Comparing the CherryTree and Piggydb outline editors

Sort Your Thoughts

Article from Issue 222/2019

Organize your thoughts with the CherryTree desktop app and an innovative web application called Piggydb.

Anyone who has ever tried to organize complicated topics in a meaningful way understands that the information rarely maps to a simple structure. Ideas overlap, and concepts that fall in one area might easily reappear somewhere else. Outline editors help you unravel this kind of complex information. The outline tools populating the Linux landscape come in several different forms. We decided to compare a couple of popular options: CherryTree and Piggydb. These tools illustrate different approaches to the time-honored task of organizing human thought: CherryTree uses tree structures, while Piggydb relies on mesh graphs.


CherryTree [1] identifies each node in the topic tree (Figure 1, left panel) with a cherry symbol and assigns to it a text file that supports simple formatting, images, and tables. External files can also be embedded.

The software packages the whole thing into a SQLite database, with the option of encryption. Alternatively, CherryTree can export to XML, which is only useful for speed if you need access outside of CherryTree.


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