Archive for the ‘branding’ Category

Templates, Styles and Map Markers in MindManager

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

MindManager comes with sets of Templates, Styles and Map Markers plus you can create your own.  When, where and how do you use them?  I will explain each of these in a detailed blog shortly.  First of all I would like to give you a quick overview.


Use these to start a map.  You cannot apply a template to a map once it is started but you can cut and paste of course.

Templates have structure and content e.g. the order of a meeting or a new client questionnaire. You fill them in to produce the map for that meeting or client.  They have a Style e.g. company branding and can have Topic Styles.  They have a set of Map Markers.  When you create a Template make sure the Style and Map Markers are appropriate for the purpose.

It is easy to create new Templates using the Save As Template. You can take a map from another source e.g. BiggerPlate or Mappio and convert it to a Template.  Mindjet have a Template Gallery.  Here is a Template for the Six Thinking Hats meeting process with a guide.

I will explain more about setting up a Template and storing them in my next blog.


Each map has a Style map contained in the same file.  The Style controls the default colours, line styles, shapes and many more attributes.  It can be applied to a map after it has been created and edited.

For instance you have a set of maps from previous project and the new project requires some different branding but the same content.  You can copy the maps and apply a new Style to them.  This only works if the old maps have used default Styles.  Whenever you change a font or a colour etc. on a map you override the default Style.  Applying a new Style will have no affect on that attribute (e.g. line colour) of that element of the map (e.g. sub topic) until you change it to the new default Style.  More about this later.

You only see the Style of a map when you look at Format Ribbon > Map Style > Modify.  Styles are universal at the same element type in a map i.e. all main topics have the same default style.  The colours for each stage of the Six Thinking Hats map is provided in a template or possibly a Topic Style.

Map Markers

These are groups of icons you can use to mark up topics. There are prority markers, flags, smileys, task info, arrows, single icons etc.  You can easily create your own text markers e.g. departments and it’s not that difficult to download or make new icons for use as map makers.  You could turn mug shots into avatars!  Map Markers are a fixed size, unlike images which can be scaled.  There are additional Map Markers in the Library.

There are sets of Map Markers for specific applications that come with MindManager e.g. Meeting and Finances. You can see them in Tools Ribbon > Map Marker Lists.  You can add lists to an exisiting map.  Any map markers not used on the map, in the original list will be lost.  You can create and save your own.  You can add a legend to a map.

Map Markers and some style elements are powerful ways to filter a map for viewing at a meeting e.g. focus on incomplete tasks or publishing e.g. a set of topics Tom is responsible for.

That was a quick overview. More details and examples to come for each of them.  Please ask some questions now. I will try to answer them in the next three blogs.

Using Background Images with MindManager

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

MindManager has the ability to include background images and colour. This can be used to brand and watermark your maps, to have a background image which is relevant to the map content or create a subtle and pleasing graphic effect. You need to experiment to get this right. A bad background can distract from the purpose of the map. You have seen people do it with PowerPoint beware of doing it to your maps.

The easiest to way to set these up is to right click the background of a map to reveal the Background settings. These include colour, image selection, transparency, a variety of tiling effects and access to a background image library.

A few tips:

  • In the Print > Page Setup, you can enable/disable the background from printing. Best to disable when you have single colour background. You will use a lot of ink and with some printers have a soggy sheet of paper! You can do this for PDFs as well.
  • The Paper set of background images can be used to give you a grid to line up your topics horizontally and vertically. You can turn it off before publishing.
  • You can have both an image and colour. Adjust image transparency to let the colour show through.

Chuck Frey has provided some more general advice in his blog: How to add visual dimension to your mind maps with a background image or color