Using MindManager 8 for Task Planning

MindManager 8 has a new function for calculating the dates in a task map. You can add topics representing the tasks with their durations. Then link them with relationships to show the order of the tasks. Finally add a start or a finish date. MindManager will calculate the latest start or the earliest finish and the dates for all the tasks.

This map shows a plan for redecorating a boardroom. One of those with plush carpets, paintings on the walls and a large table which you wonder how it ever got in there. No mini bar these days.

The project is partially completed. The tasks in pink are late and the Empty the Room summary task is in yellow because it is at risk of not completing on time.

Resources i.e task owners can be added as well but I have left them out to make the map less cluttered.

If you want to see this as a timeline you will need to use one of the following:

  • MindManager Add In JCVGantt Pro 3
  • Export it to MS Project
  • Export to MPX and import to any project planning tool
  • Finally the Sync with Microsoft Outlook tool and use the Task Timeline view in Outlook.

The first part of my Guide to using MindManager and JCVGantt is valid for setting up a working project plan in MindManager using this new functionality.

If you want to do what ifs on your plan, I suggest you save a copy of the plan with tasks, durations and relationships before you add any dates. After you add a date MindManager calculates and fixes all the dates. If you increase a task duration, the finish date extends but if you reduce a duration or parallel some tasks, the finish date is not brought forward.

My conclusions about this tool are that it will be useful for simple projects, the one shown is probably at the limit. After that any changes which shorten the plan will not be recalculated and the value of this functionality is negated. Of course many projects add tasks and the tasks take longer.

About Andrew Wilcox

Andrew is an experienced user of MindManager who shares his knowledge and advice for free here. And provides commercial training and consulting on how to exploit MindManager and other mind mapping software applications in business, organisations and for individuals at Cabre For more information about Andrew please visit his Google + profile.

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