Tinderbox Forum

What are your writing tools?

Found something which perfectly suits my requirement as of now. https://minimal.app

Ulysses a bit too heavy on features for my kind of Blogging.

This looks like complex workflow. Have you done a video on this? (Just curious)

It is not. All you’d need to do is export out your select notes as individual notes to a share drive.

No, I’ve not.

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adding 2 cents

Honestly I don’t use Tinderbox for writing, mostly because quickly extracting information from it feels like getting a root canal done (this may be a pavlovian response to past experiences in exporting), but anyway I do use Tinderbox quite a bit for collecting and understanding.

I have never had the need to write very long manuscripts, but a lot of short ones indeed (think corporate strategies, policies and rules).

My first draft is always in markdown, I don’t want distractions. Later drafts are inevitably done in MS Word, because the rest of the world…

I found invaluable the versioning granularity of Scrivener, which I am not aware any other “word processor” has. I can easily version individual paragraph and revert at will. This is particular useful with policies where you may need to try (and later revert to) more than one version of a paragraph before setting on the final.

For any other writing I use a combination of Drafts or Emacs. They’re both fantastic distraction free, and at the same time super-distracting applications.

I think you’ll find that export has been transformed in recent years. Simple export is now very simple, and even the most complex and demanding export tasks are very practical.


I used to feel this way, but not any more. I’m amazed the the flexibility for all kinds of publishing needs. You’ll find a ton of videos on this topic here: Mastering Tinderbox: Training Videos (Complete List).

Michael - since you pointed to your great series of videos on Tinderbox: will the forthcoming one on Drafts and Tinderbox be the Christmas present to the community? Fingers crossed - so much looking forward to it! :wink:

Here you go: Tinderbox Training Video 63- Export Drafts Note to Tinderbox


Michael - I don’t believe it! Many thanks. (If only all my Christmas wishes were fulfilled so speedily!)
Have a merry Christmas, you and your family - and thanks for all you do and keep doing for the Tinderbox community.


Merry Christmas to All and for some good insights on your writing workflow.

I am having the export issues too. But I guess I have opened the another forum post and have to learn it from the experts here. :slight_smile:

Yes please - it helps to split into themed rather than personal issues thereads, not least for later readers. Tinderbox has deep and flexible export, it is a matter of working out what you want. That is, as discrete from just imagining what the output looks like or it looking lie output from [other app], which is the point of view from a lot of us tend to start out (yes, me too, when I started).

I’m sure your fellow users here in the forum can help. :slight_smile:

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I haven’t really thought about it. But here is one design change I would recommend to @eastgate to have a focussed mode.

Check the layout (screenshot) in my focussed writing app minimal and then tinderbox. The text should be compact and centred.

You can do this in Tinderbox today: adjust your fonts and your ruler to suit.

Or, view your work in preview, and adopt a stylesheet you like.

Or, if you insist on Markdown, use Tinderbox with Marked2, which is now on sale (as is Tinderbox) as the Artisanal Software Festival https://www.artisanalSoftwareFestival.com/


Hey Mark, I’ve used Marked and it works well when you write your content in one note, but I find it challenging to use when my writing is broken up in chunks across several notes. Is there any way to select multiple notes in Tinderbox, preview them and then edit them as one block (this is a nice feature in Scrivener). That way you can see the whole flow of your writing. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Marked helps solve this.

You could assemble a composite note from the concatenated texts, and edit that…

I could, and in fact that is what I do, but then I have a versioning issue. I create a Draft composite note. I actually use $Voice to have Tinderbox say nice things to me when I create my draft. :slight_smile: I open the draft it in a Text window and then read it while I edit the original note. I would like to use Marked to Preview the Draft note while I edit my individual notes, but I can’t, as Marked previews the selected note. I don’t edit the composite as that creates a versioning issue with the individual notes.

To be clear, this is NOT a hue pain for me, but rather a nice to have.

I’m just glad I did mine before LATEX was such a thing. I don’t even know if it existed then but, if it did, my professors didn’t know about it either (1992-1994 approx). There were some really good pre-OSX Mac apps for chemical equations, molecular structures, math formatting, etc., that were far simpler than what we seem to have available now for some reason.

Logging back in after a long absence, a brief data-point here. Context is that I’ve made my living as a writer of books and magazine articles for more than 50 years. ( Recently https://fallows.substack.com/ )

  • For composing any article longer than about 1000 words, or more complex than an op-ed piece or short blog post, I find Scrivener invaluable. It makes organizing ideas, sections, chapters, etc far easier than any other tool I’ve ever used. Eg here is a piece I wrote about it more than a decade ago Interesting Software: More on Scrivener - The Atlantic

  • For keeping track of notes, leads, ideas, themes, reactions, and everything else in that category, I find Tinderbox to be unmatched. I used Lotus Agenda in the MS-DOS era; then Zoot software in the early days of Windows; and for the past dozen-plus years Tinderbox.

YMMV, but that’s my experience.


Revisiting this, the summary—and one with which I’m in accord—is that choices are available and that needs/choices vary and that that variance a good thing. We are all individuals, so one solution cannot fit all.

I also commend @dmrogers’ blog post ‘Distraction’ and the gentle encouragement to not over-focus on the tool (the software) as the ‘problem’ to be addressed when considering our approach to writing.