I finally decided to download 9.  Much praise guys!!!  love the slick new look and generally the feel and operation.  There are bugs that could still be system problems or specific to my machinge (the attachment preview isn't working for me for one).. but I have been through beta before so no worries!

However, I must tell you that I am not a fan of the new notes and attachments changes. 

In a way I guess I miss the Advanced Layout options.... but not because I was busy using all the options and windows, simply because it let me put the few things I do use more or less exactly where I wanted them.  My default setup had the notes window always open in the top right of the Brain window with the attachments window directly below with detail view.  Now the only option I have is on the right with the notes (? and preview window) side by side - eating up extra plex real estate...  or horizontal which just seems to eat even more real estate to my eye.... and the option for tabbed attachments really doesn't cut it for me.  While you can actually see the full names of the attachments when it is in the horizontal position there is no room for the previews or a full view of notes without making the plex really thin....

Also, the new way in which attachments are accessed from this window is just plain weird and anti-windows native.  It now takes at least 2 discreet mouse clicks to select and open an attachment, Not just a single click or a discreet double click.  Everything has to go through that little dialog that pops up below the attachment title when you click the attachment.

Obviously, because of whatever is wrong with my installation at the moment I may not be appreciating the preview portion but this new way of opening attachments just does not feel right. at all.  And I would really love to just have the notes in view all the time and have the attachments and this new preview in its own box.

I have only been playing around for a few days so if there is some setting I am missing or some workflow ... please educate me...  Otherwise (sadface)....


I appreciate the honest feedback.  That's what the beta testing and forums are all about.  One thing you may want to try, in case you haven't discovered it, is to click on the OPEN button directly below each attachment tab. The preview feature is just an option. The OPEN button will launch the attachment in it's native application (separate window) on your operating system.  This works for both Files and URLs.  

Additionally, you can click on the icon next to the Thought name in the plex to launch the attachment.  This way, you can remain focused on the Thought Note and still easily open the attachment.

And finally, there is a slider button in each Note to resize the display.  If you can't see the full Note, rather than resizing the plex, try clicking in the Note area and then clicking on the very first aA button.  Adjust the slider to make the Note a visible size that works for you.

I hope this gives you a few ideas to consider.

Thank you,

You can also assign a keyboard shortcut to open attachments in preferences. If there are multiple attachments it will open a list of them in the plex (I recommend also turning on Show Details when Selecting Attachments to Open in Preferences > UI). However, unfortunately you can only interact with this list via mouse right now.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.239
I will play around with sizing of notes to see what available. 

My comments about the operation of the attachments widget is likely directly related to current workflows and habits.  With the windows arranged as I described I can see all of my attachments - with details - and easily double click on the needed file to open...  This is really only important for thoughts that have multiple attachments.

In the new dialog I have have to discreetly click on an attachments to see detail (is there a hover option?  that can work, though still not as quick and easy)....  then i have to click the attachment then I have to click the little "open" icon.  Doable, of course, I can retrain myself for it but it is NOT how other things work in windows and NOT as efficient as the previous version of the brain's utility. 

the Notes window is less about whether I can view it when I am messing with attachments (though that is a part) but more about the way the space is being used.  In the vertical mode the note is this long old thing instead of a neat box....  maybe just me....  Most of my notes are minimal.  Those that include a lot of information I generally hit full view when I want to get into it...  then back to my normal configuration.

*** on another vein of sorts, I have several things that don't seem to be working correctly, namely none of my notes got imported from V8 it seems....   Also, the preview thing doesn't work for several file formats... PDF, Excel... a couple of others... I have searched and not really finding an answer....
@JasperToo ~ I agree with you 100% on all points. This is one of THE most important issues to me as an avid fan and user of TheBrain -- and, to be completely honest, the elimination of many of the UI customization options (advanced layouts, etc.) has been one of my greatest disappointments about V9.

In fact, I was preparing to submit a post on this very issue this evening, so I very much appreciate your clear articulation of your concerns -- all of which I share.

I hasten to say I understand the stated intent for simplifying UI has been to allow users to focus on their data (rather than the UI). However, in terms of the customized layout I currently use in my V8 mega brain, unfortunately I now have to "fiddle" with the the UI more in V9 than I did in V8.

At the risk of "running on too long" for those who are satisfied with the current V9 interface, I am going to detail several of my specific concerns below in the spirit of:
> sharing constructive feedback for future review and consideration and
> soliciting feedback from others users.

I also understand that TheBrain staff have to consider what will work best for the largest number of users.

However, when I adopted TheBrain in earnest 5 years ago, two of the most compelling features (for me) were:
> the advanced layout (customization) options provided in the UI and
> all the rich text editing options provided in the notes editor.

BOTH of these features have been significantly "streamlined" in V9, much to my surprise and disappointment. However, for the purposes of this post, I will focus only on the UI issues.

Since TheBrain is now, and has been for many years, the hub of my entire digital life (as I know it is for many other loyal users), I am hoping TheBrain staff will be open to considering this feedback and, (ideally) restoring many of the UI features and options that have been eliminated.
- - - - - - - - -

@JasperToo: You can move the attachments to a tab view on the top of the notes by selecting:
> Preferences > UI > Content Tab Location > Top 

I think this will address the side-by-side real estate issue you mentioned.

@ZenRain: What is the name of the keyboard shortcut for viewing the full list of attachments? I could not find an option that fits the description you mentioned, and it may, at least in part, address some of the concerns I've detailed below.

- - - - - - - - -

In my current (customized) layout in V8, my notes are positioned to the left of the plex above the display of all the other tabs: thought, types, tags, search, report, calendar.

The default (1st) tab below the notes is the thought tab -- and I NEVER have to "fiddle" with this layout. Over the years, this set-up has proved to be the most convenient and efficient layout for my personal work flow.

Moreover, this arrangement provides several significant and time-saving benefits, none of which (as far as I can tell) are currently available in V9:

I can view my notes and ALL the attachments on a current thought AT THE SAME TIME simply by making a thought active (no additional clicking required.)

(Not possible in V9, as far as I can tell.)

This thought tab view of the attachments clearly displays:
-- the full length of the attachment name and
-- the location of the attachment.

(So far I haven't found ANY place in V9 where the name and locations of ALL the attachments are both visible and editable.)

Moreover, with the thought tab view of attachments, and with no extraneous mouse clicking or screen changing, I can edit:
-- the thought name
-- the thought type
-- the thought icon
-- the attachment names
-- the attached locations

(Haven't found any ONE place where all of these actions can be completed in V9. Extra mouse clicks are always required.)

I can double-click on any attachment (from the notes view) to immediately open it in a separate window.

(This currently doesn't work in my installation of V9.)

I can manually order (and reorder) my attachments simply by changing the name of the attachment.

(In V9, the sort order changes every time I access a different attachment.)

In addition, with only 1 click I can view/access 2 master lists that allow me to:
-- manage (create, edit and delete) all thought types and
-- manage (create, edit and delete) all thought tags.

(I haven't found either of these lists in V9. Perhaps they are slated for future development?)

- - - - - - - - -

In addition, there are several new "fiddly" problems created by the new V9 interface:

> If there are multiple attachments on a thought in V9, clicking on the +# tab will reveal only the 1st part of long attachment names. (The list view is too narrow to display the full length of long attachment names.) ==> FYI, if this list view is kept, I would prefer for this list to display on hover, rather than on click.

> Moreover, if the note editor has been open, accessing this +# list of attachments now requires 2 clicks:
-- 1 click to close the note editor, and
-- a 2nd click to open the list of attachments

> Because I have found no way to view all of the attachments and their locations at the same time, I can no longer compare and edit them without clicking back and forth between them.

I hope this feedback is helpful, and I look forward to the thoughts and recommendations of other users and staff.
Metta, offering hope, but not necessarily help, the functions mentioned by zenrain mirror the way it works on my system. Perhaps when you and the devs figure out why it is responding differently for you, then some of the other workflow needs might change. I get that they might not, but it took me a bit to get used to the new interface an now I'm mostly using it, rather than noticing it,. My organizational life is centered around TB as well. Many of us have suggested improvements, many related to more keyboard access/less mouse, and up until about a month ago were seeing updates every couple of days. I think we got used to that level of development and it feels a little like we're at a standstill on tweaks to the desktop version, but what I read here is the team has shifted its focus to the mobile version, which I desperately miss since I'm all in with TB9. Hang in there and see if they can figure out why your system isn't responding properly. Oh, and it's great to see more users getting involved here in the forum. We make a pretty good team, too. :-) 
OSX 10.13 
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
3.3 GHz Intel Core i5
32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
@danlandrum -- Thank you, Dan, for your prompt and considerate feedback.

As for ZenRain's recommendations:
  • I'm currently using the "Show Details" function for attachments, so that's not really an issue here -- and it has not resolved any of the concerns I've detailed above.
  • I'm also still trying to figure out which hot key displays the full list of attachments.... and I do hope it will address some of my attachment-related concerns.

I also hasten to add: I know it often takes time to adjust to a new interface, which is why I've waited more than 3 months since downloading V9 before sharing any feedback. During this time, I've been testing the new features, and I've been very pleased with many of the new enhancements that have been rolling out during the last several months.

I'm also very open to changing my work flow -- when the changes increase efficiency and productivity. However, many of the V9 changes do not allow the efficiency that was available in the customized layout I've been using for the past 5 years, and this is where I (personally) feel there is still room for improvement in the V9 UI.

That said, it is very helpful to get your input on the attention being paid to the mobile version since I know how important this is to a significant number of users -- and I am very willing to wait the time it takes for development to advance with the desktop version.

I just didn't want to miss the window of opportunity to weigh in with my 2 cents before final and irreversible decisions were made about sunsetting many of the valuable UI features currently available in TheBrain 8.

Also, I couldn't agree with you more about the team of users here in the forum. I've learned so much from the contributions here -- and I'm grateful for all the dedicated bug reporting and well-considered feature requests that have helped to move the development of V9 forward.

All-in-all, i'm a HUGE fan of TheBrain and, I know that many of the V9 features already far outshine V8. My only hope in sharing this feedback is to put in a vote for keeping several of the key features that made V8 of TheBrain such an seamless, efficient and indispensable productivity tool.
In the Preferences window, Keyboard tab, navigate to the Thought section (towards the bottom) and if there isn't already one, add a shortcut for Open Attachment. While you are in the Preferences section, also make sure you have Show details when selecting attachments to open selected in the UI tab.

Now, with the focus on the Plex (not in the notes) for a thought with a single file attachment it will open it. 
For thoughts with multiple file attachments, it will display a list in the plex of all the attachments and some detail. The same list appears when clicking on the thought attachment icon when there is > 1 file attachment.


Unfortunately right now you can only interact with the list via mouse. I'm hoping they add keyboard navigation at some point.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.239
Thanks for your prompt feedback, Zen. This list option looks very encouraging.

Unfortunately, though, I'm not having any luck creating any keyboard short cuts in my Windows installation, so I've created another post to review this as a separate issue.

In the meantime. is this attachment list view editable, or do we have to navigate to the individual attachments to edit them?

This shortcut does help immensely with displaying the full list of attachments and their full names while viewing the notes (much appreciated!) -- but:
  • I can't tell from your example if the full links are displayed for URLs, and
  • if this list is not editable, then all the multiple click issues detailed above (with accessing and editing the attachments while viewing the notes) still remain.
The list is not editable, you have to go to the content tab to edit it.

New screenshot below including a URL:


ust from a personal standpoint, I only modify attachment names when I attach them, or once in a blue moon, so for my workflow I don't find this a nuisance.

I'm afraid I also don't find the new interface to hinder my workflow. From my standpoint I find that notes are easier to use and far more pleasant to look at, and the preview for attachments and web pages far more useful than the list ever was.

However, I'm fully aware that in the current state of things, macOS doesn't have the same issue with notes that Windows users are battling with. Also in Windows you have to click a button to preview attachments (at least when I last tested a few months ago), rather than it just appearing in the tab automatically. If I had to click something to preview a file I'd probably have a different opinion.

Again, this is just my opinion based on my experiences and workflows. I'm not stating this to imply that any one's else's opinion is wrong, rather it's just providing my feedback, since that's what we are supposed to do in betas.
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.239
Thanks for confirming that this list is view only, ZenRain -- and thanks for taking time to create and share these screen shots.

Visibility of URLs in this quite helpful -- a definite plus.

However, I'm still missing an attachment list view with the full editing functionality we currently have in TB8. Hope there might be an option at some point in the future for making this list editable, since it would solve many of the issues detailed above.

Would also like to see a 1-click button or link added (visible from the notes view) that would allow quick access to this list view -- just make this list more visible and readily accessible right "out of the box" (no custom keyboard shortcuts required.)

That list can also be accessed by clicking on the icons (when multiple attachments are present).
macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.239
Hooray! I'm glad if the full list view is already accessible via an icon.

Just haven't found any icon in my Windows installation that triggers the display of the full list view you've illustrated.

Specifically on my installation, the +1 attachment tab only displays a list preview of the hidden attachments. It does NOT provide the full list view you shared.

Here's what I'm imaging now as a possible implementation option. (Apologies in advance if something like this already exists.)
  • The existing +# attachment tab could be used to display the abbreviated list view it already provides, but change the action to "on hover" instead of "on click".
  • On click (only 1 click) +# attachment tab could be used to display the full list view you shared above.
Might this be feasible? Or is there something I am missing?
Sorry, I wasn't very clear in my communication. When in doubt, use a screenshot [smile] :

macOS 10.13
TheBrain 9.0.239
Immensely helpful, ZenRain! Thanks so very much.

This is GREAT for getting a full list view of the attachments and their locations, and it clearly duplicates the v8 thought icon behavior.

However, the full list view to which I am referring is the thought tab view of attachments in v8 which has several distinct advantages:

> In v8, the thought tab list of attachments can be set to be fully visible by default (no clicking required) -- without obscuring the notes or the plex

> Both the names and the locations of attachments are editable (again with no extra clicking)

> The positions of the attachments never change unless I manually change the name of the attachment.

Bottom line here is that I'd like to see the various tab view options (thought, type, tag, etc.) restored in v9, with the option of displaying them as tabs below the note view on the side of my v9 plex.

Restoring these options that worked so well in v8 would resolve ALL of the work flow issues detailed above.

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