A thoughtbase sounds to me like a ZettelKasten?
If this is what you are after there are some tools listed here: https://zettelkasten.de/tools/
The description of the method can be found here at the following link, you want to especially take note of the material under, “The Bare Minimum of a Zettel Note”, which will give you an idea of what a note (german: zettel) consists of. Here’s the link: https://zettelkasten.de/posts/baseline-zettelkasten-software-reviews/
I have been revisiting this whole subject myself never having got it fully off the ground. I actually prefer a physical zettelkasten as I believe that writing and memory creates a firmer connection. However, the man who started the ZettelKasten idea; Niklas Luhmann; ended up with 20,000 notes. That becomes to unwieldy in the physical realm. He used those notes to write 70 books and 40o articles. He called the ZettelKasten his “second brain”, hence my thinking that it is similar to your “Thoughtbase”.
I started mine in DevonTHINK(DTPO) and it went reasonably well. The main caveat is that DTPO doesn’t flinch at thousands of notes. I currently have 65,000 emails in one database alone. DTPO also allows you to create templates, which is extremely helpful. You can switch on wiki-links which will link the text you write that is identical to another note name. Tagging is great as is searching with full boolean operators.
There are however a few challenges. The text editor is not great (although the same as TB7; not sure if this has changed in more recent versions). Styles are not easy to setup and use. It shows that the strength of DTPO is in storing and searching data rather than creating it. If you’re using Markdown it is no better. Notes must be toggled to, “Best Alternative” to either edit or see the converted markup. Finally, all your notes are lists. This is the biggest negative for DTPO being a ZettelKasten. You really want more than one way to view your data. This is where TB comes in.
The attraction to TB is it’s six views (please be aware that I can only comment on version 7.0, as I stopped using TB since then). With a growing volume of notes they can be viewed as a mindmap, outline, chart, by attribute (ie metadata you attach to your notes), as a timeline and Treemap. I’m not too sure of the difference between the chart and treemap, but am sure someone will fill you in on this forum. This really gives you the flexibility to view your notes from different places and see different connections. TB does link to other notes and another killer feature is that you can set your own metadata for your ZettelKasten. Because of the connectivity between TB and DTPO you can also place all your reference material in DTPO and place a link to it in TB.
There are some questions though that come to mind in using TB.
- With a growing body of notes how many can the map view handle comfortably? The map view would be a crucial element for me as I can look at all the notes with their connections.
- I did think of using adornments in the map view to have notes tagged with the same tag automatically landing on the same adornment. However, I don’t know how you would solve the problem of multiple tags per note? Could you use a note as a switch so that if you selected one tag it turned off the others? This would allow you to see all the notes with one tag grouped together and then you could select another tag and so forth. An alternative to this is whether it is possible to have an adornment grow to cover the number of notes. The whole point to this is to get an idea of note clusters. To see which tags have more connected notes. If the adornment could be set to automatically grow or shrink then the map view could be used to see which adornments (and thereby tags) are larger note clusters because of the size of the adornment.
I am looking at using TB for a ZettelKasten and would be interested to see if the latest version adds more features into the mix to make this use case easier.