Tinderbox Forum

Common Tasks: create notes quickly and smoothly link to existing notes

Another common task I’ve been thinking about lately and seen some discussions about is rapid, smooth creation and linking of new notes. I want to do a quick brain dump and quickly integrate the new notes into my web of links (or maybe, links aren’t the best strategy here and something else is called for? See my other thread for strategies on this front).

First up, the “quick links” feature seems to be a good way to do this (where you type [[ and then get a menu for searching for notes by their name), but in practice, I’ve not been able to be disciplined about note naming, so I’m not able to think of the note name to type for the quick link.

Another option is the “footnote” feature. Here, you can highlight any bit of text in the note, then invoke the command and create a new, linked note as a sibling in the outline, or in a new group called “Notes” as an “endnote.” I haven’t used this feature actually, but in working through this problem, I think it looks like something to start experimenting with more often.

If you’re not in such a rush that you can afford to take your hands off the keyboard and do a bit of mousing, I think it works well to dash off a bunch of notes, then use Tinderbox’s many great ways of making links by dragging from various interface elements. You can grab the “link widget” on the note itself in the view menu and drag to one of your other notes in the view window. This works especially well if all the new notes you’ve created should be linked to each other in various ways. Once you need to link to notes in other areas of the map or in other containers, it can start to require more steps than one might want to do in this scenario (using the link parking spots and navigating). However, do remember that just “blind typing” in a view window will start to search notes and it can be quick to navigate to a note if you know some of its name. If you want to search by Name and Text contents, just do CMD-F while the view pane is selected (if you do this with the text pane selected, it will just search the text of the current note). So, in the end, it might not be as tedious as one thinks to park a link in the parking area then go searching for a desired, hazily-remembered note.

Other ideas or strategies here for generating and integrating notes quickly?


Personally, I like to create first, link later. I find if I’m trying to do a binary task (create/link, create/link, etc.) than I get all tied up and lose focus. Plus, If I do create and link with a rapidly captured set of notes, then I always have to go back and revised the linking.