June 25, 2006

Agents: Gathering The Important Stuff

Some people worry that they don't fully understand Tinderbox agents.

You don't need to understand them completely. Nobody understands them completely: this is research. You need to understand them well enough to use them, well enough to let them help you with your work. That's all.

One of the key roles for agents is simply to gather some notes that are especially important or urgent or need attention. For example:

Current: Done=false & DueDate<"today+1 week"

Overdue: Done=false & DueDate<"yesterday"

Agents like this let you keep your notes organized naturally -- by project, or location, or team assignment. The agent gathers copies of notes that fit its criteria. Open an outline window focused on that agent, and you've got a sorted, up-to-the-minute list of the items that demand attention.

Agents: Gathering The Important Stuff
Of course, this isn't just useful for project management or getting things done. If you're using Tinderbox for your research notes, you can track the hot topics or memes in your own reading. If you're using Tinderbox as a journal or diary, you can keep track of writing about the arts, or about your grandchildren or your cooking. If you're using Tinderbox to plan a book, your agents can track loose ends and unfinished chapters.

How do you use agents?