Friday, January 6, 2012 [Tweets] [Favorites]

How Trello Is Different

Joel Spolsky:

The great horizontal killer applications are actually just fancy data structures.

Spreadsheets are not just tools for doing “what-if” analysis. They provide a specific data structure: a table. Most Excel users never enter a formula. They use Excel when they need a table. The gridlines are the most important feature of Excel, not recalc.

Word processors are not just tools for writing books, reports, and letters. They provide a specific data structure: lines of text which automatically wrap and split into pages.

PowerPoint is not just a tool for making boring meetings. It provides a specific data structure: an array of full-screen images.

Trello looks pretty nice to me, although I don’t think I have a particular need for it right now. I use OmniOutliner and BBEdit for my lists. I believe Omni has made similar statements about how the idea for OmniOutliner came from Excel.

3 Comments

Okay, it's not from Omni per se, but there is indeed a reference that it is the case: http://blog.wilshipley.com/2006/01/thinking-boxes-what-kittens-can-do-to.html

The multiuser/Web-accessible nature of Trello is really the major difference. I still use OmniOutliner for fine-grained planning every day as I have for the past 8 years (! - used Radio UserLand's Instant Outline before that), but it's never had a useful sharing/syncing strategy. We've been using Trello for lightweight project planning and have actually stuck with it over the course of several months, which is more than I can say for every previous tool I've tried.

Anybody aware of a way to create a Trello card from an OmniOutliner item?

Seems like it would be possible to do this with AppleScript...

Would anybody else find that useful?

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