Amafortas
Hello all, 

Does anyone use PersonalBrain alongside Tinderbox?

Cheers, 

~A
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zenrain
I'd be interested in this also. I've downloaded Tinderbox several times to test, but just haven't been able to delve very far into it.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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TysonSpears
I took a quick look at the Tinderbox. It has seperate modules that I think can be duplicated with The Brain. I would like to be able to create Thought Templates with NOTES.... if this is done you can essentially create your very own modules and do anything you want. Right now I use The Brain for EVERYTHING... from project management to personal finance to hobbies and product creation.

I learned all this in a matter of a few days of learning the Brain. What a tool.
I hope the creators of this program hurries with the thought template. My template creations are a pain in the butt.

I will be posting some of my templates as soon as they are created. I will be creating a link on a blog called the Daily Chip (under construction) where bits and pieces are gathered to make life easier to manage!!!

Cheers,
Tyson
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zenrain
Cool, please come back and post a link when you have it up and running.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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joelorr
I've looked at various versions of Tinderbox over the years. I recently downloaded the latest one.

I've been using PB for more and more stuff for over a year. I've been adjusting my use of it over time, as I discover what works for me.

For example, I recently realized that creating a thought for every day, and using that thought for my journal/diary entries for that day, made it hard for me to read the journal/diary. It forced me to skip from thought to thought, without any simple index; I had to type in the name of each thought (too many clustered around the "Timeline" thought to make graphical selection practical).

So I created a "My Big Diary" thought and have been making daily entries there. It'll probably be too big at some point, and I'll break it along some date boundary--month or quarter, probably.

Meanwhile, I've been taking the advice of Mark Bernstein, dad of Tinderbox, and slowly trying things out.

I like in TB:
  • Multiple views--outline; map; and a few others, recently augmented by timeline
  • fast and powerful search
  • Super html/opml and other forms of output
  • Each note--more or less equivalent to a PB thought--has attributes, making TB more database-like than PB (if you want to use it that way)
  • Link note-to-note and note-to-Web
  • Prototypes
  • Agents, which can actively do searches and other things to your notes; ie, a kind of programming interface to your stuff
Still very hard to compare PB and TB. PB is more rigid with respect to layout, but much easier to learn. PB's output is not as flexible as TB's; moving from PB to TB will be a major effort, should I decide to do so.

I read "The Tinderbox Way," Mark's discussion of the principles of Tinderbox, and I liked it. He speaks of TB as a note manager. And he talks about the need for learning through experimentation. Key learning: Do not impose structure on your data prematurely. Let it emerge as you work with the data.

Well, you can sort of do this in PB, too--although it is easier in TB.

I think both can be used as catch-alls, but TB's strengths seem to focus on a document per project or interest area. PB works both as "One Brain to Rule Them All" or separate brains for different.

I'm going to keep exploring. It's time-consuming, but I feel it's worth it. I'd love to hear from anyone who is pursuing a similar exploration.

Warmly,
Joel
You have a book inside you. I want to help you set it free!
http://www.joeltrainsauthors.com
650-969-6752
America's Empowering Book Coach
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zenrain
Thanks Joel, now I'm going to have to download and play with it again!
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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jostber
Hey! Directional links, timelines, visible links labels. Would like to check this out. Seems pretty OS specific though.



TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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jostber
Another timeline application for Mac is here - Beedocs:

http://www.beedocs.com/index.php



TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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cd

Hi all,


thanks for pointing to TiBo. Looks good..

Side-topic:

Joel, you might want to create a super structure for your daily thoughts. I usually access from "this weeks"-thought (cf. my post on hassle free thoughts for every week of the year somewhere in this forum) that is usually pinned. But I also have daily thoughts underneath, and every "single-day"-thought get's relinked to TL_DAYS (timeline days) just as every week is a child of TL_WEEKS and every month-thought (regrouping weeks but i might throw in the occasionally important day-thought as a jump or so) is under TL_MONTHS.

For quick access I name thoughts w/i the timeline with an underscore as first character (e.g. _may;_0713 etc.). The only downside I've seen to this so far is the need to mass rename (no available in my 5.5v) one year's thoughts at the end of the year into _TL_year_** so that my system keeps working. Same goes for next year's thoughts (_Y11_may etc.) that also need renaming. I usually export to XML, make changes, delete w/i PB, re-import and fix links. Not nice, nut it works.

But I digress.. I've found this structure flexible enough to accommodate every access need i had so far. Maybe this helps.

Greetings
Chris

-- 9.0.250.0 (9.0.250.0) on Mac OS X 10.12.6
   Old enough to remember Natrificial times...
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SteveZ
I don't know if this will be useful or not, but a few months ago I did a brief comparison of PersonalBrain and Tinderbox on my blog. Here's the link.

Steve


Steve
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zenrain
Thanks, that was very helpful! I enjoyed your article on PersonalBrain as well and am looking forward to reading your Tinderbox Chronicles.


Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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jostber
Nice comparision there, thanks for the link. Do you use the more advanced link features in Tinderboc in some way?





TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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jostber
Nice comparison there, thanks for the link. Do you use the more advanced link features in Tinderbox in some way?





TheBrain 8.0.2.2 Slackware 14.2 KDE 4.10.3 Java 1.8 / (Windows 7)
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joelorr
I am delighted that others are exploring the TB vs PB issues, as well as thoughts about PB as "central control panel."

Further to my thoughts on Mark Bernstein's "The Tinderbox Way," I've started to use TB to explore unstructured realms. I have several outliners and mindmapping apps; TB lets you simply (in Map view) create notes and lay them out visually--no implicit structure.

Then you can create "Adornments"--patches of the visual space that are sort of, but not quite, containers. You can continue to slide things around.

Adornments can also cause changes to your Notes--eg, color changes. So sliding a task or project into a "Priority" area can cause it to turn red, or acquire a new "due date," or anything you might care to invoke.

This addresses a challenge I've had with using PB as a mindmanager: The graphical layout is constrained by how PB shows things on the screen. TB, on the other hand, lets you lay things out in "Map" view any way you want, coloring, changing fonts, etc.--while allowing you to view the same notes as an outline, or several other structures. (Latest is "timeline"; very cool.)

I want to re-iterate how impressed I am with the idea of not imposing structure on a bunch of notes before your thoughts have matured to the point of allowing you to know exactly what sort of structure might be appropriate.

I am slowly beginning to appreciate TB's flexibility more and more; and oddly, it is helping me to appreciate the somewhat-more-constrained approach of PB.

You have a book inside you. I want to help you set it free!
http://www.joeltrainsauthors.com
650-969-6752
America's Empowering Book Coach
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rhodes

Hi Joel

I was interested to read your comments about Tinderbox (TB). As a Windows user I cannot evaluate this app though I have been to the website and studied all the screencasts, so I understand their jargon better now.

A TB Note is a rectangular box on their Map view, so is equivalent to PB's Thought in Expanded View. Clicking TB's Note opens it for editing.

In many ways, TB's interface offers many more user-friendly features than PB does - multiline note names, resizable Notes (equivalent to resizable Thought boxes in the plex), varying fonts and colors, a long list of attributes (metadata) for each Note, sorting by last word (surname), and views, views, views. Yet despite all this largesse, I began to feel Tinderboxed in after a while. As SteveZ observed in his blog, "the Map View in Tinderbox restricts you to one level of detail at a time".

When reading comparisons between PB and TB, it's not always clear which PB view is being used in the comparison. You said:

Quote:
This addresses a challenge I've had with using PB as a mindmanager: The graphical layout is constrained by how PB shows things on the screen. TB, on the other hand, lets you lay things out in "Map" view any way you want...

That might be true of Normal view, but certainly not of Expanded View, where with a bit of experimentation you can create just about any layout you need (see my examples here). Mind you, this can be hard work at times as there are no intelligent agents, containers, adornments, etc. to help you, but on the plus side they don't get in the way of your creativity either. As you see I make a lot more use of orphan thoughts in these examples than I ever imagined I would, and simply grouping them without any attempt at linking them turned out to be extremely good for storyboarding my ideas. 

My worry is that if I turned to Tinderbox now I might have to think the Tinderbox way in order to record my ideas, and right now this seems more constraining than using PB.

It would not take much for Harlan to make Expanded View the really user-friendly environment that it needs to be to compete with TB at its own game. My impression is that TB began largely as a map view and extended from there, whereas PB began as a database which excels at retrieving associations, hence Normal View. A map view looks very pretty but can become difficult to manage (scalability problems) as it grows huge, whereas users of PB can always fall back on Normal View to manage large databases and reserve Expanded View for those areas where intricate relationships become really important.

Alan Rhodes
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