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Journalist newbie question (Read 33911 times)
uppereast1
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Journalist newbie question
Jun 23rd, 2012, 1:35pm
 
I am a journalist and would like to ramp up my usage of TBX for my work. I have a couple of quick questions. I carry around a Mac book Air and use it for notes at interviews, meetings etc. In addition, I download a ton of material off the web and get sent hundreds of pdfs. If I use Tinderbox as my main notetaker, how searchable will those notes be? Do they have to be in the same document to be searchable? Would I have to create a huge single document with all my notes to be searchable? I'm talking literally hundreds of notes a month. Would that work? Would I be better off putting individual notes in Devonthink Pro Office or Evernote so I could find somebody's name from six months ago whom I no longer remember? Does anybody have a workflow like this? If I use Devonthink, how easy is it to get notes from tinderbox or Twig into another piece of software like Scrivener or a word document that can be stored? Just trying  to think this process through to set up the workflow properly.

Also I love the idea of a daybook. Its just what I have been looking for. Is there an easy way to create main notes that have a date for a title but their children won't?

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Mark Anderson
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #1 - Jun 23rd, 2012, 4:21pm
 
Lots of questions there. I'll try and answer some.

#1. Can TB search across multiple documents? No. Find dialog, agent, find() work within the current doc. By design concept, TB is not an 'everything- bucket' like DEVONThink (DT), Yojimbo, Curio, etc. Also, whilst TB can open multiple TBX documents at once, it can't search across more than one document. Notes can be drag-dropped betweenTBX  documents so there's no reason to not ingest into a current day book and farm notes out to major projects as need occurs.

#2. Supporting documents. Put the wider materials in DT, Bookends, etc. TB supports DT and Bookends app links. Also see URL and File type user attributes.

#3. TB has built-in TB->Scrivener export templates and can ingest Scrivener files.

#4. Setting a note name to a date. Easy to do and via a number of ways. For you, perhaps best to use a prototype with the $Rule:

  $Name = $Created.format("[format]")

...where format is a double-quote enclosed date format string. For instance, to set the date in the format 11/23/2011 (i.e. 23 Nov):

  $Name = $Created.format("m/d/y")

There are plenty of journos here so hopefully one of them will venture a more focused response re your workflow.  Smiley

Edit: corrections.
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« Last Edit: Apr 14th, 2013, 1:25am by Mark Anderson »  

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russ lipton
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #2 - Jun 24th, 2012, 12:18am
 
A few comments as a long-time user but not a journalist -

"Would I have to create a huge single document with all my notes to be searchable?"

There is huge and then there is HUGE. TbX can handle thousands, if not tens (hundreds?) of thousands of notes with alacrity, providing they are organized sensibly by type, etc. A single document could be considered a benefit, not a problem. "It all depends". But it isn't as though these other products are a no-brainer for managing hundreds of thousand of notes!

"Would I be better off putting individual notes in Devonthink Pro Office or Evernote so I could find somebody's name from six months ago whom I no longer remember?"

Those are fine products, but finding somebody's name in TbX is as easy as selecting from a find menu if one can form a "guess", though one can devise all sorts of super-duper filters over time to zero in on particular names, etc.

"If I use Devonthink, how easy is it to get notes from tinderbox or Twig into another piece of software like Scrivener or a word document that can be stored?"

Unless I misunderstand, your concerns throughout seem to be ones of size/permanent storage? Scrivener is marvelous for packaging up TbX notes if that is needful for document preparation downstream (though I do most of that as well in TbX). But I would never think of Scrivener as, somehow, the permanent storage bin for otherwise transitory notes within TbX ...

As for .pdfs, if I had your workload, I would not use any of the products you mention for them, excepting possibly DevonThink. Your .pdfs deserve their own high-performing storage, markup and transmittal application. How do you handle them presently? You can certainly link to them from TbX and launch them from a TbX note, however. TbX notes could be your 'launchable index cards' for pdf files, though they will open within their own application, not within TbX. Those TbX notes could, in turn, be linked to other TbX notes with your content in them.

You may want to take a look at EagleFiler  http://c-command.com/eaglefiler/

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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #3 - Jun 24th, 2012, 1:41am
 
I think the key idea is to use an everything bucket like DevonThink or Eagle Filer or Yojimbo to store all those pdfs, and link your Tinderbox notes about the pdfs and such.

Use Tinderbox for your ideas, not as a repository for everything.

To create notes with the date in their title for a daybook: use a prototype that sets their DisplayExpression to include the date.  That won't have any effect on the children.
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Paul Walters
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #4 - Jun 24th, 2012, 4:37pm
 
Mark B's advice is spot on.

I keep thousands of PDFs in DEVONthink, and easily link these up to Tinderbox notes.  There are many options, depending on your workflow, including:

  • a custom DEVONthink "item link" (URI) that can be added to a Tinderbox note to take you back to the stored PDF
  • various methods to export OPML from DEVONthink and import notes, or even the text layer of OCRd PDFs, into Tinderbox (browse the DEVONthink forums for more information and aid)
  • drag RTF or text notes from DEVONthink into Tinderbox and vice versa
Many more options exist.  I usually store my TBX files in DEVONthink along with my PDFs, notes, etc., because it is easy to launch just about any type of file from DEVONthink.  I export HTML or OPML, or print maps, back to DEVONthink and connect them up with my project data there.  The two apps complement one another well.

I believe many of these features also exist with Together, Eagle Filer, and Yojimbo.
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Matt Cawood
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #5 - Jul 6th, 2012, 8:57am
 
Another journo here. I've dipped in and out of Tinderbox. Mostly *out* in the past few months because I've been mobile and very dependent on iPad and iPhone. I haven't had time to devise a good export workflow, so Tinderbox has languished while I used OmniFocus. OF isn't my favourite piece of software, though, so I'm hoping Tinderbox gets mobile in v6.

I'm back because I want to work up a couple of bigger projects. I'll merely confirm what Mark B said. Devonthink is great at ingesting files, and finding stuff in them, but lousy for making sense of things. Tinderbox is peerless for making sense of things - once you've made sense of Tinderbox, which I've not always been successful at...

For instance, I find it handy to transcribe interviews into Tinderbox, making a new note when the conversation moves onto a different subject. I add a time code to the titles. When I'm done, I can take a long list of notes and throw them around a map, trying to identify the story in what might have been a rambling conversation that touched on the same topic in several different places.

Spotlight will find text in Tinderbox files, so don't worry about losing information in separate files. The inconvenient bit is that once Spotlight has identified the Tinderbox document, you have to open it and do another search using Tinderbox to pinpoint the note containing the string.

I maintain one main work file containing all my current and future assignments. Each job container holds notes, contacts, transcripts and other scribbles. Bulky reference material is kept in Devonthink - I put a link to the DT folder in the job container. When the job is done, I use an "Archive to Devonthink" text export template to bundle up all the relevant notes and throw the resulting text file into Devonthink for archiving. I don't use Tinderbox as a long-term archive, at least for work material. When I have to dig up an old assignment, it's easier to look in one place.

I'd probably write articles in Tinderbox, too - and did so for a year or so - but found the text editor had some frustrating quirks, although I now can't remember what quirks exactly. (I do know that the footnote command is fantastic for notes-to-self while writing.) This was ideal - my archive to Devonthink export had all an assignment's notes and the articles as well.
I look forward to an updated text editor in v6. Something like TextWrangler would be perfect - I'll happily surrender visual styles for Markdown capability.
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« Last Edit: Jul 6th, 2012, 9:00am by Matt Cawood »  
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Steve Zeoli
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #6 - Jul 6th, 2012, 10:06am
 
Here's one possible work flow from an iOS device to Tinderbox. It requires having Scrivener, which syncs with an iOS app called Index Card via Dropbox (or other cloud service). Create your work with IndexCard (there are iPad and iPod Touch versions). Sync with Scrivener, then import the Scrivener document into Tinderbox. Works well in the limited testing I've done. One thing to be aware of is that the main text of the cards in Index Cards syncs to Scrivener as the synopsis, which in turn comes into Tinderbox as the sub-title of the note. You can create body text in Index Card, though it isn't very robust (at least not on the iPod version, which I use).

Index Card info: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/index-card/id389358786?mt=8

I haven't tried going from Tinderbox to Index Card via Scrivener. Seems like that should work, although not with a "sync."
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« Last Edit: Jul 6th, 2012, 10:14am by Steve Zeoli »  
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uppereast1
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #7 - Jul 6th, 2012, 10:12am
 
Isn't it easier just to use Simplenote and import directly from that?
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Steve Zeoli
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #8 - Jul 6th, 2012, 10:17am
 
I'm sure it is easier, but then you have to use SimpleNote, which I don't like much. I like Index Card because of its symbiosis with Scrivener.
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Matt Cawood
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #9 - Jul 6th, 2012, 5:45pm
 
I'm looking for a very low-friction solution, something I can use to quickly get my basic Tinderbox information on my iPad as I head out the door. I'm thinking of something using Nakakoji view -> export text files into Dropbox, but don't have time to explore this for a while. Or OPML export, which I've never quite got my head around, to Dropbox for reading with OmniOutliner.

The trick is that it has to be as painless as possible. If I have to stuff around with exporting data to the iPad, I won't. I'll use something else.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #10 - Jul 6th, 2012, 6:53pm
 
Matt --

Simplenote's pretty straightforward.  We're working on other things, but that's likely the way to go right now.
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Steve Zeoli
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #11 - Jul 7th, 2012, 7:46am
 
The Simplenote sync works very well, but (as far as I understand it) is very limiting. It only works on notes in the SN sync container. It doesn't work on aliases in the container, nor on notes contained within notes in the container. If I'm correct, this means that any notes you create in another part of the document must be dragged into the SN sync container to be synchronized, which destroys your organizational scheme. Am I wrong about this? I wouldn't be surprised if I've missed something.

If I'm right, however, I wonder how others handle this. I've read the TbxRef article on Simplenote, but is there another resource where strategies for using this nice feature are discussed? Thanks!
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #12 - Jul 7th, 2012, 7:56am
 
Steve: Why not make an alias of your Simplenote notes, and put the alias wherever you want it?

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Steve Zeoli
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #13 - Jul 7th, 2012, 8:43am
 
Is that all it takes? Easy enough. This doesn't address the issue of wanting to export notes originally crafted in Tinderbox, which are part of a more complicated organizational scheme.

For example, if you have notes about books you want to purchase or get from the library in a Tinderbox map container about books and you want to have those notes sync to Simplenote... you don't want to move them from the original container, but you also want them in the Simplenote sync container... Is the only way to handle this to make aliases, leave the aliases in the original container and move the original notes to the Simplenote container? (Okay, I could also, I suppose make the original notes in the SN container, mark those notes as book notes and have the books container collect aliases of those original notes.)
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Journalist newbie question
Reply #14 - Jul 7th, 2012, 2:02pm
 
I think, now that you mention it, that aliases in the simplenotes container ought to sync.  We'll look into that; you might drop me an email.

But we've wandered a LONG way from the original topic, which was using Tinderbox in journalism.  Could we perhaps start a new thread on that topic?

I know everyone wants Tinderbox for iPad. We're exploring it. In the meantime, there's plenty you can get done.
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