Tinderbox Forum

Just starting and a little lost bringing it all together

I currently use DevonThink (including DT To Go) and Omnifocus. I’ve been looking for a long time for something more visual to bring these worlds together. I’ve begun to experiment with TB and can see how I can build a robust task and project management system using rules, attributes, etc. I’m very excited.

The Achilles heel for me–and forgive me as I suspect this is a very tired conversation–is the mobile connection. I need to be able to access stuff on the go on my iPhone. I don’t need all of the functionality of TB, and can figure out other solutions for taking my task list with me. I just need a mobile solution for getting to reference material.

A case in point … last night, my teenage son was in a car accident (he’s fine) and I began to collect some things together into Tinderbox–notes from my conversation with the insurance company, a photo or two of the car, a scan of the tow company’s card, etc. It was exceptionally valuable to lay this out in TB and start to think about how I could brainstorm my way through what I had to do, ultimately getting to tasks, etc. right there in the TB container. It’s really clicking with me. But …

I was out this morning and needed to dig up the claim number, and couldn’t. It was back home in TB.

I’m guessing DevonThink is a potential bridge here, from what I’ve been seeing. Is there a good guide anywhere on exactly how to set that up? I want to avoid double-handling, exporting, etc., etc. as much as possible. Ideally, there’s a two-way sync going on here, such that stuff I add to or edit in TB can end up reflected in DT, and vice-versa?

Again … apologies if this is well-handled somewhere. If it is, I just need a nudge.

There isn’t a full, 2-way sync solution for TB and iDevices - but there are a couple of options that could help you do what you want with little effort.

  1. You could Watch a folder in the Apple Notes app and keep your tasks there. Updates in the Notes app will come back to TB, but changes in TB will NOT flow the other way. This is the simple, easy and basic solution , and pretty robust. The major negative is that Apple might change the interface into Notes and break this method - which was the case in MacOS Catalina. Fine before and after that but… It also assumes that you use iCloud to sync Notes between a Mac and phone/iPad

To set it up, create your folder in Notes. Then in TB, do File, Watch, Folder from Notes. TB will create a prototype for those notes and, after a little while, your Notes content will appear in TB

  1. An alternative option, with more possibilities is to Watch a Group in Devonthink. Createt the Group in DT. Then, in TB, do File, Watch Group from Devonthink - TB will again create the prototype and then your content will appear, each DT item as a separate note. Be a little careful about how much content there is in the DT group - if the Group has many items and they change very frequently, TB might struggle to keep up with the changes.

If you use th DT method, you can use DT’s features to add dates, labels and other metadata, and thus get more sophistication than you can with the Notes app. This, of course, presupposes that you have Devonthink To Go on your iDevices.

It is possible to get TB to pick up extra metadata from the DT group by massaging the prototype. I haven’t done this myself, but I’m sure others have.

Hope that helps

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Good points and directions raised by @ThatGuy.

I’d add the following:

  1. Something to consider - particularly if you’re thinking of creating one or more sandbox type projects (such as dealing with the car accident and paperwork) AND if you use iCloud (and an iDevice) - is to keep your actual media files OUTSIDE Tbx, but create local links to media within Tinderbox (either as individual notes, in-line href links, or as attribute values).
    Tbx works much faster with a minimum of images in-file. This way you can also access your image files directly on your iCloud via your iDevice. How I would approach this in general is:

    a) Create a Folder structure in iCloud like
    “\MyTBXProjects\FenderBender” and drop your (Tbox-referenced) media into it.
    b) An extension of this idea is to export to or maintain a little text note in the same folder with pertinent details like claim number, insurance co. phone number and so on.
    c) You could also export an html of the entire sub-project to your iCloud folder, and scan through it all via your iDevice.

The above scenario allows you to do (an incomparable level of) big-picture planning within Tbx, yet have pertinent info available on iCloud for on-the-go access.

  1. Take a look at Michael Becker’s (@satikusala) tutorial video and example file for a Project Planner - he’s done a ton of great work pulling together the mechanics of a working Task/Project management system.
    Tinderbox Training Video 26 - Daily Journal Time Tracking Project Management Part 1


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Drafts can also be setup so that you can capture your notes in Draft and then send those notes using an AppleScript. If this option interests you I can create a video on this.


Yes, please do.

I would find it helpful to see how Draft notes (or any other file type for that matter, .md files, etc.) with specific tags can be sorted into TB notes or immediately assigned a prototype.

As an aside, I’m new to the forum and just wanted to say thank you for all the work you’ve done on training and mentoring people to get up to speed. It’s been very helpful to get a handle on the software.

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Ok, give me a few days. Just got my 2nd covid shot and have a serious “man cold”; I really do feel yucky. I can’t imagine actually getting covid, I feel so bad for those that have.

@satikusala no rush at all. Get you some soup ( :grin: I love that vid). But, seriously, I hope you do get to feeling better.

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Michael, hope you‘re feeling better soon! Fingers crossed.

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Feel great today! One day of pain…all done…13 days from now will be fully COVID vacindated. :slight_smile:

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