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Tinderbox Reviews

25 June 2020

Store and organize your notes, ideas, and plans.

4
abelberidze
04 June 2018
Version: 7.5.1

Most helpful

Good app.Simple and convenient. I recommend
(2)

How would you rate Tinderbox app?

Read 42 Tinderbox User Reviews

4
abelberidze
04 June 2018
Version: 7.5.1
Good app.Simple and convenient. I recommend
(2)
5
jackdean09
24 November 2017
Version: 7.3.1
Great tool! Recently purchase and it's been a complete star helping keep my notes and documents neat, tidy, and organised. Would highly recommend. Worth the cost!
(2)
5
Haevuus
23 November 2017
Version: 7.3.0
This app is steep, deep and relentlessly powerful. If your task is to turn diverse ideas and random thoughts into cohesive instruction or persuasive rhetoric, this is your tool! Don't let its storied steep learning curve put you off — you can immediately start at the top level to harness its inherent power and later bring in the heavier tools as you press the pedal down further with each use.

If it's your lot to assemble little bits of rock and packets of dust into some sort of linguistic classical statuary this tool should be in your pouch!
(6)
4
Bjornar-Rendalsvik
01 September 2017
Version: 7.2.0
I have been eyeing this software for many years. About a year ago I decided to finally include it in my workflow as a designer and engineer in the audiovisual industry. Now, a year later, having completed my biggest project to date in my career, I can honestly say that I will never again be without this wonderful tool. I have managed meetings, construction and project planning in addition to gaining insight using agents on all data accumulated over the past year that has all been added to this software. It does take some effort to get to get to a level where one might feel a real benefit from it, but in my opinion that effort has paid off. For me, my employer and most of all, my clients. Give it a try, you just might find it useful.
(4)
4
Mistersquid
25 December 2016
Version: 6.6.5
Tinderbox 6.6.5 is full-featured and again stable, which stability allows it to reclaim its ability to empower its users to create, visualize, and transform data of arbitrary complexity (within reason).

There was definitely a rough patch between version 5 and early 6.x versions, but this patch has been smoothed. As a result the wisdom of rearchitecting the windowing UX mechanics is also proved.

Exports and templating is still a somewhat confusing affair, but it is stable and experiment tolerant. I still wish external files could be specified as templates since Tinderbox 6.x is not a strong programmer's text editor. It is a good for authoring moderately complex styled text, and its ability to include inline images with OS-level affordances such as image markup is a welcome improvement.

This is software for your mind and, once again, its quality and feature set make using Tinderbox an exciting and rewarding adventure.
(2)
5
yew-koon-ow
20 May 2015
Version: 6.2.1
Invaluable tool to digest, map out, and process textual information. The main reason i stick to the mac, actually.
(2)
Tim27
19 April 2015
Version: 6.2.0
This app is really expensive for what it does. I downloaded the demo and you can do the same things with other apps, some of which are listed in the similar software section above. If you're going to pay this much for an app to store information, then you might as well buy FIleMaker Pro and build your own database because you'll spend about the same amount of time learning this app and setting it up the way you want.
(3)
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Ca
29 August 2014
Version: 6.0.3
Version 6.0.4 is out
(0)
5
Macott
09 July 2014
Version: 6.0.1
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.
(8)
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2
Mistersquid
29 June 2014
Version: 6.0.1
Current app (6.0.x) is not fit to purpose. As a long-time user of Tinderbox and material supporter of the beta effort, I am enormously disappointed in the quality and feature set of version 6.0, which feature set is in some ways regressive compared to version 5.x (e.g. external templates are not possible available in version 6.0, a feature I requested be re-included early in the beta development cycle). But this disappointed review is not about "I did not get the feature I wanted". Once version 6.0 became publicly available for purchase, I tested the software and in 30 minutes uncovered one crasher bug and a number of glitches, anomalous behavior, and poor functional interface design. Because I have neither time nor inclination to submit reports for the bugs (crasher or otherwise), I recommend you form an opinion of the software by using it yourself. May your experience be better than mine. I will re-rate and review this app once it is again stable. Until then, I will consider Tinderbox 6.0.x unusable and will continue with Tinderbox 5.x.
(3)
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sjk
14 December 2012
Version: 5.12.0
Changes in minor Tinderbox revisions aren't usually listed under WHAT'S NEW so here's where/how to find them: Tinderbox Forum - Where do I find Tinderbox release notes? http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/forum//YaBB.pl?num=1339719633
(2)
5
BananeQuantique
29 May 2012
Version: 5.11.0
I would describe Tinderbox as a monster truck for the mind. In Tinderbox you create notes (things with attributes, like a text, a color, a whatever) and it provides a set of tools for them. Although not very beautiful and suffering from some usability problems, it's the most powerful and open environment for information management. It allows you to progressively discover the structure of ideas and experiment with them. I make Tinderboxes for managing my to-do lists, writing my web site, taking notes at work, and I just regret it doesn't wash dishes for you. While not exactly a perfect program, notably because of crappy support for anything graphic or external scripting, among other things, it's still the closest thing to perfection. You learn to live with it. Plus, this artisanal software is made by only one guy who spent some decades researching about this kind of software. He obviously knows what he's doing. If it sounds interesting, try it, then either love or hate.
(6)
4.5
zuluwarrior
27 January 2012
Version: 5.10.0
I use Tinderbox as an outliner. It is the best outliner on the Mac, albeit a rather pricey one. But there is more, much much more. I peeked my head beyond the safety of the land of Outline View. Some of these other lands are knows as Map View and Timeline View. I've even seen dragons there. One day I'll doff my helmet and trusty view and do battle in these faraway lands.
(3)
4.5
Szeoli
06 May 2011
Version: 5.9.0
First of all, version 5.9 is much more than a maintenance fix and polishing, as it states under "What's New." Tinderbox is one of the more inspired programs you can use for managing your notes and information on a Mac. It's true that to harness all its power takes a steep learning curve, but you can get a great deal of use from Tinderbox using its most basic features. It's my go-to application when I have a problem that needs solving or if I have to make sense of a tangle of data.
(2)
4.5
Exegete77
06 May 2011
Version: 5.9.0
I have been using Tinderbox for five months. What a power house! I am only at the edges of what it can do, but I am growing more fond of it all the time. Along with the stability and value, this makes Tinderbox one of my first choices for most projects.
(2)
Notimetoulouse
20 January 2011
Version: 5.7.1
It's worth going over to Eastgate via the link below - Twig looks very promising, and there appears to be a 25% discount if you buy before release (which is probably why it's not been put up on MU yet). I'm still playing with the all the bells and whistles, but it has great functionality.
(0)
3.5
Zx81
11 December 2010
Version: 5.7.1
I've been trying to use Tinderbox for a few years, loved the cloud view and the capacity to create connections between texts, ideas, thoughts, notes ; but the learning curve is so steep (well, for me...) I tried to suggest Twig as a similar app but it does not seem to be present on MacUpdate. A pity, because the app looks very promising as a mixture betwween Tinderbox and Notational velocitiy!
(1)
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5
Tedg
10 September 2010
Version: 5.5.4
I would define Tinderbox as an integration of four things. - it is an outliner in the ordinary sense with tree structure. It is a particularly rich outliner compared to others, with clones and special tools. Each note is cleverly designed to have an open set of attributes and everything is an attribute: note location in the hierarchy, fonts, colors badges and so on. Most of these are changeable by the user or automated agents. Attributes provide a deep, consistent and easy way to work with outlines. - it is a typed link hypertext environment. You can make links, usually by simply dragging, among notes and text blocks. These links have a user-definable type system, which is about the closest you can get to a machine-understandable structure that reflects human cognitive constructs. This is a hyper-text or better, “meta-text” system. - it is a programming environment where the programs understand attributes and links and can act on those, changing some. A built in language, tailored for this is provided, and you can move to shell scripting for a greater capability if you wish. The native file format is XML, and you can manipulate that directly as well. Most attributes associated with notes can be modified. This programming power extends to Tinderbox publishing and export, making it the most powerful XML document producer I know. - it is a graphical environment for spatially presenting and creating concepts and their relationships. In this sense, it is more Mac-like (in terms of the System 9 Spatial Finder) than the Mac currently is. If you are limited to thinking about files with static tags, you will find this challenging. If you are looking for something strong in snipping and media management, look elsewhere for a complimentary application (I use EagleFiler). If you are not prepared to think seriously about you work and can improve how you work - and invest in growing as you tailor this tool, you will be better off using something simpler out of the box. The price is trivial if you use it and it enhances your creativity even a small amount. In my case, I am an order of magnitude beyond that threshold.
(14)
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3
Just-A-User
23 August 2010
Version: 5.5.4
be aware that they removed image support from 5.0 onwards. They say they will fix that, but seeing is believing. I payed for it some months ago when it still had (rudimentary) image support. Oh well, the "upgrades"/year are just $98,- and who knows, they might just add image support ...
(2)
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Anon-Bud
12 June 2010
Version: 5.5.2
I keep looking at this app - and have been doing so for a few years - but I just for the life of me cannot figure out what it has to offer over the many other - a quite a bit cheaper - graphing/mapping app out there. I use MindNode Pro for my graphing and, when I want something a bit more sophisticated, I go to Omnigraffle Pro. $229 for this is way too much.
(4)
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pandora-1
11 December 2009
Version: 5.0.0
Well, I can see that there are two types of Tinderbox users: Those who understand the accompanying screen grab and think it's easy as pie, and those who look at the screen grab and think WTF? I will admit to falling squarely in the latter category as my eyes are still going in circles after looking at that shot (which I'm sure means something to someone). [Note: please don't give me + or - as this is just a personal observation, not a commentary on the efficacy of the application or the genius [no sarcasm intended] of the developer. Mark Bernstein is truly gifted.]
(13)
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Lev
25 October 2009
Version: 4.7.1
SUMNERG, I think you may find that your concerns about both Unicode and Universal Binary are being addressed at this very moment... (No affiliation with the developers, merely a happy user with his ear close to the ground.)
(2)
Sumnerg
23 March 2009
Version: 4.6.1
Deep application by a responsive developer. Tinderbox can do many, many things for confirmed geeks as well as more casual users. Alas, no Unicode support, so you're out of luck if you want to work with Chinese, Japanese or many other languages. Also not a "universal" native Intel app; still runs under Rosetta with, some users report, less than optimal results.
(3)
F451
01 February 2008
Version: 4.1
Here are some basic notes of the new features in v4.1: Tinderbox 4.1 lets you - display even more information in maps and outlines - use agents and rules to move notes to new containers - work with dates before 1904 - send email to a specific Tinderbox container, and take actions when it arrives
(0)
Lev
20 November 2006
Version: 3.5.4
There seems to be a huge amount of misunderstanding about what Tinderbox actually _is_, partly because, to go beyond the basics (which are themselves pretty powerful) does indeed involve a steep learning curve... as in "learning". Like you have to do with any tool. And partly because Tinderbox is, in the end, more or less whatever you want it to be. Which is why it takes some learning. Personally, I can't understand why anyone would spring for a CAD/CAM system or Adobe InDesign. Why? Because I don't need them or use them. I do need and use Tinderbox. Its web features -- handy customizable blogging, for example -- are wasted on me. So I don't use them. But the rest, I _do_ use. Since I first ran across Tinderbox I've used it for two full-length books (and currently on a third) and lord knows how many articles, lectures, papers and what-have-you. The price question is economics 1.01. For the cost of Tinderbox, a commercial organization will buy approximately 20 minutes of my time. Given slack-time, prep. etc., TInderbox is probably representing a capital outlay of one hour of my time. It has saved me that hour time and again; most recently when I wanted to set up some reasonably complex bibliographic stuff. I could have spent an hour searching for off-the-peg software (though there isn't any); instead, I spent the hour in building it myself in Tinderbox. Job done, and fit for purpose. In other words, YMMV. Perhaps if people thought of Tbx as an _environment_ rather than a standard app., it might clarify things a bit. I know that about 70% of people I show it to say "Oy gottenyu" or something similar; but 20% say "Hell's teeth, that's EXACTLY what I need." (The other 10% say "Is that a Mac? There's no software for the Mac.")
(6)
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Ca
20 August 2006
Version: 3.5.4
The enigmatic release notes: The legacy date elements ^today, ^created, and ^lastModified have been slightly revised. ^created and ^lastModified take two arguments. The first argument is mandatory, and designates which note's date of creation is to be exported. The optional second argument designates a format string. ^created(whichNote[,format string]) ^today supports zero, one, or two arguments. It always exports the current date and time at the time of export; in the two-argument form, the note designator is ignored. ^today ^today(format string) ^today(which_note,format_string)
(0)
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Yoxi
29 June 2006
Version: 3.5.0
I'm sure this app isn't really $192 ??
(0)
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Maclover1-1
28 June 2006
Version: 3.5.0
Oh Yeah... with a screenshot like that you're not gonna scare anyone away.... DUH... I want things to simplify my brainpatterns, not tie them into a wiry-knot, how nerdy is one supposed to be... ok cool, it'll look like I'm in a Sci-Fi movie when my friends come over, and peak at my screen, they'll be tweaking LOL
(1)
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2.75
Ca
10 June 2006
Version: 3.0.6
Perplexed... I gave Tinderbox a try but the learning curve is way too steep. The interface is the worst I've ever seen (I'm sold to Cocoa and this Carbon ugliness, oh please!) and the "help" is a joke. Tinderbox was always between me and my ideas. I spent my time wondering "how could I do this?" That said I have nothing against it, it _is_ very powerful.
(2)
Lev
13 May 2006
Version: 3.0.6
If you don't like it, don't understand it, don't need it or can't afford it, don't buy it. It's not as if they are forcing your money out of your pocket. If you *do* have a use for it, then it's not a high price to pay. Or are you little people so angry because you've got used to something for, if not nothing, then very little? Cost/benefit analysis is the way to go, don't you think? Oh - and re "I[f] you did not have such a "Major" attitude and scheme I would have been more interested in your product"... see, if *you* did not have such an "Infantile" attitude, I would be more interested in your opinion. For the grown-ups here: Tinderbox is complex and powerful. I've yet to find something it couldn't do within it parameters of use. But, true, it's not for children. Thank goodness.
(1)
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4.25
Anonymous
11 November 2005
Version: 3.0.1
Tinderbox continues to get better. True, it's not for kiddies who need their hands held, but if you have information to organise and manipulate, and know what you want to achieve, it's 99:1 that Tinderbox will be able to do it. The combination of outlining, visual mapping, extreme user-configurability and intelligent HTML export are unmatched in any other application I've found. With Tinderbox in tandem with DevonThink Pro and Mellel, you have an information-gathering system which will take you seamlessly from research to planning to producing finished output which is simply second to none. The comments about the built-in Tutorial and manual have some basis in fact, but the online support (both the Wiki and the developer's response) is excellent. The problem is conceptual: if you have an app which can do more or less anything, an exhaustive manual would be inpossible to achieve. When you learn C++ or whatever, you wouldn't expect to then be told what sort of apps to code in it, would you? Same applies to Tinderbox. Think of it as an elegant and powerful language, not for coding but for thinking, and you'll start to get the point. Of course, if you don't know what you want to think *about*... well, then you will have problems.
(3)
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Anonymous
10 November 2005
Version: 3.0
Masterpiece of uglinesss. Come on, we have Devonthink or Notetaker, we have many notebook-apps to organize and "think", We don't need such carbon-crap.
(0)
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Anonymous
17 May 2005
Version: 2.4.1
Ugliest interface imaginable. Learning Curve is too steep to mount without a tutorial.
(0)
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Anonymous
08 March 2005
Version: 2.4
A very special program, but I am waiting for Tiger and metadata.
(0)
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4.25
Anonymous
05 December 2003
Version: 2.0
I truly like TinderBox, but there is a dire need for a serious handbook(s) and actual classroom courses. Why? The average individual will never get the full extent of all TinderBox's features even remotely mastered by reading what little information that comes or can be obtained through EastGate System. If you a Software Developer of a Computer Science major then you'll have no problem. Given those criteria being accommodated, then I can wholeheartedly recommend what is a very serious and in-depth program.
(0)
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3.5
Anonymous
05 October 2003
Version: 2.0
A very cool and deep program. It will take you weeks to explore all its hidden features and treasures. Geeks and software connoisseurs should buy Tinderbox in an instant. I'm not so sure, however, if it really enhances your productivity. It makes you think about the software all the time, not about the work you're trying to get done. While the idea of outlining and organizing things visually, by filling and grouping boxes, is close to genius and could theoretically make this app the most intuitive organizing and text composing tool ever, it is surprisingly unintuitive to use, with a geekiness factor so high that you either give up immediately or spend a lot of time learning how to use it. If you're patient and curious, you will be rewarded with an environment for organizing projects that is so rich and functional that you never want to leave it. But Tinderbox is clearly the work of someone who thinks with a programmer's brain and never even tried to step back and take the average user's perspective. It makes you wish that this highly talented individual would team up with people who have a better understanding about UI design and useability. Because the price is as steep as the learning curve, you should test it thoroughly and make sure that it perfectly suits your needs. Otherwise, it could well become one of these expensive hi-tech gadgets that look great at first sight but end up gathering dust in the attic.
(0)
Anonymous
12 September 2003
Version: 2.0
As good as everyone says. There is now a mainlinglist for Tinderbox: subscribe at http://lee-phillips.org/mailman/listinfo/tb_lee-phillips.org
(0)
Anonymous
30 July 2003
Version: 2.0
Funky, fun, and one day I MIGHT figure the bloody thing out!
(0)
4
Anonymous
14 February 2003
Version: 1.2.3
An amazingly useful tool. Can be used for everything from note-taking to personal database creation to website generation, or all of these at once. The interface has some rough edges, but that's because it is trying to deliver so much functionality that nobody has figured out how to package anywhere else. The major thing that needs work here -- apart from bug fixes -- is documentation. Tinderbox can do so many things so well that it requires its user to be a designer and figure out how to implement a Tinderbox solution to their problem. That's not to everyone's taste; some users want prepackaged solutions to common problems. Eastgate should package Tinderbox with a few hundred example files (right now it's just blog templates) and a good user manual -- then it will be a solution I can recommend to everyone who thinks on the computer.
(0)
4.25
Anonymous
14 February 2003
Version: 1.2.3
An amazing program. At first, it seems so simple and you can get started right away. Then, as you do more, it gets to be a puzzle. But push thru, and you emerge through the dark to find an elegant and useful tool. All software should be this deep and lovingly designed.
(0)
5
Anonymous
27 January 2003
Version: 1.2.2
"Tinderbox is, as I hope I've implied, an inspired piece of work. With its Web capabilities, outliner hierarchy, hyperlinks, lightweight database abilities, and snippet keeping, Tinderbox will surely have something to intrigue you. It's small, it's easy, it's fascinating, and it's cool. I strongly recommend that you download the demo and see for yourself. You may not understand the program fully at first, but keep experimenting; this is a powerful program with many uses, and the possibilities will start to dawn on you as you work with it." -- TidBits http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbart=06959
(0)
1.75
Zo
18 January 2003
Version: 1.2.2
Just too much stuff between me and my data.. . and a god-awful interface. Wish it worked. . .and surely it could, but at present it's too much like (shudder) Boswell. . .
(0)