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Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers (Read 41322 times)
Lew Friedland
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Re: Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers
Reply #15 - Jul 03rd, 2012, 9:23am
 
Very useful Derek and Christian. A few questions.
Derek, you take your notes in Devon Think rather than Tinderbox. Can I ask why?
Christian, you keep separate files for extracts etc, ideas, and mind maps for specific writing you are working on. I assume you move material from one file to another in a kind of sifting process as you go.

Another question.  How do you all take notes on books? At first glance, this seems fairly obvious.  Take notes on passages that interest you. But for many of us, a book is a system of arguments as much or more than facts.  These are linked, of course, in a logical order, and build on each other. One option is setting up a prototype or OnAdd in a container and taking notes by chapter.  However this doesn't necessarily preserve logical threads.  Another is linking notes. How do you take notes on books with complex arguments stretching over multiple chapters?
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Derek Van Ittersum
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Re: Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers
Reply #16 - Jul 3rd, 2012, 10:07am
 
I keep my notes in DevonThink because I think its artificial intelligence (fuzzy searching) capabilities are very useful (just Google the Steven Johnson NYT piece and blog pieces about DevonThink for more on how this works). I keep one head note as a summary about the book's main arguments, points, interesting features. Then, each book/article has many  subsequent notes that contain 1 - 4 pull out quotes or summaries and then my own commentary. DevonThink supports links between notes, so I'll often add hyperlinks to related notes (within books and amongst several books).

I can then create a new tinderbox file for an upcoming project, copy over notes from DevonThink that I know will be relevant, then use the fuzzy searching in DevonThink from those notes to find other connections and links. I copy all these over to Tinderbox in the map view and just start making connections and "emergent structure" with adornments and so forth.

After working with this system for some time, I find it very sustainable. DevonThink, I believe, is just better suited for my long-term database/archival note keeping needs, and TBX is better suited for individual project development and analysis.
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Ted Goranson
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Re: Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers
Reply #17 - Jul 3rd, 2012, 10:30am
 
Replying to the original post here...

I have an ambitious non-fiction project that I originally started using TBx, Bookends and EagleFiler, authoring in BBedit.

I own many other applications, including Yojimbo and DevonThink Pro but they just don't work for me in this context.

However, once I got going, I am finding that I am making a very heavy investment in Filemaker. I also expect to move some of the writing to Scrivener with Aeon Timeline, though I have not started this yet.

The integration between TBx and Filemaker seems to be easier than supposed, as each is published to the web, and each can read from the other's published pages.

-- Ted
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers
Reply #18 - Jul 3rd, 2012, 11:26am
 
Quote:
However this doesn't necessarily preserve logical threads.

Not necessarily. If you link each note to the next sequential logical nugget - which may not be next in map position/outline location then you can walk the path either via Roadmap view:



Or in maps only, via link enactment. Note how only outbound links from the selected note(s) are active. They're actually animated on screen, though you can see that in this grab:



If some of the originals aren't on the same map, consider creating aliases of them on the current map so the entire logic chain can be viewed as a visible path.

Not a map user? Don't like links?  Use 'tags' - custom attributes of your own design - to mark notes that are part of a thread. Use an agent (or Find) to recover the notes using a given tag. There's no reason that you can't use both tags and links if so desired.

At the analysis stage, what's best is likely what best fits your personal style of work and how each user likes to interact with data (very visually, or more abstract). As/if/when you move to needing to share the data or export it you may find it pays to use methods that help with export, for instance restructuring flat maps to a more hierarchical outline.

There's no specific right or wrong way to do all this, which probably reflects why very broad-based topics like this are hard to respond to.
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« Last Edit: Jul 3rd, 2012, 11:28am by Mark Anderson »  

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Paul Walters
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Re: Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers
Reply #19 - Jul 3rd, 2012, 1:27pm
 
Ted Goranson wrote:

"The integration between TBx and Filemaker seems to be easier than supposed, as each is published to the web, and each can read from the other's published pages."

@Ted, I'd be interested in hearing more about your approach to TBX/FileMaker integration -- maybe as a separate thread since it's a sidebar to this thread.
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Steve Thorpe
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Re: Tinderbox for Academic and Nonfiction Writers
Reply #20 - Sep 27th, 2012, 11:26am
 
My workflow is based on Skim and Goodreader for reading and annotation, DevonThink to store my pdf's and notes, Zotero for bibliographies, TBX for thinking through specific writing projects and Scrivener for the actual writing. It all works fairly well so far, but I would love some integration between TBX and Zotero. This could potentially change the way I work completely and allow me to use TBX more effectively.

The way I use TBX for a project is fairly simple. I keep meaning to get deeper into TBX functionality, and can see where it would help a lot, but I have yet to get any deeper into the mechanics of the thing. My TBX document includes a list of articles and within each container article I keep my notes. As I map out my ideas I replicate relevant notes and place them in a map, that way keeping links back to the article. Each note  then becomes quite a complex object which can be used with agents to look for patterns that I might have missed.

My approach is a work in progress, and certainly needs much more thought. But I do hope this contributes something to the discussion.
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