In this the third in an occasional series of articles on MindManager shortcuts I’m describing how to use conditional formatting as a more user-friendly alternative to power filters. Many of these posts are based on solutions I’ve suggested in response to questions on the Mindjet community forum. In part 1 I described how to select topics by level, while in the last post I explored options to set up and use “secret” markers.
Update: When I was responding to some thoughtful comments on the original post I realised that I had forgotten to highlight the most important advantage of Conditional Formatting over the Power Filter: its much better handling of the distinction between filtering topics that match all the query criteria and filtering topics that match any of the search criteria. I have therefore rewritten and expanded this post with some examples. The table has been updated as well.
MindManager’s Power Filter is quite a powerful facility, giving users the ability to set up queries based on almost every aspect of a map. Multiple queries can also be created, saved and applied cumulatively, while the ability to fade filtered topics as well as to show and hide them is a great recent addition. However, power filters can be tricky to use and the feature’s interface does not make it easy to set up complex queries.
A prime example is the way in which the Power Filter handles the choice between “Any Element” – when you are looking for topics that meet any of the criteria, and “All Elements” –when you want to show only the topics that meet all criteria. You see these choices only on some tabs: the Markers tab in the Power Filters dialogue box where there is an Any marker/All marker choice, on the Text and Other Elements tab where the options are Any element/All elements and on the Properties tab where the choice is Any property/All properties.
However, these Any/All options apply only to the items within each tab. For example, if on the Markers tab you can select, for example, Priority 1 and another marker such as, say, a green flag and then choose either Any marker or All markers, the query will return the results you expect. On the other hand, if you select Priority 1 from the Markers tab and a Due date of today from the Task Info tab, the resulting query will show all tasks that suit either criteria, regardless of the Any marker/All markers setting. Continue reading
MindManager is a great program but it has its shortcomings; this is the second in an occasional series of articles on how to overcome some of these. Many of these posts are based on solutions I’ve suggested in response to questions on the Mindjet community forum. In part 1 I described how to select topics by level, while in this post I’m looking at how to set up and use “secret” markers.
MindManager has a wealth of features including a comprehensive set of icons, flags and markers which can be added to topics. It also provides a facility to hide these icons altogether while still making them available as filterable objects.
This is handy if you want to reduce visual clutter in a map, for example when you want to print it. However, it is an all-or-nothing feature which can’t be applied just to selected icons; they are either all visible or invisible (the same limitation also applies to text tags). This means that there is no opportunity to set up specific individual markers, or groups of markers, which can be hidden while others remain on show.
There are lots of ways in which a facility to set up selected “secret” markers would be useful. You might want to distinguish otherwise-unrelated special tasks that you want to keep an eye on without making this obvious, or your map may have topics which share a specific feature that needs to be recognised but which can be ignored most of the time. Secret markers can also be helpful as a way of marking topics in very large maps that you need to find quickly without adding to the map’s overall clutter.
Secret Marker Options
Fortunately there are a couple of ways to achieve this, based on a couple of lesser-known MM features which can be repurposed as secret markers – assuming that you aren’t planning on using these features for their original purpose: Continue reading
MindManager is an incredibly versatile and useful program but it has its shortcomings, so I thought I’d start an occasional series of articles on how to overcome some of these. Many of these posts are based on solutions I’ve suggested in response to questions on the Mindjet community forum. Welcome to the first in the series, on selecting topics by level.
One of the puzzling aspects of MindManager is the lack of any provision to select topics automatically at the same level across branches. Apart from Main Topics (which I will come to in moment), MM does not appear to offer an easy way to do this – or at least none that I can find.
MM obviously “knows” about its own topic levels – it automatically allocates the appropriate level whenever you add a topic or sub-topic. In addition it also matches the topic level to the relevant heading or paragraph style based on the template used when a map is exported to Word; this information is also available to third-party add-ins.
However MM does not extend this facility to end users, despite the many other selection options provided. Topic level selection is not provided as an option for filtering or searching, nor can it be used as a trigger in conditional formatting or as a range in formulas. The only “official” ways to select topics (besides Main Topics) at the same level manually are using the shift or control keys, or highlighting them with the mouse.
This is frustrating as there are many situations in which the ability to select by topic level throughout a map would be very useful, for example, if you want to quickly change the appearance of a whole layer of topics or to add an icon or tag to them. It would also be helpful to be able to specify topic levels in formulas, so that you could sum or average a numeric topic property at the same level across branches.
I don’t know why MindManager’s creators have made this so difficult, but I can suggest a couple of workarounds to make topic level selectable. The first one which applies only to Main Topics is more of a neglected command than a workaround, while the second can be easily applied at any topic level but requires the use of an add-in. Continue reading
While I would like to claim all the credit for the strong growth in the number of site visitors and page views for the Sociamind website in 2017 I suspect that part of the story is an increasing interest in MindManager itself, especially since the 2017 release.
There were 3,190 visitors to the website with 5,929 views, an increase of 21% and 31% respectively over the 2016 figures (2,630 and 4,516). Apart from the Home page, by far the most views were of two articles on the new dashboard map and HTML 5 export features in MM 2017. Geographically, over half the views came from the US, with the UK and Germany running a distant second and third respectively.
Whatever your reasons for visiting Sociamind and regardless of where you come from, I would like to thank all my Sociamind visitors for your continued support.
In addition to the new online map of Sociamind posts on MindManager, all articles relating to MindManager can now be accessed by category. Simply select Posts by Category from the main menu to access the drop-down list.
Almost all MindManager-related posts on Sociamind since early 2014 have been incorporated into a new map, available via the Sociamind menu or here.
The new map also demonstrates the Publish feature which has been further enhanced with the release of MM 2018. This allows users to publish fully-featured interactive mindmaps hosted on Mindjet’s own servers which are available on most browsers either via a link or embedding in the user’s browser.
The map has been organised into key themes and sub-themes with the MM version used in each original article shown in brackets. Click on the hyperlink icon next to any topic to access the relevant article. Please note that articles which discuss several key MindManager features may appear in the map more than once.
The map will be updated and amended over time to incorporate new articles as they are published. Please note however that the material in some articles may not be relevant to later versions of MindManager or the specific commands required may have changed from those described. For this reason no responsibility is taken for the accuracy of the information provided.
Like my previous post on how to show the degree that tasks in a MindManager project map are “On Track”, this article was prompted by a query on the MindManager Community Forum.
In this case the question was whether it is possible to highlight parent topics based on the specific attributes of sub-tasks; for example, whether any of these sub-tasks are yet to begin, if they are falling behind schedule or whether they have (or don’t have) other characteristics. The answer is a qualified yes – it is possible to show at the parent topic level if one or more of its sub-tasks meet certain criteria, but not how many sub-tasks are involved, nor which ones they are. However even this information can be very useful, especially when a map is collapsed so that individual tasks can’t be seen.
In the following example I’m going to demonstrate how to do this with the On-Track status I discussed in the last post. However, the technique can be used with a range of task information items (for example, progress) as well as with any topic properties created by the user. As with the previous article you will need MindManager 2018 and if you are intending to use On-Track status you will also need the MAP add-in from Olympic Limited and to have set up the On-Track formulae and extended properties using the techniques I described in the previous post. Continue reading