Tinderbox Forum

Life, Time, and Task Management

I’ve been looking for an app designed for “Life Management” that would allow me to first define my “big picture”, such as:
What is my life’s overall central purpose?
What are my core values, flowing out of this purpose ?
With which of my core values does each of my goals, sub goals, and daily tasks align? (If none, should I be pursuing them?)

So the app could incorporate some aspects of GTD (or other models) but in the service of my broader purpose, values, etc. So, it’s ultimately about principled life, time, and task management.
I’m not finding anything out there that does everything I envision. Apps like GoalsOnTrack allow you to enter text stating the purpose etc of each goal and task. However, they do not allow you to establish overarching purpose and values and then align everything to them. So, I thought about creating something in Tinderbox, However I’m not always in front of my Mac and would want to update tasks, goals, etc from my iPhone. Has anyone attempted something like this bu some sort of integration between a good task management app (e.g. OmniFocus or Things) and Tinderbox?

Watched Folders integrate Tinderbox with Tot, Notes, folders of text files, and more. And Tinderbox offers great import tools from a host of sources.

1 Like

I thought about the watched folders feature. Can you set up more than one watched folder in the same Tinderbox doc, with different folders for different purposes? Or is it better to have one folder, but use Agents, rules, etc to act on the notes in that one folder?

Yes, you can have multiple watched folders if you like.

I am trying to use Tinderbox in a similar way for life and work management. To make notes, to reflect on them and to recognize patterns and get better understanding for myself. Being still a starter in Tinderbox, the tool is fascinating me because of its seemingly limitless possibilities. One situation I am still looking for a good solution is the moment I am away from my Mac. After experimenting with several tools on my iOS devices like Mind Node, OmniFocus, TaskPaper and others, I went back to pen and paper for this. Data exchange is doable but getting carefree synchronization is requiring lot of effort from my experience.

My actual workflow is doing the reflection phase a least once a week on my Mac in Tinderbox and creating a bullet journal like list for next week in my analogue notebook. Also taking notes I do often in my notebook and transferring it into Tinderbox is always done with kind of thinking about. Taking a note from my notebook to Tinderbox is giving me the chance to keep my focus without barring myself from getting notes every moment I want to.

Also, to reduce the number of tools I have in use is reducing distraction for me. Helped me a lot.

1 Like

This is an excellent approach. Writing, reading, reflecting, then re-writing.


I have a TBX file that I use for big picture strategic “life design” thinking.

So for instance I have a TBX note called “Ducks in a Row” that has to do with financial planning. I have a subordinate note called “Pay Down Debt” with a web link to a project in Omnifocus.

In the Omnifocus project, in the Notes container, I include the URL to the TBX note.

This way I can easily navigate back and forth from TBX to supporting apps. But I do the actual work in the other apps.

This makes the app ecosystem very robust but it also gives me the big picture sense making perspective that Tinderbox seems best at.

1 Like

Very nice! I like it. Thank you for sharing. Are there any other apps you use in this ecosystem?

Paul is your notebook a traditional hand written notebook?


Thank you. I like the overall workflow. I may test a few apps for the notes on iPhone phase. 2 Apps I didn’t see you mention. DevonThinkPro 3 has nice note taking abilities in its “to go” app. DevonThink does communicate reasonably well with TinderBox and I know it’s developers and Mark are working toward more ways the two apps can work together. Another app that recently underwent an overhaul is X-Mind. Up to X-Mind 8 it did not support OMPL well. I have run a couple of tests with the latest X-Mind Zen and it seems to work. So, I may experiment with a 4 app team. X-Mind for when I just. need to see an actual mind map or visual that TinderBox does not offer; then manually sending that to TBX on my Mac via OPML. DevonThink when I just need to make some notes on the go. I can set up Watched folders, I believe, between DTP3 and TBX. Phoutz in this thread made a nice suggestion about how to link OmniFocus projects to TBX notes so that there is at least digital connections between the two. I could then use OmniFocus to manage a set of tasks or a project referenced in my TBX map. I’ll give it some time and post if I find more that’s helpful.

Minor note: by convention, the Tinderbox app is written “Tinderbox”—with no inter-capitalised ‘B’ as the app derives from the single word ‘Tinderbox’ rather than a composite of 'Tinder + ‘Box’. Also, IIRC there is an unrelated(web?) app in a different sphere of work called ‘TinderBox’. Forgive the seeming pedantry! :slight_smile:

:slight_smile: Mark, Thank you. I am aware of that other TinderBox app. I’ve encountered it a few times when googling for the real Tinderbox app. I’m not sure that I noticed the differences in the “Bs” before, though. Thank you for pointing that out.

1 Like

No worries, and thanks for your helpful comments above about other apps in ecosystem around Tinderbox. :slight_smile:

I am using DTTG as inbox for collecting reference material and other information on my iPad. Notes during a meeting or reflecting on tasks I am doing with my paper notebook in the moment. Mind mapping is great but as long as the tools are not able to integrate sketching and handwriting, I need a keyboard to work on. As soon as I need a keyboard I prefer my Macbook 12 with Tinderbox :slight_smile:
For me as a computer scientist and project manager it is always distracting to deep dive into technology because it is so much fun but often preventing reaching my goals.
Regarding Omnifocus, I recommend to take a look on taskpaper format. You can export from Tinderbox in this format and import into Omnifocus and vice versa. So, it would be possible to implement something close to full sync between Tinderbox and Omnifocus in both directions. For myself, I was often getting issues with OF synchronization on my webdav server and dealing with data inconsistencies and versioning.

Hello OP @ShepJ3 ,

If you still want to take this conversation ahead, I’m also slowly importing my personal reviews , checklists inside TB ,if you want we can collaborate and compare notes on this together.

Thank you. I am interested in comparing notes. Though I’ll admit that I might be behind your pace. Because of some personal experiences in 2020, I’m taking an extra long look back to learn from some complex experiences and make sure thaI grow from them in 2021 and beyond. I’ve some of my reflecting in Tinderbox and some not (but will add). I think my dashboards will be a 2021 endeavor. OK to reconnect in 2021 once my dashboards are up?

2021 WORKS !!! I just started using TB 5 days back so you can’t be behind me ! It will allow me some time to express my thoughts better in TB

Does 3rd week of Jan work ?

@rcramer Thank you. I’m just getting back to this thread. The end of 2020 and the 1st half of 2021 have presented me with some new challenges. I’m curious about this statement: “Regarding Omnifocus, I recommend to take a look on taskpaper format. You can export from Tinderbox in this format and import into Omnifocus and vice versa.” Are you saying that I should be able to export from Tinderbox and import into Omnifocus using the task paper format? I’m not sure what native format task paper uses. However, unless it uses OPML or text, I’m not seeing that either as an export option for Tinderbox or as an import option for Omnifocus. Can you clarify?

Taskpaper uses a simple, text format: Getting Started · TaskPaper User's Guide

@ShepJ3 i am creating taskpaper format in Tinderbox using a template and copying the generated text from the preview text pane into omnifocus on Mac.

Please take a look on OmniFocus TaskPaper Reference Guide - Support - The Omni Group

1 Like