Grids within grids within grids within grids...
September 2, 2015 9:56 AM   Subscribe

TreeSheets is an open-source "Free Form Data Organizer" for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It's an outliner! It's a spreadsheet! It's a mind-mapping tool!
posted by overeducated_alligator (18 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
 
A quick look at the overwhelming screenshots and length of the video tutorial suggest I won't be using this software. It might be awesome, but - too much learning.
posted by davebush at 10:23 AM on September 2, 2015


(gets out yak shaver) Step aside, I got this!
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:26 AM on September 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Looks fairly neat.

I do continue to wish someone would take the basic differentiating conceit of Scapple, mind-mapping without an assumed tree-hierarchy, and add more complexity to it. Scapple remains the only mind-mapping software I've ran across that takes that tack.
posted by Drastic at 10:42 AM on September 2, 2015


Hmm, might be useful, but I do most of my work these days on a Chromebook. Is there any version of this or Scrapple that is a Chrome app or web-based (and not utter trash)?
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:47 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


(gets out yak shaver) Step aside, I got this!

[Start's building linux from scratch with a customized kernel furiously]
posted by srboisvert at 10:52 AM on September 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have strong opinions about text editors.
posted by Floydd at 11:05 AM on September 2, 2015 [16 favorites]


I've used TreeSheets for about two years, and it's a fairly well-made cross-platform tool. It's a bit like working free-form on a blank sheet of paper, but it imposes just enough structure to allow for useful organization. The power of an interactive editor facilitates manipulation that isn't possible with paper. Just what an interactive editor should do, in my opinion.

Shame that it doesn't have an option to open, edit, and save files in a human-readable plain-text format, however. That would increase it's usefulness beyond tasks that are contained entirely within the program. Would also make it a lot more future-proof. As it is, the data is fairly silo-ized for non-power users. There is import-export functionality, but it doesn't seem suited to frequently-shared files.

That said, glad to see it on the blue! Love to hear people's suggestions for similar software.
posted by Verg at 11:32 AM on September 2, 2015


Scapple

OMG, downloading.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:33 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Verg: this tool looks somewhat like org-mode, which fits some of your other criteria nicely.
posted by frogmanjack at 11:41 AM on September 2, 2015


It looks pretty similar to BasKet. I eventually found the mouse interface too fiddly.

If you don't need strict WYSIWYG, but still want some interface beyond a text editor, TiddlyWiki.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:44 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


This looks pretty cool. It's really refreshing to see a cool open source project like this that's doing something that hasn't been done before, instead of just rehashing successful proprietary products.

It looks like it's covering a lot of the same ground that OneNote and Excel already cover pretty well, but with more programming and calculation features than OneNote and better visual layout features than Excel.

The tool that I really want that no one has made yet is something that expands on the database features of Excel, allowing you to define tables, relationships, data schemas, and complex queries (with reporting and charts) in an adhoc, spreadsheet sort of way. MS Access just isn't it, and Microsoft keeps trying to add features to Excel to support this while forgetting that the genius of the spreadsheet is the simple, understandable interface. You can have all the features you want, but they're worthless if they're buried in menus and difficult to use.
posted by zixyer at 11:44 AM on September 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's terribly uncool but you can indeed accomplish most of this stuff in Excel (or LibreOffice Calc) using the drawing tools.
posted by LogicalDash at 11:45 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know what I can use this for in my life currently but gadnabbit I'm sure going to find an excuse to use this!!!!
posted by theartandsound at 12:05 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can this import sections like "calendar" from my actual calendar?
posted by rollbiz at 12:19 PM on September 2, 2015


If the file format is OK to parse, this could be a good fit for me but to be truly great I need to be able move a fair bit of data in and out on a regular basis.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 12:49 PM on September 2, 2015


> Shame that it doesn't have an option to open, edit, and save files in a human-readable plain-text format, however.

Is there any export format? Because that's a dealbreaker for me too.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:28 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, I didn't know I needed this.
posted by vogon_poet at 4:41 PM on September 2, 2015


>Is there any export format? Because that's a dealbreaker for me too.

Export to HTML, which is quite nifty; and two flavours of XML, also indented text, and comma-delimited text. But it doesn't appear to have the ability to seamlessly save changes to existing files in those formats, independent of the (lossy) export process. (I.e., it's not a general-purpose editor for these formats.) I could (I hope) simply be wrong about this.
posted by Verg at 8:17 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


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