Medical research start

The stamp is just
$Text = $Text + "\r\r" + $URL + " \r\r"

I’ve tried putting an action in the prototype, but I haven’t got that working. The $URL attribute isn’t an active link, so I find it easier to just stamp it into the text.

So in my workflow, I’ve never been one to highlight and note in PDFs because I tend to never see them again until I actually pull the paper up. If I do take notes in Highlights or Preview I’ll just drag them in and process in Tinderbox anyway.

One of the nice features that’s evolved in Tinderbox is that when the links are to another level, you just see a number not a spaghetti graph of lines. So the links to back to the references that support ideas are displayed in the note itself, and don’t clutter the map. My linking between notes is kind of limited unless it makes graphical sense. I tend to use adornments and containers if it’s getting complex enough that you can’t take in the whole on a single map level. Big hi res monitors help here. And my notes usually are usually enough to fill the text area. Much longer than that and I’ll split and start a new note. That’s around 250 words which is a text page of a book anyway. Once you have a document with 200 notes of that length, you’ve written a book!

The other useful feature is that when I look at the reference note, I see all of the links displayed, so I can see where the reference has been used.

The $URL in the reference points to the source (i.e. the Bookends record) whereas the $ReferenceURL points to the source $URL (if any) for the reference.

Tinderbox’s default ‘Reference’ prototype shows $ReferenceURL in its Displayed Attributes but not $URL. However, it is easy to edit the prototype to add $URL to the Displayed Attributes to get this:

Note for Big Sur users: an OS-related glitch means that as at v8.9.1, the globe icons (and other Displayed Attributes icons do not show. They are still there and you can click them, there is just no visible artwork. Te cause is being investigated for a fix.


I forgot I had to do that to the prototype to show the URL.
Since I added Bookends and the $URL since moving to Big Sur, I didn’t realize that the globe was missing to click. So my stamp is only needed if I want the link in the text.

But that backlink to the PDF is what really moved me to Bookends for doing this.

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Dear Forum,

I finally got started on my first TB project properly. I need to get my head around a new area of research while also collecting background and relevent quotes / references for future writing. thus, I collect references from Bookends and sort them through adornments in a reference folder, I also export the highlights from Bookends and have them within the exported reference note. sometimes I explode key pharses or notes along with cited sources. that way, I hope to recap certain areas while writing pieces of new research and have it all in one place. (sound good so far?)

I the long rund, I want to map out certain concepts an relationships in the top view that I will supply with key quotes and key references to have relationships visible while still being able to access the underlying research / proof / related ides.

not terribly smooth, but still a lot of fun discovering and also a nifty excuse to plough through more papers… :wink:

no back to you guys a couple of questions:

  1. any suggestions and pointers how to use and choose attributes to make sorting through the growing note collection more accessible?

  2. do you reckon simple $text.contains agents are enough?

  3. can you search for text phrases or words and TB gives you not verbatim matches but suggests similar stuff similar to DTPO

  4. is it more advisable to explode the note collections for individual papers and have single statement in the title notes or should I leave it in one big note?

  5. lastly, links! when I use [[ links, I like the suggested notes drop down list… (how) can I
    a) make the link in the text have a different name than the note… i.e. linke to “terribly long note name”-links becomes “short-name”-link
    b) can I make the destination note have a reverse clickable link at the same time?

I know that were a load of questions and I sometimes take some time to post on (sorry for that but I don’t have protected time for my research so it is a free time hobby like for many…) but your input is highly appreciated. if I should open different topics for all the questions, please let me know.

all the best, stay safe, cheers,


Yes, you have a ton in this post. There are many ways to accomplish what you want to achieve in the fine points. Let me response to this one.

Check out:

You can use the pipe element with a ziplink to create a different anchor from the name, e.g.


NOTENAME = the name of your note
ANCHORNAME = the name you want to give the anchor
| = the pipe, the instruction to Tinderbox to use an anchor name and not the note name.

To make the is work enter [[ start typing your note name and then click and hold done the opt ⌥ key; then enter the | and you anchor.

I’ve got to go walk the dog…will put more thought to your questions. Perhaps you can join on of the Wed. or Saturday meetups and we can all review your project together and work through options for yo.

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Have you watch my wrapping your head around attributes video? This might be a good place to start: Tinderbox Training Video 05 - Getting started and wrapping your head around attributes - #6 by pmaheshwari.

REMEMBER: You can create user attributes, make them anything that you’d like. Also, the type of attribute will mater in your search. For example, if your’e searching on a list or set attribute you’d want to use “$MyList.format(”;“).icontains(”“)”. This is explained in this video: Tinderbox Training Video 14 - Searching sets: understanding the .format dot operator.

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The answer to this question is that it depends; it all depends on on your goals and intentions and how you plan to curate your notes for future creation and contribution. Personally, I like breaking notes down to their atomic essence, and the to cite them individually. This works for me as I use and use my atomic notes in a lot of different applications.

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I’d accord with the last answer above. See what others do, but don’t let their process override your style of work unless you can see a benefit.

It is a start, but it scales messily, IMO. Once you know a term or relationship, capture the fact in $Tags or a user attribute, or make a link. The information in these attributes becomes metadata (annotations!) on your notes but is more easily searchable if you annotate with care. Rather than search every note’s text ($Text) for the term pulmonary, when doing initial ingest/review of notes, you could add the term ‘pulmonary’ to the $Tags of relevant notes (or use some user attribute of your choice). Now you can search $Tags for notes that include the ‘pulmonary’ tag. It’s still a wide search, but it’s processing less overall data than all the $Text or all the notes. Plus, the word ‘pulmonary’ might occur in general text but where it is not germane to finding notes on that topic. In such circumstances you would not tag that note, thereby excluding a note from a $Tags search that a $Text search would find.

For me (others will vary), as time goes by with a project, if I have to use $Text.contains() for more than occasional or unusual things, I take it as an indication I’m not being effective with identifying key terms and ideas and extracting them into attributes. This arc applies for new notes added to a project. Initially, I may need to use some $Text searches just to get familiar with the new content but with some extraction structure (existing attributes) already in place the move from only $Text to a more nuanced set of information gets faster.

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this is brilliant. especially since I have a few “most of the info, i.e. a quote is in the title” notes with reference information in the not body. they can become quite unwieldily as in-line-text-links. cheers for that.

edit: while trying to use that, when I click on suggested notes after going [[ to start a link, the link is automatically created and I seem to have no chance to edit it with the | symbol… mmhhh.

will try to make it to one of the meetings. don’t want to hold things up though b/c my inaptitude. will try and watch your videos and learn how to implement. just extremely time pressed for time currently. thank you so much everyone for taking the time.

ok. I figured the long-ziplink thing out. holding the “option” key while selecting from the suggestions let’s me put in | and name the link. then all is well. cheers for pointing me to the relevant documentation.

Whoops, sorry about that…for forgot to mention that above. I’ll update my post. :wink: Glad you figured it out.

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watched Video 05, now a lot became much more clear. cheers for creating those videos.

regarding zip-links: can I make it default behavior, that a zip link does not show up as a link-arrow on the map (things might get crowded if I use them more generously to have some wiki-like things happening)?

Cool! You’re welcome.

I don’t think you can configure link views

What you can do, however, is manage link types and specify if links should be visible or not. As Ziplinks are use the *untitled type you can make that not visislbe:


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dear michael,

that seems like a plan. maybe an added bonus is, that I then have to force myself to assign some meaningful title to every link I want to be visible… beats “mindlessly” linking things together, even though, sometimes a connection is all there is at first with the nature of that connection becoming clear only later…

btw, watched the prototype video… very helpful indeed. now, next is finding out how to leverage and first of all understand the concept of inheritance.

one more question, a &Tag attribute works the same as any other, just happens to be called “tag” and is used as such. I might as well use $keyword as an attribute (any attribute can be filled with more than one word, right?) and use it similarly?

thanks again for taking the time. stay safe.

Dear Eastgate TB community,

I hope it is ok to just ask on away as things come up. this thread seems as good a place as any. when learning about prototypes in your video, I am not sure if I missed something but is there a way to assign a specific prototype design to a “normal” new note (the one that appears after pressing “enter”)? If so, I might find it handy if the text field could be prepended/autofilled with a time stamp as a unique identifier (or might it be better to plunge that into an attribute?) I am asking because that might give some flexibility after exporting notes.

I.e. the text field/or maybe better the title starts with YYYYMMDDMMss automatically…

I hope I could make myself clear somehow…



$Keyword is fine, I use it in many of my files. Be sure to set it up as a “set” type, however, so that you don’t get duplicates.

The great thing about use link-type names is then you can trigger action code off them. I must do a video on its one of these days. I use it a ton.

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The best way to do this is to create a container for your notes (try not to create too many notes on the root map, this can get messy quick). In that container use the “OnAdd” attribute. In the OnAdd Attribute you can put something like this:


The above example applies the prototype pDailyJournal to any note created in that container and sets it $Name to the current date. You can string a whole bunch of actions into an OnAdd. I use this a lot to automatically add citation and bibliography info as I’m taking notes on a file.

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Further to @satikusala’s point, see here for a detailed description of the link type settings available. It is important to note that these settings work for all links of that type across the whole document. Thus if, for example, you un-ticked ‘visible’ for the ‘untitled’ link type not only would it disappear in the current map but in all map views throughout the document. You can of course, toggle these settings on and off. The styling/visibility of link types only affects their display in any views that show links or link stubs (e.g. map, timeline, outline, chart, etc.).

In the same way, a link action applies to all links using that link type.

Note too that you can change a links link type after it has been created and the link will assume the new types styling, action, etc.

Links have no label, as such, but instead use their link type as the ‘label’. You can add your own link types. Once used on a single link they become just another available link type within the current document.

You can style a link individually—that is differently from its general link type—via the Browse Links dialog. My _understanding is this works akin to attribute inheritance: a link inherits all its link type’s styling except those set particular to the link.

Again, some further detail. Tinderbox is a toolbox. Everything has a default but most things can be altered by you, the user, to a default or setting that better fits your work.

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First, I guess I should link to an article on use of the $-prefix to attribute names. In the app, it is an action code method to say 'use the value of this attribute). In more general writing such as here in the forum, outside code examples it is used ti indicate the writer is talking about an attributes. Thus, if I write ‘I use Tags to…’ I might be referring to the Tinderbox Tags attribute or to tags in general. But ‘I use $Tags to…’ makes the usage more explicit.

As to your question, to save yourself confusion as you use the app more, see this article on Tinderbox attribute naming conventions. Reading that should explain why although keyword is a valid attribute name Keyword would be a more Tinderbox-style attribute name. Note that attribute names are case-sensitive so $keywords and $Keywords would be referencing two different attributes. Indeed as the attribute is likely to be multi-value (a Set or List type) a plural name helps indicate that, i.e. $Keywords

Tags and Keywords have generally the same meaning but came from different communities of use: they do the same thing.

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Sure. With my forum admin’s hat on, I would suggest you start a new threat for each discrete question. Why? It’s the same number of posts but it makes it easier for those answering to see the exact question and more importantly it is a help to other users looking to answer the same question (and saves them scrolling through lots of writing about other issues to find the answer). Anyway, no blame here :slight_smile: , I’m just noting this since you were kind enough to ask!

You can always cross-link your posts if you want to refer to a previous discussion in a different thread. Below every discrete post, to the left of the ‘Reply’ button is a linked chain symbol. Click on that and you get a URL you can paste into a different thread to link to that post.