Tinderbox Chronicles, part 5

So, back to my project of creating a database for tracking my book collection as described in the previous post.

As with so many aspects of Tinderbox, there are many ways to get from point A to point B. I deleted the first import, but kept the Key Attribute “Collected” that I had created. I then went back to the original spreadsheet, added a column called “Collected,” filled each cell in the column with “no” — the spreadsheet dump into Tinderbox does not work if any of the cells is empty. Then I pasted the new four-column spreadsheet into my Tinderbox map and got exactly what I wanted. Each note now has “Collected” as a Key Attribute.

Tinderbox Note with Lakeside Press title

Before continuing, a little background about the Lakeside Classics. These are small, well-made little books published by the printing company R.R. Donnelley as a promotion. They have printed one title each year since 1903, each a first-person account relating to the settling of the United States. They don’t sell these titles, but give them as gifts to their customers. Every 25 titles they change the color of the binding. For instance, the cover was a dark green from 1903 to 1927.

So, one of the things I’d like to track in this database is the color of the titles. I created an agent for each of the five colors. Here’s what an agent-building dialog box looks like (this one sets the color to red for those titles that were published between 1928 and 1952):

Tinderbox Agent Dialog Box

And, of course, I would like to be able to visually identify those titles that I have added to my collection. I can do this a number of ways, but I have chosen to add a “Badge” to make this designation. Badge’s are little icons you can apply to the upper right corner of your notes in Map View, which also appear to the left of your note’s titles in the Outline View. I set up an agent to apply a Red Flag Badge to those notes where the “Collected” field is “True.”

After creating all the agents, this now what my database looks like in Map View:

Lakeside Classics as Displayed by Tinderbox

(Note: I have not yet marked all the titles in my collection, which is why the number of flags is a bit sparse.)

And here is how this looks in the Outline View with two columns made visible:

Lakeside Classics in a Tinderbox Outline

Because agents also capture alias copies (or clones) of the original notes, I can open an agent and quickly see a sub-set of my Lakeside Classic collection. For example, here is the list of blue-covered editions (1953 to 1977), with copies I own flagged:

Blue-covered Lakeside Classics

So, once again, after eschewing the more advanced features of Tinderbox, I have been able to create a remarkably useful database to organize my information. This is still the key message of these posts.

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