Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Bike 1.0

Jesse Grosjean (tweet, Hacker News):

Bike is a macOS (11 and later) native outliner. Bike has good performance on big outlines. Bike uses open file formats and is scriptable too. Use Bike to record and process your ideas.


Outliners are powerful but constraining. Text editors are freeing but weak on structure. Bike is good at both.


Bike uses open file formats. The .bike file format is HTML–you can view it in your web browser. Bike also supports .opml and .txt.

It really is fast. I love the open formats. What’s cool is that it doesn’t just export to OPML and plain text; you can directly edit and save files in those formats, too, and convert between them. I used it to convert some of my big OmniOutliner files to plain text, for easier access on my iPhone and within BBEdit. I can edit a file in both BBEdit and Bike at the same time, and each app recognizes changes from the other. The plain text format just uses tabs and newlines for structure (no leading - or * to mark items), so it works great with lots of tools. Bike supports multiple levels of hoisting/focusing. It’s $29.99 direct and $2.99/month or $19.99/year in the Mac App Store.

See also: How does Bike relate to TaskPaper?.


5 Comments RSS · Twitter

I’m wondering how this compares to Zavala, which is available on iOS/iPadOS and macOS, for free (or at least when I downloaded it). I can’t tell that it offers a way to interact with the files outside of exporting them in different formats, although it does use iCloud Drive for syncing.

@Jason IIRC, Zavala uses (limited) rich text and is not document-based.

Raveen kumar

Emacs org mode solved outliners already but this looks cool too

@Raveen I like the idea of Org-mode since it supports rich structure/markup and there’s so much tooling around it, but I haven’t seen much in the way of native Mac apps that understand it. There’s Emacs and VS Code.

I take/organize a lot of notes using outlines, and I used to think I wanted an outliner, but I've come to realize a text editor with folding support is enough for me. Then I get all the advanced editing features, exactly the same as in other text documents. There's no "zoom"/"hoist" feature, but that usually seemed like a waste of time for me, and I can always make a new file if I want.

Same with other notes apps. I used to use NV, but I can make an editor project and search all the files there just as well.

I just make sure to use an editor that autosaves my project and autosaves new documents.

Leave a Comment