The ideas behind Outline

Outline is a wiki and knowledge base built for growing teams. We’re focused on speed, usability and extensibility.

The project consists of a BSL licensed codebase which can be hosted on your own infrastructure. Or you can use our paid hosted, service (you’re looking at it!) that provides income for continued feature development and maintenance.

Open Source

Most software products today are built to be closed source, so why make the code public? We believe there are many advantages to doing so:

  • Accountability. Being open helps to keep the team accountable for progress, code quality, communication, and roadmap.
  • Community. We’re building a community of like-minded people that can contribute plugins, integrations, and fixes to the project that will benefit everyone.
  • Marketing. Every product needs a wedge into the market. Making our source code public and open sourcing the editor offers many opportunities to spread the project.
  • Security. We take privacy of your data extremely seriously. Getting more eyes on the code makes us more confident that Outline is as secure as possible.
  • Peace of Mind. A lot of software products are shut down and disappear, in the worst case scenario you’ll always be able to run your own copy of Outline.


Why would I pay you if I can run Outline myself?

You don’t have to but you might have better things to do with your time. When you sign up for Outline, you’ll always be running the latest version, have all the features and we’ll answer the questions your team might have. You’ll also help to keep Outline getting better by supporting us financially.

Can I use X to signin to Outline?

We started with Slack and Google as many teams are already using these services for team identity. We’ll consider adding more login methods soon.

How can I export my data if you go away?

Outline includes the ability to export individual documents, collections or your entire knowledge base to markdown with a single click so you’re never locked in. We also have an extensive API that can be used for accessing documents programatically.

How can I get in touch with you?

You can drop us a note on our Spectrum community or email us at [email protected].