Getting started on a project or report, academic or work related seems daunting. There are so many things that should be included but at the same time, the information needs to come together in just the right way to make sense. There’s two approaches you can take to it; you can gather the information first, and arrange it later. Alternatively, you can start with an outline so you don’t spend too much time looking for information you won’t need. Foldout is a very simple Windows tool that lets you create outlines for a project. It’s a great way to get organized whenever you’re documenting anything new and the app lets you export your outline to HTML, DOCX, and TXT format.
Foldout supports both text and images so if you find a really great graph or image to include in your document, you can add it to the outline. The only caveat is that it must be copied from either your browser or a text editor so it can be pasted using the Ctrl+V shortcut.
You start off with a single blank row. If you want the rows numbered, go to Edit>Preferences and select a numbering convention. The app takes into accounts sections and sub-sections. Right-click the highlight box next to a row to demote or promote a row to a section or sub-section, respectively. You can also change the order of each row by moving them up or down. You can add more rows or delete an existing one along with all rows that are subservient to it.
As you add rows and change their order, or add rows that lie at a lower level to a main row, Foldout updates the number of the row accordingly. It’s like the Headings feature in MS Word. Headings or sections are duly given numbers in a serial and sub-headings or sub-sections are numbered with the number of the master heading appended to the beginning of it.
Foldout can and will retain your outline in its own format so you can always re-open a project in the app and edit it whenever you need to. If you’re satisfied with the outline and ready to start adding information to it, you can export it. The supported formats are HTML, DOXC, and TXT. When exported, the row numbers are all retained but I was a bit disappointed to learn that when exporting to DOCX, the rows weren’t formatted as headings, they are plain simple text except in the DOCX format. Other than that, it’s a simple little tool that can help you start on a project, give it structure and keep it on track while you research.