In my last post I described some work-arounds to cope with the recent and sudden demise of MindManager’s Google search map part, due to changes in the Google search API. The map part allowed users to undertake Google searches within MindManager (MM) and was particularly useful for researchers.
In light of Mindjet’s announcement that a replacement would not be available for at least another year I was trying to identify some alternative approaches – though none of the ones I suggested were as straightforward or effective as the original map part. Not being a programmer I also assumed that designing an add-in to replace it would be very complex.
Happily I was wrong. Nigel Goult from Olympic Limited took up the challenge and has created an add-in which effectively replicates the map part and adds some extra features. This is available in two flavours – as a stand-alone add-in called Google Search Plus and as part of the latest 2.3 version of MAP for MindManager – a handy collection of nearly 50 tools you can use with MM.
To quote the Olympic Limited website, “Google Search Plus for MindManager enables you to search Google and return search results directly into your active Map. There are also several user configurable options allowing you to tailor searches retrieve the results you are looking for.” According to the website these include:
- Utilize existing Google search syntax
- Select the number of search results to return (1-10)
- Restrict search periods to filter out older results
- Add search “snippets” and hyperlinks to the original page to Topic Text Notes
- Opt to have search results returned as a Topic for each result or a collection of Hyperlinks on one Map Topic
- Add a Text Label Map Marker containing the date the search results were returned to help find historic results from a given day
- See your Google Search API Quota balance before each search
You have to create and download a Google API Key and a Google Custom Search Engine Identifier before you first use either versions. This is a little tricky to do but the Olympic Limited site has detailed instructions and videos explaining the one-off process. There are some other minor limitations like a limit of 10 results per search and 100 searches a day, but these are minor issues.
If you do decide you want the web search facility it’s better value to go for the MAP add-in over the stand-alone one – even if you only use a handful of the other tools it’s well worth the extra.