Tinderbox Forum

Sync TBX container with a Dropbox folder

I would like to integrate my workflow on iPad Pro with Tinderbox. Since this is probably of interest to many in the community, I hope there is a solution for the situation described below (or maybe even better alternatives)…

Briefly, I’d like to be able to keep a container of notes in Tinderbox in sync with text files in a Dropbox folder.

The text files in Dropbox will be edited by apps other Tinderbox on iPad Pro/Mac/whatever. Meanwhile, the notes in the Tinderbox container could also be edited/deleted/created.

I know that Tinderbox used to do something like this (or maybe exactly this) with SimpleNote.

Is there a way to do this with a generic Dropbox folder that is agnostic to the apps that access the files?

We should note that a container in a Tinderbox document is not a folder – in the sense of a folder in the file system. Similar metaphor, different physical reality.

Tinderbox still syncs with Simplenote. And Simplenote itself can sync with a Dropbox folder.

AAMOF, my nvALT notes are in a Drobbox folder – Simplenote indexes that folder – and I can use Simplenote, nvALT, DEVONthink, or any other markdown-capable editor to edit those files on any platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, etc.).

See Help or aTbRef for how-to help.

1 Like

Yes, the analogy in my mind is…

note:Tinderbox container :: file:Dropbox folder

Note <> File.

I have concerns with SimpleNote:

  1. Privacy. It seems SimpleNote syncs notes through its own server. Separately, it can sync with a Dropbox folder, if you’ve turned on that setting in SimpleNote. I’d rather not give yet another company access to my notes. From their FAQ page: “due to the need for searching your notes from the web, the contents must remain unencrypted while in storage so the software can find your search terms.” I’d prefer not to share my notes with a small company that probably has an unclear business model/future. To SimpleNote’s credit, they apparently encrypt files during the synchronization process (to/from server).

  2. Minimalism. In general, I prefer fewer tools/apps. I would rather not have apps with overlapping functions, if possible. More to manage. I already use pretty good (if not superior) text-editing apps for generating notes and storing in Dropbox. I’d like to not rely on SimpleNote as an intermediary.

My understanding from reading Tinderbox help, etc is that Tinderbox container syncs with SimpleNote server, not with SimpleNote’s Dropbox folder.

Have I understood this correctly? If (hopefully) I’ve misunderstood and Tinderbox container actually syncs with SimpleNote’s Dropbox folder, that would mean it should be easy to redirect a Tinderbox container to sync with any generic Dropbox folder.

No, you understood correctly. This is the situation

An alternative (perhaps the only alternative at this time?) is using DEVONthink: dragging in notes from DEVONthink and using fetching. This doesn’t require using Dropbox, but DEVONthink databases can index Dropbox data – and syncing with DEVONthink doesn’t require anyones cloud except your own. Getting to the actual data itself is indirect, via DEVONthink.

Thanks, Paul. Graphics very helpful and clear.

Your news is encouraging! I am a heavy user of DevonThink (DT), and will give auto-fetch a try.

From a quick-read on another thread in this forum, it seems auto-fetch will work with any URL, including links to web pages (http://) and links to files on the local computer (file://). This means I could auto-fetch files that are in a local folder that syncs with Dropbox. Furthermore, since Tinderbox regularly refreshes the content of auto-fetched notes, the notes in Tinderbox will be kept up-to-date as other apps alter the corresponding files (probably can’t rename the file though… I assume file:// depends on keeping the path and name).

A key missing part is the ability to edit the note in Tinderbox, and have the changes “reflect” back to the file on the local computer. If this can be accomplished, that would tightly integrate Tinderbox notes with files that are edited by virtually any other app on any platform. This would be very powerful.

Yes, AutoFetch should work with web pages and files. Not two way, though.

YMMV – depending on the page or file.

@midas0441: Bi-directional syncing is only working between Tinderbox and Simplenote; but here it works really well. One can even create a new note within the simplenote-container within a tinderbox-doc.

1 Like