Want help with mind mapping and using MindManager in your organisation?

As well as publishing the Sociamind blog which explores the many features and uses of mind mapping, Gooding Davies Consultancy (GDC) offers a range of consultancy services relating to mind mapping and in particular MindManager. Based near Sydney, GDC can provide assistance either online or in person (Greater Sydney metropolitan area, and other regions by arrangement).

Alex Gooding and Fiona Davies, the principals of GDC, have been using MindManager for over a decade. Alex is also a frequent contributor to the Mindjet Customer Community Forum, where with nearly 900 responses to queries by other users he has obtained “Champion” status. In addition to their mind mapping expertise, Alex and Fiona have extensive experience in research, strategic planning, project management and organisation development in both the public and private sectors.

If you would like professional advice on how mind mapping could help your organisation, have a general query about mind mapping programs or need training on the use of MindManager software – or if you want to find out more about our other professional services, please contact us.

Posted in GDC Promotion, Mind Mapping | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s new in MindManager 2019 1: SmartRules outsmart Power Filters – Update

Update: Unfortunately, in compiling and discussing the upgraded aspects of Power Filters and SmartRules in MindManager 2019 I left out one of the most important – the ability of SmartRules to write topic properties. This article which was originally posted in November 2018 and the accompanying table comparing the Power Filters and SmartRules feature sets have both been updated to recognise this. 

This feature is significant not only because it provides a way to write topic properties linked to other features such as tags and icons, but also because this allows MindManager formulas to be applied to these linked properties. In addition, the linking of Smart Rules to topic properties provides an indirect way of manipulating MindManager formulas to create the equivalent of Boolean conditional If-Then-Else statements, a facility lacking in the formulas themselves. I’ll explore these options in a future post.

I noted a year ago in reviewing MindManager 2018 that the range of graphic elements brought to the program since its purchase in 2016 reflected Corel’s design heritage and suggested that there could be more to come.

Corel’s makeover has continued with the release of MindManager 2019, which confirms the direction the company is taking with MindManager, adding graphical features and new ways to present information. I’ll describe some of the additional changes in MM2019 over the next few posts, starting with SmartRules.

SmartRules is a substantial development of Conditional Formatting which was introduced only a year ago in MM2018. The feature wasn’t that new even then – as I noted in my review of MM2018, it was really a reintroduction of the old Power Markers add-in which had largely disappeared when Mindjet acquired it several years earlier. Rebranded as Conditional Formatting, Power Markers was revived with an easy-to-use interface. Continue reading

Posted in Mind Mapping, MM2019, Viewing, Filtering and Formatting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s new in MindManager 2019 2: Tag along for the view

In the first post in this series on the new features in MindManager 2019 I discussed the Corel’s increasing emphasis on the graphical and visualisation elements in MindManager (MM), starting with the additional conditional formatting options in the revamped SmartRules feature. Another example is the addition in MM 2019 of two new ways of viewing maps, Tag View and Icon View.

Both allow users to see their maps not as a tree structure, but instead with topics organised into columns based on their tags or icons. In Tag View these can be general tags or those from any named tag group; MM 2019 comes with a group already created – Kanban, with three tags – To Do, Doing, and Done. If the tags are coloured the matching columns assume the same colour, as shown in the example below, while untagged topics are shown in a single Uncategorized column to the left.

Similarly, Icon View allows users to show topics in columns based on a number of icon groups. These include MM’s default icon groups – Priority, Progress, Flags, Arrows, Smileys and Single Icons – as well as any user-created special icon groups. There does not appear to be a way to colour icon columns.

MindManager’s new Tag View

Continue reading

Posted in Mind Mapping, MM2019, New Version Overviews, Viewing, Filtering and Formatting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MindManager Shortcuts: 6 –Import and Export Options (part 1: Microsoft Word)

As part of an occasional “series within a series” I’ll be looking at shortcuts to help manage MindManager’s relationships with other programs.

With a few significant exceptions MindManager (MM) does not provide a wealth of ways to exchange information with other software, but depending on the program involved there may be other import and export options provided by add-ins or which involve third-party programs.

I’ll examine four potential scenarios for MM’s relationship with each program, looking at whether any of the following options are available and which approach works best in terms of import and export, as well as any downsides. The options are:

  1. A built-in approach (either within MM itself or something it adds to the source or destination program).
  2. Simple copy and paste.
  3. Third-party or another external program.
  4. Direct two-way sync between MM and the other program.

In relation to the last option I won’t be considering Zapier at this stage. Zapier provides a wide range of options for establishing automated workflows between applications, including MindManager. Zapier’s premise is therefore somewhat different to the relationships I’ll be discussing here and it deserves a series of posts in its own right.

I’ll begin with the Microsoft suite of programs, partly because of their obvious significance but also because many other programs which do not have a direct import/export relationship with MM can open and write MS files.

In this first part I’ll examine MM’s relationship with Word. MM has always had the ability to work closely with MS Word, for obvious reasons; the ability to import a Word document to create a map and also to export a map to a Word document have always been key features. As a result of this relationship there are a number of alternative approaches for both importing and exporting Word files. Continue reading

Posted in Export, Import, Mind Mapping, Shortcut | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MindManager Shortcuts: 5 – Colouring topics by category

Colouring topics based on tags or icons is an effective way to visually categorise them in a complex mind map. However, while the ability to colour text tags has been added to MindManager, the program still does not provide direct automatic fill colouring of topics based on their tag or icon.

Some time ago I described a method for colouring topics based on their category by using Outlook as an intermediary. This was part of a process for integrating MindManager topics and Outlook tasks and applying a common colour-based category system between the two programs. This method still works but the conditional formatting feature introduced in MindManager 2018 has now provided an easier and more direct way to colour topics based on icons and tags without involving Outlook.

Even if you still want to maintain Outlook synchronisation, conditional formatting allows you to maintain topic colours independently in the two programs. You can continue to match Outlook’s category colours in MindManager, but you can also access a much wider palette than Outlook’s limited range.

Isn’t this approach overkill, given that you can add colours to text tags? Perhaps the best advantage is the ability to reduce visual clutter in a map by hiding the icons and tags themselves, while making it easy to recognise a topic’s category based on its colour. Continue reading

Posted in Mind Mapping, Shortcut, Viewing, Filtering and Formatting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MindManager Shortcuts: 4 – the power of Power Select

Most MindManager (MM) users are acquainted with the program’s Power Filter feature, which provides a facility to show, hide or (from MM2017 onwards) fade topics which match filter criteria. However, a lot of people overlook the Power Filter’s close cousin, Power Select – and even if they are aware of its existence they fail to recognise its usefulness.

Power Select dates back at least to version 7 of MindManager, but unlike the Power Filter which has its own icon on the Status Bar it remains comparatively hidden. Power Select does not even get its own spot on the default ribbon – it is found at the bottom of the drop-down menu in Select under Edit Topics on the Advanced tab.

Clicking on this brings up a dialogue box which is very similar to its Power Filter equivalent and operates the same way – in fact Power Select will remember the last set of criteria created in Power Filter, and vice versa. However, instead of showing (or fading or removing) topics which match the chosen criteria, Power Select merely highlights the matching topics – or the non-matching ones, depending on which option is chosen.

This may not seem that remarkable, but this facility brings some advantages. It is helpful sometimes to see and work with selected topics in the context of the whole map with all other topics being visible. Markers and formatting such as fill and font colours can also be applied to the selected topics and their effects more easily assessed if the rest of the map isn’t hidden. Continue reading

Posted in Mind Mapping, Shortcut, Viewing, Filtering and Formatting | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MindManager Shortcuts: 3 – filtering with conditional formatting UPDATED

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

Posted in Mind Mapping, Shortcut, Viewing, Filtering and Formatting | Tagged , | 6 Comments