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Re: Feature suggestion - outliner


> but couldn't you do something similar with just simple renaming of
> sub-pages since ZIM will rename the links for you if you did link
> pages.

I could
> For example, your book starts as a single file under a name space:
> (Namespace) Great Novel
> (sub-page) book body
> Realize that your writing has turned into chapters:
> (Namespace) Great Novel
> (sub-page) Chapter 1
> (sub-page) Chapter 4
> Realize that things need to be broken up more:
> (Namespace) Great Novel
> (sub-page) 01 Chapter
> (sub-page) 02 Chapter
> (sub-page) 04.01 Chapter
> (sub-page) 04.02 Chapter
> (sub-page) 04.03 Chapter

This is very well possible. When you work with very large texts you
offen decide that Chapter 04.03 can be split in two. The second half of
this chapter can be joined to Chapter 07.03 whereas the first half of
it can be pushed between 03.02 and 03.03. So the old 03.03 must be
renamed to 03.04. The old 03.04 must be renamed to 03.05 et cetera.

After doing that you may decide that the contents of Chapter 2 and 3
should be rearranged. The first half of Chapter 2 should be Chapter 2.
The second half together with the first half of Chapter 3 should be
Chapter 3. The rest should be Chapter 4. The old Chapter 4 must now be
renamed to Chapter 5 et cetera.

With an outliner like MaxThink these operations are a work of about 10
seconds in all. They can be done without lifting the fingers off the
keyboard, you don't need a mouse for that.

MaxThink users mostly type all the ideas they have so fast as possible
without caring for if the ideas are in any way related to one another.
After having touch typed for a certain time you review what you have
done. With help of the built in functions like "sort", or "prioritize"
or "gather" etc. you collect ideas into "bins" or containers. When you
look at the contents of every container you see what is missing. Then
you add the missing ideas, splitting the container where necessary.
Then again you join the containers into chapters.

As time goes by your work gets more and more structure.

So when you are asked to write an article about your city you don't
start with the concept: first I write about where the city is, then how
many inhabitants, what language they speak, and then the history. Then
afterwards the industry and the cultural things.

No, no. You write about the particular zoo that's very famous. Then you
think about one particular park where the skateboarders meet. At once
you remember that this is in the vicinity of the freemason lodge, that
again lets you remember a famous freemason who discovered the
Neanderthal Man. Which again is not far from the new Mosque. This again
leads to think about the problems that arose last year as there was a
heavy snowfall so that your grandmother hurt her leg. And so on. You
just sit there and hammer in all kinds of ideas and only later you care
to structure your work. Then, after having written 80 pages, you come
to mention where the city is at, and what's the mayor's name and all
that. Afterwards. Completing the task and rounding it off. Start in the
middle and work forwards and backwards at the same time. Or start at
the end and work backwards. Or write everything at the same time. How
ever you want.

This is a very creative way of writing. Often the end product looks
quite different from your original notion. 

See the MaxThink homepage for examples of how this software enhances
"thinking". According to its creator Neil Larson, "higher thinking"
consists of 4 tasks: (1) sorting (2) prioritizing (3) analysis
(= splitting) and (4) synthesis (= joining). ("Lower thinking" includes
such no-brainers like learning 8000 anatomical structures with their
Latin names by heart, or knowing how to cure a tonsillitis or an
atrial re-entry tachycardia). This "lower thinking" is nothing but
storing a lot of data in the head or on paper or in a file, and
retrieving it again. Telephone books do that. "Higher thinking", on the
contrary, is gaining wisdom from data already there - prioritizing what
is important and what not, sorting to do the first things first,
analysing to break down a problem to self defined components, and
synthesis in collecting the pieces to new components of realization.

On Linux I use gjots, on Windows MaxThink.

Now you can't do that with Zim (yet), can you?