Tinderbox Chronicles, part 6a – day book followup

Last November I posted an article about using Tinderbox as a day book. I haven’t been completely diligent about using the day book, mostly because I’m a tinkerer and continually try new methods and software. However, in recent weeks I’ve been using my day book more and more, so it feels like the right time for a quick update.

Dashboard Map View

A Map View shows my original Day Book “dashboard.” (Click for full size.)

Day Book in Tinderbox

My Day Book has slowly evolved to look like this. (Click for larger view.)

From the screen captures above, you can see how my Day Book has evolved. There is nothing new or innovative in the latest iteration in terms of Tinderboxology. I’ve just added pieces to the map as needed. In the upper left I have an adornment for corralling a container for each month of the current year. To the right of this I have a cluster of four elements, three containers and an agent:

  • Advanced Planning, which holds notes about 2013 and beyond
  • Undated Notes, inactive notes I want to keep, but which are not associated with a date
  • Archive, which currently holds a container with notes for 2011
  • The agent collects aliases of notes which are about contacts

In the top right I have another adornment where I keep notes relating to my healthcare providers. The healthcare provider notes get dated with my next appointment and marked as needing followup so they show up in my Alerts agent (the green box in the lower left — see the previous article about this topic for instructions on how to create such an agent).

Below the healthcare adornment, I have a couple of containers to hold notes about specific things I want to keep track of. One of these is where I dump ideas for writing projects, and the other (2012 MI Programs) relates to upcoming events at Mount Independence State Historic Site, where I help to run several events over the summer. I actually keep the calendar of events for the site in OmniOutliner Pro, because it produces a nice, easy to read PDF that I post to the Mount Independence web site, but it was easy to import that data into Tinderbox, so that I could keep notes about them. (The next step, which I have not yet tried is to start the note keeping for these events in Tinderbox first, then export to OminiOutliner.) The brown box in the lower half of the Day Book is an agent that finds notes marked as needing followup and relating to my work with the Mount. Some of these are meetings and other activities that are not events AT the Mount, so they can come from anywhere in the Day Book, which is why I need an agent for this, rather than just using the 2012 MI Programs container with notes events.

Finally, there is the lower right section of the map. This is kind of my play area. I put active notes that I’m not yet ready to date here. I have a container listing my favorite movies — I just add new notes to the container as movies I love occur to me.

So that’s the tour of my Day Book as it stands now. I haven’t added any whiz-bang functionality to it, but you can see how it is growing and adapting to my needs. This is one of the reasons I love Tinderbox. Nothing I have done here is very difficult. I’m not making use of any real arcane Tinderbox knowledge. Yet I can’t think of another application that would give me this kind flexibility to organize my daily note book.

The two biggest challenges for me are deciding when it is appropriate to use the Day Book for a note and when I should use another Tinderbox file (or another application altogether), and including my iPod Touch in the mix, especially for calendar-type information. When I figure this out, I’ll post my solution here.

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