Replace Tinderbox with Scapple

Tinderbox has been very proud of its mapping features. That feature is indeed the main selling point of the application. But, I just realize, one  doesn’t  need to go through the pain of learning an application as complex as Tinderbox to gain these benefits. A little sister of Scrivener, Scapple can do it the mapping of ideas with the smallest fraction of cost; with the easiest pace of learning. It is also better than mind mapping applications mainly because it is portable (that is, you can just drag your notes to Scrivener), and the rigid outlining forced in the mind mapping applications doesn’t exist in Scapple. It is just free, a clean piece of paper. Write, connect in a way you want your ideas to flow.


Go and try it. You don’t have to worry about learning a complex, arcane piece of software to graph your ideas.



As for the views, xmind surpasses Tinderbox

Tinderbox is one of the best apps for organizing notes. One of the selling points of the application is its capability to display the same hierarchy of notes in different VIEWS. The map view helps one to visualize the relationship between the notes; the outline view is great for outlining and creating hierarchy between notes. The newly introduced Timeline view is another great view to display information on timeline basis. These different views of the app is one of its kind;   examples of elegantly designed and executed features.  I used to think that these views in TB are irreplaceable and non-existing in any other application until I discover xMind. I was surprised to discover that  xmind has even more views than tinderbox…about six of them. I specially find what they call the Fishbone view exceptionally wonderful for planning and scheduling my projects. The Matrix view (structure in xmind language) is another brilliant view to put spreadsheets inside your mindmaps.

The other advantage of the Views in xmind over the Tinderbox is the fact that different views can be combined in the same window. As you can see in the following map, you can have Maps, Logic charts, Matrix and Trees inside your Fishbone structure (view), and vise-versa.

  project plan in xmind combing Fishbone and Matrix structures
project plan in xmind combing Fishbone and Matrix structures

The gantt chart plus the  combined structures in the same windows make xmind one of the best applications to write project plans and any other kinds structured information on timeline basis.

I admit, Tinderbox is more advanced and sophisticated for storing and  organizing notes (information) that any mind mapping software can never closer. Tinderbox’s agents and attributes specially make the application super powerful to dig deeply buried information out of the dark and bring it into the light; to see the connections between ideas inside the cloud of notes.  But, it does so with big sacrifice; a huge learning curve, weeks and even moths of studying how to write commands (ONadds and Regex commands) while xmind does the job with just a few clicks of the mouse. For majority of us who want to get more work done than tinker with an arcane application, I think approaches taken in xmind, and the elegant views, are more practical than the  sophisticated tools of Tinderbox.

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