Mapping all your docs

Filed Under Mindjet


May 7, 2005

…And for those of you who have taken to the idea of using a master map as a way to organize your maps (see Mapping Your Maps…I just wanted to point out that you can "bud off" not just maps — but any kind of document you want to create. I have been trying to do this every time I want to create a new document, but I have to say it is a real mental challenge. I am so used to launching Microsoft work to create a new word doc (especially since I use ActiveWorks and can just type in "write" to launch Microsoft Word).

But what I am trying to remember to do now when I want to create a new Word doc (or Powerpoint presentation or anything else) is to go to my Main Map and figure out where I want that new document to reside. I insert a new topic at the appropriate place, name it, then right click to insert a new hyperlink. When the hyperlink window opens, I choose to create a link to a new document, name it the same as I did the topic, add the extension (.doc, .ppt, etc) and click OK. MindManager creates the new document and links it to my Main Map. I click on the link, and start writing.

It does take some getting used to, but the result is a much more (for me) coherent file system.

18 Responses to “Mapping all your docs”

  1. Hobart Swan

    You actually can do that. To search linked maps:
    1. Go into Multimap mode (icon at upper right corner of interface).
    2. Choose (at upper left of interface) to “Select All”
    3. Use the “Search Files” menu item in the center of the top-most menu.
    4. A window will open at screen right. Use the “Define Search” to choose the words you want to look for.
    5. The results will be displayed in that same window. You can then choose to either navigate directly to that text, or to open the entire map within which that text can be found.

  2. Roger C. Parker

    The idea of a Master Map, et al, is very seductive.

    To make it really effective, though, I think that MindManager’s “Edit>Find” feature should be turned into a “Search” button that would search all linked maps.

    I was disappointed to find that “Find” only searches the current map, (although it is fun to see closed subtopics open).

    But, think how great it would be if you could Search for a phrase buried in anywhere in a linked series of maps!

  3. Ricardo Olmus

    I discover something new an amazing, that can be done with mindmanager.

    Does any one can give me some tips and and ussage suggestion for the outlook linker map parts? It is clear it does more than basic. thanks

  4. Ricardo Olmus

    MindManager as a powerfull information management system. i found something that impressed me a lot. (maybe you already know it. it took me some 2 years to discover it) So I go to windows explorer and open the folder i want to hiperlink. I just drag and drop the folder. select the folder drag it down to mindmanager and place it where i want it. there it is the link to my folder. Now I go to map parts and place the one “folders and files” as a sub topic. and voila all my files now in the map. So my master map was done in a few moments, including all my files. And it updates auto, with f5. That is amazing.

  5. Hobart Swan

    Just so you know, about a week ago I wrote a long (long-winded?) reply to your post about whether MindManager was just a radial drawing of a hierarchy…but I somehow lost it all and am just now getting back to this.

    I think yours is a really good question/comment. When I was at CeBIT in Germany a couple of years ago, a few people from the U.K. and then from Germany came up to me at the Mindjet booth and had similar comments. They suggested that while our interface might be considered nonhierarchical at the first level of topics, after that it was simply a visual representation of a traditional hierarchy: One new subtopic appears directly below the one before in what is, for all intents and purposes, a normal outline.

    It’s fair to say that a map is a radial representation of a hierarchy. But first there is the process of BUILDING the map.

    One of the strongest concepts behind mapping is that it enables users to go from divergent to convergent thinking. In the divergent phase, users just slap ideas up there on the screen–IN NO PARTICULAR HIERARCHY OR ORDER. It is only ideas have been tossed around that it comes times to do the convergent part of the process: dragging and dropping those ideas or plans or whatever into a logical structure (aka hierarchy) deleting some in the process, regrouping them, making some ideas or tasks dependent on others–and so on.

    So while the finished map might be seen as a radial representation of a hierarchy, how it got to be that way is another story, which is one of the key differentiators between mapping and simply making lists.

  6. Alexander Singh

    I think the concept of a Mind Map based organisational system for the Desktop/PC is a very good concept and an incredibly powerful tool if implemented correctly.

    Such a system could be a replacement for the existing Windows shell so that it loaded natively every time you booted your PC.

    The benefits of such a system are obvious:

    -Greater organisation and control
    -Extremely efficient and swift creation and redeployment of files and folders
    -Excellent extensibility
    -Transforming the “Files and Folders” system to something that is dynamic, evolving, and capable of automatically saving and organising files based on set criteria/permissions/filters.
    -Powerful opportunities for integration with other applications such as RSS aggregators, Web browser, E-mail client, and information presentation tools.
    -Semantic capabilities that allow you to copy and transfer various words, themes, phrases, code, etc. to multiple applications and media efficiently.

    If only someone would develop it..Seems like a natural expansion of Mind Jet’s product range.

  7. Hobart Swan

    Cool idea, Joe. I really like that. What I do at present is to either have my “Main Map” open in the background, or open by using my ActiveWords command. Wherever I am in my computer, I just type in “mainmap” an dhit the spacebar twice, and my main map opens and comes to the foreground. It’s great. But I really like the idea of the main map somehow always open when my computer opens, constantly there hovering behind my various screens and ready for me to refer to it…

  8. Joe Cotellese

    Mind Manager as Desktop.

    It almost seems like what you want is your master map to live as a “live” background image on your desktop. When you want to create a new document (of any type). You do it on a branch of your master map.

  9. Hobart Swan

    Hi Cathy,
    Interesting idea. Two things come to mind. The first is pretty basic, but I use it sometimes in the situations you are talking about: I simply store a page in Favorites until I have the appropriate map open, then drag it into the map.

    But the more interesting approach might be through the use of ActiveWords ( I am going to blog about this today on my own blog ( today, so check it out. ActiveWords is a great tool that might help you manage that kind of information.

  10. Cathy Risdon

    Great idea about always starting from a master map – I have used the idea when I am within a time-limited or bounded event (ie – a conference) – but have not considered expanding my horizon in that way.

    A question about hyperlinks. Is there any program that allows a hyperlink to go in another direction? For instance, I come across documents and attachments and web pages all the time which I would love to be able to attach to a mindmap. However, having to go in, open the map, find a topic and create the hyperlink from a saved file can be quite onerous. I would love a system where I can save something on my computer – and then send it to a map. (Similar in some way to what happens when use my virtual printer in PlanPlus – the document goes into a “holding file” which I direct next time I am in the program)

    Thanks for all the great ideas,

  11. Kristine

    Hi Kevin, Tim, Hobart, & the rest of the Mindjet bloggers!

    I am from Backbone Media, an Internet marketing company based in the Greater Boston area. While searching the web for bloggers who work for companies and blog about their company’s products and services, I found your blog.

    Blogging is all about starting online conversations about a particular topic. Backbone Media is attempting to understand the value of blogging for companies, to build a model of what makes a good business related blog. We asked ourselves the following questions to start that conversation about corporate blogging:

    · What is the value of corporate blogs?
    · Who blogs in a company?
    · What can it bring to the company?
    · What makes a corporate blog successful?

    To find answers to these questions, we are reaching out to bloggers at companies by conducting a survey for corporate bloggers. We were inspired in part by the corporate blogging survey conducted last year on the The NewPR Wiki week.

    We want to get your feedback on corporate blogging, and after the survey closes, we will understand more about corporate blogging and we will publish and send you the complete results.

    We’d really appreciate you taking our survey. Please fill it out here:

    You can contact me directly at or contact our blogging survey team at

    Thanks a lot!

  12. Doug Ransom

    A mind map is basically a radial drawing of a heirarchy. How is what you describe different than the file methaphor? Maybe we just need a Mind Map view of the file system?

  13. Hobart Swan

    It really is a discipline-and one that pretty fundametally changes the way you work with your computer, shedding that file folder matephor is not easy! :>)

    I’ll pass tha idea along to our product people. The rationale behind linking to a new map rather than simple adding more topics to the existing one is to keep the first map relatively contained in size. But it might be nice to get a quick overview of what’s in the attached map-so you could click right to the topic on the other map…Thanks

    Billy–you used to draw 8X8 mind maps! Wow! That is impressive. We just learned about some service where you cam email them maps (or any other document type) and they will print them out in large format and shoot them right back to you in the mail at a pretty reasonable rate and very quickly. Not al of us can afford those giant printers. But as I’m sure you know, there is something really cool about having a giant printout of a map.

  14. Billy

    WOW. I kind of dismissed the idea of using a master map even though I made massive paper ones (8ftx8ft) to get me through college. I never realised I had this much good stuff on my machine.

  15. Robin Capper

    I’ve made much use of “master maps” but not trained myself to start documents from them as a habit. I do have a couple of MindManager wishes that would be great for master maps;
    1) A “Linked Map” Smart Part shows sub topics below the target on a linked map. Would look much like the RSS map part but the “article” topics would be sub-topics on the target map. Could have either set level “depths” (choose target + 1,2,3 levels) or have it dynamically refresh in response to Level of Detail Button. Would allow an overview and direct access to topics on the linked map.
    2) Have the new document type list seen when you right-click>new in Explorer available on the hyperlink>new doc tab in MM