Tinderbox is a professional-grade information-management tool for creating, organizing, using, and sharing notes--especially large or complex sets of data, whether you're composing a novel, drafting a presentation, or performing academic research. Tinderbox has a very visual interface that provides a lot of flexibility, giving you multiple options for viewing notes (in map, outline, chart, treemap, or explorer windows), which you can drag and drop into hierarchical "containers" along with various contextual properties and links. A powerful, open-ended system of "agents"--basically, persistent searches--scans your notes continuously, identifying patterns or attributes and then executing macro-like actions. Tinderbox also includes rich tools for searching and exporting notes in sophisticated ways.
What separates Tinderbox from less involved--and less expensive--organizational apps is its deep and elegant feature set and an almost kung-fu-like guiding philosophy. ("The Tinderbox Way" is available in hardback from the developer for $50.) Fortunately, new users will find that Tinderbox includes good basic documentation, and its devoted user base maintains an active forum and wiki. Unfortunately, the trial version of Tinderbox only lets users create 30 notes, arguably not enough to really get a feel for such a complex (and pricey) app.