Tinderbox Training Video 05 - Getting started and wrapping your head around attributes

Tinderbox Training Video - Getting started and wrapping your head around attributes

Level Fundamental
Published Date 12/30/20
TBX Version 8.9
Tags Tinderbox, Attributes, System Attributes, User-generated Attributes
Video Length 25:35
URL Tinderbox - Getting started and wrapping your head around attributes - YouTube
Example File TBX - L Attributes1.tbx (118.6 KB)

In this lesson, we introduce you to the concept of attributes: what they are and how to manage them and use them. Attributes are arguably one of the most important and fundamental capabilities that Tinderbox has to offer. The key points we get across here are that every note has every attribute associated with it, regardless if the attribute is displayed or has a value. Each attribute is associated with a type, i.e. is the attribute value a string, a date, a URL, a color, a list, a set, etc. There are two types of attributes, system attributes, and user-generated attributes. There are two types of system attributes, 1) attributes Tinderbox uses to do its thing (and how are there a lot of things—we’ll get to these in future lessons), and common attributes that you’d expect to see for; for example, address, email, phone, etc. And then, there are user-generated attributes. You, as a user of Tinderbox, can create as many attributes as you’d like to help you master and manage your notes. We show you how to create and apply both system and user-generated attributed manually to notes as well as dynamically across your notes through prototypes.

Tip: Also, in this lesson, we point out how you can “tear” a popup window away so that it becomes a standalone window. This can be useful for a lot of operations, which we’ll explain later.

NOTE: Be sure to download the sample file and play with the examples in this tutorial.


Reference materials

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Hey mate, thanks for the great tutorial.

So Ive also had a read of the attributes info in the manual after watching your video…

Am I missing something or is there indeed no way to “group” user created attributes?

As in, is it possible to add an attribute to the ‘people’ system attributes folder, or the ‘places’ folder?

Or do all new attributes need to be nested under ‘user’ ?

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Hi Phil ,
Micheal’s videos are great indeed !

All user created attribute are nested in user itself . You cannot edit / regroup system attributes.

What you may be asking , are user created attributes which can be made available across documents ?

(PS, I’m new to TB , more experienced users will reply to you in detail)

No, all user attributes are grouped under User.

It’s fairly unusual to need very many user attributes. Can you tell us more about the project you’re working on?

Mark, on average each of my files or more have at least 20~30 user attributes, some more, others less. I’ve learned to organize them by using a prefix, e.g. Opp for opportunity or CM for communication matrix, etc. Over time, if I find that they are more general and apply across different situations I’ll drop the prefix.

I’ve gotten around the grouping issue by creating a naming convension for myself,

Adding to Micheal ,

For newbies like me , it’s much easier to have few user prototype a which I use across all all , some of them are:

  1. I do projects
  2. I do my version of tasks (with no start date/end date), yes it can be done manually in each file but it’s an added work
  3. I use DelegatedTo to keep track of notes assigned to
  4. I use waitingFor …
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@satikusala @eastgate

Yeah looks like naming conventions/prefixes is the way to go then.

Sure it’d be nice to have any user attribute’s that slot into existing folders; be in those folders. And even nicer to be able to create new folders.

But alas, I’m sure there are lots of other things that would also be “nice” haha
I imagine the thinking to be: If it can solved with a work around, time can be better spent on necessities rather than niceties

I’m brand new to learning TBX so I’m speaking purely from an OCD first impression of just that one part of the software. I haven’t considered it deeply or in relation to the whole. Just making sure I wasn’t missing something before going on to learn the basics of the next feature.

One project I want to use TBX for; processing stream of consciousness note sessions ive been capturing in an iPhone app called Field Notes. Each entry is time stamped, with the first note of a session being 00:00.

Recording these sessions straight into tinderbox will be a huge upgrade, even just giving my thumbs a break haha but also for the mapping and metadata that is continuous from session to session.

The first intention is to visualise the thought streams. They are captured as multiple entries. For Eg I skip from stream to stream then return to writing entries connected to a previous thought stream from 20 minutes ago.

Sure once I start taking notes in tinderbox I’ll group entries under their streams parent in an outline. (Whether real time or after the session.)

But then before further labelling or connecting of entries, I’d like to map the notes on a timeline, with rows of entries/notes for each thought stream.

… oh looks like im unable to embed an example sketch from my iPhone. Oh well.

I imagine it should be an easy enough first task once I’ve gotten acquainted with the software through the rest of these Becker Tutorials


Do you know if field apps as an API/URL that can be used to pull data, or is all the data local on the iPhone? Any chance it has a folder on MacOS that Tinderbox could watch?

Nah it’s very basic. It has a batch export function but only to google drive. I’d rather export all 200+ sessions, one by one, than upload my stream of consciousness to google servers. Ha

Will mostly be writing directly into tinderbox from now on anyway.

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