Support extended OPML data in Circus Ponies Notebook and other files

“Notebook” by Circus Ponies was for many years a popular outliner on the Mac, but the company closed and the software doesn’t run anymore on the latest macOS. I’m looking for a replacement.

Notebook can export OPML files that can be imported into Dynalist. However, the files have a number of extra data fields that are non-standard in OPML and are not imported, but do correspond to existing features in Dynalist, such as creation and modification dates, checkboxes, keywords/tags, etc. I’d love it if that extra data could be imported too! The most important thing for me would be the ability to retain the creation dates, followed by bold/italic/etc. formatting.

It could also be helpful if Dynalist would export its own extra data in the same way, for import to other apps and for backup. Currently Dynalist doesn’t include its creation dates in any of the export formats.

An example:

<outline text="this line has a checkbox and is marked as completed, and a keyword of &quot;office&quot;" category="office" _status="checked" created="Sat, 29 Jun 2019 21:28:49 GMT+2" changed="Sat, 29 Jun 2019 21:28:53 GMT+2" completed="Sat, 29 Jun 2019 21:28:53 GMT+2"/>

The OPML files also support embedded line breaks within items, but instead of using &#10; like Dynalist, they embed an actual newline character, so that would need to be converted.

The _status field is also used by OmniOutliner when exporting OPML with status checkboxes. OmniOutliner also uses these extended fields for data in their columns, so for example you could make a column called “category” which would behave the same as Notebook’s keywords. So this could also help people moving from OmniOutliner to Dynalist.

Unfortunately, neither app exports formatting like bold and italic in OPML. Notebook does have another XML export format of its own, called NBML. This contains a lot more information than the OPML. I imagine it would be more work to parse this, but I don’t really know how much.

If you’re interested in supporting this, I could document it a little more thoroughly. I have many years of notes in Notebook, and I’m motivated to find a good home for them going forward…