in another application. There is no need to switch back and forth between the other application and WhizFolders.

Logical search with AND, OR

You can find one or more notes easly by doing a boolean search for words with AND, OR, NEAR.

Tags or Keywords

Assign Tags (Keywords) to outline items and find them easily. Tags are used to assign relevant terms not present in the actual text of an item.

Precise drag and drop

When dragging items in the outline from one position to another, precise drop marks appear to guide you as to where the dragged items will be dropped. You can drag and drop multiple items and even complete branches of items. See the presentation for a small video on this feature.

Word compatible RTF export

You can export the merged outline in Word compatible RTF or outline format. This helps give fine finishing touches to your final draft in Word.

Audit Database

You can recover old or accidentally deleted notes from a "changed notes" database.

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