Tinderbox Forum

Flexible ways to develop an analysis

Hi Mark,

I have found that prototypes get messy and confusing. They are really great for replicating an organization set up that I know already works. I’m groping for other kinds of organization so for the moment, I am putting those boxes on an adornment. To be more concrete, here’s a simplification of my project.

I think I am not looking for final answers, just a flexible way to stay organized and to try out different ways of organizing without getting lost.

  1. I have a long list of medical substances that I’m sorting into groups with the hopes that I can find them later. The groups overlap and sometimes they change. But I’m jumping from one group to another and opening of notes that other groups or even specific medical substances. I’m wondering how to avoid visual confusion and a workspace that is too large to see. At the same time, I want to be able to visualize the groups, so I don’t want just a list. I really like the map view for this, but I can see that things could get confusing. Maybe I could work on an alias of a group that is actually hidden in a more logical place than the uppermost level of my organization (desktop). Here is a photo of the medical substances and their groups. They are like sticky notes on the desktop. I put similar ones together, but I can see this getting messy in the future since there are many more than what i am working with here.

I saw the aliases are indicated by italics. But I’m afraid that if I just was differentiating notes by italics, I would make mistakes. Maybe use adornments? I have not mastered links yet.

  1. I am developing a number of ways to compare these medical substances and to differentiate between them. Since this is qualitative, I am looking for a way to slowly develop better ways to so to speak “cut the cake”. Besides prototypes, is there a way to distinctively identify the notes on the adornments? I see events persons, etc. but these don’t fit those categories. All I really want to do is to be able to find them again even if vocabulary changes. That is, I want them to be something like a person. ( Certain color, shape etc.) with a name for the category. For example, modalities. I have lots of comments to make about modalities, and I want to keep track of those comments. Right now it’s on an ornament, but this seems like more visual clutter.

PS I like your photograph, Mark. I will put up an old photo of me. I might not get back for a few days.


Ellen, a technique I often use when using adornments to categorize notes is to configure adornments with different actions that modify the appearance of notes. For example, I have here two adornments. I used the Action Inspector as follows:


and now when I move notes on a map onto one or the other adornments I have results as shown here (for display on the forum, the GIF is playing in a loop so it will start over again and again):

What is happening is that merely moving the note onto the adornment triggers the Action for that adornment, and the Action changes the appearance of that note. One can change shapes, colors, outlines, add/delete text, etc., this way.

Another approach to this is to use Stamps. I’ll leave it to other readers who use the Stamp method to explain their technique.

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Hi Paul,

What you are doing is so nifty. I was doing something like this a year ago, when I made the project too complicated and finally quit tbx. But, I think if I limit my objectives, I could copy you.

I still want to learn how to use stamps. But now that I know that’s the direction to go, I probably can find instructions. The thing is, these photos are just essential to me. The layout of the program is just too abstract without them.

I think in the past, someone would give me two options as instructions. I would try both and then that would mess up the procedure.


There is now a discrete thread to discuss stamps. This is to avoid people having to read several threads just to follow one conversation (no censure implied!).

what application do you use to produce the gif?

I use SnagIt. It’s a video capture converted (by SnagIt) to GIF.

There are numerous other options, of course.

licecap is a good free one. And to edit the files, you can open it in Preview and delete the frames you don’t want. Pretty nifty :slight_smile:


Thanks to Paul and Pat.