Build Better Maps Faster with Map Parts

Filed Under Mindjet

Michael Deutch

July 13, 2009

Here’s a time-saving feature in both MindManager for Windows and Mac that will help you build better maps with less time and effort.

It’s a feature called Map Parts. Today, I’ll show you how to use it with MindManager 8 for Windows. Tomorrow, I’ll explore the same with MindManager 7 for Mac.

Why Use Map Parts?

Map Parts allow you to save a map branch as a template that you can reuse one or more times within a map. If you’d like to apply a consistent approach to mapping, this is for you! Here are a few ways you can start applying map parts:

  • Project Questions: Every time you start a new project, you may want to ask a set of key questions (e.g. Who are the key stakeholders, How will we measure success, When is it due, How does this align with my objectives, etc…)
  • Checklists: As I write the Mindjet blog, I leverage a consistent process that walks me through researching, writing, posting and promoting the blog. These steps can be saved as a map part and I can step through them systematically to ensure a consistent process.  
  • Problem Solving: Do you have a favorite approach to solving problems? For instance, the other day I shared a map with an approach called PrOACT. You could save this approach as a map part and apply it where ever and whenever it is appropriate. No need to open up a new map. If someone mentions an issue in a meeting, you can step through the approach right in the map that you’re working on.
  • Brainstorming: Highlight a brainstorming process to guide teams through the innovation process. For instance, use specialized map parts like SCAMPER to generate ideas for product innovation.
  • Meeting Notes: Want to keep all your project’s meeting notes in one place? No problem, create a meeting branch to record attendance, objectives, notes, and action items.
  • Discovery Questions: In a client meeting and need to explore their business needs? Record all of your key questions in a map part and ask away. Whether you’re presenting the map or using it privately for reference, make sure you capture all the information you need to win their business and their trust.
  • And more: Check out these posts which illustrate how one customer is leveraging map parts to design and configure SharePoint implementations.

Access Map Parts two ways:

Ribbon toolbar: You can access map parts under the Map Group in the Insert Menu.

Task Pane: Alternatively, you can access and open Map Parts from MindManager’s Task Pane. On the lower right-hand side of the


Create a Map Part

  1. Optional: Create a folder to store the map part by right clicking in the map parts pane (top half) and select new folder. Enter folder name. In this example, I created a folder called "Meetings".

  2. With the appropriate folder selected in the Map Parts pane, place your cursor on the topic where you want your map part branch to start
  3. In the Map Parts pane, click Add Selected Topics

  4. A thumbnail of the new Map Part will be displayed in the Map Parts pane


Use Map Parts

  1. In the map that you’re working on, select the topic where you would like to add the map part
  2. Open the Map Parts pane
  3. Left click the specific map part that you would like to add

  4. The new branch will now appear in your map, ready for you to capture all of your meeting notes and action items


Back to you…how have you used Map Parts to save time and build consistency within your processes?


About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter

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10 Responses to “Build Better Maps Faster with Map Parts”

  1. Scott Hogue

    Hi there,

    I have recently become a big fan of map parts, particularly for checklists. However, I just reinstalled. It hit me that I never thought about how to back up map parts. I back the rest of my data up daily.

    Does anybody have an answer on that?

    Thank you,


  2. Michael Deutch

    Henry, I’ll write a post next week to explain a bit more about saving and applying map markers. Are you on Windows? You can create a map marker list using the Tools menu under the templates group.

  3. Henry Patterson

    Robin – I just saw your post and the link about the Text Markers. That’s very close to what I’m looking for ideally it would actually let you save the Text Marker Groups & Text Markers.

  4. Henry Patterson

    I’ve been using MindManager for many years but only recently begun to use the Map Parts to create meeting and seminar notes quickly.

    Is there also a means to use/reuse or save Map Markers, ie. Text Markers? I’ve found after using Text Markers like email:, phone:, or for an Alumni Map I created class year, to be really useful abd tedius to recreate when I create a related Mind Map.

  5. Michael Deutch

    Catherine, great talking to you yesterday. I added an explanation in today’s post.

    Andrew, thanks for sharing your map / map part example!

  6. Catherine Franz

    Aha, I finally understand Map Parts. Thank you. Thus far I’ve been guessing with it. I’m still in Version 7 and not 8 but it works almost exactly the same, except there are more parts and they have fancier graphics.