Bike is a new and super clean outliner app for macOS

Bike Macos Screenshot
Bike Macos Screenshot (Image credit: Hog Bay Software)

What you need to know

  • Bike is a brand new outliner app for the Mac.
  • A Bike license costs $35.99 and gets you a year of free updates.
  • Developer Hog Bay Software says early downloaders can help shape the app's future.

Bike is a new outlining app for the Mac and it's designed to be as clean as possible while still offering the features people need from such an app.

Outlining apps are often used by writers who need to begin with the barebones idea for a story and then flesh it out. Collapsible sections make outlining apps perfect for that, but they can also be used for jotting down ideas and then turning them into something more meaningful later — a bit like a mind map, for example. Bike is an app that can be used for pretty much anything you want because it not only acts like an outlining app but also works like a word processor, too. You can watch the announcement video to see what I mean. That's also where you can go to find out where this thing got its name, too.

I know you were wondering!

Outlines are powerful, but can be confusing. In Bike outline editing is fluid, your ideas flow across the screen instead of jumping from position to position. This makes it easier to track what's going on, and it's fun!

Need to go beyond just writing things down? Bike supports AppleScript so can be automated in almost any way you need, while developer Hog Bay Software says that we can expect rich text support, themes, and even plugins to come in a future update.

Features

  • Clean outliner.
  • Bike's editor is something new. It's custom built to provide a fast and fluid outlining experience.
  • Outliners are powerful but constraining. Text editors are freeing but weak on structure. Bike is good at both.
  • Bike respects your computer's memory and battery. Bike is a macOS native app and passes the Moby Dick Workout.
  • 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.
  • Bike is scriptable. Use AppleScript to control and automate Bike and integrate Bike with other scriptable applications.
  • Bike is a new app. Be an early adopter and help shape Bike's future. Rich text, themes, and plugins are features I'll work on next.

That last bullet point is an important one — anyone downloading Bike right now can have a say in how the app grows. Have a feature request? Now is the time to get involved!

Bike is a free download but you'll need to buy a license to use it — something you can do via the link in-app or the app's website. A license costs $35.99 and gets you a year's worth of free updates. It isn't cheap by modern App Store standards, but Bike has the potential to grow into one of the best Mac outlining apps and is well worth checking out.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Crazy price. No thanks.
  • Really curious what makes you say that. Is it just because there are free options? I think OmniOutliner is similarly priced.