I bought Tinderbox in 2011 after I had tried what seems like an endless list of other products that promised to achieve the goal of taking and organizing information. Circus Ponies’ notebook, OmniOutliner, Curio, DevonThink Pro to name a few. Some of them I used for more than a year before I finally decided that they wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do.
Tinderbox was the last I tried and it has stuck with me. It provides a way to organize my notes and make sense of them in a way that I have not been able to do with any other piece of software. I attribute that to the fact that Tinderbox provides an environment to work in that allows me to explore ideas and find connections in my notes besides providing a mechanism to jot information down for later retrieval. I’m mostly referring to the map view (which is my favorite for that type of activity). Being able to lay out notes in 2D space, attributing them (color, shape, subtitles, captions), badges and connecting them via links or simply through proximity or grouping in adornments is already extremely powerful, although that is only a small subset of Tinderbox' capabilities
There isn’t enough space here to review all the other features, or talk much about the ability to have “agents” or “smart adornments” search for and organize the data to provide a different view (no better way to find new connections by displaying the same information in a different way).
I have been using Tinderbox for my daily work journal, to design software, keep track of projects (Tinderbox allows to build a nice dashboard to display the metrics you need to know), online research of all kinds, etc. Some of my Tinderbox documents are pretty big, the largest holds >1600 notes, more than half a million words, with almost 50 agents searching through the data without Tinderbox breaking a sweat.
With version 6 it has made a big jump forward in providing a user friendly GUI. And different than the previous reviewer, I didn’t have a crash yet (I’m a daily user since the day version 6 was released).
Support by the developer is very good, response time measured in hours, and the forum is active and populated with helpful people.
The only negative I have to mention is that it takes a while to learn how to use the more powerful features, like writing export templates, or performing complex queries with agents. However, if you subscribe to the saying: "Easy things should be easy, hard things should be possible", you will be happy with Tinderbox.