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Last weekend was Tinderbox weekend in San Francisco, an annual event where users of Tinderbox software get together with Mark Bernstein of Eastgate, a Massachusetts company that sells cool and effective tools for hypertext, note-taking, clipping organization, and writing. In my opinion, Tinderbox is "Photoshop for Writers." Just as photographers and graphic designers may use Photoshop to perform just a few tasks for their images, they may not take the trouble to learn the many features the powerful Adobe product contains. Tinderbox is a superb note-taking tool, great for clipping info from the Internet, jotting down ideas, making outlines, and writing documents of any kind, with or without graphics. It can, however, do much, much more than that, and that is why Tinderbox users get together for Tinderbox weekends, to upgrade their skills with the program. I attended Tinderbox Weekend last year, and the result was this blog, Jonathan's Coffeeblog. Before then, I had not even given blogging serious consideration.
A theme which emerged in the meeting last weekend was refinement and focus of personal productivity, which has become crucial in a 21st Century economy with information overload and mass e-mailings. Merlin Mann, publisher of the 43 Folders website, gave a talk on his "trusted system" which keeps him focused and on-task. Frank Tansey showed us how to keep valuable documents organized and retrievable without having to pause to decide what folder category to put them in. Elin Sjursen, who works with Mark at Eastgate, gave us an overview (and detailed how-to construction hints) of Tekkalogue, a new weblog which complements Eastgate's famous subscription website TEKKA.
The theme within the theme was how to determine whether distracting activities (fiddling or what I have called "putzing") which can be very creative and lead to new skills and idea), or can just waste time and avoid getting the "important" stuff done. Aha! But what is important? You can use Tinderbox to clarify that for yourself. And clarify, and clarify, and clarify…| Technorati Tags: Tinderbox Productivity Writing Organization
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