jotapa
Hi TB team... one more request.

I know Inbox is on the way. Not sure what it will include but these are some capabilities I would like to see in TB to make file import and classification easier:

- Attachments Importing Capabilities:

Manual Import 

When we drag and drop files into TB (that are supposed to be imported as a new thought), we should get a pop-up window to quickly classify types and tags (I've asked this before ), as well as Relevance and Status (more on this later). The classification box should be optional - we can simply ignore it or click somewhere else and it goes away.

Relevance
We need a relevance/rating classification for files. Many other tools use a 1 to 5 stars evaluation. That would work perfectly. It is NOT tags ! This is a quick and simple - one click option, that we should be able to see in different visualizations (should include the plex), and would be used to find and filter files easily.

Status
This tells us if the attachment has been processed already. Should have categories such as:

- Imported
- Pending
- In process
- Done

It tells us if we have read the doc file that was imported, for example, or if we saw the video, took care of filling in the data on a file, so on and so forth... The Brain will assume defaults - Imported, after importing; Pending if it has been there for a while without ever being accessed, In Process if we access/open the attachment from within TB, or Done - assigned manually by the TB user.

Again, this is not TAGS. It must be a 1 click action. Many other tools (for example reference management tools) use TAGS and also offer STATUS (or similar - check Qiqqa, for example). It is supposed to be seen on views and easily searchable, sort-able, ..., like Relevance.

VERY IMPORTANT: Relevance and Status applies to each and every attachment - not just the ones created as a standalone thought- and we should be able to search for the attachments that are Pending and have Relevance 3 or higher, for example.

Automated Import 
TB should monitor a pre-defined folder and its sub-folders. For example, the root folder to monitor would be "The Brain Inbox", and the user could create sub-folders. These are folders in Windows / Mac:
-------------------------
The Brain Inbox
       Software Tools
       Customers
       Use Cases
-------------------------
Whatever goes into the root inbox, moves into TB Inbox (whatever that means in the tool), when we open TB or whenever TB checks the folder - every minute, for example.

The key capability now: in TB we should be able to assign default import thoughts, connected to the folders (this is different from Virtual Thoughts in version 8 - will explain why).

Meaning, we can assign a Thought called "Customer Information" to the Win/Mac folder "Customers" shown before. That assignment will include import defaults for type, tags, relevance, status, import as CHILD thought or add ATTACHMENT to the assigned thought ("Customer Information" in this case) , copy or move operation (customized by import thought, not system default).

If we import as ATTACHMENT to the existing thought, the Types and Tags are obviously not relevant, but the the Relevance and Status should be classified (one more reason why this cannot be done with Tags).

When we save a file to the folder - Customers - TB will import it to the corresponding thought "Customer Information" with all the automated classifications and import methods. This way, importing a new pdf downloaded from the internet, could be as easy as: click the link on a browser, pick the folder to save, and it would be imported and fully classified in The Brain.

Different sub-folders, will be assigned to different thoughts and may have different import classifications and behaviors.

The Pop-up Window suggested for the Manual Mode should also appear, giving us the option to change default classifications - must be easy and quick to do it. Just a few clicks and it's done.

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All this would be a MAJOR performance improvement for me, and a fantastic reason to use The Brain. Anyone else supporting the need for these capabilities? 


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korm
To the extent I can understand the proposal (which my brain is having difficulty comprehending, sorry ), what's the difference between this an what v8 already does with folders that are aliased to a brain?  (In OS X control drag the folder to a thought and the contents of that folder are indexed in that brain.)

And what's the problem with managing workflow with tags?  A lot more personal and manageable than being locked into some workflow that TheBrain's dev team makes up.

Managing workflows with tags is about the only thing I use tags for -- in any application.  
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jotapa
Hi Korm,
not sure about what is lacking clarity. I can try to provide additional detail or explain it in a different way. Just let me know what you don't understand.

About doing this with an aliased folder in b8 (virtual thought, I think...), these are some advantages of my suggestion:

- Importing an attachment and having it fully classified with thought type and tags would be automatic with my proposal (just save the file) and took me an extra 9 clicks in TB and a lot of do this, do that, to configure an attachment in TB v8.

- Indexing a folder does not classify each attachment individually. I have many folders with dozens of documents that I need to read and keep track of... not easy to do it with TB. Everything is just too manual and requires that I don't forget updating tags and thought types all the time.

- Rating a document 1 to 5 with ONE single click (Relevance), and automatically update if the document has been accessed or not (Status) is quick, easy and useful. That is why all the reference management tools do it.

Can we find workarounds with Types and Tags, and manually importing documents? Yes, that is possible. It's not practical at all. I gave up using TB for more than one year because I was tired of classifying and curating attachments like this, on a Brain with hundreds of thoughts. 


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mcaton
I know you made it clear that these feature requests are NOT Tags, but I just thought that I'd share with you that I'm doing the exact same thing you've outlined currently with tags.  
Now that tags can have icons, I've got a series of icons (1 - 5 stars to be specific) to quickly identify the relevance of a Thought.  The same is true with Status.  I can quickly identify a 5 star (Tag) Project (Type) that is Pending Approval (Tag).

That being said, I'll write up this request.

More to document on the Inbox auto importing and sub directories too...

Thank you!
Matt
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jotapa
Hi Matt,
thanks for looking into this.

Clarifying some topics: I need to highlight that Ratings and Status are important for Files loaded into The Brain (attachments), not the Thoughts. We would classify the documents this way, not the thoughts.

Let me just explain why Tags, Ratings and Status should be different:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
This is Papers - a reference manager. On the right frame you have a Rating Classification 1 to 5 stars. You also have Keywords (used as Tags).
Papers Document Review.png 
This is important because you can sort documents per Rating, for example:
Papers App Stars and Keywords.png 
If we used tags for this, Sorting would not be possible - there would be other tags too and it would be a total mess.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is Qiqqa. The review process (what I called Status) is very good - right frame. Unfortunately I couldn't find a screenshot with the different options and don't want to reinstall the tool.

Notice the dates too - very useful if you also offer a tabular view to manage attachments (another request I made a couple of weeks ago).

Qiqqa Tags and Review.jpg 
A document marked as unread, will be different from another marked Reviewed, and requires a different action. Sorting is important as in the previous case.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mendeley only offers: Favorite, Not Favorite for ratings ; Read / Not Read for status (stage) - It's the Star and small circle columns on the central frame.

mendeley-desktop-32.jpg 
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I try to manage hundreds of documents (attachments) with TB. These capabilities would be gold for me!!! I'm sure other users trying to manage many PDF files, for example, would feel the same if they could use this.


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pthompson
Thanks for the additional information. We will continue to discuss and document this on our end.
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