Posts Tagged ‘project management’

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

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


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.


My topics and comments in the Mindjet Community

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

One day I thought I would analyse what subjects I had been commenting on and initiating in the Mindjet Community.  I have dragged and dropped 120 of them on to this map.  Some repeat frequently e.g. about licenses on more than one PC or Mac. Many are unique. Some require a common answer e.g. a hyperlink to the Mindjet Download Archive and the Technical Support page.

I have grouped the threads. Publishing, Editing, Licensing and User Interface have the most threads.  But I have not attempted to answer many of the Mobile and Connect issues except where I have the same problem, they are for Mindjet to resolve.

Perhaps a quick review by you will spot a bug you have as well or maybe there is a solution to something that has blocked your use of Mindjet’s products.

I have published in three formats:

  • Immediately below – The Flash Viewer – which will probably take a while to load.
  • Then further down, you can download the map.
  • And finally a clickable text outline. Produced with a customised web export which you can scroll down (which means the search engines will know something about the threads I have been commenting on 🙂 )

Mindjet Community Topics Andrew Wilcox has commented on

1. Collaboration

1.1 Templates etc.

1.1.1 Sharing MapParts for more users in a bureau Network

1.1.2 Is the Package Folder function available in Mac and Connect

1.2 Sharing

1.2.1 Sharing and collaborating online (Connect vs Catalyst)

1.2.2 How do I share Mind Maps with attachments

1.3 Document Management

1.3.1 Lock down the map from copying

1.4 Connect

1.4.1 I have an account but no personal folder

1.4.2 Tips and tricks on using Connect with Evernote

1.4.3 Can I change the Connect task date format

1.4.4 Can you copy or move topics between maps

1.4.5 Why does Connect not offer a bulk export function for backups

2. Customisation

2.1 Map Markers

2.1.1 adding new icons to libraries

2.1.2 Add definition or description to a topic

2.1.3 Duplicate Tag Text not permitted in different Tag Groups

2.2 Background

2.2.1 How to add a logo

3. Editing

3.1 Formatting

3.1.1 Topic Balloon size formatting

3.1.2 Anybody use a virtual yellow sticky note mapping look

3.1.3 Being able to freeform move subtopics around

3.1.4 Is there a way to manually adjust the position of topics so they stay where you want them on a map

3.1.5 Aufzählungszeichen Bullets

3.1.6 Hiding tags

3.1.7 Wordwrap on topic boxes

3.2 Hyperlinks & Attachments

3.2.1 How do you get a hyperlink to appear in a new window

3.2.2 OneNote hyperlinking does not work

3.2.3 Rename Hyperlinks

3.3 Linked Maps

3.3.1 Single map view

3.3.2 can i create a new Linked map in a Linked map

3.3.3 Automatic update between linked main map and sub map

3.3.4 how do I import one mindmap into another

3.3.5 Linking Maps & Retaining Third Level Visibility & Gant Chart Functionality

3.3.6 Hyperlink lost after SaveAs

3.3.7 Is it possible to embed a mindmap

3.4 Connect

3.4.1 Text notes disappear

3.5 Topic Notes

3.5.1 MM2012 removes leading spaces in text notes

3.5.2 Problem during notes editing in Connect

3.5.3 Problem with encoding when map is based on a Word doc

3.6 Styles

3.6.1 Set boundary style as a default style

4. Files and Folders

4.1 Management

4.1.1 Importing directory hierarchy in version 12

4.1.2 Editing Windows folder names and hierarchies within MM maps

4.2 Importing

4.2.1 Not importing Word document correctly

4.3 Map Formats

4.3.1 Cannot open previous created maps in MindManager 2012

4.3.2 How do I open a .xmind file

4.3.3 Import from a mpp file (Ms Project)

4.3.4 Mindjet data files

4.3.5 Import Freemind maps

5. Grumpy Old Men

5.1 Poor Application Performance

5.1.1 Mindmanager.exe (2012) consumes 10%CPU when IDLE!

5.1.2 Mindmanager pen mode freezes after short use

5.1.3 Slow response time for everything inside a mmap

5.1.4 Start Menu Taskbar icon trouble

5.1.5 Password protected map opens without entering a password!

5.2 Web Sites

5.2.1 I can’t find the Technical Support form on the Mindjet web site via the menu

5.2.2 Why do you not Tweet the news of your partners

5.3 Mindjet’s relationship with others

5.3.1 Why do you not Tweet the news of your partners

6. Importing/Exporting

6.1 Excel

6.1.1 Importing map topic and sub-topics from Excel

6.2 File formats

6.2.1 Save Mindjet Mindmaps as .mm on Ipad

7. Knowledge Management

7.1 Connecting maps without clouds

8. Licensing and Downloads

8.1 Use

8.1.1 Is Floating License possible

8.1.2 About user licence.

8.1.3 Power of old license

8.1.4 Single user license and changing computers

8.1.5 MM8MM9 and MM2012 installed on the same computer

8.1.6 Old Mindmanager license not compatible with current download

8.1.7 I need to get our license key which I lost.

8.1.8 Safe to remove MindManager 9 and Project Jetpack after MindManager 2012 upgrade

8.1.9 License when running two operating systems (Windows 7, Windows 8) on the same computer Can I use the same license key

8.1.10 reinstalling Mind Manager X5 Pro

8.1.11 Install on second computer


8.2.1 Where can I download version 8

8.3 Connect

8.3.1 Can ́t buy Connect Business for 1 or 2 user

8.4 Mac or PC

8.4.1 Change the License to a Mac License

9. Mobile

9.1 Android

9.1.1 cannot see attachment in the existing map created using PC

9.1.2 How to open interactive pdf with Android device

9.1.3 How do I export from Mindjet Android to Mind Manager viewer

9.2 IPad

9.2.1 Down loading maps to my IPad

9.2.2 Problem with links on Mindjet for iPad

9.2.3 Problem with links on Mindjet for iPad

9.2.4 How to delete a (sub)topic

10. Project Planning & Task Management

10.1 Outlook

10.1.1 Outlook Sync of tasks how to avoid synchronizing e.g. color of category, priority,…

10.2 MS Project

10.2.1 Microsoft Project Dates Importing Incorrectly

10.2.2 Fix to fully export to MS Project

10.2.3 Import from a mpp file (Ms Project)

10.3 Connect

10.3.1 Can I change the Connect task date format

10.4 General

10.4.1 Todo list over sevaral mindmaps using database

10.4.2 Numbered, hierarchical WBS Structure

10.4.3 Tasks Assignment to Multiple People

10.4.4 The resources field

10.4.5 Can I change the Connect task date format

11. Publishing

11.1 Exporting

11.1.1 Embedding Attachments into Word or HTML Export

11.1.2 Multi-User Access

11.1.3 MM2012 export to excel

11.1.4 Make setting default values for Export settings easier to do

11.1.5 Exporting notes

11.2 Printing or PDF

11.2.1 How do I make my map bigger for printing purposes

11.2.2 export to PDF of a big map (500 Mo) never completed…

11.2.3 Export as mindjet player (PDF) error

11.2.4 PDF not displaying mindmap styles

11.2.5 export to PDF of a big map (500 Mo) never completed…

11.2.6 Export to Mindjet Viewer (PDF or SWF) does not fit to screen.

11.3 Presenting

11.3.1 power point presentation

11.3.2 slide management

11.4 Sending

11.4.1 MM2012 crashes when trying to send topic to word

12. User Interface

12.1 Templates

12.1.1 How do you get your most used map templates to the top of the list

12.2 Viewing

12.2.1 Bringing already open map to front instead of opening 2nd copy

12.2.2 Single map view

12.2.3 Auto Center Map on Click

12.2.4 How can I view a relationship in iOS if one end is collapsed

12.3 Restoring your Quick Access Toolbar Settings

12.3.1 Personal settings lost after Mind Manager update

12.3.2 Quick Access Toolbar

12.4 Customisation

12.4.1 Icons adding new icons to libraries

12.5 Keyboard Shortcuts

12.5.1 Task Pane Tabs & Shortcuts

12.5.2 Where are the keyboard shortcuts

12.6 Memory

12.6.1 Out of memory but not much open

13. Wish List

13.1 MindManager Windows

13.1.1 Linking Sub-topics possible

13.1.2 I would like to add an Outlook Distribution List to a map

13.1.3 Notes zoom to fill screen, rather than open panel, when in presentation mode

13.1.4 Aufzählungszeichen Bullets

13.1.5 Tips and tricks on using Connect with Evernote

13.1.6 Drawing lines freehand

13.1.7 Browser integration

13.1.8 MindJet for Writers

13.2 Vision

13.2.1 Insert Table function inside Notes on Vision

Managing your Project Portfolio with MindManager

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

In the early 90s, I was one of 4 project managers in a 50 person systems integrator.  I used MindManager to rapidly access the 10-20 projects I was responsible for.

I had a top level map with links to individual project maps on the RHS and links to general info on the LHS e.g. expenses, holidays, project manager’s weekly meeting minutes, the resource Microsoft Project plan for all projects.

Each project map linked to the project plan, requirements, project folder, active correspondence in Outlook, specifications, drawings, etc.

I used MindManager to map management of the project within the IT and quality system’s rules to suit myself. I  marked it up (priority, completeness), added actions and reminders, and structured it (i.e. most important project at the top, not ordered by project no.) to give me a state of play picture.

When I was  tapped on the shoulder, I could get to the relevant file to answer the bosses or engineer’s question in a few alt tabs (to get to MindManager if it was not the foreground program) and about three clicks.

I am still doing this today to run Cabre.

What techniques have you been using for a long time with MindManager?

Thanks to Chuck Frey for asking a question in the Yahoo MindManager Group which inspired this blog.

Information Mapping Across the Organisation

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Mindjet have a series of seminars titled “Information Mapping Across the Organisation” running in Europe over the next two weeks.  Scandinavia this week. The Netherlands and UK next week.

I am speaking at Lord’s and Old Trafford (the cricket grounds) in the UK.  I will be showing the audience some Customer Use Cases with MindManager featuring: Brainstorming, Strategy, Projects and Communication.  It would be great to meet you there. The events are free, in the morning from 08:30-12:30 and include breakfast.

In London: Paul Lawrence and John Barber from Mindjet will be speaking  plus Jim McNeil, The Ice Warrior! and me.
In Manchester: Hilary de Rover, John Barber and me.

If you have any special requests, make them below and I will see if I can weave them in to my 45 minutes.

Using Mind Mapping Software to Organise your Business – Wiki Maps

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Unfortunately MindManager does not have a Wiki facility but you can answer the question “Please give examples of how you use it in your business?” by adding comments to this blog.

If you have Mindomo or MindMeister accounts you will be able to edit the maps below. I will be using the maps as examples of collaboration in my presentation on Thursday entitled “Using Mind Mapping Software to Organise your Business” at Wired Wessex in Winchester, UK.

To edit click Mindomo icon top left

To edit click pencil icon bottom left

Grumpy Old MindManager User

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

MindManager 9 was released in August 2010. Some features from previous versions were omitted and people moaned including me. During this week I have missed three lost features again:

  • A working project planning tool like JCV Gantt.  See this discussion in the Mindjet Forum – Task Info operations’ behavior remain a mystery to me
  • Topic Alerts
  • Outlook Map Parts: I can use the MindManager 8 ones but frustratingly whilst opening an Outlook window for e.g. a task, it does not add the task to to the current topic.  You have to go to the Task window in Outlook, open the Add Ins Ribbon and then add the task to the map.  Made the mistake of demonstrating this to a client before Christmas thinking it was still working in MindManager 9! 🙁

Will Service Pack 2 wind the clock back and when will it appear?

What are you grumpy about?

p.s. I am also grumpy about:

  • Why some web sites bring Firefox to a grinding halt or was it the Skype Add Ins Manager.
  • Why Windows can’t remember the actual size of my extension monitor. It often uses an approximation of 1360 x 768 but it’s actually 1440 x 900.

MindManager and Tenders

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Thank you to Alex Gooding for this guest blog. He is a strategic planning, management and governance consultant based near Sydney, Australia. He uses MindManager in almost every facet of his business. See Gooding Davis

Click on the images to see them full size.

One of the things I really like about MindManager is its versatility. Not only can it be used for a wide variety of specific tasks, but these can also be combined to produce all sorts of different applications based on the program.

A good example of this is how MindManager can be used to assist in the somewhat arcane and dry process of analysing Request for Tender and Expressions of Interest documentation, preparing responses and, if you’re successful, managing the resulting project. Most people may have used MindManager to brainstorm a tender response or to manage a project when they’ve won the contract, but in this post I’d like to show you how to use MindManager in different ways throughout the whole process.

First you need to download the tender documentation. This will usually consist of a main tender document and a number of attachments, links etc. If you’re lucky, these will be available in Word format; if you’re very lucky they will be available in Word AND the person who put the documentation together will have used consistent heading styles.

However, most tender documents are likely to be PDFs, so you will have to convert them to Word; once you have done this (or if the documentation was already in Word but styles have not been used) you will need to go through the document and apply heading styles. This may not be as onerous as it sounds; most documents will at least rely on consistent formatting of headings and you may be able to use Word’s Find and Replace feature to search for the relevant formatting and replace with an appropriate heading style.

Convert the main tender document first, then check out the attachments. If these have additional requirements they will also need to be converted, but those attachments which just provide background information can be left as they are. Once this is done you can import the documentation into MindManager, starting with the main tender document; sections and sub-sections of the document should now be topics and subtopics in the map, with the text in each sub-section imported as topic or subtopic notes.

Repeat the process for the other tender documents. Unless these attachments are very complex, copy the resulting maps to the main topic map and attach them as branches in the appropriate places or paste as floating topics with relationship lines to the main map (the growth direction of the map does not matter at this stage, though I generally use a tree).

Then hyperlink or attach the tender documents themselves (including the documents with background information) to the map at the relevant topics. When it is completed this map will give you a much more structured view of the tender and is a great basis to analyse it thoroughly. It will also act as a repository and single access point for the original tender documentation (I’ve attached a simplified version based on an actual tender document).

Map 1 Tender Document Brief example

Review the material you have “captured” on the map carefully, checking with the original documents at the end of each section that everything has been imported properly. As you go through the map, mark topics based on the following two categories, using a separate marker (or topic colour if you wish) for each:

  • Tender response tasks: the activities involved in preparing the response to ensure it is compliant with the tender requirements;
  • Project tasks/deliverables: that is, what activities you will need to undertake and what outcomes you need to deliver to complete the project if your tender is successful.

In a well-structured tender document these requirements will be grouped appropriately but might fall into several different sections if the tender is complex. It is also surprising how many tenders are poorly structured, with the project tasks and response tasks mixed together and/or appearing at random places throughout the documentation. You will need to read carefully through all the documentation to ensure you have identified every potential task.

At this stage you are primarily sorting out the key activities, but you should also add an additional flag for those things which stand out as potentially significant issues or problem areas in either the tender response or the project itself. Add callouts to summarise each issue.

The next step is to create a new map (either a split tree or an org chart) with two branches, one for the tender response tasks and the other for the project tasks. Search for the marker or topic colour you used for tender response tasks and copy them to the relevant branch and then repeat the process for the project tasks (you can set up a separate map for each category but there are advantages to keeping them on one map at this stage).

One slight problem you might experience is that while numbered headings in the documentation should be reproduced in the topic numbering in the initial map, numbering of the topics selected for this second map are unlikely to match the original. If you need them, you may need to consider manually including the original number in brackets as part of the topic name. You should link this map as a two-way hyperlink with the original map of the tender and you may also want to link at least the major tasks back to the relevant sections of this map.

Map 2 Tender response example

You can now plan what you have to do, starting with the tender response tasks. Arrange these in a logical sequence and then plan the development of the response, looking at issues such as the resources you will need and the time frames required. You also need to think about what you will have to do to address the potential problems you identified earlier.

For each task, try to identify all the additional steps you will need to undertake to complete the work involved. For example, the tender might say, for example, “provide a fee schedule including hourly rates and all expenses “. You might want to add “Get Michael to prepare fee matrix” and “ask Karen to update mileage rates”, etc. Add these tasks as additional subtopics, callouts, task info, resources etc, but retain the topics you imported from the other map to provide the overall framework.

Repeat this process for the branch containing the tasks relating to the actual project. This will probably involve a bit more brainstorming than for the tender response tasks and you may find that as you develop your strategy for delivering the actual project, your approach to the tender response tasks may change (and vice versa). Obviously the map can also be circulated or made available through catalyst for others to contribute to this process.

This iterative process is the main reason for keeping both branches on the one map (see the example). However, when you have completed the development phase you may want to set up two, three or even four separate maps.

The first of these maps will be based on the tender response branch. This map is relatively straightforward; it is used to manage the process of developing the tender response documentation. This can be done directly through the map, by using the Gantt view or by exporting it to MS Project, Word etc.

The branch relating to the actual project tasks and deliverables is a little more complex. The next map will be drawn from this branch and will provide the basis for the documentation which forms your response to the tender. Use the headings as the framework to prepare this material to ensure you address all the tender tasks, following the same approach outlined above for the tender response branch.

While the content of this map will draw mainly from the project tasks and deliverables, it is likely to use elements from the tender response branch (for example, a requirement to attach copies of current insurance certificates). You can then export this map to Word for additional work before lodgement, thus reversing the process you started off with.

If you need to make a presentation on the tender you can also create an additional simplified map based on this map. And if things go your way and your tender is successful the project tasks branch will also form the basis for your final map – the one you will use to manage the actual project itself!

Map 3 Tender analysis and response summary

Special Offer on On-Line MindManager Training

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Potential On Line MindManager Training & Coaching Topics

For  several years I have been coaching people on-line to use MindManager more effectively. Some clients have been within 30 miles of Alresford, nr Winchester, Hampshire, England where I am based. Others have been in San Francisco and Sydney!  They all benefit from having a session which is specific to them, takes place at a time to suit them (and me. I have not had a session between midnight and 6am yet!) and, involves no lost time and cost travelling to a training venue.  I recommend a 45 minute session. This is long enough for you to pick up several tasks, some of which may take you a few days to complete or practice.

This is a really cost-effective, energy efficient and time-saving way to meet and share material, and I can’t recommend the approach highly enough”

The normal process is to book a free fifteen minute technology testing and briefing session. We could be using phone, Skype, RealVNC, Live Meeting, Team Viewer, NetMeeting depending on the requirements of the session.  The briefing is to find out what you want to do in your session or series of sessions. This is so I can be prepared with examples including the ones you send me and think about the structure for your particular requirement.

“It was only today when I had to get a project completed quickly, a project I had no idea how to tackle or even what to do – that I realised the full value of the training.”

During the session I will share my desktop with you and you may be showing me your issues from yours. When the session completes I will provide a map with a summary of the session, links to relevant follow up material and some homework. Hopefully you will come back for further session suitably spaced so we can review progress and I can suggest next steps.

“Sessions are always on time and very concentrated. Andrew has solved most of the problems my work has presented us with, and left me copious notes (in map form) for me to study afterwards.”

Normally I charge £87 plus VAT per 45 minutes including preparation and post session activities.  Until the 31st October I will be charging £67 plus VAT.

You can contact me on 44 1962 73534 or 44 7813 211451 or Skype ajwilcox or Twitter ajwilcox.

If you want to suggest some dates and times, send me 3 proposals including the 15 minute briefing via Meeting Wizard to email  If I can accept one of your proposed session times I will send an invoice which you can be settled by credit card or electronic bank transfer.  Payment has to cleared before the session.

As a trial until 31st October 2010 I will also offer the option of booking a 30 minute unprepared session for £37 plus VAT.  I will not do any post session work unless we agree terms for this. Use Meeting Wizard to propose some times.

Notes on VAT: In the UK its 17.5%.  If you are resident in the EU and you give me your VAT number I can supply without VAT otherwise its 17.5%.  If you are in the Rest of the World the charge is VAT free.

Unconstrained Project Planning is Best

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I must have written this somewhere before but after a course I ran yesterday on running MindManager with Microsoft Project I feel like mapping it again.

Unconstrained project planning is the best for getting the most from project planning tools

I started using Project Planning software in 1988 at Unilever Engineering.  I managed to grab a PertMaster Advance box that was lying in a cupboard. I used it not just to plan but also to prepare cost estimate for projects. I was in a man hour based project management consultancy.  If someone said the plan was wrong. The required change was immediately reflected in a cost estimate change.

In 2000 I was one of 4 project managers using a pool of 40 engineers to design, programme, build and commission control systems for blue chip and utility companies at Cougar Automation.  We were resource constrained!  Every Monday we met and discussed our resource scheduling for the next week and month.  Most of the time we had the facts in front of us: resource pool utilisation plan produced by Microsoft Project.   It made it relativly easy to agree who was going to work on what when!  This was only possible if our project plans were relatively unconstrained.  Making programmer unavailable to Project X for a week because he was now going to work on Project Y had to immediately show the impact on Project X.

Why mention these experiences?  The rules I outline above were true two decades ago for me, and at the turn of the century and today.  If you want to maximise the benefit of the time used to produce a project plan following these rules will help.  Short cuts won’t.

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.

Unconstrained Project Planning is Best

1. For getting the most from project planning tools

2. Tasks

2.1 Brainstorm

2.2 Include finish and start milestones (also for phases and stages)

3. Organise

3.1 Work Breakdown Structure

3.2 Phases, Stages, Disciplines,

4. Add the minimum dates

4.1 Earliest start

4.2 Latest finish

4.3 Key milestones

5. Add Resources

5.1 People

5.1.1 Be generic e.g. Builder Project Leader Programmer

5.2 Tools

5.2.1 Bulldozer

5.2.2 Development Computer

5.3 Locations

5.3.1 Meeting Rooms

5.3.2 Building Site

6. Duration

6.1 Recognise duration is not working time it is elapsed time

6.2 Working time is person hours on the job

6.3 Add any significant non-working periods

6.3.1 Christmas

6.3.2 Summer Break

7. Add all the dependencies

7.1 Finish to Starts

7.2 Parallel and Series

7.3 Only link tasks and milestones not phases or stages

7.4 Make sure all tasks are linked at their start and finish except the start and finish

7.5 Do not link the finish to the start (that’s a process!)

8. Save


9. Calculate

9.1 Activate the Task Management Tool in MindManager

9.2 Start JCVGantt

9.3 Export to Microsoft Project or via MPX export to other tools

10. Validate

10.1 Are tasks floating in space?

10.2 Are the start and finish dates reasonable?

10.3 Are tasks running in parallel when they can?

10.4 Identify the critical path

11. Experiment

11.1 Change the finish or start date to find earliest finish or latest start.

11.2 Remove a constraint e.g. Christmas holiday!

11.3 Save a version of the plan e.g. Scenario 1

12. Adjust

12.1 Return to the Least Constrained Model

12.2 Add the dependency and task changes from Scenario 1

12.3 Add new milestones or other discovered constraints


13. Allocation

13.1 Now you have a better model, you can see who it is appropriate to allocate the tasks to.

13.2 One person is made responsible for each task

13.2.1 Too many cooks!

14. Iterate