View Full Version : Mind Maps --> Task dependencies
12-08-2008, 06:15 PM
! NEWBIE ALERT !
It struck me today why I get frustrated with Mind Mapping software and To-Do list software; they both seem to do half the job.
I visualize projects and tasks in a Mind Map format and can get all my thoughts down into a Mind Map pretty quickly and logically. But then I'm staring a map that has no clear path of the sequence in which I need to do Tasks (other than working in from the outer edges); the map doesn't tell me what I need to do NEXT.
To-Do lists seem OK for generating a linear series of tasks - but it isn't easy to capture dependencies.
Is there any software available that lets me brain-dump into a Mind Map but then automatically generate a Task List in the correct order of dependencies?
12-09-2008, 03:34 AM
Your own intelligence, experience, and knowledge of the subtleties required should enable you to determine the dependencies better than any software.
12-09-2008, 06:20 AM
Yes, I understand that software cannot determine dependencies. I meant that, when I have generated a Mind Map, the dependencies are - for the most part - documented within the map, in that child ideas/tasks generally need to be completed before their parents can be completed.
But, in the graphical mind map format it is hard - well, easy but laborious - to extract that those dependencies into a hierarchical Task List that helps me identify what tasks I need to be focusing on in order to work towards my project goal.
It sees like it should be technically easy for Mind Mapping software to AUTOMATICALLY produce a hierarchical task list based on the dependencies inherent within the structure of the map. It could essentially start in the middle and create a sub-task list for every branch in the map (every branch that has tasks on its leaves).
Have you looked at ResultsManager from Gyronix?
12-09-2008, 06:52 AM
I think many mind mapping programs can export text output, so that the branches of the map are converted to a hierarchical list.
You would still need to manually sort that list to determine which task is the true "next action".
12-11-2008, 09:02 AM
As Cike suggested, ResultsManager, an add-in for Mind Manager, will do this.
With that said, I used this combination for a while and ultimately found that mind maps are too difficult to maintain to be useful for task management. (As opposed to project planning, where they excel.) YMMV.
12-12-2008, 07:12 PM
The new version of MindManager 8 has a task roll up feature that should be a powerful feature to use in a situation like this:
12-14-2008, 08:46 AM
The reason you may find it frustrating to have multiple dependent steps on your task lists could be because you have not restricted the items on your "Next Action" list to those that are truly NEXT.
You could have a project support file and list ALL of the steps in a given project in order (which considers the dependencies), and then with that ordered list, simply come over to that file once a week when you do your weekly review, and pull over the next step to your trusted GTD system.
Just a thought...the bottom line is this: I think you need to ask yourself if your problem is being driven by a lack of software, or a lack of process discipline.
12-14-2008, 10:53 AM
I think you need to ask yourself if your problem is being driven by a lack of software, or a lack of process discipline.
Kent, this observation can be universally applied to much of GTD. Thank you.
12-22-2008, 08:22 AM
....yep, you're right!
12-29-2008, 08:35 AM
Another Mind Map application that handles tasks (including assignments) is called Mind Genius
Link between maps, files and generate a tasklist or webpage.
I have been using for a few years now with never a problem.