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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.

Levels
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.

Search
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.

Edit

Rename
 Selected map not maps

Select All

Deselect All

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

View

Levels
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

Thumbnails
 Size adjust: Squeeze more maps into the window

Assign

Markers
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)
Note:
  • You now have duplicate data
  • It does not dynamically update
  • It is not the selected maps.

Use Background Images to size your maps

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

I have composed a map as the image for the Cabre Facebook Page. Facebook have some guidelines for this: What are the dimensions for my Page’s cover photo? . The cover photo will be displayed 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you submit something smaller: it will be stretched, something bigger and you will have to select part of the image. How do you compose a map in MindManager so it fits?

Here is my method which can be applied to situations where you require a map which will export to a specific image dimensions:

  1.  Facebook Page Cover 851x315Create a rectangle of 851 x 315 pixels with a light colour background in your image software.  Better still use the thickness of the rectangle’s line for the margin around your map.
  2. You also need to black out the area your Profile Image appears in the bottom left 230 x 125px.

    Click the image on the right and download it.

  3. Save this image to your Background Images folder. Set up a Package Folder for this if you haven’t got one.
  4. Create a new map > right click the background > Background >
    1. Assign image from library or
    2. Background Properties > Select Image
  5. In Background Properties select the Center Tile option, increase the Transparency if you wish.
  6. Return to the map view and you will now see the space you have to fill.
  7. Add floating topics at the top left and bottom right of the background image. I found these characters in the Wing Dings font set: Wing Ding Arrows Characters. Move the arrow tips until they touch the background image corner. You could also use a floating arrow image.
  8. Create your cover image with MindManager.
  9. Hide the background. Right click background > Background Properties > 100% transparency.
  10. Export the map image at 100% zoom. Tip: If there are no photos on the map: use PNG or GIF. With photos JPG. Don’t use BMP. You will get best resolution and minimum file size.
  11. Crop the image in your image editing software using the arrow points as the edges of the cropped image.
  12. You should now have an image 851 x 315 which you can upload to Facebook.

Download my Facebook image map template file. This has the background image and the floating topics.

This works similarly for Biggerplate cover images in the Trainer directory.  The image size seems to vary depending on browser and image size/

Biggerplate Cover Image BoldMindManager maps place the central topic in the center of the image which may not be where you want it. For the Biggerplate image I added an offset a rectangle above the required image area which “pushed” the central topic towards the top of the cropped image I then uploaded to Biggerplate.

If you have a better process please tell me.

 

Using drag and drop to create your view of a web site

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
  • WordPress links for CabreHave you ever lost your way navigating someone’s web site or even your own?
  • Do you need a better way of bookmarking the pages you use visit frequently?
  • Do you want to make notes about a page?
  • Do you need a mnemonic to help you remember a password?
  • Do you need to store a signature, some code or other piece of text you want to use on that web site?

MindManager can help you do this.

The key tool is using drag and drop to copy URLs and title text from a web page to the map.  Try it:

  • Drag the favicon next to the URL in the address bar on to your map. You will get a new topic with the meta tag title of the web page and a hyperlink.
  • Drag a menu item from a web page to your map and you get a similar result.
  • Drag any linked item on a web page to the map.
  • You can use this to add floating topics or insert a subtopic.
  • If drag onto a topic, just the link is added to the topic.

That’s how this map was created.

Now for something even more useful, the links on the map below of Cabre’s WordPress admin pages won’t work for you (except for the one bottom right to WooCommerce – Docs). But you can download this map WordPress Links for Cabre.mmap, use  Replace in MindManager to replace all the “http://www.cabre.co.uk/” with “http://www.yourwordpresssite.com/”  and this map will work with your WordPress site to. :) Make sure your have the hyperlinks box ticked in the Options section of the Replace pop up. ;)

This is a clickable image map export of the MindManager map. Use the scroll bars to view the map in detail.  Hover your mouse over the topics to see the links. My third tip on this blog is use the iFrame plugin for WordPress to display clickable image maps.

  • Upload the clickable map web export folder for your map to a web server.
  • Point the iFrame short code to the index.html file in the folder.
  • Edit the img src in the index.html file to point at the image file in the folder.
  • Edit any links to LinkedDocuments in the index.html file to point at the sub-folder you uploaded.

Add <i>scrolling=”yes”</i> to the short code parameters  to get the scroll bars.

Sharing Your Mindjet MindManager Maps with the Clickable Image Web Export

Friday, June 21st, 2013

A couple of days ago I posted my record of the first Visual Thinking Webinar on Conference Reaction.  I received a few how did you do that questions. This is an extended answer to those questions.

Sharing your MindManager Maps with the Clickable Image Export
Download Mindjet MindManager map of this blog Download Mindjet MindManager map of this blog Community is Essential to Building Brands - Record of presentation in mind maps Community is Essential to Building Brands - Record of presentation in mind maps ConferenceREACTION - Records and publshes events on the web ConferenceREACTION - Records and publshes events on the web http://www.cabre.co.uk/ http://www.cabre.co.uk/

To help search engines find this page and those with impaired vision to “read” the map.

The image map content is repeated below as a text outline in one or two columns.

Sharing your MindManager Maps with the Clickable Image Export


1. Map

1.1 Visible

1.1.1 Topics

1.1.2 Topic images

1.1.3 Markers

1.1.4 Relationships

1.1.5 Labels

1.1.6 Boundaries

1.1.7 Background Image

1.1.8 Linked files
See related topics and documents

1.1.9 Web links

1.1.10 Spreadsheets

1.1.11 Why are you still at work?

1.2 Not Functional

1.2.1 Outlook links

1.2.2 SharePoint links

1.2.3 Excel links

1.2.4 Alerts

1.3 Invisible

1.3.1 Notes

1.3.2 Attachments
See related topics and documents

1.4 Tips

1.4.1 Don’t overload the map

1.4.1.1 Use more than one map if you need to

1.4.2 Portrait or Landscape?

1.4.2.1 Right Map or Left & Right or Tree or Org Chart

1.4.3 Export to check the image size

1.4.3.1 If the height or width are larger than required see next tip(s)

1.4.4 Layout Adjustments

1.4.4.1 Use main topic handles to move topics into better positions to maximise width or height

1.4.4.2 Adjust topic length

1.4.4.3 Use line wrap Shift-Return

1.4.4.4 Image alignment

1.4.4.5 Use topic alignment

1.4.4.6 Consider thumbnails with links to higher resolution images

1.4.5 Notes

1.4.5.1 Convert to text or Word etc . and link the file to the topic

1.4.6 Multiple Topic Hyperlinks
See related topics and documents

1.4.6.1 Only first is linked in the export

1.4.7 Hyperlink Alt Text

1.4.7.1 Edit Hyperlink > Options > Link Text

1.4.7.2 Text for Google to find & index

1.5 Check

1.5.1 Mindjet Tasks


2. Export

2.1 Standard

2.1.1 Map Zoom factor (%)

2.1.1.1 Adjust to fit the shared environment

2.1.1.2 86% produces a readable image with default fonts

2.1.2 Include Map Background

2.1.2.1 Yes = large jpg

2.1.2.1.1 good for photos

2.1.2.2 No = small gif

2.1.3 Root Export File Name

2.1.3.1 Change from index.html to something-relevant.html

2.1.3.2 Change to *.php if you want to use php in a modified template

2.2 Modified

2.2.1 Header

2.2.2 Footer

2.2.3 Meta Tags

2.2.4 Map text as outline

2.2.5 Analytics

2.2.6 e.g.

2.2.6.1 Community is Essential to Building Brands


3. Sharing

3.1 Local Network

3.1.1 Share folder & html file name

3.1.1.1 X:\MyExports\index.html

3.2 Web Folder

3.2.1 Upload folders to the server

3.2.2 Share the URL of the html file

3.2.2.1 http:\\y.com\ex\index.html

3.3 WordPress

3.3.1 Upload the image

3.3.1.1 WordPress Media

3.3.1.2 Any online store

3.3.2 Upload the linked Documents folder and files

3.3.3 Paste the html.txt file into a page or post

3.3.4 Edit the image URL

3.3.5 Edit the Linked Documents URL

3.3.6 Check it works

3.4 Tips

3.4.1 Use several maps on one page
See related topics and documents

3.4.1.1 Use one export as the master and paste sub map’s html in to the master html.

3.4.1.2 Remember to put all other files (image) and folders (linked documents) in the master folder.

Map Parts – Efficient and effective use of repeating topics

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Have you used Map Parts in Mindjet / MindManager for Windows? With just a little bit of effort you can be very efficient and effective when working with repeated use of topics.  The product comes with some useful ones: Days of the week, Ideas, Issues and Messages. Each Map Part has a parent topic and several sub topics.  When you click them they are added to the map at the selected topic.  They are very useful in meetings. Someone makes a suggestion, add a map part and start capturing the details within a defined structure.

Map Parts are easy to create.  Select the parent topic of the group you would like to be a Map Part and then click Add Selected Topic(s) in the Map Part pane. Your Map Part is now part of the library and can be added to any open map with a click.

I have two Map Parts I use frequently:

Map Part Virtual Boardroom

Virtual Boardroom

At a monthly meeting with a group of business friends we present an issue for discussion by the group.  I use the map part as a template for each person’s issue. As we progress around the table I add this map part for each issue. Then I use the topics as prompts for questions and recording the discussions.  At the end of the meeting it is easy to share the map as a whole or relevant sections to the person with the issue.

Signature MindManager Mindjet Map Part

Signature

I use this map part to add a floating topic to a map I am going to publish. It has a hyperlink back to my web site. I have other map parts with full contact details.Map Parts can have all the elements you use in a map. You could have a map part which contains attachments e.g. terms and conditions, office location map, feedback form, expenses spreadsheet.  You could have a map part which links to the parent maps in a project or process or the folder where the project documents are stored.

More Time Savers

There are more sophisticated map parts which will:

  • Search the web, Amazon or eBay for you and bring back the top X results.
  • Display the recent topics from an RSS feed
  • Add links to Files and or Folders on your PC

Set aside some time to see how you could use Map Parts to make you more effective and efficient with Mindjet MindManager.

 

Search friendly mind maps – Getting your maps in front of non-mind mappers

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

On Thursday I have a short presentation slot at Biggerplate Unplugged London  on “Search Friendly Mind Maps”. By which I mean maps that can be found by the internet search engines and be used to promote your business, organisation or passion. This blog is to prompt discussion prior to the event and an opportunity for you to improve my presentation by criticism and correction.  As my research focusses on the Mindjet world, I would also be interested to hear how valid my conclusions are for other mind mapping software vendors.

Search engines are looking for indexable text, so how can they see your map?

An image or Flash file on the web is indexed by its file name and the text in the meta tag “alt”. Some Flash files do present more meta text to the search engines but I have no evidence the map exports from e.g. Mindjet make use of this feature. Adding these images and Flash to a PDF file will not help.

Briefly Mindjet’s web exports convert a map into:

  • Outlines
  • Clickable Image Maps
  • Mini web sites where notes become web pages and the map is the navigation

The first and third produce text, and the second can have alt text on every link. These “maps” are visible to the search engines. However the HTML is archaic (developed 10+ years ago), the ability to add social tools e.g. Tweet this map, requires too much work compared to modern web publishing tools and coordinating more than one map into a multi-map web site is a pain.

There two significant map hosting sites for Mindjet maps Biggerplate and Maps for That. When a map is uploaded to Biggerplate, the main topics are extracted as keywords. You can add and subtract from this list. You can write a description but I doubt whether are many uploaders to Biggerplate that describe the full content of their map. Mindjet’s “Maps for That” does not have the keyword extraction.

For a couple of years I have been recording and publishing maps about presentations and speeches which are followed by the full text outline of the map. This has two benefits:

  • Visually impaired people or their text readers came read the map
  • and so can the search engines

And more recently I have published the maps within a WordPress website.

Last Wednesday I attended a presentation about “Mobile Apps” given by a software house in my home town. I mapped it and published it in ConferenceREACTION, Biggerplate and Maps for That. Yesterday I asked some friends in the UK, Canada and The Netherlands to search for the event using a generic search and a very specific search term. Here are the results:

Where do the linked pages appear in Google's Top 100 for a generic and a specific search term?
https://www.mapsforthat.com/map.php?m=3131 https://www.mapsforthat.com/map.php?m=3131 http://www.biggerplate.com/mindmaps/zdgvywFB/apps-matt-clarke-firstthing-at-firstoption-23-jan-2013 http://www.biggerplate.com/mindmaps/zdgvywFB/apps-matt-clarke-firstthing-at-firstoption-23-jan-2013 http://www.conferencereaction.co.uk/client-events/first-option/firstthing-apps-an-overview-by-matt-clarke/ http://www.conferencereaction.co.uk/client-events/first-option/firstthing-apps-an-overview-by-matt-clarke/ Cabre - MindManager Training and Consultancy Cabre - MindManager Training and Consultancy

It’s surprising that ConferenceREACTION is in the top ten for the generic terms! If you want your maps to be seen by people who don’t use the catalogues i.e. the non-software mind mappers, then perhaps you need to post them on other sites. Obviously and unfortunately text is important. If you want your maps to be found (and maybe understood) I believe they need to be fully described.

What is your experience and your suggestions for making maps appear more frequently in search results for the non-mind mappers you want to see them?

Okay map pickers, an update on the Top 100 for “matt clarke firstthing apps” 4 Feb 2013

The UK chart: Google.co.uk

  • ConferenceREACTION remains at No. 1
  • Biggerplate are creeping up at No. 25
  • BUT the new entry at No. 2 is MindMeister (the map was only posted on 30 Jan)
  • Maps for That are not in the top 100

The US chart: Google.com

  • ConferenceREACTION remains at No. 1
  • A repeat new entry at No. 2 is MindMeister (the map was only posted on 30 Jan)
  • Biggerplate are hanging back at No. 44
  • Maps for That are not in the top 100

The Mindjet Map part for Google searches chart: which I presume is via Google.com

  • ConferenceREACTION is at No. 1 and 2
  • Biggerplate are straight in at No. 3
  • MindMeister and Maps for That are not in the top 65 (the maximum Mindjet Google map part will report on)

Tips for collaborating with Mindjet applications

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

I have recently tried using Mindjet’s applications on a variety of devices in the hands of different people. It was a frustrating and disappointing experience. Some of this is due to my lack of knowledge of how the systems function. Some of it is due to Mindjet not meeting my expectation of a transparent and integrated collaborative working environment! Please feel free to add your tips in the comments. Here are my first ones:

  1. The iOS apps on iPad and iPhone are check in/check out editors. Mindjet Windows, Mac and Web do support simultaneous co-editing.  The implications are that when an iOS app opens a map in Mindjet Files, all other users lose the right to edit the master map. They may continue editing local cached copies and think they are doing useful work. But actually you need to stop because your edits will be difficult to incorporate in the master map when it is checked in from the iOS device. You will be offered this latest version to overwrite your cached version. And you can do the reverse, overwrite the latest version from the iOS device with your cached version. This will annoy the guy who finished editing on the iPad because their edits will be lost.
  2. On the iOS app the number in the circle next to the refresh symbol indicates a change is waiting to be uploaded to the server. I have just stopped my iPhone because it was not synchronising, restarted and now the Synchronising indicator is in a wait loop. I have no idea which file has not been synchronised.
  3. At the moment neither of my iPad nor my iPhone can access the folder on Mindjet Files but Mindjet Windows is displaying and editing folders. I can move quickly through all the folders and files in Dropbox on the iOS devices and can load a map. Consider using Dropbox or similar if you do not need the simultaneous co-editing and you can agree a simple protocol with other collaborators for asynchronous editing of files. e.g. add their name to the file name whilst editing it and delete their name when finished.

What tips or questions do you have for collaborating with Mindjet’s portfolio of applications?

 

Will ink take off on Windows 8 Tablet PCs?

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Ink has been available on Tablet PCs since Windows XP Tablet PC edition in 2002. Mindjet released an ink version of MindManager in 2004.  I think this tool has been under exploited except perhaps by artists (see these galleries on ArtRage and DeviantArt) and delivery men taking your signature. Will Windows 8 revitalise this functionality for business applications?

I have my doubts. Have you seen any native ink applications for Windows 8? Is the ink “keyboard” a useful alternative to the touch screen keyboard? Why does it have to take up half the screen. It’s not optimised for the stylus users. I liked the smaller pop up inkboard that Windows used to have.

I have enjoyed using MindManager’s ink mode since it was first released in 2004. It’s a quiet way of recording a boardroom style meeting. Ink does not intrude in the same way as either a traditional or virtual keyboard. It’s a fluid way of building the map. As the meeting wanders around the agenda or a comment on one item becomes relevant to another, I can easily add subtopics in different locations on the map.  I think it’s a powerful and under developed tool. Mindjet having only made minor improvements to their ink tool set since its release?

Yesterday at a Business Scene event sponsored by Dell I had the opportunity to see their new Tablet PCs. Neither have Wacom (pressure sensitive and very precise stylus) screens but they are making good use of Windows 8.

The Windows 8 RT XPS™ 10 Tablet is a light weight iPad sized slate which plugs into a keyboard docking station. Reminiscent of the HP TC1000 & 1100 both of which I enjoyed using between 2004 and 2008. I still have three TC1100s in my draw, so I can send a squad of MindManager inkers to events. No RT version of Mindjet as yet, so no immediate use to me. It is a tempting piece of kit. It only weighs 635g compared to the 1470g of the keyboard less TC1100, is a lot more powerful, has two cameras and I bet the battery lasts a bit longer even if it isn’t replaceable.

The rotating screen Ultrabook™ XPS™ 12 which folds into a slate and runs Windows 8 Pro.  It is useful to me because I can run Mindjet Desktop in Ink mode using my finger or a capacitive stylus (yuk!). Will it replace my HP 2740p, not yet.  I want a Wacom screen please (well maybe I should give the new touch screens a trial.  My address is ……).
Back to the original problem with Windows 8 and Mindjet 11: From Windows XP through to Windows 7 the virtual keyboard and ink pad have lurked at the edge of the screen waiting to be used. Run MindManager full screen in Windows 8 and you will find it difficult to call up the virtual keyboard in slate mode. And when you do, it occupies half the screen. Have you found a way to get the old floating keyboard or similar on Windows 8?Have you seen any applications where ink is taking off on a Windows 8 Tablet PC or any other OS for that matter?

Creating a Table Plan with Mindjet or MindManager

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Last Saturday I hosted a dinner for 60 at the local golf club for the Alresford Pigs Association (a charity I am in my last few weeks of chairing.  We help people not pigs by the way.).  On Friday I created the table plan. Five tables of 8 and two of 10.

I knew I could do this with Mindjet 11 or earlier versions of MindManager. I used table 5 as the central topic but you could use the title. All the other tables and title are floating topics.  The arrangement of tables and the doors approximates the actual layout. All topics have an area around them that cannot be overlapped by other topics. You may have to compromise.

I had all the names in two Excel spreadsheet columns (first name, surname). These can be copy and pasted direct to the map and form topics whose text is “first name surname”.  I had already allocated names to tables in the spreadsheet but you could paste the whole set in the map and then drag and drop to tables.  Letters in names have been replaced by #.

On Saturday afternoon one couple cancelled on a table of 8. A table of 10 had a couple dragged to another table. Print to A3 paper or poster print. Table plan done.

Formatting tips:

  • The Main Topic Handles are hidden with View > Detail > Show/Hide
  • Line Style has been set to: No line
  • Main and Sub Topic Shape has been set to: No line

Dining Table Plan Example

Download Table Plan Example Mindjet Map

This project was completed with Mindjet 11 for Windows. It will work with all previous versions of MindManager for Windows, Mindjet Web and, Mindjet and MindManager for Mac. The iPad and Android versions do not support floating topics but you could use the standard map arrangement.

What were you using MindManager for over the Summer (or Winter)?

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

It’s been a while since I posted and that’s because it’s was the summer in England! Well it was rather a damp summer. It feels like my cricket games were evenly split between those that were called off the day before, those where we had a few overs and then ran for cover, and few matches which were completed in pleasant sunshine (I missed the 30 deg C game). Now it’s the first full week back in the office and I wondered what I (and you) had been using MindManager for over the holiday period?

 

There’s my quick list.  What did you use MindManager for in the last couple of months?