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
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.
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.
Prints all selected maps using their individual page setups.
Searches through the selected maps for text in topics and topic notes.
Export the parent map to a folder and the sub-maps to sub-folders.
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
Rebrand the maps for:
- A new project or client
- Harmonise for a presentation
Apply the same web export template to all the maps. For similar reasons to Map Themes.
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.