Very often, a single software application can't cover everything you need to complete a project. This is especially true in science, where researchers collect, organize, and process huge amounts of information.

One application our customers regularly mention is Eastgate's Tinderbox. They use DEVONthink for collection and organization, and then switch over to Tinderbox for creatively joining the pieces to form the groundwork for their research.

But why bore you with marketing speech when we can let one of our power-users talk?

I'm a neuroscientist, and our laboratory is focused on understanding brain mechanisms involved in perception, and how these mechanisms are affected during chronic pain or drug addiction. I have been attempting to perfect a personal 'knowledge base' for over 30 years, and I found it in the marriage of Tinderbox and DEVONthink Pro.

As an academic scientist, I need to keep track of rapid developments in several fields, as well as the ever changing associations between them. For example, I need to understand how findings from both basic and clinical research on chronic pain are related to research findings on drug addiction, brain structure, and brain development, and how all of these are impacted by the emergence of new experimental or analytical approaches. I navigate this web of information and associations by collating data in DEVONthink.

Here I 'dump' data in any conceivable format, including plain texts, PDFs, images, videos, or entire websites. If necessary, DEVONthink easily converts the data between these formats. The very powerful search tools allow me to rapidly find data and relationships between them, without spending time tagging or otherwise cataloging the information.

I then synthesize these data with Tinderbox, the most powerful and versatile 'note taking' application I know of. In Tinderbox I compose short notes that summarize a topic or a datum nugget found in my repository. The ability to create hyperlinks to the item in DEVONthink is key.

The Tinderbox notes I create on the fly, without pausing to consider their location in the document hierarchy. That Tinderbox emphasizes incremental organization (or, formalization) allows me to return later to the document to organize, link, and otherwise analyze the notes and their relationships.

Asaf Keller is professor for Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland, USA. The opinions and endorsements expressed here are those of the author, and do not represent those of the University of Maryland or its affiliates.

Sorry, this promotion is already over :-(