User Attributes or Tags?

(Jake Bernstein) #41

I agree and this is how I’m using it as well. The one part I haven’t yet really figured out for myself is where to store “random snippets” of notes. Maybe the answer is multiple TBX documents. Maybe I’ll just create an “Inbox.tbx” and use that. But in any event, TBX is definitely the “thinking app” for me these days. (In combination with a few others, of course–the fact that I can bust out a mindmap in iThoughtsX (on my iPad) and then just export the OPML to Tbx is wonderful.)

(James Fallows) #42

FWIW I do both these things:

  • As the years go on, my range of specific TBX files for specific purposes has increased in number. I started out long ago with one gigantic GTD-style file that I poured everything into. Over time I’ve preferred to have one file for upcoming magazine articles; one for upcoming blog posts; one for managing upcoming travel; one for managing financial issues; one for planning related to upcoming book-promo; etc.
  • Nonetheless I still have a “main” file, and in that file I have one big intake sluice called Inbox. That’s where I can just dump things if I’m afraid of forgetting them, circling back every day or two to send the items out to their specific destinations.

Speaking of GTD, a couple of weeks ago I was in Amsterdam and spent an afternoon with David Allen himself, and his wife Kathryn. They moved to Amsterdam three years ago, from Santa Barbara, and are staying. They send greetings to all who are interested in their GTD approach to life. (I’ve known him for a long time, he is a great and very interesting person, as is Kathryn.)

That’s him waving, obviously. Coffee-shop owner in the background is greeting the Allens’ dog.

How many TBXs do you use?
(Mark Anderson) #43

A post was split to a new topic: How many TBXs do you use?

(Paul Walters) #44

I don’t find Tinderbox all that useful for this. It’s not a bucket-app, especially since “random notes” tend to want to be moved somewhere else eventually.

“Random notes” fall into two categories for me

First, text I need to stick somewhere for a while because I’ll use it later today. For that, I use nvALT, which also syncs with Simplenote.

For “random notes” that want to keep indefinitely I’ll use Day One because it has excellent capture features (extensions, services) on macOS and iOS. Notes exported as HTML from Day One look very nice when dragged into Tinderbox.

How many TBXs do you use?
(Jake Bernstein) #45

Well I’ve got a sub to Day One…might as well start using it again!

(eastgate) #46

I find that many of my “random notes” are clearly destined for a specific Tinderbox project.

For example, I’ve got a Tinderbox project for keeping track of my work to help organizing the second Congressional Distrct of Minnesota for Swing Left. I’ll make notes when someone volunteers, or when I run into some relevant news, or when I have a sudden idea for a new project. I add the note to a specific folder in my Notes app, and is goes straight to the appropriate Tinderbox project.

That doesn’t help with unclassifiable notes, but my experience is that it reduces the number of unclassified notes considerably.

(Jake Bernstein) #47

I wish there was a way to take notes in something that used tags (i.e. Day One, DEVONthink, Ulysses) and have it automatically go to Tinderbox based on those tags.

Is there a way that someday the “watched folders” won’t have to be top level? Or perhaps an official Service that can be combined with AppleScript?

(Paul Walters) #48

That’s what Simplenote sync does.

(eastgate) #49

DEVONthink watched folders will also import tags in the next release.

Is there a way that someday the “watched folders” won’t have to be top level?

Is there a reason not to embrace this restriction? One issue is simply that we don’t want people to forget their watched folders entirely, or to misplace them. There’s also a modest performance advantage in large documents to limiting how much work we need to do to locate watched folders; the performance penalty can be avoided, but that adds a little more complexity to the code.

(Jake Bernstein) #50

I suppose not if one can create agents to send notes to various containers based on tags. Once tags are introduced I see no reason that couldn’t be done. Of course, I thought all imported DT notes were marked Read-Only, which seems to limit its use.

(Rigas Arvanitis) #51

Happy to learn that (I should be more careful with my judgments).

In fact, before I switched to a Mac (which I did that BECAUSE of Tinderbox… and in particular because of Mark Bernstein’s explanation on hypertext as gardening – a fantastic text ) I was looking for a machine that manages PDFs… I found a nice programme on PC doing cataloguing, but also notes keeping, with a hierarchical tree and forlders, whereeither a note or a document (word, pdf, etc…) could be attached. This was a big help. It is called MyInfo (nice people answering questions) - only on windows. Probably that’s what is Devonthink.
But then I discovered Tinderbox… And my life entered in a new complex relation with this new machine. Although I love Tbx, I still have many questions but the most complicated aspect is my non-systematic use of Tbx.

(James Vornov) #52


Don’t worry about being non-systematic about your Tinderbox use. I’m also a non-systematic user. It’s just the way I’ve worked my entire career.

I tend to get into a project and grab the tools at hand. Usually they’re the tools I’ve been using lately, but of course sometimes there’s a project inspired by a particular tool. Some tools get used over and over (fountain pen and a blank sheet of paper) and some that just don’t make it (mind mapping). My biggest challenge is sticking with a set of tools for a while since I get distracted and off target fooling around with tools rather than doing the work.

I have some Tinderbox rituals that have become ingrained over the years. That’s about as systematic as I get. I can’t Dealing with PDFs is a different set of tasks. I use Mendeley for scientific literature (a few thousand PDFs in a Dropbox Folder) and Devonthink for everything else, plus a searchable view into those papers. Tinderbox is my idea processor, with links back to the Devonthink database so I can find what I’m describing. And when I want to go back to reactivate or revisit some old project, I tend to go back through the Tinderbox notes which refreshes my memory of where I was and where it was going.

(Rigas Arvanitis) #53

Thanks for the support. Well its time for me to realize I wont make any more systematic work at that stage of my life.
Recently, having organized a conference on science indicators, I was reminded by a colleague of us, that indicators (as well as intellectual instruments such as Tbx) are meaningful as long as they relate to a “community”. Basically, Mark Bernstein, I believe, created a (coherent? small?) community (I suppose he would love to have it as large as possible !). I am astonished by the quality of the intecventions in the Forum. Tinderbox community looks like a hub for intellectuals. And thats probably the secret about the whole thing – being myself a sociologist I tend to do this abusive genralizations…:slight_smile:
I agree with all you said there and, as you, I dont understand mind maps, although I do understand a tinderbox map when gardened carefully. I understand also semantic maps quite easily, which is no surprise since I am the boss of an Institute that has designed the largest --probably worldwide today-- on-line machine producing textual clustering analysis. And its open access and free:
I prefer using a notebook than a computer in a meeting.
And I definietly need to buy DEVONthink after all I have read and heard about it. You seem to talk about a seamless linkage between Tinderbox and Devonthink list of documents…
Ok, back to work, I have a PhD thesis to correct…

(eastgate) #54

I thought all imported DT notes were marked Read-Only, which seems to limit its use.

If you move DEVONthink notes out of the watch folder, you can always set $ReadOnly to false. (Inside the watch folder, you can do this too, but Tinderbox will eventually update the note from DEVONthink and undo your work!)

(Jake Bernstein) #55

Silently chants “Two-way syncing…two-way syncing…two-way syncing.”

(Paul Walters) #56

Ah, a true CRIMPer

A nice aspect of Tinderbox, as opposed to a mere “outliner” and their mind map cousins, is that Tinderbox can be used to create new tools. The possibilities with action code in agents, rules, stamps, export, etc., seem limitless. I recall getting really hooked on Tinderbox when I learned about the dashboard work that Mark Bernstein was doing a few years ago (and still does, I think). I still build dashboard for projects – and couldn’t have those if I couldn’t building their tooling with Tinderbox’s action code.

(Jake Bernstein) #57

For CRIMPers like us, isn’t this a huge problem? :wink:

(Mark Anderson) #58

[takes off moderator’s hat, dons ordinary users hat]

Silently chants “PLEASE, dear $deity, NO!”

TTBX is not an everything bucket. If one needs Tinderbox to do constant sync with [some other app] might I request that the developer of [some other app] do the sync heavy lift work freeing up Eastgate to put its engineering effort into the sort of innovative things it does best and let storage apps get on with the storage/sync stuff at which they are better.

I die a little every time I see yet-more focus going on sync. Sync makes one lazy. I welcome the discipline of putting info I need in the app where I’ll work on it. Tinderbox has perfectly good import/export. Excessively tight sync just ties the app into the demands of other apps that not all Tinderboxers use and that may not have development plans aligned with the needs of Tinderbox.

I’ll get my coat…

(Paul Walters) #59

No, it keeps us from playing in traffic :scream_cat:

(Rigas Arvanitis) #60

I v[quote=“Jake_Bernstein, post:57, topic:1069”]
For CRIMPers like us, isn’t this a huge problem? :wink:
I cant count the number of satudays I have spent inventing a new way to arrange the notes inside Tinderbox.