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I'm looking for a tool that will allow comfortable creating of hierarchical structures, and allow performing computations on them.

For example: plan a budget and\or time estimate of a project

The closest thing I found was freeplane

some more details:

  • I prefer a tool that will "feel" more like a spreadsheet, then a mind map

  • Platform support: windows or web based

  • preferably free

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why won't a spreadsheet work? – Raystafarian Sep 23 '13 at 9:01
The support for tree structure isn't very good – Ophir Yoktan Sep 23 '13 at 17:44
Do you have specific requirements due to your underlying system: what do you use? a computer with Linux, Windows, Mac, ...; something else? – Pierre-Yves Genot Sep 24 '13 at 20:50
Either a windows app, or a web based solution. linux could also be relevant. – Ophir Yoktan Sep 25 '13 at 5:06

here is an answer from

The classic ‘hierarchical spreadsheet’ is B-liner ( As far as I know it has been undeveloped for ages, aside a minor update for Windows 7 compatibility (I think). I therefore do not recommend it.

My recommendation would go to the mindmapper MindView, which was the first to integrate formulas that are hierarchically calculated. Thereon, the latest versions of MindManager has added this functionality, but I have yet to test it. Both mindmappers also have outline views, though the formulas are not visible in these (again, I have not testetd this in the latest versions).

Last but not least, especially if the above don’t fit one’s budget, there is Treesheets. It integrates a rudimentary formula functionality, though this is undocumented. So it would require willingness for some experimentation as well as enquiry in the Treesheets Google Group.

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I used to use SmartSheet ( It's an online spreadsheet that also has a tree structure. I used it for a to-do list, plus project planning.

They cancelled their free plan, and now only have a 30 day free trial. The smallest package they now offer is $15.95 a month.

If you don't mind paying, I truly recommend their site. It is very flexible, with plenty of options, and a very easy interface.

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Orgmode is a free add-on to Emacs. Legend has it, many people learn Emacs for org-mode alone. It has support for:

  • outlining
  • tables with almost-excel-level formula support
  • task logging with time tracking (clock-in clock-out)
  • generates summaries of what you've spent your time on (by day, week, etc)
  • ... honestly, too many things to mention. If you can think of it, orgmode has it.
  • if it doesn't have what you want, you can add it (it's Emacs, after all).

There is a bit of a learning curve, but if you start with just basic outlining and tables you can move on from there.

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