Summerfest Sale

Not another thing that’ll cost you money:smiley:

There’s a bunch of MPU regulars on this list, so if you’ve been wanting to try out something new and shiny, now might be the time. I’ve been kicking the tyres on DEVONThink, stretching out the trial until something like this came along…now it has.


Hi gang - are any of you serious users of Tinderbox. With the Summerfest Sale I find myself once again tempted by the idea of buying Tinderbox. I’ve downloaded the trial before but couldn’t wrap my head around why it might be better than a combination of other tools that I already own (Curio, Scrivener, Devonthink etc). I imagine that there is something really magical about it that keeps it’s fans ready to pay the rather steep annual upgrade fee. I’d be really interested if anyone can share why they think it is such a unique product.

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I can’t say why it is magical, but it sounds like a few years ago I went through what you’re going through. Tinderbox kept getting mentioned here and there, and I was really intrigued by it. Did a trial, then bought it, read up on it like crazy, and watched some videos. I tried forcing myself to use it, but my desire to open the app slowly decreased, and now I don’t use it. It is powerful, but was almost too much work to put into it, to get something out of it that was more than much simpler apps, such as mindmapping apps.


@Evan This is my exact fear. I’ll become so engrossed with setup I’ll have a tool looking for a problem to fix.

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After going through the manual and trial of Tinderbox, to justify the usage and adoption, I figured I will need a Field Guide for this. It has potential but right now, I don’t have that much time to invest in heavily customizing it. I saw some videos online but nothing really dived down deep into it.

I hope you don’t mind but I just created a sale tag, and added it to this post - some people might want an RSS feed of sales us MPUers find!

I think I bought DevonThink in a summer fest sale - which was a good deal! I’ve never used Tinderbox, though I keep evaluating it and it never seems to click to solve a problem for me. I’d love to hear how others are using it.

Bookends is also in this sale which is making me very tempted indeed!


I was just about creating the exact same post. I didn`t try Tinderbox yet and I don’t think I have the time to. But I would really like to understand what it is supposed to do. Especially, since the DT people recommend it as an companion to Devonthink. But what should it do that DT can’t?

@Evan You’ve confirmed my fears !

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Adding to my initial post, I should note that if there had been a Tinderbox iOS app, I might have had a bit more incentive to stick with it. Nowadays I so frequently move between platforms, that not having an iOS version of an app is almost a non-starter for me (I’ve carved out an exception for MarsEdit, which I love, but still find myself defaulting to Ulysses more often than not for my blog).

If I recall Tinderbox correctly, one feature I liked was the ability to have a mindmap with nested levels. Hard to explain, but let’s say you had a mindmap connecting several witnesses in a legal case. At the first level, you’d only see the connection between those witnesses. But you could double click on a particular witness, and that would drill down to almost a new map, showing some other aspect of that witness. It’s been a few years, but I seem to recall that is how it worked.


Tinderbox has to be the most frustrating and at the same time the most powerful way to analyze and understand data meta analysis. if you have got complex data that needs automated categorization, analysis and graphical representation, then tinderbox has no equivalent. But, it requires a great deal of time to dive deeper into its abilities.

Welcome to Sherwood
is a good place to start. The book, The Tinderbox Way provides a deeper insight into the vast ocean that is Tinderbox. The tinderbox forums is active with excellent contributions. Tinderbox itself has been around for a long time and is being actively developed.


That’s a really good point. Cross platform is also more likely to make an app stick for me. I have the great misfortune of working at a government institution that means a PC with Windows 7 only (yes, you read that correctly!). I have now gone the iMac at home, iPad at work route so using your logic, I suspect Tinderbox would give me serious buyer’s remorse. The nested mind map idea sounds intriguing though…

@NiranS From your description, Tinderbox sounds like what DTPO would be if we had more a graphical way of representing all the data chunks (and their connections) we throw in. Does that sound about right?

I don’t think I have such complex data in the first place.
That’s already a problem in DTPO: I usually just collect a few research articles on a specific topic I‘m writing about and then again on something completely different. So automatic sorting and such features don’t really work for me.

@caz I find that Devonthink is more like a storage of information. Tinderbox does not really work well as storage(for large files). Tinderbox is a tool for notes and and provides tools to understand and analyze notes. Interestingly, tinderbox can import from Devonthink.

@Niran I think I’m finally getting it - Tinderbox is pretty and powerful analysis software? I take it the Tinderbox alogirithms are more powerful than the DTPO analysis engine?

I (believe it or not for $240) bought a tinderbox licence at version 5. It is an amazing app, but it is just too expensive…He is expecting you to buy a $95 yearly fee on top of that.

I can’t justify that cost for it.

I can’t help feeling if he lowered the cost to comparable apps (? $49.99) his business would actually be more successful because more people will buy it.

I bought DevonThink Pro a few month ago on a Stack Social deal for <40$.

I now was able to get the -25% deal on the Upgrade to DevonThink Pro Office, which I think is a good deal.

Looking forward to the OCR features.

Tinderbox is one of those tough nuts to crack. It is an excellent place to think about a problem deeply. I had the same initial experience - incredible frustration at doing simple things. I turned away frustration for 12 years. But over the last year it has slowly stared to make sense. It is an incredibly powerful system whose functionality can’t really be replicated .Incremental iterative understanding is the only way to understand the beast.

How are you using Curio ? I had bought/upgraded the last few versions but I could not find a specific use case.

My mind is changing, about Tinderbox.
The ui hasn’t changed, but my thinking has. I think TB is best applied to a process one has that already works, rather than looking to it to fix the shortcomings of ones processes.