Where do you put your general throughout-the-day notes?

(Paul Walters) #23

I think if you are watching a massive Evernote notebook (2,100 notes) plus Notes plus folders, you might have gone well beyond the envisioned use case for watching external data sources.

Though Tinderbox is durable and can handle thousands of notes – when you add high-volume watching you’re going to get the slowdown you mentioned.

Watching Evernote or DEVONthink does not capture PDF attachments, in the former case, or attachments in RTFD files, in the latter case.

I’ve seen the Evernote crashes also when watching Evernote notebooks in Tinderbox or when importing Evernote notebooks into DEVONthink.

(Bob Till) #24

Okay. Moved the notes out of and deleted the connected containers. Data is moved and Evernote doesn’t want to keep reopening. Thanks for the context. Tinderbox is fun. Will create a (much smaller) folder to watch in Evernote.

(Rick) #25

Thanks for the info on Curiota and NoteAway. I’ve started using Curiota, and I rather like it.

(Arielle Finberg) #26

Right now I do most of my research and development in iOS – researching the internet, and from iBooks and Kindle on my iPad Air. I make my own digital images by drawing on my iPad Pro, and also take digital photos of some of my physical artwork and low-tech technologies ( like spinning and dyeing yarn and thread – I work, among other media, in tapestry weaving) on my iPhone camera. And I also scan the physical pieces of paper notes, diagrams, and drawings with a Cannon scanner which is plugged into a computer using a much older Mac OS – long story why, don’t ask…LOL…

So I am trying to come up with a workflow for all that that isn’t just emailing files and links to myself and/or having to go through a bunch of exporting to get notes into Tinderbox. LOL. Still haven’t quite figured all that out yet. I’ve tried Curiota, and SimpleNote, and Editorial, and all kinds of apps. I still have a few more ideas to follow up on. :wink: I am now trying iOS apps like Gladys and Drafts to get notes more effectively and easily onto my desktop. I use Eagle Filer on my desktop and think it is helpful to leave notes I’ve made stored there and then later to move “curated” (i.e. by me) items from Eagle Filer to Tinderbox since many of my notes are images and not text. And any text I save is rarely just a snippet. And, sometimes my notes are dead ends to my serious work and not really worth putting into a system like TB. But I usually don’t know that until later, working quite intuitively. (What’s really annoying is when I am sure I am not going to use some bit of information and do not save it, then later find I need it!)

So, no great solutions to add to this thread, yet, but I am interested in this topic and hope to add to it, and also see what is added to it. Like @pat

I’m a bit bummed that this thread hasn’t gotten more action, because it’s one of the areas that I struggle with most when it comes to applying Tinderbox. I’ll share my experience though.

So, I’m sharing my experience, too, although my experience is unfortunately, to me, tedious and convoluted at this point.

(Akiva R. Schoen) #27

I’ll throw my hat in the ring.

I have used Tinderbox since v5, I’m a huge fan of org-mode, and I have DEVONthink Pro Office. The issue with all of this is that you can’t really take your notes with you. There are a few org-mode iOS apps but they’re sorely lacking. I had given up on Tinderbox for awhile because I didn’t like the UI changes from v5 but I’ve turned around completely on that and I’ve been working on moving all of my org-mode files into Tinderbox.

I keep TB open at all times and I have a file in map mode so if I have an idea or find a link or whatever, I can just bounce over, create a note, and then come back to it later, put it where it needs to be, add tags, or whatever. I put notes that are similar in bunches on the map and I use tags (under Reference, I think) to write what kind of note it is and an agent will sweep through and file it away for me in a variety of buckets.

I’m a big fan of using adornments with an OnAdd that changes the Prototype so I can just drag notes from one adornment to another to change its status. I use this especially when on the hunt for a new coding contract to track a potential contract’s status: submitted, scheduled, rejected, etc. I just drag and drop and TB does the rest.

I mainly use DEVONthink for long term storage and stuff like recipes, PDF books I’ve purchased, etc. What got me back into TB and away from org-mode is the fact I can take notes with DTTG and Tinderbox can grab them. The reason why I choose to do it this way is that you can customize TB to automate things whereas with DEVONthink requires you to process semi-manually. I like the fact I can just throw a note into Tinderbox, give it a tag, and the agent does the rest.

Finally, to replace org-mode’s agenda, I went back to OmniFocus which has one drawback: no tags. But OmniGroup is adding that feature in OmniFocus 3 sometime this year, so I’m excited about that.

I’m a huge Spacemacs fan (it’s Emacs using evil with a bunch of other really nice bells and whistles) and for awhile there, I was basically using macOS just to get to Emacs where I was reading mail, coding Clojure, using org-mode, etc. I would rarely leave that window. But the drawbacks starting getting rawly evident. I still use Emacs for coding and chatting on Google Hangouts but mail and so forth, I’ve delegated to macOS’ Mail mainly because it syncs nicely with my iPhone X and iPad. Convenience wins the day here.

TL;DR — Tinderbox for daily notes and projects, OmniFocus for task management, DEVONthink for long-term storage.

(Paul Walters) #28

This is the key, IMO. I cannot be on the desktop all the time, and the triggers for needing a note usually happen when I’m not – I’m with a client (all of whom have tight security restrictions on personal devices in their environments), or traveling, or zoning out in a checkout line when an important idea pops up. So, many of us need a capture point that can thread back to Tinderbox. DTTG -> DEVONthink -> watched DEVONthink groups is one path, and may be what @akiva is describing. But just about anything on iOS that syncs down to Dropbox or some other cloud can lead to a watched folder in Tinderbox.

@eastgate’s introduction of Watching is a major advantage in v7 and solves the question of “Tinderbox for iOS” – or even “Tinderbox for Windows” – handily in my case. I hope we see further evolution of Watching over time.

(James Fallows) #29

Here are two simple questions about the DTTG->DEVONthink->Tinderbox approach, which I would like to implement:

  1. Where is the clearest step-by-step guide to setting up the respective programs to interact this way? (Ie, the right names and locations for folders in DTTG and DT, and the tricks in getting Tinderbox to “watch” the folder?)
  2. Is there any counterpart to this flow setup in the Android world? I used DTTG on my iPad but obviously not on my Android phone. The way I “capture notes” on Android is usually either Evernote or emails to myself, both for manual transfer. Any better practice that has emerged?


(Paul Walters) #30

I’ll assume you know how to use DEVONthink and DEVONthink to Go so I won’t explain it.

Two parts to this. If you want a guide to setting up sync between DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go, then the out the DEVONthink tutorials. There are multiple ways of syncing depending on your network and other settings. You can also refer to their manual or simply consult DEVONthink Help.

After that, then you sync whatever you want. Let’s say you have a database we’ll call FallowsFlies and in that database you have a group “Notes Etc.”. You’ve synced that database to DEVONthink to Go, and you’ve written or collected some notes and stuff and stored it in “Notes Etc.”. So, now you’re back on the desktop or laptop and in DEVONthink you select the group FallowsFlies/Notes Etc.. You click Edit > Copy Item Link. Nothing obvious will happen but in the background something like this will be sitting on the clipboard.


So then you open or create a document in Tinderbox. Create a note. Add this KA to the note: Watch > DEVONthinkGroup. Insert that x-devonthink string into the KA.

The x-devonthink string is an address that DEVONthink knows how to resolve to a specific location (group) in your database. DEVONthink does that, and sends Tinderbox the contents of the group that lives at that address. This is one-way: DEVONthink --> Tinderbox. You can copy the imported notes or alias them. If you edit a note on DEVONthink to Go, sync that to DEVONthink, and then open your document in Tinderbox, the edits should show up in Tinderbox.

I don’t know anything about Androids.

Tinderbox and DEVONthink Pro
(James Fallows) #31

Thanks for very detailed reply! Appreciate it and will put it to use.

And – update! – I find the DTTG/DTP part of the sync set-up sufficiently confusing that I think I’ll stick with emailing myself notes for now! {Despite your exemplary descriptions.} I appreciate it. On the incremental-improvement front, I can wait a while to put this one into effect. :wink:

(Paul Walters) #32

I agree. The DEVONthink sync design is suitable for aliens with large brains.

You don’t need to email notes to yourself. You can use something like Drafts and save notes to Dropbox, then watch that Dropbox folder in Tinderbox. Faster. Simpler.

(James Fallows) #33

Thanks. Have tested this out, and it seems to be what I am looking for. The “Watch” function in TB works well and simply.

I feel as if I have stomach to take on a lot of figuring-this-out tech challenges, but the DEVONThink / DDTG sync obstacle course was one step too far for me. Appreciate the tip; this does the job for me.

(William Brandt) #34


I have set up TB to watch the Notes app which comes with the Mac. I’m finding this works well. If I have a thought I stick it in Notes and then the next time I open the TB project which is watching it, there all the notes are.

What I’d like to do though is include a key word in the note when I take it in Notes - just add it to the text - and have TB check the text for keywords and then add an appropriate user generated key attribute so the notes are automatically sorted by project or topic.

Is that possible? Can anyone tell me how to do it? I’ve never done anything that complicated before.


(Paul Walters) #35

Let’s assume your keywords are one word (or you_use_underscores_between_words). And let’s assume you prefix your keywords with a character such as “%”. So %apples and %oranges are keywords. These assumptions are not essential, but they make what comes later easier.

You watch a Notes folder. Let’s say it is called “Home Made”. You have a keyword %jelly in some notes in that folder.

Create an agent whose query is:

inside("Home Made") & $Text.icontains("%jelly")

and whose action is


This is just one approach, and is easy to set up. You don’t have to use $Tags – you can use your own attribute.

A few caveats. Apple Notes is extremely flakey. You need to make sure you set AutoFetch=false for the Notes container you watch, else the agent will fetch and fetch and fetch. And $Tags will be updated over and over.

(William Brandt) #36

wow, thanks very much for that Paul. I just tried it and it works! I really appreciate you taking the time with such clear and easy to follow instructions.

(Martin Boycott-Brown) #37

We had a discussion about this earlier, and someone kindly came up with a similar solution for me. It is in this post:


(William Brandt) #38

Thanks very much for that link - really interesting discussion!


(Douglas Johnson) #39

I, too, found the DEVONThink/DDTG sync process a stomach-churner. After numerous tries, have got it working between my desktop, iPhone and iPad. Without tackling a step-by-step, here are my main discoveries:

  1. Create the sync-intermediary folder on Dropbox: for me it is djDtSyncStore.dtCloud.

  2. In DEVONThink, the gold is buried in the Sync tab of the Preferences page.
    a. Select the “New Dropbox account” and use the Add Location button to navigate to the Dropbox folder you created.
    b. KEY: when prompted for Encryption, you MUST enter the password you will use ON EVERY syncing device. If you have created the account without the Encryption pw, it will fail. You can get back to the window to enter the encryption pw by using the blue “i” button on the bottom of the Locations side of the Sync page in Preferences. For now, I’ve left the top three options checked in that Encryption window. Seems to be working OK.
    c. On the right side of the Sync page, if your DT database(s) are not shown, use the gear icon and Refresh List. Then check whichever of the listed DT databases you want synced. I have two so far.

  3. The interface in the iOS devices is heinous. On the opening screen, need to use the Settings icon on bottom at far right. Then the Edit Locations button. Can’t recall if you navigate to your Dropbox folder or type it in. After it is recognized, click the Edit button at top of the Locations window. Then, when the list appears with the red delete icon, click the Dropbox item to open the window where you MUST put in THE SAME pw used on the home device. Save. Exit.

  4. After great distraction with all the syncing activity, I reset the Synchronize setting to Automatic which works for my work.

  5. To create a new item on the iOS device, click the + icon on the top screen. Select the type of item being created. For a Text item, for example, after selecting Text, complete the form. Another devious trick: to signal it is finished, tap the “>” icon at the top of the New Text window, and select the type of text desired from the list. Then, tap Done. It will sync according to the schedule you selected in Settings on the iOS device. Whew.

Once finally established, the process appears to be working. Took me about six tries but the lure of success was overpowering.

(Paul Walters) #40

Daunting. But, thanks for the info, @DougJohnson.

(James Fallows) #41

Ah, thanks for this (and all the rest). The step above is where I gave up the last few times, on “life is too short, even for tweaking ‘interesting’ programs” principles. The DevonThink family really is powerful – but jeesh, the challenge of trying to guess what it wants you to do.

I may gather up my strength and try again. Thanks for your path-fidning.