Archive for the ‘mindmanager’ Category

MindManager task management overview and relevant add ins

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Task Management Overview for MindManager - So many options and Add Ins

A client contacted me recently and asked for some guidance on how to manage his task list with MindManager. So I prepared an overview of the options in a MindManager map – Task Management Overview. It summarises what you can do with MindManager (Windows version mostly), Mindjet Tasks, Microsoft Office and Add Ins.

  • Desktop Alone
  • Desktop & Mindjet Tasks
  • Desktop & Outlook
  • Desktop & MS Project
  • Desktop & Excel
  • Addins – for Excel and “Getting Things Done

The overview doesn’t answer the client’s question it just shows the options from having a single map, through to interacting with Mindjet Tasks or Outlook, to exporting and importing from Excel and MS Project, to using add ins from the simple: My Things, to the complex: Results Manager.

The generic answer to managing your tasks (and other peoples tasks) successfully with MindManager is:

  1. Pick an option
  2. Define a process
  3. Stick to it for a week or a month
  4. Has it achieved your objectives?
    1. Yes – Repeat
    2. No – Why not? Look for an option that fills the gap
  5. Be prepared to compromise. The only software that will fully satisfy your requirements is one you write yourself! Commissioning someone else to write it is unlikely to satisfy you.  Admit you haven’t got the time or money to do that and make the best of what you can get off the shelf.

30 years ago I had a Commodore Pet which ran a chemical factories planned maintenance management system in Liverpool. It didn’t do things the way we “wanted” to but after a year even the most unionised technician on my staff was happy to have it on his bench.  It gave him a defined process, a database that was easy to edit, a range of reports and made his life easier. One of the options in the map will do it for you to.

Please download the MindManager map to see the details: Task Management Overview

An overview map of Facebook

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Have you become lost in Facebook? I have. So I started mapping it out. I have been using Facebook to advertise another venture and I needed to be more careful with my postings. This is the summary map. Click it to see the detail.

Facebook Overview Summary

Facebook Overview Summary

It’s work in progress. There is more to understand on the left hand side.

What is missing? What doesn’t make sense?

Stretch the edges of the Library panes to work faster

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

When selecting items from the Library you often have to scroll down to see all the choices of images, icons, background images and shapes available to you. Just stretch the viewing pane to see more. You can drag the top up and the left hand side out. The result is in most cases you can see all the items available in that group.

Just place your mouse on the pane edge and when the cursor changes to the double arrows and vertical lines, drag the edge in the required direction.

MindManager Screenshot adjusting image selection pane

MindManager Screenshot – Adjusting image selection pane

Recoverying your My Maps pane set up in a new install

Monday, June 30th, 2014
My Maps tab - folders and maps

I have been off air for a while. I have been busy on other projects and reinstalling Windows 8 after two years of operation.  It had slowed down to something less than a snail going in reverse up a steep hill.

My process was to make a disc image on a spare hard drive which could be plugged in later via a USB station. Then install Windows 8/8.1 from scratch followed by all the applications. That went well and I have been able to copy across files from the “old” drive. But what I forgot to do was to export the Registry specifically the HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU) section and even more particularly the MindManager keys.

Why would I want to do this? Because there are a few important personalised parts of your MindManager set up which are stored in the Registry. One of these is your My Maps pane set up of collections and folders. It is an easy process to import your old registry keys once they are in *.reg file.

My problem was how to open the old Registry. Here is the solution (I won’t bore you with the things that failed to work e.g. Trying to boot from the old USB drive – Windows wanted to do a repair first and failed to get this to work)

  • This is how to get access to your old HKCU – How to import the HKCU values of a different profile into your registry
  • This did it for me – reg.exe load HKLM\TempHive h:\users\Andrew\ntuser.dat
  • Which gave me access to
  • Export the key
  • Edit the registry file – replacing HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\TempHive\ with HKEY_CURRENT_USER\
  • Close MindManager
  • Import or double click the registry file
  • Open MindManager and my maps and folders are back as shown in the image!

Warning don’t dabble with the Registry unless you have backed up and created a restore point.

I wonder what other stuff I can now extract from my old MindManager keys?

The Power of Linked Maps in MindManager for Windows

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The Power of Linked Maps

The Power of Linked Maps

The Linked Maps view (was called Multimap View) in MindManager for Windows is powerful and often unknown feature of the application. It allows you to create a collection of maps which can be manipulated, shared, exported, printed and combined. Its a feature I have used to get overviews, to publish multiple maps in Word & Web form, to sort out bad links and print several maps in one go to a PDF or standard printer.

With suitably constructed dashboard, master or parent maps you can easily manipulate information and share it across projects and clients. For instance you may have a standard Terms and Conditions map. Link this to the collection of maps you have for a specific client and it can be included in every collection of maps sent to the client.  Please read on to find out how to use this feature.

1. Master Maps

Structured or not
It may be that you already have a set of linked maps that grown over time. The linked map view will display all the maps linked from the current map. It will not display maps which have a link going to the current map unless there is a link from the current map.
However you may be better off creating a new dashboard or map to link the maps in a coherent manner. Its easy to create a new linked map, see Link your maps below.

You can control the number of linked levels displayed in the Linked Maps view. Levels is equivalent to parent, child, grandchild which is 2 levels. Your maps may not be linked in an organigram like structure the Linked Maps view will just follow links from one map to the next.  If you can create a structure of levels e.g. Company, projects, phases it will help you later.

Markers and Tags
By adding markers: icons e.g. priority andtags e.g. departments, to both the dashboard map and other maps you will be able to perform some neat tricks later.

2. Linking your maps
There are a several ways to link your maps:

Use Send to new Linked Map
As the complexity of map grows it makes sense to sub divide the map. Right click the main topic and Send to new map to transfer all the sub-topics to a new map with a link from the parent topic to the new map and there will be a link from the central topic of the new map back to the parent.
As the map I use to manage my company grows, I have used this feature to create maps focused on Finance, Marketing, Sales etc.
Drag and drop maps from File Explorer on to a master map
Open File Explorer then drag and drop the maps on to your master map.
To remove the .mmap in the topic text use Replace (CTRL-H) “.mmap” with “” but make sure hyperlinks is not selected in the Options.

CTRL-K or Insert Hyperlink
You can link maps to topics with this process but you have to write the topic text as well as browsing for the map. Drag and drop is easier.

3. Linked Map View
Now open your highest level map and View ribbon > Linked Maps. The default one level of map thumbnails will be visible. Lets run through them.

Linked Maps
You can select individual maps or hold down CTRL to select multiple maps or Select All.

Send as eMail
 Packs all selected maps and linked documents in to one zip file and attaches to an email

Pack and Go
Just creates a zip file of the selected maps and any other files linked in them.

Quick Print
Prints all selected maps using their individual page setups.

Searches through the selected maps for text in topics and topic notes.

Web Export
Export the parent map to a folder and the sub-maps to sub-folders.


 Selected map not maps

Select All

Deselect All

 Refreshes previews to latest version (Someone else could be editing a Cloud map)


The number of links away from the parent. Take care, opening all levels, may overload some of the functions.

The map I use to manage Cabre’s business goes through the levels as follows:

1 level – 18 maps
2 levels – 105 maps
3 levels – 150 maps
All Levels – 210 maps

 Size adjust: Squeeze more maps into the window


Add a marker set to all the maps, Useful for
  • Adding Resources to all maps e.g. a new employee or collaborator
  • Adding a new marker to all maps
  • Removing unused markers from all maps

Map Themes
Rebrand the maps for:
  • A new project or client
  • Harmonise for a presentation

Web Templates
Apply the same web export template to all the maps. For similar reasons to Map Themes.

Combine All
Create a new map which combines all the maps at the current level. Use it to take a snapshot:
  • Save versions of it (Don’t forget Pack and Go)
  • Filter it: to create reports, overviews, task lists
  • Print it out for a meeting (Large format printer or poster print)
  • You now have duplicate data
  • It does not dynamically update
  • It is not the selected maps.

Preparing for a networking meeting

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Biggerplate Unplugged particularly

I am preparing for Biggerplate Unplugged on the 31st January in London. 70 people are going! Some I know well, some are acquaintances and some I have never met. The map below outlines how I prepare for such meetings. It’s a technique I have used for many years. It helps me to get the most out of the day. You can’t expect to meet everyone, you know you must meet some people, you know you must avoid others for good (you frequently interact with them) and bad reasons (you can work that out for yourselves). This is what I do.

Preparing for meetings with Mindjet Preparing for Meetings.mmap Preparing for Meetings.mmap

For those that like to read including Google etc.

Preparing your Meeting Map

Get the Attendee List

Copy the attendee list from the web page, Word, PDF etc.  Pasting it direct to a Mindjet work may work but quite often I go via Word or Excel to tidy things up and then paste to the map.  This blog about Converting tables in to MindManager maps may help.

Add Markers

Use markers to categorise people:

  • “New to you”
  • “Recent acquaintances”
  • “Old friends”

I rename the flag marker set for this purpose.

Identify your targets

  • Which “new to you” people do you want to meet?
  • Which “old friends” do you want to catch up with?
  • What’s your strategy for “old friends” you don’t want to spend time with?

I use Task Priorities for this.


  • Which “No Shows” do you need to follow-up with afterwards?
  • Maybe there are people attending via the web.

I use my participant marker set. Note I have edited one of the standard Mindjet icons to create a “no-show” marker.

Use the Index Tab

It’s on the right hand side of your screen. It displays groups of markers and lets you click to the indexed topic.  Use this to double-check that people are in the correct marker group.  It also gives an indication of quantity in each group.

Use Power Filter

Show high priority people you want to meet, the Priority ONES. Focus your pre-meeting research on them.

Add Content and Links

  • Add an e-mail link
  • Add their Outlook Contact
  • Web links
  • Twitter Stream
  • Notes
  • Questions for them
  • Further research action pre-meeting for you

For Biggerplate Unplugged in London you may find these maps which have been uploaded useful starters if you are attending:

I will publish a blog about creating, editing and managing map markers shortly.

Mindjet Applications 2010-2012 (Mastermind Specialist Subject)

Monday, September 24th, 2012

In order to explain to myself, my clients and those of you who follow this blog, I thought I would try to display in a mind map what has been happening over the last 2 years. Great preparation for appearing on the BBC’s Mastermind quiz show with the specialist subject “Mindjet Applications 2010-2012” (click Mastermind if you do not understand what I am alluding to).

Here is my first draft showing all the applications (tell me if I have missed something, please) and the routes for maps to flow between them. Click the map to see full size.

Mindjet Applications 2010 - 2012 with data flows: MindManager, Connect, Catalyst, Mac, Windows, iOS, SharePoint, Android, Cloud, Web, On-premise Server, Action, Connect SP, MindManager Explorer for SharePoint

And now with the relationships removed

Mindjet Applications 2010 to 2012 no data flows

And finally for today’s situation with the data flows back:

Mindjet Applications 2012 Mindjet 11 (was MindManager) info graphic showing how the mobile apps, cloud file server, desktop PC and Mac applications, browser client, SharePoint on-premise server share data (maps)

All very easily done from the same map using Power Filter and the Show/Hide functions to display relevant parts of the map.

Please download a copy of the Mindjet Applications 2012

Hope you find this useful.  Any comments will be very welcome.

A couple of Mindmanager 2012 to Mindjet 11 differences noted whilst doing this:

  • The Export Image on the Quick Access Toolbar is correct now (it used to show a PDF symbol!) 🙂
  • There is a warning that you have Filtered the map and are using Show/Hide in the bottom left hand corner of your screen.

MindManager for the Mac – A little question worthy of its own blog entry.

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Greg recently asked on another post:

“Hi, we are considering purchasing a mind mapping software package for a small group of people. However, we use Mac’s. The review on MindJet for the Mac is not very good, lots of bugs, etc. Do you know of a competitor to MindJet for the Mac AND that import/export data in the Mindjet format?

Thank you!”

Difficult for me to answer because I don’t keep up to date with all mind mapping software products. Particularly those on the Mac because I don’t have one. 🙁  So here is a bit of background and some hints.

MindManager Mac was first released in 2006 and was written from the ground up. It was not ported from the Windows version. This started life in the mid 90s. It still lacks many of the features found in the Windows version and Third Party Developers cannot produce add ins. It does have many features to integrate it with the Apple OS and applications.

When MindManager Windows users make that leap of faith to the Mac, they often install MindManager Windows in Parallels and run it alongside the Mac version, so they can continue to use the advanced functions they need. I would have to do this just to run the many (custom) web exports I use with MindManager Windows.  This raises a licensing issue.  You need two licenses one for Mac and one Windows and they are not transferable.  However I believe Mindjet Support do offer assistance in this area and occasionally Mindjet promote a Windows & Mac Combo.

As for bugs and problems, then the Mindjet Community is a good public list: MindManager V9. for Mac – Mindjet MindManager Community Topics.  I will let you distinguish between bugs, misunderstandings and “missing” functionality.

Are things going to improve in the near future?  Keep an eye on Mindjet’s Twitter stream for evidence of new versions and also the replies in MindManager V9. for Mac – Mindjet MindManager Community Topics.  A MindManager 9 Mac update was released in June and amongst many things provided MindJet Connect integration.  See the MindManager 9 Mac Release Notes.  When will MindManager  2012 Mac or equivalent appear? This comment in the Mindjet Community:  “When MM10 for Mac will Relise?” (sic) has the official response which I will summarise as “It’s commercially sensitive information which we don’t announce in advance”.  However based on recent product launches I would expect some blogs to start appearing on the Mindjet’s Conspire blog and they are not there yet.  Also Mindjet have offered free upgrades for licenses and upgrades purchased a few weeks before the release. Again this has not been announced.

Now to answer Greg’s question.  Do you know of a competitor to MindJet for the Mac AND that import/export data in the Mindjet format?

I don’t know of a Mac mind mapping software application that does this:

  • iMindMap 6 does have a MindManager File Import function but not Export. Don’t expect all the features and layout of the MindManager map to appear in the iMindMap version.
  • DropMind does not mention this feature on their web site
  • Vic Gee’s Master List has many more Mac applications

There are web based / cloud applications which do and can be used on the Mac:

The iPad has growing set of mind mapping applications and although not a solution to your desktop question iThoughtsHD imports and exports many different application’s file types.

If there are others hopefully this blog will attract more answers.

Based on what I know of other mind mapping applications on the Mac: if you need the functions in the MindManager Windows version run it in Parallels.  When Mindjet Mac meets your requirements get it.  Otherwise go to the Cloud or another vendor.

Hyperlink or Attach that is the question?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Not quite as fundamental as to be or not to be but it is important to understand the difference.  The question was raised in another forum and I thought I would summarise my thoughts here.

Where are the files?

Hyperlinked files (and web pages) remain where they are on your hard drive, network drive or on the web.  Hyperlinks won’t work with USB memory sticks, SD cards and other portable memory devices if they are removed. Hyperlinks won’t work if the file name or folder is changed.

Attached files are copied from the original location, embedded in the MindManager file and there is no link to the original file.  They increase the file size.  Providing the MindManager file does not become corrupt, you will always be able to view and edit the files (assuming you have the file editor on the computer).  Temporary copies of Attached files are created in your temporary user folder when editing them.

How do I create a Hyperlink or Attachment?

Hyperlinking is simple, drag the file or folder from Windows File Explorer on to the map and either create a new topic or add it to an existing topic. You can also drag links from web pages and the browsers address field favicon.

Alternatively select a topic and use the toolbar tool or Ctrl-K to open the hyperlinking dialogue which gives you some additional options.

MindManager Hyperlink Tool

  • Existing File or Web Page to create a link to a file, folder or URL (could be a web page or file)
  • Topic in this map useful for related topics in large maps
  • New document create, save and link a file
  • Email Address and subject. This link will create a new email
  • Options has more fields for web exports and adding an arguement to a file e.g. to open it at a specific page
  • Relative or Absolute will be discussed further down.

MindManager Attachment dialogueAttaching a file can be achieved with drag and drop from Windows File Explorer, if you press and hold the Ctrl key, and then release the mouse when the file is postioned as a new topic only. You will be given the option to hyperlink or attach the file.

Alternatively select the topic, use the Attach tool or right click the topic or Ctrl-Shift-H to open the attach dialogue opposite. You can also create a new document.




What can I (not) Hyperlink or Attach?

Hyperlinking will work with anything on your computer you can open by double clicking in Windows File Explorer: files including executable ones and folders. These can be located on your local PC, portable, mapped network and WebDav drives.  Obviously the latter 3 drive types will not work if they are not present.  You can hyperlink to any URL which could be a web page or a file and includes FTP links.  If you can get at it in your browser, you can link to it.

Attaching works with files only. But you can zip a folder and attach it. Or convert a link to a shortcut file.  Again you are not limited to document files. Executable files can be attached. Perhaps you have batch file or a piece of shareware which can be used with other files attached to the map.  Attach them to a topic with a note about how to use them.

How many Hyperlinks or Attachments per topic?

As many as you like with MindManager 2012 (previously hyperlinks were limited to one per topic). If you drag another URL/file/folder on to a topic it will be added to the list of hyperlinks.

MindManager Hyperlink Multiple Dialogue

When you have one hyperlink on a topic, the file icon is displayed and one click will open that file. When you have more than one hyperlink, a link with a dropdown triangle is displayed. Clicking it opens the dialogue shown above.

Personally I prefer the single hyperlink per topic and using drag and drop to replace rather than add to the list.  I would like an option per map to choose whether to have single or multiple hyperlinks. Add your vote for this option in Mindjet Voice Multiple Hyperlinks – Please can I turn them off.

Clicking the Attachment icon on a topic opens this dialogue. You can add as many attachments as you require.  By clicking the files you can open them for editing.  You cannot add more attachments by dragging files to the topic.

MindManager Attachment Manage Dialogue

Where do I edit the documents?

You have a choice: A click on a hyperlink or attachment will open it in the MindManager editing pane with the toolbar for the document type. This works for Microsoft Office documents, web pages, PDFs and folders. If you hold the Ctrl key down whilst clicking or use the option in the dialogue you can open the web page or files in the default browser or application.

Absolute or Relative Hyperlinks?

It depends:

  • Relative hyperlinks are good for moving groups of maps, files and folders to a different computer or drive and the links will work in the new location.  For instance you could copy a group from your c: drive to a portable drive, connect the drive to someone elses computer which calls it the h: drive and the links will work.
  • Absolute hyperlinks are good for files which always remain in the same place and may be referenced by many maps. The contact list or the logo folder for instance. This may also be located on a server e.g. the company network drive n:

You need to think about what will happen to these links, if you give this map to someone else!

There is an escape route if the links do not work when the map is moved. Use Find and Replace > Options > Look in Hyperlinks to replace for example c: by h: or ../ by c:/mynewdrive/onthispc/

Hyperlink or Attach that was the Question?

Hopefully the above has helped you understand the technical differences between the two choices which will back up tmy observations on my original question.

It depends:

  • Hyperlinks
    • Are good for files other people are responsible for and editing
    • Will not increase your MindManager file size significantly
    • If a drive, file or folder name is changed the link is broken
    • If you use the File > Save & Send > Send using Email your hyperlinked files can be zipped up with the map
    • If you use the same file in more than one map


  • Attachments
    • Put all the data in one place. A portable project file.
    • Can only be edited by those with editing rights to the MindManager file
    • Will increase your MindManager file size significantly. You may exceed email and uploading limits
    • Can be used to save versions of the map with all the documents as they were at that time.
    • If you email or upload the map, all the attachments go with it in one file.
    • Make sure your map file is backed up. If its deleted or corrupted you will lose all the attached files as well.


Use both were appropriate. 🙂

Happy New Year



Mindjet MindManager 9 Road Show – Manchester

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

My final Road Show of the tour.  Good choice for the venue Rachael, Manchester United’s boardroom.  Yes, we did get to see the football field and the red terraces.  Click the photo to see that those extra goalposts have a growing purpose.

Manchester United - Old Trafford Football Stadium
Twitter scored two goals this morning. Someone outside of the meeting spotted two of us twittering from within and told us . Which provided me with the ice breaker, “Mike Thomas (aka @thomasmike) please identify yourself”.  Secondly Pascal Venier (aka @pascalvenier) noticed halfway through the morning that we were a couple of miles away from him, so I invited him to join us and he jumped in a taxi. Good to meet you Pascal.

I had spoken on the phone to Peter Maddern (aka @speechem) a few years ago. It was good to meet him face to face and learn a bit more about speech recognition.  He took particular interest in using MindManager with a Tablet PC and posed the question “Can you use MindManager with a graphics tablet in ink mode?” The answer is yes and we worked out how the following day.  For Windows 7 go to Control Panel > Programs and Features and in the left hand colum click “Turn Windows features on or off”.  Tick the Tablet PC components.  This works with Wacom graphics tablets and maybe others.  Vista has something similar.  I can’t find any references to achieving in XP but I believe it was possible with some registry hacking.

Steven Bashford, Senior Product Manager, Mindjet, Germany took the main role for Mindjet.  He lead the group through the improvements and changes in MindManager 9.  He dwelt on the Gantt view, Outlook parts and Slide view giving the audience time to ask questions and dealing with their concerns.  He even told a joke but we all agreed it didn’t work and he should try it again tomorrow in Dublin.  Did it work, Steven?

Here is my map of Bill Creekbaum’s version of the same session “MindManager 9 Overview and Product Demonstration“. I mapped it in ink on MindManager with my Tablet PC, converted it to text, added styles, links and published it to the internet within an hour of Bill’s session ending.

James Hoggett of Contact and Code repeated his overview of SharePoint and MindManager Explorer for SharePoint from the Birmingham Road Show.  Must get that link to the free SharePoint server and look at the polling (survey) tool in SharePoint that James mentioned. James provided these links : The free version of SharePoint 2010 foundation is available for download here: Probably a better solution is to use the full SharePoint 2010 VHD (Virtual Hard Drive i.e. a SharePoint sever running virtually on your PC) that Microsoft have provided on a trial basis here:

There was some good news and some bad news during the morning.

Bad news: Outlook parts no longer track the contact, email, task or note if they are moved in Outlook e.g. to another folder. Pity, I enjoyed demonstrating that working in previous versions.  Mindjet have changed to a different process for linking/integrating with Outlook which is more reliable and uses less processor time.

Good news: I have nearly mastered the slide viewer.  Big tip: Do not include too much on a slide or open up topics with large numbers of sub topics e.g. a Google map part with 10 sub topics.  Create extra slides which focus on details.  I will publish the map I used for my presentation after I have tidied up and remove links to pages I don’t want you to access on my PC :).  In the mean time here is a Mindjet Player version I upload during one of my presentations “Turning Ideas into Accessible Information

Neutral news: The slide frame in the slide view is the same size as the paper selected in the Page Setup (Slides).  The default is likely to be A4. Some printers will give you more page sizes than others and even a custom size. It may be worth chaning your default printer and playing with different page sizes, if slides do not fill your screen.  May cause problems, if your last print job was to DL Envelopes!

Must get back to encouraging people to update to MindManager 9 prior to the 30th September  launch discount deadline.  Two orders arrived on the day of this Road Show, one via LinkedIn and the second via Ecademy.