GTD Templates available? Or suggestions?

(Michael Brown) #1

Ryan Holcomb’s templates for FTD that were in the Public File Exchange on Tinderbox main page, can’t be opened with TB 7 … they load as DMG files that seem blank.

Im a novelist and I’ve gotten myself in the position of using so many tools: Scrivener, Scapple, Aeon Timeline, Tinderbox, DevonThink products, OmniFocus, MindNode.

I would like to reduce this all to Scrivener, Tinderbox, and DevonThink Pro office.

One of my first tasks is to reproduce my OmniFocus set up in TB.

So if anyone knows where a template is that I could begin with, I’d appreciate it … or any other suggestions. Thanks a lot.


(eastgate) #2

DMG’s have nothing to do with Tinderbox 7.

(Michael Brown) #3

I know that, but that is what downloads from the public exchange site and inside of the dmg is a file that can’t be opened by anything, and seems blank for both of the Ryan Holcomb templates.

Whereas when I download your timeline file from the site it shows up as a .tbx file.

There might be a number of files in the file exchange that are not working?

(eastgate) #4

Both GTDLight.dmg and GTDImproved.dmg open fine here on macOS 10.12.6. The old public file exchange has been closed for some time and is not supported.

(James Fallows) #5

You can use and open each of these files:

  • Download the DMG files, and run them. That will produce files called GTDRules and GTDLite.
  • The native app for each of those is a Tinderbox offshoot called Twig. BUT YOU CAN STILL run them with the current Tinderbox. Here is how:
  • Move those two files someplace else, like Desktop or whatever
  • Rename each of them with a .TBX extension
  • Open them with Tinderbox.

That’s it.
Update: BTW I have concentrated almost all of my work in the same Scrivener / Tinderbox / DTPro combo that you’re talking about. I rely on the first two much more heavily than the third.

(Michael Brown) #6

I have Mac OS 10.12.6 also. Where can I get those files if not on the exchange? Is it possible for you to attach them here? (Just saw James Fallows answer … so maybe can look at my key attributes question next? Thanks)

Also the last few hours I have been trying to recreate my OmniFocus structure here, with some success. However, I can’t make notes inherit the key attributes from my prototype? The notes were brought in from OF via CSV export and paste. I stripped out the attributes that were added and put prototype to none before applying new prototype with new key attributes. But the key attributes don’t show up.

I was thinking of a stamp with $Keyattributes=$Attribute,$Attribute,$Attribute … but that’s not working either.

Thanks Mark. I know you’re busy and if too busy just tell me. Michael

(Michael Brown) #7

Thanks James. I’ll go try that now.

(eastgate) #8

The attribute’s name is $KeyAttributes; attribute names are case sensitive.

(Paul Walters) #9

Sometimes “stuff gets stuck”, especially after importing from CSV then changing prototypes. I usually resort to creating a stamp such as this


What this does when I select some notes and choose the stamp from the Stamps menu, is zero-out my Key Attributes settings**, zero-out the prototype assignment, then reset the prototype to the desired one. (Obviously, use your own prototype name.)

You can do all of this with Quickstamps too.

** in a stamp, the syntax $KeyAttributes=; means “set the $KeyAttributes to nothing”.

(Derek Van Ittersum) #10

I’m not using this file anymore (I decided I’d rather just use OmniFocus than try to recreate all its features in other apps), but I did make this useful file that integrated GTD with a Kanban board for project / task management. Shared in the previous forum.

(Dominique Renauld) #11

I created a file in order to use it as an Omnifocus document and it works very well if you don’t need to sync your tasks with your phone. You’ll find the file here. I made also a short video about how to use Tinderbox as a task manager. This video is there. This is a quick view of my “dashboard” :

(Michael Brown) #12

Thanks Derek. I’ll check out your post. Although, I have gone back and forth a few cycles from OF to TB and back. But I really want to get good at TB, so I’m going to try to do this. Yesterday, I pretty much got Ryan Holcomb’s template working for my stuff and I’m pretty happy with it.

(Michael Brown) #13

Thank you Dominique. I love all your videos. They are great.

(Pat Maddox) #14

I think it’s a good learning exercise to build a GTD tool with Tinderbox. I used mine for a while, but ultimately prefer OmniFocus for task management (mainly because it has awesome auto-complete, archived stuff disappears from auto-complete, it’s a lot faster than agents updating… well, lots of reasons :slight_smile: )


OmniFocus does not do a good job at providing The Big Picture – that’s where Tinderbox can really excel. You may or may not need to link from Tinderbox to OmniFocus. If you do feel you need to, it’s easy.

Try it out and see what you think though… what works for me may not work for you.

(Michael Brown) #15

I think a lot of it is that I’ve used OF for probably at least a decade and I’m bored with it :). I now have a working GTD system based on Ryan Holcomb’s template and I learned a lot about actions, etc., in the process.

One thing I would like to do if anyone has any suggestions. I have agents that collect actions from contexts that have “next actions (OF/GTD term)” and actions that are due or approaching start dates. There are a dozen agents performing this. I would like to pull all those collected into a single view, so I can have a single dashboard view to check off things to do for the day.

Any suggestions how I might do that? For now, and it really isn’t that onerous, I can select the ones I want to work on make alias and then drag the alias to the single view.

Any other strategies? Thanks.

(James Fallows) #16

One simple approach would be this:

  • Create some new Boolean attribute, let’s say $DailyDashboard. Make it a Key Attribute for your main task prototype

  • In all of your existing to-do agents, add another action for items meeting their criteria: $DailyDashboard=true

  • Create another agent, whose query can simply be $DailyDashboard (or $DailyDashboard==true). If you wanted, you could add a date component to that query. For instance, $DailyDashboard & $DueDate<date(today) etc. Or, depending how your other queries are set up, you could also add & !$Done to exclude items you’ve already handed etc

  • Then use the results of that agent as the raw material for your dashboard

  • And for fit-and-finish, you could add a checkbox column on your dashboard, with $DailyDashboard as a displayed value, so you could un-check that when things got done. Or, if you have any $Done variable, you could add a rule (or action or edict) to that, so that when things got marked $Done they would get un-marked as $DailyDashboard.

How to pull aliases from agents to create single daily checklist view?
(Michael Brown) #17

Thank you so much. I will play with your ideas to get a better understanding.

(Pat Maddox) #18

One reason you might prefer to keep the core of your GTD system in Tinderbox is linkability. Say you’ve got a project note, and have a next action related to the note. If they’re both in Tinderbox, linking between them is a snap.

(Ikem Nzeribe) #19

You are one of my favourite film makers. Really.

(Dominique Renauld) #20

Thanks for your encouragements! But it is really because Tinderbox is what it is!