MindView Round Up

April 21, 2011

MV4-BE-Box-Front-medFor anyone interested in MindView and how the application can support you when devising strategy, planning projects or writing an article or report, here is a list of recent subjects covered, most recent first:

  • Managing a plan using task lists and timelines
  • Managing a plan with a Gantt chart
  • Managing a plan using MindView with MS Outlook
  • A simple planning procedure
  • Writing business reports
  • Meeting planning
  • Business continuity planning – crisis planning
  • Developing work procedures
  • Defining strategy and the action to implement it
  • Exporting mind maps to MS Excel.

To view the articles you can either click on the MindView “label” (not the Technorati tag) below this article or click on this link to list all the articles.

Free download. MindView Mind Mapping Software.

 

If you are interested to try MindView for free just click on the “free download” image here.

 

 

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In examining ideas on action planning for simple or small tasks, I’ve posted recently on how to manage the plans using Outlook and Project in conjunction with mind mapping software.  To draw this to a conclusion here are some ideas for using Word and Excel as well as the inbuilt timeline view within some mind mapping software (in this case MindView).

As before, the assumption is a quick planning exercise has identified what needs to be done and the tasks to achieve it.  These ideas have been captured, reviewed and refined as a map using software such as MindView.

Replace Garden Shed

Many people are comfortable working with simple lists.  The first thing we can do with a mind map entered into a mind mapping application is to use the outline view to create a simple list.

Replace Garden Shed outline

If the preference is to work with the list using MS Office, the map or outline may be exported to Word.  The advanced export dialogue will allow you to select which task attributes to export, such as start and end dates and completion status.

Replace Garden Shed Word

An option many people may prefer is to export to Excel.

Replace Garden Shed excel 

A final option, and perhaps one with a more unusual and appealing visual style, is to use the inbuilt timeline view.  This gives a good feel for the loading of tasks over time and is often received better by those not familiar or comfortable working with Gantt charts.

 

Replace Garden Shed timeline

The trick with timelines views is to filter or focus on just a few tasks at a time or the timeline gets to busy.  here the example just presents the key information for the garden shed project – the main delivery steps.  Sharing a timeline view is easily done using a PDF export or print.

 

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When creating a business (or any other kind of) report a good place to start is to note down your thoughts and ideas using a mind mapping tool, such as MindView 4.  Normally you will want to end up with a nice text document that you can issue, using MindView you can export your mind map to Word very easily to achieve a finished product.

Structure

Once the initial ideas are entered you can then move them around, establish a sequence and consolidate ideas.  New ideas will occur during this initial process and can be added quickly to the map.

Text placement Having established the report structure, text can then be added to each element. You might begin by adding the text as sub-branches to the the report headings.  If you can, rather than creating sub-branches, add the text as text notes.  This makes the export to Word very simple and results in very little further editing being needed. 

Text notes

MindView works with Word templates by assuming that branches equate to headings and sub-headings in the report – assigning Word "Heading" styles to these in hierarchical fashion …."Heading 1", "Heading 2" and so on.  If you leave any text as a branch this will be assigned a Word heading style. 

For efficiency and near perfect results on the export first time, make sure your text is held as text notes against the relevant branch.  Text notes are normally exported as the Word style "Normal".  This means that you can add text at any level of the report and have it come out formatted consistently throughout the document.

Doc

So when creating a business report using MindView, remember:

  • Headings at any level – create as branches
  • Text – create/paste as text notes attached to the relevant branch.

Footnote:

If you do create body text as sub-branches you can cut and paste these as text notes.  This is a little tedious but saves lots of time fiddling with Word styles later.  MatchWare might want to look at the process of converting branches and multiple branches to text notes to make this restructuring of initial ideas even easier.