Little Outliner press guide

What is Little Outliner?

Little Outliner is an easy to learn, entry-level outliner that runs in a web browser.

It's written in JavaScript and runs in HTML 5.

You do not have to register or create an account. Just visit the site, and start typing.

It stores text in local storage on your own computer.

The user's outline is not transmitted to our servers.

There is no charge to use Little Outliner. Use it to become familiar with outliners. For some people the features of Little Outliner will be exactly what they need.

Where can I try it?

What outliners are used for

1. Notetaking.

2. Organizing projects.

3. Narrating your work.

4. Presentations.

5. Writing.

6. Design.

7. Programming.

8. Specifications.

What is an outliner?

It's an editor that works with hierarchic structures.

For a full explanation of how outliners work, check out our new Outliner Howto.

Screen shot and demo


Because we depend on features that are only available in HTML 5, Little Outliner can only work with modern browsers. We've tested with the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

We like this platform because it gets us to all the major operating systems, and because it runs in a communication-rich environment (the web) we can do new things with networking. To share an outline, something that was awkward in the past, you just have to exchange a URL. And networking inside outlines, including outlines within other outlines, has huge potential.

Also, with the vendors of portable operating systems exerting more control over the kinds of apps they'll allow, we like the freedom this platform offers. Like writers and journalists, developers need freedom to be creative, without unnecessary interference from platform vendors.


1. It can edit a single outline.

2. The outline is saved to local storage, an HTML 5 feature. You can refresh the page, and the outline is still there.

3. The outline can only be accessed on the machine it was created on.

However, there is no limit to what the outliner can do. It has the full Concord engine baked in.


Little Outliner is unique in its simplicity and ubiquity, providing a combination that's not been seen before. There are desktop outliners with similar functionality, such as OmniOutliner and Tinderbox and the OPML Editor. And there are tools that run in the browser such as Workflowy and Trello.


Little Outliner is our entry-level product.

It's where we start. We will release deeper, more specialized, technical and sophisticated products built on outlining. Little Outliner will remain simple, general, easy and approachable. It's where we expect new users to start.

All of our products will be focused on outliners and communication.

Concord is the engine in all our products. It manages the data structures and basic user interaction. Concord's functionality is documented in our Outliner Howto.

Trex, in development, is our open source server-side product. As with Concord and Little Outliner, it's written in JavaScript.

All outlines are stored in OPML, one of the most-used formats on the net, openly specified at This will allow our software to plug into other components we develop, and hopefully others will develop. We believe OPML will become as important a format in this decade as RSS was in the last decade.


Small Picture, Inc is a Delaware corporation, founded on December 19, 2012 by Dave Winer and Kyle Shank.

Dave Winer, 57, has a long history in the tech industry. He is the founder of Living Videotext, founded in 1981, created the first personal computer outliners, ThinkTank, Ready and MORE. UserLand Software, founded in 1988, created Frontier, integrated development tools and web content management software for desktop computers. UserLand developed the first blogging software, Manila and Radio, and pioneered the development of RSS aggregator and interapplication protocols. Winer was the first blogger, and pioneered the development of podcasting, in 1994 and 2001 respectively. He has been a researcher at Harvard and NYU and has a MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, and a BA in Mathematics from Tulane University.

Kyle Shank, 28, has worked as a consultant to Silicon Valley tech companies. He has worked within the software group at IBM in Massachusetts, North Carolina and Zurich, Switzerland. In 2005 he co-founded the first open source Ruby on Rails specific IDE RadRails based on Eclipse. Kyle graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007 with a BS in Software Engineering.

Dave works in New York City, Kyle in the Boston area and collaborate via Instant Outline and Skype.

Posted on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 5:23 AM by admin.