Posts Tagged ‘book’

Tips for Topic Notes

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

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.

Topic Notes Menu Bar

  1. Use the Next and Previous notes buttons to check out the next paragraph or chapter of document.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The Format Painter was added a couple of versions ago.
  5. 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?

The MindManager Topic Notes Editor: Time for a big change?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The Topic Notes editor has remained virtually unchanged for a decade.  A format painter (copier) has been added in MindManager 2012 and way back in 2002 the ink tools were added.  Nothing else has happened.  I met Blaine Mathieu Chief Products Officer at the Mindjet Revolution Roadshow, a few days ago.  After a short discussion, he invited me to send him an email on this matter. Here are my thoughts and your chance to help me write that email to encourage Mindjet to be evolutionary and well as revolutionary!

I have used the Notes editor to create hundreds of web sites: the notes become web pages.  Until last week I used it to create the Cabre web site but I had to do too much post processing to include bits of HTML for videos etc. and had other issues around site management not to do with the Notes Edtor. I have switched to WordPress with MindManager content where required.   The ConferenceREACTION web site is currently produced with MindManager but will switch to WordPress soon.  It’s a pity because all the content is produced with MindManager.

With the Word export I use Topic Notes to create the paragraphs in “Introduction to MindManager” (to be transferred to new web site),  a 20 page  booklet with 50 plus images in it.  I started with Mindmanager X5 and I will updated it to the sixth edition 2012 shortly.

So why change?

It lacks:

  • Word wrapping: you have to use tables.
  • The tables are unstable when they get big (more than 5 rowsish) and if you use cell merge.
  • You cannot include HTML, only links. So no embedded videos, maps or other “gadgets” e.g. mail list capture, twitter streams etc.
  • You cannot resize large images to suitably sized images as you add them to the Notes (or Topics) thus preventing map bloat!
  • It is difficult to manage the formatting in the notes to get the correct format in Word. If you transfer the MindManager Topic Notes format to Word, you can’t (easily) use the Word Styles to manage the formating.

Please add to this list by commenting below.

What would I like to see

Three and half editors:

  1. Keep it simple i.e.the current one.  For simple note taking
  2. A Word editor which uses the style selected for the Word export. Perhaps it opens a Word window and saves the file as an attachment to the map visualised in the Notes pane.  you can support this idea in Mindjet’s User Voice – Editing Topic Notes with Word.
  3. An HTML editor. Something like the ScribeFire for Firefox.  It’s great for editing and storing frequently used HTML fragments.  With the option of using Micrsoft Expression?  You can support this idea in Mindjet’s User Voice – HTML Notes Editor 

3.5 An editor for creating WordPress content. That is one which creates clickable image maps and other content that can be directly exported to my WordPress blog(s). I will write about this seperately.  One respected internet commentator Graham Jones said in his newsletter last weekend: “In my view, though, there is only one way to go: WordPress.” Repeating my dream: Just imagine if Mindjet had developed the HTML editor they had in early versions of MindManager we would be using MindPress now!

 There, that’s this week’s rant (so far) off my desk (chest).  Please add your thoughts here and in Mindjet’s User Voice.

Writing books with MindManager

Friday, June 12th, 2009

It’s a very simple process assuming you are going to export the map to Microsoft Word.

The Central Topic is the Title.

The Main Topics are the level one headings.

The Sub Topics are the level two headings and so on.

The Notes are the paragraphs and or tables that appear after the headings. Use a Note on the Central Topic to produce a frontispiece for the book. Notes can contain images and tables. Use tables to create text columns and to align images and text on a page. Unfortunately there are not the image wrapping facilities that you get in Word. Use linked images if the image is still being edited or will be updated. Every time MindManager is opened the image will be updated in the Notes or you can refresh it (right click the image and refresh).

Relationships are cross references uni-directional or bi-directional if you have an arrowhead at both ends.

Many of the other items on a map will appear in the Word document: Icon markers, callout topics, review comments, text markers, task information (appears in a small table).

You can also include the map as a graphic below the title and insert a table of contents. You can control the numbering style and insert header and footer information. Finally you can choose a Word Template to use for the exported document. You might have one template for the printed book – A5 portrait double sided booklet and another for the eBook – A4 landscape 2 pages per sheet. For fiction book you can use the Word Template style to hide all but the chapter heading.

Floating topics do not appear in the exported document, so they can be useful places to write notes to yourself. Use View > Show/Hide to hide them before exporting if you do not want them to appear on the map graphic!

Use filtering to hide topics which are not finished or not required e.g. clauses in a quote before exporting.

This is how I produced my 20 page training manual “An Introduction to MindManager” The map on the cover of the booklet is the map that produces the book.



Only available from Cabre for £7.50

Now for the most important part of this blog. MindManager is a great tool for containing and publishing your book. It’s easy to reorganise, to write the parts of the book you have just had the inspiration for and to identify the completeness of sections with the task complete icons. However this is only one part of writing a book. I think you should have a map for many of the following (obviously some are not required for non-fiction):

  • Audience – Who is going to read it. What do they want to read. etc.
  • Research – The background, your sources, references etc.
  • Characters – Create a word and image map(s) which describe your characters and their relationships to other characters and the plot.
  • The Plot – What leads to what etc.
  • Writing process – Your plan for writing the book
  • The Publishing Plan – Who will do it. How will it be promoted. etc.
  • Finally – Why are you doing it? This could be a financial or philanthropic map!

You may like to suggest some more by adding a comment to this blog. If you have any experience of writing books with MindManager please tell me about them.

If you need any help with using MindManager to produce documents, please contact me.

The First Part of a Book Review – Time Management for Dummies

Monday, September 29th, 2008

time management for dummies hyperlinks links to applications and web pages mentioned in the textTen days ago I sat down with Clare Evans at the Guoman Tower Hotel. We have been living parallel lives on Ecademy occasionally interacting but never really getting to know much about each other. Now we have 90 minutes of face to face insights and I have volunteered to publish some maps of her new book Time Management for Dummies.

Its a comprehensive book covering a wide range of time management issues. There are a few helpful chapters focussed on home workers and small businesses. I recently exchanged messages with an ex-Lehman Brothers employee on Ecademy. More and more of us will be running our own business or at least considering our employed position as our personal business.

The book is full of useful tips “Focus on important tasks not just urgent ones” and processes such as the Wheel of Life, for improving your time management.

Here is the first map, the links mentioned in the book plus some extras. I am trialling the scary: Rescue Time, it records and graphs the web sites and applications you are using on your PC!

Time Management for Dummies – The Links

Using MindManager in the writing process

Friday, April 4th, 2008


Tom Evans uses mind mapping and MindManager to assist him in writing books. He is passing these applications of mapping to everyone in his blog particularly in these two articles:

If you do have a book inside you and we all do, then Tom is getting excellent testimonials. Friends who have attended his courses have been very positive.