Tinderbox Forum

Is anyone using Tinderbox for just one particular reason or task?

I was curious if anyone in the forums currently uses Tinderbox for one specialized task or in concert with another application? For example, just for creating timelines.

I often user Tinderbox for fairly tightly-focused tasks. For example:

  • Keeping track of campaign volunteers in each swing district on which I’m working.
  • Drafting an interactive story about post-Trump America.
  • Tracking reported issues in Tinderbox
  • Keeping track of my reading

I typically use several Tinderbox facilities for these — maps, outlines, dashboards — but the documents themselves are tightly focused. Often, they’re only meant to last a few months.

Thanks for the response. I asked because I’m trying to focus on using Tinderbox for one or two tasks to start. I have the E-book “The Tinderbox Way” which I’m working my way through. Back to work I go.

I have one or two TBX documents that are big and sprawling, and are designed to keep a variety of info that expands or evolves in unexpected ways. Then I have a lot of others that are specific, limited, one-purpose or one-project or one-theme efforts. As Mark B says, sometimes these are just for temporary use.

The Tinderbox Way is only intermittently about the program itself, but I found it very valuable on related questions of thinking-about-info and living-with-info.

Thanks. I’m enjoying reading “The Tinderbox Way” and like the fact that it is not an “instruction only” manual. I’m not quite ready to use it for one writing project (it has been growing on its own for sometime) although I could just experiment with it and import all my research from Scrivener were those notes now reside.


I am using Tinderbox for the follow up of a portfolio of projects (I have between 30 and 40 in the radar).
My usage is almost “Outline only” + a lot of Edicts & Agents & export templates.
In fact I use it almost like an (object oriented) database.

It took me 9 months to have something stable, but now am quite happy with it. My main frustration is about the GUI which I don’t find user friendly at all, and the maps which I find to complex to set up and maintain. But the tool is extremely powerfull. I have yet to find something that I can NOT do with Tinderbox.

Any report I need to produce is now automated, using custom export (HTML) template - it does save a lot of time - even though I have invested a lot of my (spare) time to build my own Hypertext.



Thanks for the reply and additional information. As I said, I’m going to continue to explore Tinderbox and see which elements work for me.


I have used Tinderbox for several projects.

  • Developing a product name and product line nomenclature
  • Leading a root-cause analysis of an automation system
  • Mapping inputs and outputs of said automation system
  • Determining how to best organize and present my design portfolio
  • Taking notes at various conferences

I do have a few big, sprawling general Tinderbox spaces, but most are little, one-off projects. The big ones are fun but can get crazy. Because I am (was) a designer, I work almost exclusively in the Maps view.

I should add that right now I’m using the Outline and Export features to create a modular implementation report that will be customized for each client. If I can make this work, it will be extremely powerful and flexible.

Interesting list of tasks. A friend recommended that I try out The Brain mind mapping software which can be used to accomplish some of the tasks you listed above. So far, it seems to work well, but I’m not sure I want to purchase it. Tinderbox seems to be capable of more if one puts some effort into experimenting and reading up on its capabilities.

What I dislike about mind mapping software is that they become inflexible very quickly. You can’t make robust connections between the branches.

I have purchased the brain some days ago and I like it very much. It is also a very cool piece of software and I think, that it is very flexible. But very different from Tinderbox. I would say, you can not compare the two at all. The one is a Mind Mapping with a shifting focus, which you can fill with everything. The biggest brain (from one person) contains about 350,000 thoughts, that are all connected in some kind with each other (look here). But you have not the interactivity of Tinderbox, that notes organize themselves with the help of agents. Or the export capabilities of Tinderbox.

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I cover Tesla for the Los Angeles Times and have built a database on Tinderbox with quotes from Elon Musk. There are thousands to keep track of. I make sure to organize all the quarterly earnings conference calls, the most outrageous tweets, and whatever else I have time to add. I use Tinderbox in several ways, but this is the one that makes most use of the program’s power. I have several attributes but subject tags are key. I use the attribute window and scroll down to “cash flow” or “Model 3” or “Gigafactory” or “pedophile” and the quotes and data I’m looking for are right there.