June 14, 2021

Zavala 1.0 released

For the past 8 months or os, I’ve been working on a new app called Zavala. It’s a modern take on a traditional outliner app.

I think it is a pretty decent app, considering it was developed by a single person over 8 months. It isn’t easy making an app that runs on 3 different platforms and does syncing and collaboration across those platforms. To give credit where due, it wouldn’t have been possible without some recent enhancements to Apple’s API’s. Catalyst and CloudKit are big advantages that I have that developers 5 years ago didn’t have. Check out the full feature list here.

One thing I am particularly proud of is how the UI is animated. Adding and removing rows isn’t jarring and gives a solid feel to the application. For example if you are collaborating on an outline with another user, if they insert a row, the outline opens where the row goes and puts it there. There is never a situation where everything just blinks and stuff is in different locations.

The next version, 1.1, will support images embedded into the text of the outline. It will also support some other commands that other outliners usually support. I’ll be adding keyboard shortcuts for moving a row up or down in the outline. I’ll also be adding a way to add rows below, either indented or outdented. I hope to have this release out by Fall.

Version 2 will be coming much later and will require macOS 12 and iOS 15. This is so that I can take advantage the latest in automation API’s. With Shortcuts now on the Mac, the path forward for automation on Apple’s platforms is clear. I plan to make Zavala’s Shortcuts capabilities very robust so that custom workflows and integration with other apps is first class. I’m very excited to see how users automate Zavala in the future.

If you are into outliners, you should give Zavala a try. It is free and Open Source and will be forever, so you have nothing to lose. If you are into task managers or note taking you should give outliners a try. You might be surprised at how creating hierarchies of that information is useful.