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.
I have just preparing a quote for an on-line training client. The quote is a MindManager map which is exported to Word. The process reminded me of few tips I could give you about using Topic Notes.
- Use the Next and Previous notes buttons to check out the next paragraph or chapter of document.
- Table tool is good for getting control over column width and placing images with text wrapping around it. These tables export to Word and the Web.
- When you add an image notice notice the Insert option at the bottom left of the file explorer view. Click it and you get the choice to Insert and Link. This means whenever you open, refresh or export a map the latest version of the image will be used. You can save snapshots of a spreadsheet or project plan when you update it. Then the image will be updated in the map.
- The Format Painter was added a couple of versions ago.
- These are tools for Tablet PC users. You can sketch in the ink section of the Topic Note and convert it to an image in the “text” note. Or write in ink and convert to text.
Do you have any tips for using Topic Notes?
Do you wish to share map(s) and linked documents with other people using the Cloud to manage a project, event, writing a report, developing a web site, etc.? Mindjet offer this possibility via Mindjet Web which stores both maps and files which can be linked. Is Dropbox a viable alternative?
Dropbox allows you to share files and folders via shared folders and your Public folder. You can share to non-Dropbox users and Dropbox account holders. Those with accounts will be able to edit shared files and add files to shared folders. How can you use this cloud store with Mindjet MindManager files? I investigated what happens when a map which has linked files and folders, attachments and URLs linking to files in my SkyDrive account is accessed by other users and the iPad.
I created a new folder (Publishing) in the local My Dropbox folder on my Windows PC. I created a map and saved it in this parent folder. I created some sub-folders and saved some existing documents there. Then I linked these by dragging and dropping from File Explorer to the map. I also added links to the folders. I added some attachments and hyperlinks to other files and web pages.
Then I shared the Publishing folder with another Dropbox account running on another PC. Once the folders and files had been synced to this PC’s My Dropbox folder everything worked as expected. The relative links (don’t use absolute) to files and folders opened, as did the hyperlinks to web pages and the attachments.
This will also work if you put the Publishing folder into your Public folder, share the link and the person you have shared the link with downloads all the folders and files in the structure to their PC. However this is a one off process. Their files will not be synced with any changes that are made by you to those files. They would have to repeat the download manually.
Both Dropbox (viewer only) and Skydrive (viewer and and editor) will open MS Office files via their browser pages (not via the local Dropbox application). This can accessed by a right click on the file in the local Dropbox folder. The url links on the map to the PowerPoints stored on SkyDrive open the presentations in a browser window.
There is an iOS Dropbox app and this can be accessed many other apps on the iPhone and iPad. What happened when I accessed this map from my iPad using Mindjet and iThoughtsHD? Both applications support access to Dropbox folders and other cloud file stores.
- The links to files and folders do not work
- The attachments are not accessible
- The links to files and folders do not work
- The last attached document in a topic is accessible. The second topic has two attachments but only one can be opened.
I cannot recommend sharing maps with document links and attachments via Dropbox on iOS.
I was using my Cabre’s Financial Administration map today to complete the annual return to Companies House which confirms who the directors , shareholders etc. are. It’s been online for several years and the fee even went down this year from £14 to £13!
As using the map made it very easy for me to complete and the original post about it was in 2008, I thought it might be worth reminding you of the benefit of using Mindjet for this. The process went like this:
- Received reminder email from Companies House. Click link to submission page.
- Open Cabre Finance Map > Companies House branch. Copy password, registration no. and authentication code to submission page.
- Complete submission. Paste submission number and payment reference on this years return branch.
- Use Outlook MindManager Add Ins to paste confirming emails on branch.
- Add a topic with date and topic alarm for next years submission.
I use similar processes for VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax, Insurance, Annual Accounts. All the web links, log in details and records of past transactions are on one map.
I just did this for a map I am working on and thought I would share it with you.
I have a map with Topics and Notes which creates the agenda for a meeting in Word. I am going to the meeting shortly and I wanted to have this agenda on a paper map for taking notes. Printing it would not show the notes. So I tried this:
- Right click the Notes icon on the Topic
- Copy or Cut the Note
- And Paste
Your Notes are now Subtopics.
You may find the free Opti Add In Topic2 Notes useful if you want to reverse the process.
Perhaps you have a tip for managing Notes. Why not share it as a comment?
Biggerplate Unplugged London took place on the 31 January. What have people been publishing about the event:
Mindjet 11 Ink mode is working well in Windows 8 but correcting the ink to text is painful when I am in slate format on my HP2740p Tablet PC. I can’t easily correct the text because the on screen keyboard does not pop up. I have found a solution.
In all previous Tablet PC versions of Windows (XP Tablet onwards) when I clicked on a text entry field with my pen the Tablet Input Panel icon appeared. I clicked it and entered text using either the onscreen keyboard or ink to text panel. In Windows 8 this is missing for legacy applications like Mindjet and MindManager. When I tap a field in a new Windows 8 apps, the half screen touch keyboard pops up but its too big for pen input. I can access the half screen keyboard in the old desktop apps by swiping in from the right hand side of the screen > Settings > Keyboard or by opening the old task bar and tapping the keyboard icon. This is a painfully slow process compared to the past.
After some searching on the internet I realised a solution. It’s a combination of the old – Wacom Tablet Driver and the new – On Screen Keyboard.
- Install this driver from Wacom Tablet PC – Enhanced Tablet Driver. I know it says Windows 7 and beta but its been working fine on my Windows 8 PC for several months. I had the pen button programed to be the Ctrl key.
- Open Control Panel
- Open Pen Tablet Properties
- Open the Button drop down menu
- Select Open/Run > Browse to C:\Windows\System32\osk.exe
- Change name if you wish to “On Screen Keyboard”
- Click OK.
- Go to a field, press the button on your pen and the small on-screen keyboard opens.
If I have missed an easier way to do this, please tell me?
If you know a way to pop up a small handwriting ink to text panel, I would pleased hear about it?
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:
- 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:
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)
My friend Henry Lewkowicz at Context Discovery has been working on the automatic extraction of knowledge summaries from a variety of sources including Wikis & Word docs and now Blogs. On the right hand side of this blog you will now see a BlogSummarizer widget. First select a keyword (they are automatically extracted from the blog) and then click Knowledge Map or Keyword Search.
Knowledge Map – A new window will open with a map whose central topic is the keyword and the branches are the secondary keywords. Keep on clicking to dive deeper.
Keyword Search – Shows a map of the blogs with that keyword. Click the plus sign at the end of each topic to reveal a blog summary. This allows you to quickly review the entries before visiting a specific blog by clicking Source.
The maps can be exported for you to continue your research in application which suits you.
The best thing is to select a keyword and give it a go.
I have already given Henry some feedback:
- Some of the primary keywords need hiding e.g. MindManager in the Applications of MindManager are redundant and the blog owner needs to be able to hide them.
- I think anything that is a link should be a consistent colour. Some are blue some are black. Don’t miss the black ones like I did!
What would you change or add or improve?
Visit these sites to try BlogSummarizer on your blog or WebSummarizer to get summaries of other web sites.