I created a very simple brain, and exported it as a .brz archive. I'm examining the unzipped JSON brain export files, with the intention of learning how to prepare my own data for import as a brain.brz file.

I expect that there will be a lot of trial and error in this project, but I'm wondering if I could get a kickstart with a description of the minimum requirement of a successful import. 

Any support guidance would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
This is a noble quest, Tim.  Seriously, like (probably) you and a lot of our fellow Brain users, I've tried and lived through just about every database and organizer (and bulletin board, and forum platform, and all of the precursors to what is now called social media)...and the one Achilles heel I run into time and again is lack or inadequacy of my personal data safety, malleability, and portability.  I've recently been working hard to figure out how to port data to-from Microsoft Word (docs and/or templates), MindManager, and TheBrain V9.  I've been away from actually invoking and running database softwares per se for a long time, so I can't help you with JSON (yet, anyway).  However, for whatever it may be worth, I'd be happy to share anything I can learn about making the data-swapping process(es) between and among these and other platforms and databases easier for all of us.  Our fellow Forum user "metta" has been very generous with her Brain organizational tools, techniques, and ideas, and I'd appreciate your sharing anything you'd care to regarding Import//Export to/from JSON-formatted files (please).  Will reciprocate as best I can, when I can.  Best of continued luck to you - Mett
Thank you, mettdavis, for your kind words. ðŸ˜Š

I, too, will be interested in learning more about what Tim eventually comes up with.

Mettdavis wrote: "the one Achilles heel I run into time and again is lack or inadequacy of my personal data safety, malleability, and portability"

Don't know if you are looking for a secure, portable PIM/task/contact/document manager, but if so, let me know and I can share more details about the app I've just started using. It is tremendously versatile and, for my purposes, a good complement to what TheBrain already provides. I can't say how easy it will be to port data in/out of it yet, but the 30-day free trial should provide a good chance to play with it, if you are interested in taking a closer look.

Thanks for your encouragement folks. I will certainly contribute back to this forum anything my dim brain gleans in the process.

I'm hoping that the wise folks at The Brain, who, no doubt, know what minimum requirement there is for a successful brz import, might share some of what they know -- informally, of course. 

Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
We’ll put something together when we get a chance. I think you will pretty much understand it just based on the field names though as it was designed to be straightforward as possible. 
Thanks Harlan. To be more clear with what I'm looking for: which of the json files and folders must be present (with or without content) in the Brz for the import to succeed. I've been putting off using a trial and error approach. (Very busy driving our RV all over the continent - you understand 😇. We'll be looking at buying a house when we get back north in a month or so)
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.

Thank you all, in turn, for your replies, which I appreciate.

Metta, I'd like to know what you're testing - thanks for asking. 

You know this forum and its etiquette much better than I do; if you think that our continued discussion regarding a third-party app would wander too far from TB-related matters to be held on this forum, please just email me at to discuss that information.

If it turns out that we can loop import-export or data-format details back into this discussion ("here," on this forum), we can always return to this thread and continue this TB-related I/O-and-format discussion.  I defer to you and Harlan regarding which subject matters belong here, and which do not.

Wherever we ought continue this discussion (again, your call), I am always interested in PIM/task/contact/document management/knowledge management, etc. platforms. 

In order not to lose momentum, I will hereinbelow begin a discussion of Contacts (etc.) management, ...which discussion can be continued wherever it ultimately "belongs":

I've been trying to get organized since all we had was a stack of punch cards, and I remember the excitement I felt when we got early personal computers that could run tools like VisiCalc and dBase III.

I was frequently the only tech-oriented co-owner of my various companies or partnerships, over the years, and it usually fell to me to pioneer the selection and implementation of hardware, software, networks, and communications tools. 

I tested and/or bought at least one of just about everything, for a while...built PC's, became a Novell network administrator, became a dealer for a lot of hdw and sfw vendors, and could code some of the really early languages.

It quickly became evident that I could not do or learn everything, so I hired network and tech-support specialists.  I am not currently a competent coder, but I can usually follow or contribute to techie discussions in one way or another.  

One of the first things we all probably did when we entered the tech arena in any capacity was to build a list [sic] of our contacts, to-do's, etc. 

I kept my first Contacts List in a basic text list, and for a long time, I managed to keep all of my Contacts straight as I moved between and among then-favored or then-leading programs (applications, apps, ...whatever you want to call them).

Sadly, years ago, I carelessly uploaded thousands of accumulated contacts (which at that moment were at least semi-organized) from my local Outlook .PST "up into" Google Gmail's "Contacts," not realizing what an inexcusable mess that was going to create. 

I stubbornly kept piling new information into that Gordian knot, just because I was busy, and because I just "knew" that Google was going to improve their Contacts functionality, over time.  Not so much!

I still don't understand why the supposedly-greatest data-organizing company in the world (Alphabet) can't manage at least a simple flat-file database of Contacts better than they do. 

Google's habit of creating new Contacts for me from...pretty-much anything or anyone I visit or communicate with...irritates me no end.  Of course, I realize I could probably use the Gmail Contacts tool better - but I don't care.  

Meanwhile (can you relate to this?), it doesn't help that every communications carrier or social-media platform pounces on me continuously, asking me to allow them to access (aka: "copy and exploit") all of my Contacts. 

General note to Verizon, AT&T, Facebook, Instagram et al: regarding the question of my allowing you to access my Contact: no thanks! 

Alas, I realize most of them will eventually glean most of what they want from me/us, anyway.  We have to protect our data perfectly, all the time, while they only have to penetrate our defenses, once.  It's an asymmetric battle. 

I recently started a fresh Contacts file with a humble app called FullContact.  Once I populate it to my satisfaction, I may reluctantly move my Contacts back into Microsoft Outlook, though I hope I can still use Google Calendar, which I like. 

So...having said all that...I thank you for your offer to discuss PIM's, etc., and look forward to continuing that discussion with you as dictated by time and the arrival of new information...wherever this discussion should continue.

In the end, I hope I can loop all of this information back into the then-latest version of TheBrain, since it would seem to make sense to do so.

Regards, all,



Apologies, Mett, for the delay in getting back with you in response to this discussion about the new PIM I am using. (I recently injured my back, and I'm just now beginning to get caught up with my online/email follow-up.)

Please be on the lookout for my email follow-up:
> Subject Line: doogiePIM

Hope this helps, and I'll be interested in learning more about what you think if you decide to give the app a try. :-)

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