jelarv
I have a lot of textual information in an outline format (10-page doctoral thesis outline) which means the thoughts need to be in a specific order and so I've been starting each thought with a number (e.g. .01, .02), but when I want to add something to the top of the list I need to renumber every thought which is time consuming.  Does anyone have a method to quickly have the thoughts re-number when a new one is added?  My current workaround is to keep extra numbers available between each number such as using .04, .08, .12, .16, so that if I discover I need to add something to the top of the list, I can number it .03, but this is still somewhat tedious because I first have to open the thought above where I want to place the new thought to determine the number to use.

I guess my question is this: Is there a way to have the thoughts auto-number based on where I place them like in a Microsoft Word outline?

Thanks!
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DavidGretzschel

I don't have a system for that, because the issue didn't come up much yet.
Nothing automatic, that I know of.
However it might be helpful to know, that you can use three digits.
So this is my Thought for the 3.rd of August: ".247 3, 8, 2020", the sort-number equalling the day of the year.
This allows me to show all my dates in the correct calendar order in various different contexts.
Test this out a bit first, because the interaction between three digit, two digit and one-digit sorting was a bit unintuitive
and is underdocumented.

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NickMilner
This takes me back to my days of writing BASIC code! Every line had to have a line number and in the early days there was no renumber feature so you went with rules like...
  • Start at line 10 and go up in increments of 10 to leave room for inserting lines later
  • If you GOSUB to a routine (like a procedure or function) then start those on thousand boundaries
  • Be careful you don't run out because 65535 was often the highest line number you could use (on Commodore machines it was 63999.)
Ah, fun times. 😉

I guess another solution would be to have a Thesis type with ordered section sub-types. Since TB defaults to ordering thoughts by type you could use section type renaming to reduce the renumbering burden to a single section of the document - it will also help move entire sections around easily. Then you could use simpler thought numbering within each section. Maybe? 🙂

/edit - like this...
Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 12.55.25.png 
     
You can use icons and colour coding to help separate content visually. The types look like this:

Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 12.58.17.png 
The green chapter comes before the red one because it starts .01 - changing that re-orders the entire section and all its thoughts in one go...

Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 13.00.54.png
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jelarv

I don't have a system for that, because the issue didn't come up much yet.
Nothing automatic, that I know of.
However it might be helpful to know, that you can use three digits.
So this is my Thought for the 3.rd of August: ".247 3, 8, 2020", the sort-number equalling the day of the year.
This allows me to show all my dates in the correct calendar order in various different contexts.
Test this out a bit first, because the interaction between three digit, two digit and one-digit sorting was a bit unintuitive
and is underdocumented.


Thanks David.  Sorry, I don't understand how .247 corresponds to that date.  I think you're saying to use 3 digit numbers to give myself more options? 
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jelarv
NickMilner wrote:
This takes me back to my days of writing BASIC code! Every line had to have a line number and in the early days there was no renumber feature so you went with rules like...
  • Start at line 10 and go up in increments of 10 to leave room for inserting lines later
  • If you GOSUB to a routine (like a procedure or function) then start those on thousand boundaries
  • Be careful you don't run out because 65535 was often the highest line number you could use (on Commodore machines it was 63999.)
Ah, fun times. 😉

I guess another solution would be to have a Thesis type with alphabetically ordered section sub-types. Since TB defaults to ordering thoughts by type you could use section type renaming to help move entire sections around easily. Then you could use simpler thought numbering within each section. Maybe? 🙂

Thanks Nick.  Ah yes, you bring back vivid memories from my high school days programming in BASIC!  Thanks for your suggestion.  I think it will still require quite a bit of manual intervention when I'm trying to add or move parts of the outline.  I'm trying to find something as easy as Word's auto-numbering and I think you and David have enlightened me that I'm not going to find that in TB v11
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NickMilner
jelarv wrote:

Thanks Nick.  Ah yes, you bring back vivid memories from my high school days programming in BASIC!  Thanks for your suggestion.  I think it will still require quite a bit of manual intervention when I'm trying to add or move parts of the outline.  I'm trying to find something as easy as Word's auto-numbering and I think you and David have enlightened me that I'm not going to find that in TB v11
I added an example to my post in case you missed it. Still no renumbering I'm afraid, but at least the renumbering burden is lower.
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jelarv
Thanks Nick!  Great to explore possible strategies.
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mcaton
I use the dot to hide the numbers as well. I also use the number gaps (I use jumps of 5) as you mentioned in the original post to squeeze in additional steps in the future:

.05 Talk to Client
.10 Evaluate Customization
.15 Create Mocup
.20 Send to Engineering

Thanks,
Matt
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jelarv
Thanks Matt!
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DavidGretzschel
@jelarv
uhm... it doesn't really correspond, since I screwed up the numbering of the month of August ðŸ˜³
It was supposed to be ".216 3,8,2020".
This numbering allows me to properly see a week (or two weeks) in their proper order, if it should span over a month with my naming scheme,
as TheBrain doesn't know how to sort Thoughts by date.
example.png 


 
So this beautiful two-week view, which is extremely helpful for planning would look all messed up without the hidden numbers.




The days of August would appear before the last days of July, which is obviously terrible.
Because the hidden numbers can be three digits long, I can use this to make any arbitrary view (up to showing all days of the year in one Plex, by making them all children of a "2020 in days"-Thought) be date-ordered.
Since four digits are possible, I could instead number them by which day of the decade they are, thus I can properly view timeframes crossing the year.
Or show all ~3653 days of the current decade at once in proper order, if I was so inclined. (well, at the moment TheBrain would crash and I don't have a 16k monitor for that view, but the decade is still young)

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NickMilner
Why not just change your date scheme to YYYY-MM-DD? This is alpha-sortable with no hidden numbers required.

/edit - I don't really understand why you would want day/week thoughts like this in TB anyway - it feels like a relational normalisation error to me. 😉 Shouldn't the information captured within those thoughts be broken out into their own thoughts so they can be linked into the rest of your brain in endless ways? If you have a bunch of stuff stuck inside a "day thought" then the only linkable concept is the date, which could be meaningless (just an "accident" that something came up on that day.)

I mean, sure, you can use note links, but that's not really what TB is about.

No offence meant, btw - I'm not trying to delegitimise the way you use TB, just offering an opinion.
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DavidGretzschel
@NickMilner
Cause YYYY-MM-DD is the wrong way 🙂
It would work, though. Just doesn't look, like a date is supposed to look, where I'm from.
The commas are for context-sensitivity, btw.
So when I look at the month, it'll only show the numbers.
It's double-context-sensitive, because the month-Thoughts themselves are context-sensitive to the year-Thought.

pretty.png 

I use TheBrain as an all-in-one GTD-org system. So it needs a calendar of sorts.
This calender allows me lots of flexibility, in how I'd wish to see the future (or past).
I could easily show all days of a quarter or create a view to show the next five weekends,
if I set up the types right.
(at the moment I only use a blue Thursday and a red Sunday-type to quickly orient myself [not pictured])

So having a Thought for every day in this structure is my calendar.
Projects, that are being worked on, on that day have the specific day as a parent.
So I look at the current day and see all the projects, I'm planning to work on.

Within the projects I have the next actions.
Then within the Note of the day, I'll be planning what to do with my time.
Whatever you're gonna end up doing, you're going to do it on a day.
So knowing what to do on a given day obviously is worth a Thought.

GTD only works with regular, cyclical views "to get current".
So I'm not losing anything by not having all the features GCal has.
[I also would not bother using the Timeline, as that's too fiddly. For all I care, it could be completely removed.
This is also still just broad strokes of my system, I'm still developing for myself.]

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external monitor: 42.5 inch, 3840x2160@60Hz
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jelarv
Thanks David!  I'm a huge fan of GTD as well.  I've used it with Outlook for at least 10 years but your insights above make me think I could convert it over to TB.
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NickMilner
That date format does take a bit of getting used to but it's worth it, IMO. It provides chronological ordering through simple alphanumeric ordering so is always guaranteed to work in any system (even in things like filenames). 🙂

I've only dabbled with GTD in the past but from what I remember calendars were almost the antithesis of the concept. IIRC the system states only to use them to schedule firm appointments - things that absolutely have to be done on a particular date and time - and everything else really should be an action outside of the calendar. In that case, there should be very few thoughts that have to be linked to dates, so why not use TB events instead?

I get the impression that events don't get a lot of love from the community but I really like them (I'd like them even more if events tied to private thoughts also disappeared when private thoughts were toggled off, but that's a different story.) I use events essentially as a chronological sliding timeline of pins, which is very convenient for quickly navigating to the right place of my brain at just the right time. It's just like having the top row of pins show different things at different times, and always the right pins at the right time. 🙂
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