In this step, we will set up some useful maps to organise project- related activities, and a single starting point so that you can find things easily.

 

If you are already using MindManager, you will most likely have some maps related to current projects, such as brainstorm maps, planning maps, minutes from meetings and so on. ResultsManager can use these maps, provided that it can find them. We will set things up so that it can do this.

 

Let the Wizard create a Map Central map

 

ResultsMerlin, the ResultsManager Wizard, can create a Map Central map for you. Click the ResultsManager tab | Options group | ResultsMerlin and select the "Express Wizard". Follow ResultsMerlin's instructions and allow it to create a new Map Central map for you. You can then extend and update this map by hand. Note: if you have already created a Map Central map, and you run ResultsMerlin again, it will overwrite your previous map if you allow it to. It will warn you of this, so it doesn't happen entirely automatically - you need to agree to let it do this. But if you do, there is no way to recover your original Map Central again once it has been replaced (unless you have a backup copy somewhere else).

 

If you prefer to create your Map Central map manually, follow the instructions below.

 

Create a "Map Central" map manually

 

Start by creating a new MindManager map, and call it "Map Central". (You can call it something else if you prefer, but we will refer to it as "Map Central" in these notes). Spend a little time making it attractive, as you will be looking at it a lot. You can make it very personal if you wish, unless you think you might need to show it to your manager, and you don't want to spend much time explaining the ornate graphics. But do remember that the key advantage of using MindManager to implement this system for delivering objectives is to visualise success, so your maps should be memorable and high-impact for maximum effect. When you are done, save your map somewhere where (a) you can find it again, and (b) it will get backed up when you make backups. You do make backups, don't you?

 

The next step is to make a shortcut to your Map Central map so that you can always find it in a few seconds. Click on the "My Maps" task pane tab in MindManager, then right-click on the "My Projects" collection, and select "Add current map". Next, click on  the Mindmanager button | MindManager Options, click on "View", and enable the option for showing the "My Maps" task pane at start-up. This will mean that every time you start MindManager, the My Maps task pane will be in view, and you can click on the "Map Central" entry to open your Map Central map without hunting around for it. So within a few seconds of launching MindManager, you are straight into your working maps.

 

Map Central is where ResultsManager starts when it collects together your current activities to create Dashboard maps. It will not be practical to put everything you are doing into one map, so we can use MindManager's Multimap features to create links to all the brainstorm maps, project plans, vacation ideas, meeting minutes, design ideas and other maps that reflect your workload. This is done by adding Hyperlinks  pointing to the Topics in your maps.

 

Link to Multimaps from Map Central

 

If you are already familiar with MindManager, you can skip the next paragraph. If not, let's create a Multimap for one of your projects:

 

  1. Select the Central Topic in your Map Central map and press the INS key.
  2. Now type the name of one of the projects you are working on, then press F2.
  3. With the Topic for your project still selected, right-click on the Topic and select Send To | New Linked Map.
  4. In the dialogue that opens, check that the option "Assign selected topic to new Central Topic" and "Delete original topics and create hyperlinks to exported topics" are both selected, then click OK.
  5. MindManager will then prompt you for a location to save your new project map.

 

If you followed this part, you have now (a) created a new map and (b) made a Hyperlink from Map Central to this new map, all in one operation. ResultsManager will now be able to find your new project map from Map Central by following the Hyperlink.

 

If you already have some project maps or maps that you would like to link up from Map Central, add Topics to Map Central for each map and add Topic Hyperlinks to them. ResultsManager will only follow Topic Hyperlinks, not Hyperlinks in the Notes pane.

 

A very simple "Map Central" map

 

In the above example, our user has an enviably simple life consisting of involvement in two projects ("MK II Widget" and "Q2 Marketing"), and a "Bits and Pieces" map that contains everything else that is not organised into collaborative projects, such as getting the light fixed in their office. Their "Map Central" map links to these three maps, and if ResultsManager is asked to sweep for open action items, it can find them all by starting at Map Central.

 

Linking to folders

 

You have a whole collection of maps in a folder that you would like ResultsManager to check through for action items, but you don't want to make a Hyperlink to each individual one. You can add a Hyperlink to the whole folder and ResultsManager will look for any MindManager maps in the folder. So you can throw more maps in there later, and ResultsManager will still find them without your having to update Map Central. Use the folder browse button in the Hyperlink dialogue instead of the file browse button.

 

Using a "Bits and Pieces" map

 

So, what about things that are not part of a project, or don't really "belong" anywhere? We recommend that in addition to project maps that are focused around an outcome, you also have a map for stray dogs. Then when you remember that your cat needs vaccination (while you are in the middle of planning a marketing campaign, naturally), you will have somewhere to add this. We call this map the "Bits and Pieces" map, as it contains assorted odds and ends whose only common feature is that they don't belong anywhere else. (Some of the things in mine are "Stationery list", "Things to buy from Screwfix.com", "Interesting web sites" and so on).

 

Using the Multimap View in MindManager

 

If you have added some links to other maps from your Map Central map, you can now use MindManager's Multimap view to scare yourself. Select the Map Central map and Click the "Multimap" button in the Action Bar to see a page of preview images of all your project and other maps. The good news is that this is not nearly as scary as it's going to look in a month's time when you have really started to work this way, and ensure that everything is accessible through Map Central.

 

Controlling what ResultsManager scans

 

ResultsManager follows Hyperlinks in Topics to discover maps to scan for action items. When it opens a map linked from Map Central, it will then explore the Hyperlinks in that map, and just keep on going, looking for more linked maps. So you do not need a link to everything from Map Central - the sub-maps can have further links in them. If ResultsManager finds a link to a map that it has already looked at, it just ignores it the second time around, so don't worry about having multiple links to the same maps. You can even include links back to the Map Central map.

 

You might be thinking that the Map Central concept is a nice idea, but you don't need ResultsManager to search through all the maps in there. You might have some projects that are not active yet, or projects that are finished but you still want to keep a link to them. Fortunately, you can both have your cake and eat it. You can tell ResultsManager to ignore a Topic and everything underneath it, including any Multimap Hyperlinks, by adding the "No Entry" Icon to the Topic. Click on the Library task pane tab and select the Icons folder.

Scroll down until you find the No Entry Icon  and add this Icon to any part of any map that you don't want ResultsManager to visit. When ResultsManager finds this Icon on a Topic, it ignores this Topic and all subtopics or Callout Topics connected to it.

 

A Hyperlink blocked to ResultsManager

 

This Icon stops ResultsManager from exploring this Hyperlink or any of the Topics under here in the map. You use this to prevent ResultsManager from sweeping projects that are finished or genuinely dormant.