Tinderbox Forum

Tinderbox for Tax Preparation

Catchy headline I know…
I just had an epiphany for a task I dread annually. Collecting the information I need for taxes. Here is what is different this year that made me write this post.

I like to read Kindle Books. I buy a lot of them during the year. Amazon does NOT provide an easy way to create a report for all my purchases like they do for items physically bought. (In this case thay have a built in csv export, however for kindle books you are on your own) In the past, I have had to do this manually, ONE at a time, collect the data and enter it into a spreadsheet.

Not so this year… Since I have a unique email for every Kindle purchase, I decided to use email as my collection iinput. Fair enough, but Mail.app IMO lacks the power to create queries I needed. Enter…mailmate!

Apps needed:

  1. Mailmate (best mail app IMO with ability to create rules and conditions to filter your email)
  2. DEVONthink…of course
  3. Tinderbox…why else am I writing this in the Tinderbox forum :slight_smile:

Here is my process at a very high level (I have a meeting so I do not have time to go into detail)

  1. Mailmate:
    Create rules and conditions to gather all my kindle purchases for 2021!
  2. DEVON: Add to Devon using mailmate script
    Export to DEVON with their built in export (called Add to Devon) via the menu.
    This creates an .eml file in Devon
    DEVON: convert to text
  3. Tbx: Drag .txt files over to Tinderbox
    The awesome thing here is that it captures the Name, Text and SourceCreation date automatically.
  4. Tbx: I created a user attribute variable called $MyKindleTotal (to store the total amount I paid for the book) and $IsKindle (to find any notes and color them bright red if they are not kindle. I found a few movies that were mixed in that I did not catch in my original export)
    Use 2 stamps:
    MyKindleTotal: $MyKindleTotal=$Text.following(“Total:”);
    IsKindle: if($Text.icontains(“kindle”)){$IsKindle=true};
    if($IsKindle==false){$Color=“bright red”};

Use column view: $SourceCreated, $Name,$MyKindleTotal

Export to Excel
disclaimer: use at your own risk and modify as needed.

Now here is how you can help the community.

How do YOU use TINDERBOX for TAX preparation?