It’s been a little while since I last updated this blog. I was going to mark my return to regular posting by reviewing some of the new features in the latest MindManager 2020 release, but first I’ve decided to take a small detour to describe some practical things you can do with most Windows versions of MindManager. In doing so I’m drawing on responses I’ve written (on a voluntary basis) to questions on the MindManager Community forum.
In this post I’ll describe a process to turn a list of links on a web page into a MindManager map. These could be lists of links to other pages on the same website, links to products on a commerce website, links to entries in online documentation, or links to references available online.
Why bother doing this when you can simply just hyperlink the page containing the links in a mind map? There are quite a few practical uses, the most obvious of which is to create a framework as a basis to add your own notes and comments, for example if you are conducting online research. This technique can also be used to produce a more concise summary of lengthy webpages with multiple links, especially as you can often edit out the site’s own text descriptions. You can even – with a bit of work – copy and map search engine results.
Finally, you use this approach to take a snapshot of the links on a web page and preserve them at a particular point in time. This advantage does however point to one limitation of this approach; the maps you produce with it are not dynamic. If the web page contents change, you will have to repeat the process to get the latest version.
MindManager and Word – a little secret
Mapping a webpage is surprisingly tricky to do in MindManager. Simply pasting the list in a map results in the links being pasted as the topic names; this looks fairly ugly and is relatively useless as the links are no longer active. You can try going via Excel and using MM2020’s new Excel import facility but this doesn’t seem able to import live links either.
I have developed a workaround, based in part on some of my earlier posts about extending MindManager’s Word import facility. A warning – the process is a bit technical, uses some undocumented aspects of MindManager and requires the use of MS Excel and Word (with the Send to MindManager add-in, which should have installed when you installed MindManager). You will also need a reasonable knowledge of Word, and a basic understanding of Excel.
I’ll demonstrate the process with a very simple example – the list of recent posts on the right-hand side of this blog page, as shown left below – and describe how to turn it into the map on the right.