• Posts 100
  • Member Since
  • Last Active
  • Name Joao Tapadinhas
  • Location: Dubai
  • Occupation: Research Director
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Collaboration between two licensed users on v9, without using TB Cloud
Hi Everyone,
I would like to know if there are ways to have two users collaborating in the use and edition of a brain, without using the Sync service to the cloud - using sensitive information that cannot be loaded to a third party cloud solution.

Is there a simple way to setup a private cloud sync?
Can this work through Dropbox, One Drive or some other service?

Access TB´s data model for analytics and key performance indicators extraction
I am currently using a brain with over 2,000 thoughts and more than 400 attached documents. This could easily grow to become 10x bigger. Being able to run statistics on top of this would be very valuable to me.
Access TB´s data model for analytics and key performance indicators extraction
Regarding your post:

Quote: I think the way you can currently access data to report on is by:
  1. Create a .brz archive of your database.
  2. Rename .brz to .zip
  3. Extract the contents
The meta data, thought and link data are available in the .json files. From what I read in previous posts they did this on purpose so people could access the information more easily than the .xml format it used to be in.

This is good but not what is needed. My idea would require access to the database structures, after the .brz file is loaded - meaning, the database supporting TB's runtime operation.

Thanks for the feedback anyway.

I read somewhere that the database engine changed in V9 to a much more capable database, but I can't find the post.
Access TB´s data model for analytics and key performance indicators extraction
Hi Zenrain,
thank you for your candid feedback. Let me clarify what I mean by "zero work required".

Assuming that TB's data structures are optimized for query performance and have an "understandable" model, it should be fairly easy to connect analytics tools directly to the CURRENT data structure - without any extraction or transformation required.

Even if some transformation are required, there are enough free tools in the market that would allow us (the community) - not TB's team - to spend a few hours building the ETL processes (extract, transform and load) to an analytics repository, to support the use of a standard analytics tool.

Sorry if I make it sound too easy but this has been my area of expertise for more than 20 years. I have a good idea of what can be done and how long it usually takes to get there.

Obviously, this depends on TB wanting to share the data model structure - although we could try to infer it if it's not encrypted...
Access TB´s data model for analytics and key performance indicators extraction
Hi TB team,
I wanted to know if it is possible to access TB's data model, so I can use a standard Analytics tool (like Tableau, Qlik or Microsoft Power BI) to produce reports and analysis.

Can you please let me know what is the database engine, point me to the right tables, and share the data model structure? Access to the metadata is the objective - I am looking for the control structures. This would include thought titles, tags, types, also children, sibling and parent connections, dates, maybe attached file names, or web links. I don't need access to content.

At a later stage you could include this type of capability in your tool, maybe using an open source BI and Analytics solution or coupling this with one of the great, and FREE, BI solutions available out there, so you don't have to pay royalties for it. 

I will be glad to share some standard dashboards to the community, that other users will be able to apply to their brains.

Depending on the information available in the data structures, and how it is stored, this could be a very powerful and helpful functionality - with almost zero work required from the TB team.

Please let me know if you can help.
[Feature Request] More extensive use of Link Types
But neither mine or your experience matter, zenrain... we are two data points that do not represent the universe out there in the market.

We are TB geeks/experts (you being the greatest of them all  [smile] )... Exceptions that confirm the rule: "TB needs to appeal to a broader audience".

[Feature Request] More extensive use of Link Types
Let's agree to disagree on this - and I will explain why.

Until TB8, the amount of effort you had to invest in the brain to classify, categorize, tag information, compared to the benefits of retrieving the right information was simply too much. That's my opinion after relying on TB for at least four years (maybe five) - in an information intensive job.

After years loading hundreds of documents, writing hundreds of notes, categorizing everything thoroughly, I was unable to retrieve information properly because key capabilities for search, filter and content access were missing.

I did experiment other tools and got better results elsewhere.

With TB9, things can change. I see a more solid foundation, more modern design, key capabilities added such as PDF index and preview but this is not enough. Information collection and classification need to be easier and quicker. Information retrieval needs to more powerful and far easier than what it is today. Overall, TB9 needs to be easier to use - not designed for geeks (like us), to appeal to a bigger audience.

That is my opinion...

But let's assume I am wrong. Let's assume TB is as great as you claim. The question should then be... why isn't TB growing much faster? Why isn't it bigger than Evernote? It is better, right?

TB has GREAT potential - I am a fan. I truly believe it can accomplish something unique in the market but is not delivering according to that potential YET. 

Our "job as TB fans" (if you want the job) is not to shout loud how good the tool is. It is to help the development team deliver a better next version, pointing out what to improve and what to leave as is. We must identify the flaws/gaps that need to be addressed and provide feedback to help the TB team decide what to do.

I am doing that... for free - I usually charge for it on my daytime job!

b140 Reports
Totally agree!

The search capability on the "Report" box is very useful. It helps navigate, find the right thoughts in the brain. Clear step on the right direction!

...but, on the flipside, in this version v140 does create some new user interface challenges - we now have two search boxes - one doing full content search (regular search on the icon bar), the other one (inside report box) only searching thought names and labels...

Hope the team goes ahead with the plans to unify / simplify this in coming beta versions. TB needs to be easier to use.
[Feature Request] More extensive use of Link Types
Just downloaded v140 and tested the Link Types filtering capabilities.

It's a good start. A lot more to do but it does help.

Would prefer to see it on its own category, side by side with Types, Tags, and Time...  No reason why that shouldn't happen - links are a KEY capability of the brain and must be promoted.

[Feature Request] More extensive use of Link Types
Harlan wrote:

Hi Joao,

Filtering of links is something that will need to be addressed as part of an overall filtering feature, a major undertaking.

When you activate a thought type, all the thoughts of that type appear as children. What do you imagine would happen when "activating" a link type?

Link types are integrated into the list of types in the reports section in 9.0.140.

The UI for editing and creating both link and thought types is something that we would like to improve in a future version.

Good point: "activating" a link type:...

Either ignore that suggestion - I see why it doesn't work - or make it work the opposite way: instead of selecting a link type, what you do is UNselect the link type(s). All the thoughts that lose the link to the focus thought get removed from the plex.

Looking forward to v140... !!! That will be good.

Finally - better filtering is major undertaking - I have stated this many times at this forum and will continue to do so until I see results - you need to continue focusing (you are already, I know) on information search, filtering and retrieval inside the brain.

It is one of its current limitations. We can load thousands of thoughts but will rarely find them again in a meaningful way... 

For thoughts, this is "Hotel California"... you can checkin any time of night but you can never leave...   [smile] 

Meaning - information in, but often no knowledge out...  that is sad!

multiple parents (#3215, #3275)
You just described the problem Harlan - like some other things in TB - this was implemented as a power user function.

But it can be (should be in my opinion) a very easy feature that would appeal to a large user base - not just power users.

We are basically talking about:

- Find information related to two or more areas/thoughts of the brain.

The ability to link information - thoughts, notes, files - is the KEY Strength of the brain.

Why are we limited to search on a single dimension, like evernote and all the other non-linked information repositories do? The brain should offer a simple search option to enter two or more search criteria.

Why is this relevant? 

Because I want to find:

  • People that attended a specific meeting, and are also part of a project.
  • Documents that reference economy and a specific country.
  • An article about a specific company, that is also listed under a specific topic, and talks about a certain technology.

How to do it?

Create a option for advanced search criteria - I discussed that with you already - it should be the Report area. There should be several search boxes there on top of each other. The user just needs to enter the search criteria on each one and select the thought / notes - like we do on the existing search box today. And then press a button: find common Children / Descendants.

Meaning... you do need to improve search / filter capabilities to increase TB's potential and capabilities!


[Feature Request] More extensive use of Link Types
Link types can be, and should be, as relevant as thought types and tags.

They are at the core of the brain functionality - making this a unique product compared with other notes managers or mind mapping solutions.

Instead of being front and center, links get relegated to oblivion in some areas of TB.

We need:
  • The ability to hide certain link types. 
  • The ability to only show or to remove thought linked by a certain link type, or regular links and a specific (maybe several) link type(s). 
  • Better access to the list of link types - with a button at the menu bar like thought types and tags. 
  • To have link types as part of the search/filter functionality - what you call Report - working in a more integrated way with types and tags. 
  • Also, better link type editing capabilities with easy to select options/"templates" for line color, type and width... 

This would improve TB enormously, IMO, adding another layer of knowledge collection, classification nand retrieval.

Your thoughts on this?

Best Regards,
multiple parents (#3215, #3275)
This functionality is good - absolutely required to properly explore TB.

Having said that, I don't think it is implemented the right way. Sorry for being the annoying guy spoiling the party...

It is too complicated to get the expected results.
It is not intuitive - not even seasoned users find it or know it exists, easily.
It requires too much mouse travel, clicking here and there, selection, right click...
It is not integrated as part of a cohesive user experience but rather leverages different features across the brain to get to the results.

You can do better TB team, making this much more accessible, easier to learn and use, quicker, more impactful...

Looking forward to it.

Enhancements to the new PDF Viewer (#3206 and #3208)
Hi TB team,
congratulations for the new PDF Viewer.

It is much better than the one before and has a direct and significant impact on the overall TB experience.

Two small enhancements are required in my opinion. I hope you control the code enough to be able to do it:

- Search box visibility: The search box is only visible if you have the viewer maximized or at the bottom. Doesn't show on the left or right positioning. Should always be visible. Same thing for the other buttons up, down, reload.

- Copy from the viewer to Paste somewhere is else is not enabled. I can select, but I can't even copy. This is a must have capability to fully leverage the viewer capabilities - you will need to copy text to a notes box, or a new thought, sooner or later.

There are, obviously, many other enhancements that could turn the viewer into a better viewer or even editor, but I won't go into that now. 

Getting the basics done, would be great already!

Thanks for reading,
Great work with the improved search capabilities on v130
Hi TB Team,
thanks for the search improvements on v130. It looks like a bug correction or simple enhancement that most users haven't even noticed.

But for anyone serious about storing attachments and notes on TB, it is a game changing capability!

No hidden feature request on the post this time. It is just: 

Well done team!  [smile]

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