Comparing the CherryTree and Piggydb outline editors

Current Status

Piggydb is currently in a dormant state with the last release (a bug fix) in 2016 [6]. The author is currently working on an open source successor, Cotoami [7], which is not yet available as a stable version. Civilizer [8], a web application strongly based on Piggydb, was last updated in May 2018.


CherryTree is a free, practical, and mature outlining program. Without daring to experiment, it offers a complete and clear-cut scope. Sensibly selected keyboard shortcuts help users to work quickly and conveniently. If you like to work with classic linear structures, CherryTree is the right choice for you.

Piggydb cannot compete with CherryTree in terms of ease of use, but it will run on a centralized server, making the knowledge base available on all computers on a network without installing additional software. In contrast to CherryTree with its linear structure where each entry belongs to exactly one parent element, Piggydb supports multiple relations between the elements, which better matches the structure of human knowledge.

In addition, Piggydb's web application is well suited to freely formulating ideas in a brainstorming phase and then condensing them later into an outline. Piggydb's most practical advantage is the ability to declare any number of elements as root elements that appear on the start page at the press of a button. All fragments linked in this way appear with collapsible child elements like a file manager's folder view.

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