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Old 08-23-2011, 10:19 AM
schferk schferk is online now
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UR and mind map software

Please allow me to re-publish here a post of mine in, and please consider the considerations within.

Hi Phil,

"It’s a win-win situation for all the vendors", you say. Well, that's what I thought for many years, but in fact, there are very few developers that share our view.

If you contact the makers of ActionOutline (= a very basic but extremely handy outliner with state-of-the-art GUI tweaks) on the subject of any import facility, you don't even get an answer.

The same if you contact Personal Brain staff, in length, about some import facilities beyond just node titles (i.e. for importing a bunch of outliner items, WITH the contents of the text fields (= going into PB's notes fields), not just the tree without any content) : they don't even bother to give you an answer. (The interesting thing here being that PB isn't but the "individual" variety of their "The Brain" corporate software being priced within the 5- and 6-digit ranges as people say - no prices available -, and where seem to be complete import facilities indeed.)

Those last days, I tried in vain to find a way to make the transition of outliner material (Ultra Recall) into any mind map software, and being willing to use third party software as intermediate formats ; all I got was being able to import the UR (or any other outliner) tree into (and I'm speaking of the "professional" version everywhere, WITH all the given import / export formats, of course) into many mind map software programs indeed, with various reformatting in editors, e.g. replacing two spaces by one tab.

But as to the contents of the outliner items going into the notes fields of the mind map softwares, no way, and I tried hard with all those XML / OPML / whatever formats.

As for EXPORTING, it's even worse; in Visual Mind e.g., I very well im-ported my UR tree, but as for ex-porting the map (= again, just the items' titles, no content whatsoever) in such a tree format, nada. (cf. below)

VM being a good example of developers' possible REAL interests : They offer individualized data transfer services for corporations, similar to PB where there's a black market, on a 1 to 1 basis, of transposition routines, for (big) money.

When I would like to have import and export at least for the items' titles, it's because heavy duty outliners are the real stuff for extensive data storage - or would you like to store 1 GB of data, or much more, in ONE mind map ? (In ONE mind map because all those in-built features and pricey add-ons that allow for "3-dimensional data access", e.g. PowerMarkers within Mind Manager, just work on ONE mind map, not on a collection of multiple mind maps, for the time being, to my knowledge.)

Thus, when it comes to THINKING ENHANCEMENT, for many people, including myself, mind maps work really well, possibly not because of the vectors between the (in a mind map always hierarchical) nodes, but, as I see it, by their graphical de-clustering of all those items : Whilst in an outline, all's in crumped lists of texts, the mind map stretches those packages out into white space, which for many a people's a real relief, empowering to "see" things now they don't saw yet when their considerations were displayed in list form.

Since I use the expression "mind map" a lot here, I expressively acknowledge Tony Buzan's (and his various corporations') trademarks and other rights to that denomination, but I DOUBT Buzan's the inventor of such graphical representations, he just gave them a name and made his fortune with it. Possibly he might have been the first one to just do an outline in this way, but I myself, and many other people, in the seventies, were doing scribbles on paper where we wrote many different aspects of subjects in various clusters spilled upon a piece of paper, i.e. grouping things belonging together, in the same time differenciating them from others, in other parts of the same sheet of paper, and we even used colors, for some, different font sizes, and even vectors to indicate that any particular aspect we worked upon in one part of the sheet, also belonged in a way or another onto another aspect / groups of details in a part far away.

So nobody "invented" this ; perhaps it was indeed Buzan's "work" to SIMPLIFY these un-structed graphical representations into structured, PRIMITIVE ones, just graphically outlined outlines.

If I, among many others, would like to use a mind map program in order to enhance my thinking, instead of using a graphical program, it's precisely because I need exporting into an outliner after that, and also because SOME of those mind map programs allow for real smart entering of information : in VM, it's Enter for a sibling (I asked them for adding the space bar for entering a sibling onto that), and JUST TYPING for adding a child (of course, this supposes that at any given moment, there is at least ONE item that has focus, which is the case in VM) - this is a tremendous way to put your thoughts on paper, almost as quick as by handwriting, BUT with the goodie that afterwards, export will be possible (whereas for people with a secretary, the Montblanc Meisterstück fountain pen probably is the best thinking enhancement tool out there).

So, why would I need export AND import, then ? Very simple. I'd like to make my first drafts in VM, e.g. Then export to UR, e.g. Then do "information processing work" in the outliner, i.e. integrating contents from various sources into my material.

And then, with much more info that I've had before, I would like to be able to do my visual thinking AGAIN - and since ex- and import of contents into notes fields (be it in the mind map programs, be it in the outliner programs) is almost impossible, I would like to ex- and import at least the trees, freely hence and forth from map to outline, back to map, and back to outline, etc.

It goes without saying that I'm speaking of SUB-trees, now you need this subtree of your outliner for further exploration back in the map program, another time you'll need another subtree, or other sub-trees there.

Thus, we have the additional program that not only that tree im-port, in VM at least, isn't possible - so that for the time being, in VM you only could do your very first mapping out of your material, before ex-porting it into your outliner, and then any way back will not be possible ; on top of that, a mind map program that would work in the sense described above would need to rely upon an outliner being able to import a tree (= from an intermediate textfile) into an existing tree, just superposing the unchanged items in the tree, shuffling around, in the outliner, those items having been shuffled around in the mind map program, and adding the new ones where they belong, and perhaps even x-out (= but not automatically delete) those deleted in the mind map, and all this without affecting the contents in your outliner !

And there's more than that to it : Some items you will possibly have renamed, within the mind map program - the outliner program would need to know ! Which is to say that the intermediate text file would need to have codes like this

a [b]
c [e]

indicating that item a and c are "item a formerly b" and "item c formerly e", respectively ; of course, the mind map program's internal processing would need to maintain such internal codes, in order to be able to put them out into its export lists upon request.

All this is to say, such a "process it as mind map then re-integrate it into the outliner" function would be so difficult in any respect, that finally, for practical reasons, there isn't but ONE solution to this :

SOME mind map program developers should get into contact with SOME outliner program developers, in order to develop real TWO-WAY XML integration, together, and including the contents !

So, Mind Manger will not do this, I suppose, since they try to became sort of an integrated information storage system of their own kind. But there are lighter mind map programs out there, e.g. VM that's perhaps not as good as an information manager, but that very well suited as a thinking enhancement machine indeed, and that should rely upon a rock stable outliner being able to process information of any size, e.g. UR.

And to complicate things even further, UR, e.g. allows for clones, i.e. identical items being stored within separate parts of an outline ; if possible, the OPML / XML transposition should insert additional "relationship vectors" then or should translate those vectors into clones, respectively.

In the corporate environment, VM is not too strong yet (and then, it allows for collaboration work indeed !) whilst Mind Manager is supposed to sell 20 or 25,000 packs a MONTH ; UR isn't too strong in the corporate world either (and then, in collaboration work, it allows for item-based locking up where competitors allow for file-based locking up if at all) - make it a COMBO, and sales will rocket for both individual components.

This post in goes to VM and to UR in copy.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:11 AM
schferk schferk is online now
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This post above got 600 reads in 15 months and no reaction whatsoever.

Two things:


I had VisualMind in mind because I thought MindManager had other priorities, whilst VM could be interested in some pushing of its rather remote market position - also, VM, as UR does, offers a network version of its "mind-mapping" sw, and as regular readers of my posts here will have understood, I consider "networkability" a very strong point in otherwise "individual" sw fields.

Also, I thought - and think - that VM "mind-maps" are visually rather clean, when Tony Buzan's (= the "inventor" and holder of the legal rights to the falsely generic term) own sw (or the sw he just "enobles" with his name - there might be Chanel watches, you know...) has an outright crazy graphical style imo (NovaMind is very ugly, too, as I see it).

But foremost, VM's way of creating children (by Enter) and siblings (just type) is the most intuitive way I've ever found.

On the other hand, it was really buggy 15 months ago, and perhaps it's a little less buggy today - I had told them about all these numerous bugs at the time, but only got a "we can't reproduce this, neither that, and so on" - of course, I had thought that with a little bit of pushing their remote business, I'd create motivation on their behalf to attack these bugs; since they never replied, no need to look back, all the less so since some months later, I had been able to get a free version of MM 8.2.

So personally I'm served for a long time, and my only problem here is that I cannot recommend any "mind-map" sw at this time since I tried them all and wasn't so pleased with any of them, except for my free MM (but not when considering the regular asking price), and which in the meantime has changed from desktop to cloud philosophy, which I consider catastrophical; perhaps, the also very expensive MindView is best now.


Why 1), to begin with? Because I seriously think, after having tried to avoid "mind-map" sw for years, i.e. using it only intermittently, then abandoning it again, in vue of lack of interoperability between outlining sw (on which I depend, as we all do here) and such applics, i.e. I tried to avoid "mind-mapping" since I couldn't integrate it into my "workflow" as they say, and even after getting and installing MM 8.2 free, I hesitated for another 6 or 8 months or so to really do real work within it.

Now, I seriously presume that perhaps for all of us, or for the very big majority of us, finding ideas, creating concepts, with a "mind-map" applic, is indispensable, since it produces much better results in this field of "targeted creative thinking" than any try to do the same with any outliner (or other means), be it our traditional 2-pane kind or something ostensible "1-pane" like Bonsai.

In fact, the results "mind-mapping" produces are so much superior that they easily justify your additional fiddling and efforts and organizational problems this rupture in your workflow necessitates - they partly appear because in your "mind-map", except for the "source item" and the very first indented level, with items further down, you should NOT limit yourself to short descriptions = doing "headings", but you should develop these ideas / elements there by complete sentences or even by paragraphs of about 50, 100, up to 200 chars; of course, if such elements then get to contain more than a single idea, you'll cut up further, and ditto with your maps:

As soon as they contain more than one idea on the very first level (below the source item that is), AND you cannot read them on your screen anymore, without collapsing branches (= same problem with printing), you should cut up into separate maps - in the end, you'd do similarly as you work in your outliner. Perhaps of interest here: Yes, crossway interrelations ARE interesting, but let this aspect NOT make you fall into the trap of trying to put too much stuff into a single map - this would considerably harm the quality of your output there. (In fact this is the big advantage of clean "mind-maps" over concept maps, TheBrain and such - it's no coincidence that applics like MM are to be found in almost any big corporation, AND that they are in regular use there - and not only for graphic output purposes (which might indeed be their main use in some corporations) -, whilst concept maps and such remain of rather exotic, remote importance.

In the outliner forum, some months ago, I mused about the possible reasons for this superiority of "mind-maps" over outlining in conceptual work, and I mentioned especially the presumably thought-triggering white space and such, but in the end, I think that the spatial distribution of the different elements such sw provides (and that you can, and should, re-arrange in the process: MM e.g. offers many keyboard shortcuts for all sorts of moves that allow for very quick editing of such a map), produces a spatial REPRESENTATION of elements which, I suppose, does the "new-ideas" triggering work.

This means, the graphical straightening out of separate elements (which cannot be realized within an outliner where there's always blocks of text, any way these blocks may be constituted) seems to "CLIP", do "DOCK" these elements to neighbouring areas of your brain cell nets, whilst blocks of text dock them into the same area of brain cell nets, i.e. I seriously suppose the "white space" within your "mind-maps" is in some way physically (and not only conceptually) REPLICATED within your brain when you muse about your map (instead of staring at lists / blocks of text (be they espaced by blank lines, leading dashes or whatever).

So it all seems to be about "AIRING" (French: aérer, German: entzerren), DE-COMPACTING what normally is held too compact in your brain as well, in the very physical organization of your physiology there (I'm not an expert but you get what I mean).

Whatever! Integrate "mind-mapping" into your thinking and conceptualization process if you haven't done that yet, even if the integration of the "results" into your outlining-based main system isn't evident. And the quotation marks around "results" are there because I don't think that for important, long-lasting issues, there is a definite "result" point, "everything important is iterative" if I dare say. Which means that in my workflow, for the last months, I've begun to fully profit from my "mind-mapping" since I've STOPPED to import "results" from there into my outlines - which is simply too much fuss and impossible to realize both-ways anyway (see my post above). I've began to work "double-screen", and on my secondary screen, I display the respective external files folder for the outline (part) I'm working (see my development of just days ago within this forum), any such external file (pdf, Excel table), or any MM map that's supposed to inspire me in my work... and often enough tthe sheer presence of such a map inspires me to add new elements to that particular map, even when in my main screen I'm working on different things.

Btw, strictly one-directional graphic representations (like you can opt for in MM when needed, etc., perhaps for programming / Warnier-Orr set-ups), do NOT have this "aeration effect" on your thinking, they are only very slightly better in effect than text blocks / sub-trees in your outliners has. Thus, a program like B-liner cannot replace a real "mind-map" applic; that as well makes me think that the secret lies in graphically "aering" the hierarchical tree (remember, a "mind-map" going seemingly into every direction very well STAYS nothing but an outline tree!) into an all-directional "carpet" so that your physical "carpet" working in your brain can "overtake", which seems not to be possible as well - and far from that - for most people. It goes without saying that your "physics" in your brain ain't a "carpet", but a 3-dimensional web of cells working together, but the 2-dimensional graphic representation, as a "carpet", seems to be sufficient to trigger the 3-dimensional "networking" (= interactive collaboration) of your real physics, whilst lists and even graphic representations in the form of rugs instead of carpets do NOT have this trigger effect.

Btw, it's interesting that a wiki like ConnectedText has found so much appraisal within the outliner forum lately, even though it does NOT have any serious outlining function (cf. two blogs by regular posters there that tout CT but clearly show the absence of practical outlining of that applic) - what CT has got indeed, is an in-built graphical representation function, and I'm musing if that's the real reason behind those people's folly for CT when in fact they write so much about CT, but rarely mention its graphic capabilities.

Anyway! Consider "mind-mapping" on top of your outlining, in spite of the missing technical integration of both concepts for the time being.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:24 PM
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i won't start mind-mapping until "Data explorer" in UR has an alternative "attribute customisable skyrail" view
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:12 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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quant, I perfectly understand your stance which had been mine for years - but in my case at least, it had been a more or less theoretical one, whilst on the other hand, I even pested (well, that was 2 or 3 years ago, not lately) in the outlinerforum against "flat" "mind-maps" - I thought, from a theoretical pov, that such graphic representations should, as much as possible, be faithful mimicries of what might be going on in your head, hence my being electrified by concept maps, the more complicated the better, and I tried, for a long time, to put a thing like TheBrain ("PersonalBrain" at the time) into effect for me.

In my case, this thinking was a dead-end, perhaps because I hadn't been able to MAINTAIN SCOPE of all that, but then, the majority of people can't get to this working for them - you own a doctorate in mathematics if I'm not mistaken, so I assume your natural capacity to maintain that scope even when its elements get rather numerous, is way beyond average, but for us "average people" (in this respect at least), a flattened-out thing like "mind-maps" seems to be of much better use, and that's not only my own experience, but that of any people whom I spoke to, and which had used "mind-maps": their character of "not too complicated", i.e. "not integrating it all" is seen as an advantage, whilst, as said, years before, I had been sure of the contrary, without delving into these advantages with real-life "mind-maps" of real interest to me though: just "playing around" with such maps isn't sufficient to become aware of their real value, it seems.

Hence my explanations in my post above: This "minor" graphical representation, which also forces you to cut off many aspects into adjacent maps, whilst your intuition - mine at least, at the time -, says, "more integration would be preferable", hence the attraction of 3D-representations, in realiter it seems to be the other way round, those "simplifying" 2D-representations, cut up, on top of that, into numerous separate parts, instead of trying to contain a max of elements, seem to do much better thinking-triggering work than the more complicated solutions, but which seem to over-complicate the task for the ordinary mind as well, and my post is about this phenomenon, this paradox; as said, brains that are interconnected in a superior way (and there is no irony here whatsoever) might function otherwise, with higher quality, not only with higher speed.

Btw, for years, I had used flowcharters (from Micrografx (from buggy version 3 that cost me a fortune at the time), and the unavoidable Visio (from 5 up to 2002), in order to avoid that "mind-map" "disadvantage" of being "nothing more but a graphical tree", when in fact, accepting this limitation of "mind-maps" full-heartedly, you quickly become aware that it's more idea-generating than flowcharts are: It seems there's also a "convergence effect" playing here, i.e. "multiple satellite thinking" around the "source" item AND around multiple "further down items" (when technically speaking, these ain't but children and grand-children of various degrees) - whilst in many flowcharts, there might work a "disparational / divergence effect" against you, as does in 3D's.

I know I'm presenting paradoxical stuff here, but that's what makes such musings fascinating. As said, my experience with "high-brow" solutions is rather negative, my experience with "low-brow" solutions like "mind-maps" is very positive, and so I'm correcting my former stance on these matters and I'm trying to explain these phenomena to myself and to others, to get new ideas by this, from fellow posters as from myself.

And again, it might be that people with an IQ of 130 or higher might be much more apt to process, and hence to profit from, 3D-representations than our brains working at about 120 speed; we all know that one of the more important elements of the IQ is the capacity to process more elements simultaneously; brains that are capable of processing e.g. 7 elements might not only function more quickly, but also in another quality range than minds that only process, let's say, 4 elements at the same time - so it's important to find the best ways to make even "standard" brains working better than they would without getting any such external help.

As for the missing integration with UR or other outliners, we have to live with it for the time being, and thus, don't try to synch manually, don't try to replicate content (which especially means, not even downwards), have your (e.g.) MM and your (e.g.) UR systems as COMPLIMENTARY systems: You'd get lost by trying to establish a sort of coherence.

But since UR allows for deep links, i.e. single items as external link targets, it could be interesting to do such deep links, within your (e.g.) MM maps, not only to pdf's or Excel tables or such, but also to details within such UR items.

Beware, though: The more you do within your maps, the less you do within "texts", the better your output will probably be, and this means, when in doubt, don't put a deep link to a UR item into your map, but add some other child items (or a child map) to your branch within the map itself.

(Edit for typos and such.)

Last edited by schferk; 11-11-2012 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by schferk View Post
But since UR allows for deep links, i.e. single items as external link targets, it could be interesting to do such deep links, within your (e.g.) MM maps, not only to pdf's or Excel tables or such, but also to details within such UR items.
I tried that some time ago with TheBrain, the only mind-mapping software I know of that is sort of 3d, but as you also mentioned, I started duplicating things, it just didn't work, I had to decide to go either completelly TheBrain way or stay UR ... clear choice there
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:03 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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Yes, quant, there's a real, and double problem here.

I am aware that it must appear really lame (all the more so coming from me) when I say (above), make it complementary, so allow for my trying to distinguish problems.


It seems to me that organizational use of a "mind-map" does interfere with its "idea-triggering" use, i.e. you use it as a file / item launcher, and in your mind, this function shadows your wanting the map to trigger new ideas.

But I also think problem b) is at least partly responsible for this, and I think, even with problem b) not being resolved, just SOME external linking maps ("external" viewed from those maps, i.e. not including links to detailed "children" / "siblings" maps within your maps collection) in the map might be acceptable, let's say 30 or 40 items in your map, with 3 or 4 items as links.

That being said, I suppose that even with problem b) solved, big attention must be paid to not multiply links then.


As stated in my first post here, some synching would be more than welcome, AND it would be need to be both-ways:

1. (partial = a particular sub-tree) tree export from UR (or another outliner) to MM (or another "mind-mapping applic) - but with UR and MM, this is possible, so let's stay with these for the moment -, in order to freely think about those things.

This is possible, and then you re-arrange, and add, perhaps partially delete, perhaps do some move into siblings maps (!)...

All these changes must then be synched manually, which is strictly impossible. It's a hellova hell of work, and it'll produce lotsa mistakes, be it yourself or being a your possible secretary who's supposed to to this. The only way to do it with not TOO many error-producing is to not work work within MM but to work on MM print-outs, then your sec doing the sync work not between MM and UR but within UR, from the MM print-outs.

The problem is, synching back from MM to UR will overwrite the original UR items with another tree, since there is no functionality whatsoever to identify the unique identifiers of the UR items (which are there!), to dock them onto the according MM items, and then, by re-import, to identify these, and new ones, in order to re-arrange and complement the UR tree,

all this together with the respective contents, for one...

2. But we must be aware that the problem arises even if we leave contents out!

Which means, in order to simplify things a little bit, the developers of both coupled programs could decide to not have exported, then re-imported the notes for the nodes (in any case or better, by option), but simply to process the tree.

This will shuffle around much less text and other content, but the programming difficulty will be exactly as it will be in alternative 1.

3. You begin your work within MM, then export "down" to UR. This is perfectly possible, but rather useless, since, as said for 1. and 2., any reasonable way to go back to the "musing stage" will be impossible, so at which point would be the point in your workflow where you deliberately interdict yourself further "musing within the map" but make the decision, "from further on, I'll limit myself to only think about it within UR".

Or, of course, you say to yourself, "from this point on, I'll try to synch back manually then (to UR, after exporting the tree "up" to MM), since now, changes / additions / etc. will be rather sparse".

Technically, that's possible and even maybe viable, but then, think a sec: Your attention that not much new will come your way, and your knowing what a fuss it will be to re-arrange the UR tree then, after any such deletion, rename, move and add-on, all by hand, will seriously hamper any further idea-finding within the MM map, so at at this time, have it complementary, as lame as this advice my appear.

And, if I dare say this, since quant convenes with my experience, be sure my advice here is good advice.


Which implies, there SHOULD be a technical solution, from UR or such and MM or such, where two developer together create a USP for BOTH of them! (Or, as with CT, an in-built graphical representation of your data within your IMS, but I don't think that would be really the best solution: Too much work for UR or any other, and yet not enough functionality within the "mind-map" part of the program.

On the other hand, there's cost. At this time, the price of UR is about 100 bucks, the price of MM, VM and such is 250 or 300 bucks or more, so the cost of the "add-on" (= some hundreds of items within your maps, tens of thousand of items within your IMS) and your main system is far from being within equilibrium; UR in its current state isn't worth 300 bucks or more, etc., etc., etc.

Which all means UR should go corporate, have commercial functionality in order replace 1-5 seat commercial sw, and should go to be optimized within this range of use, THEN (only) apply a price of some 250, 300 bucks per seat, and of course do a student version for 100 bucks (remember, all this is NOT identical to my once speaking of 1,000 bucks sw).

I'm NOT aggressing current UR users here, by asking for tripling the price of the current sw, but within UR's and its competitors' current price range (cf. TheBrain for a start...), NOBODY will EVER get you that splendid sw we're finally asking for, AND that finally we'd be willing to pay for, as soon as our demands are met.

Hence this "slow death" of UR we're all complaining about, and which must not necessarily happen.

As for askSam, yes, the price was 300 bucks, AND it was a tremendous good thing for tasks like qualitative anaylisis, etc., BUT: Serious "little businesses" was impossible with AS, since it was buggy like hell, incl. data loss, which is not the case with UR, so most little businesses were afraid to use it for this simple reason yet, AND AS hadn't any functionality in order to be used for tax-compliant main use of your things going out (not speaking of things coming in), so its only possible use was as additional sw besides your main doc processing sw - unfortunately, this is the same with current UR, and in SPITE of UR's much better mail handling than AS' mail handling - and then, UR's outgoing mail handling isn't that sophisticated if I dare say.

So, I'm speaking of elaborate functionality, but also of another business model. I think that in the threads I've been writing in lately here, I succeede in explaining a little why NOT ONE of these applics succeed in finding a viable business model by offering just IM only - they are simply not of much enough use for any little business, all the less so since all of these must look elsewhere for their main needs - for their "just IM", then, they use all sorts of offerings, incl., for some of them, some of those dozens of outliners that altogether share that tiny market - and, let's put it bluntly, for most of them, UR might not be their most natural choice since the "first ten minutes accessibility" of the UR approach is rather sub-par.

There's some interest in the observation of TheBrain since their main business - above the overpriced offering for indiduals - is said to be corporate use (with sophisticated sw that is not identical at all to the crippled sw for individuals), while NOT offering document processing if I'm well informed. So it seems there might be an IM market for rather big corporations, that is not identical with their "everyday-for-everybody" sw needs, but where perhaps, in a corporate of 1,000, some 30 people within the strategy department get a 50,000 bucks sw with 30 seats, in order to do what we do with UR, be it TB or something else.

But it's clear as day that current outliners today will remain exotic - or even die, for lack of cloud functionality -, or become really useful for some-seats-businesses. And NONE of them IS, at this time. But then, kinook is one of the strongest offerings, and one of the strongest developers, so they could do much better than they do now, as soon as they got the motivation to do so.

Or anybody else might step in and do it from scratch...

Or from what they are doing now - again, I mention CRM and case management / lawyers' sw here. Up to now, they are all just addressing their respective traditional markets, they did not yet see that broad tiny-biz market yet.

But if ever something comes that we can be pleased with, it'll be such tiny-biz sw, from UR or from anywhere else.

The lack of developmentt in traditional outliners and such is heartbreaking, all the more so since, from my own, rather complete, programming experience back how MUCH kinook COULD have done these last year to make their sw outstanding in every respect, when in fact there is almost "nothing" - implementing new features into existing sw does NOT asks for "man years", or the other way round, with just ONE "man year" of kinook quality, ALL COULD HAVE BEEN ALREADY THERE.

I refrain from saying, "shame on you, kinook", but I dare to say that it's an incredible pity as it is today.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:22 AM
schferk schferk is online now
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Here, where it belongs, a bit from another thread:

"Which reminds me of a problem mentioned in the other, the "mind-map", thread: Using two instances or multiple maps, for deep-linking / launching OR for "thinking", i.e. separating those functions from each other, even using the same graphic program, should be perfectly possible, without the mental interference problems described there."

Then, the English term that would apply best to what a "mind-map" does, would perhaps be "DE-COMPACTING", in the sense that in an outline, these
different items are too "near" together, and too "rectiligned" together -

AND in another sense, also:

Of course, within a "mind-map", as within an outline, you work top-down and bottom-up, simultaneously: You add new maps for (sub-) subjects where you expect some details to be added, and you add details in the (partial) map or into the branch where they belong.

Now what's highly interesting here, and what's NOT available in an outline, is the limitation of screen and of paper. Yes, you COULD print-out a monster-map into 12, 16 or dozens of sheets of paper, but you'll be very well advised to NOT try to do such a thing.

On the contrary, whenever your screen map (with perhaps 40 or so details, all minor details included) gets too complicated, = whenever the "adjust map to screen" command will get you too tiny font sizes, and / or the white space isn't really there anymore, you'll know that you'll need to BREAK UP your map into two or more maps, and perhaps again, and again, for some subjects.

This is, one, a very natural way of working, and two, it seems to be one of the BIG advantages of "mind-maps" for planning, strategy, etc.: These "not too complicated" PARTIAL maps, for partial, sub-problems, and every one of these strictly observing the "not too complicated, just some dozens of items, not more, and whenever it becomes convoluted, separate it",

seem indeed be PERFECT for thinking about.

So it's not only the "how many items can your mind process simultaneously", but also, "introduce a certain limitation character to what you think about" which will enable your mind to better think about what you're staring at.

So this is in CONTRADICTION to what "idea-maps", TheBrain, 3D-representations, etc. try to accomplish, since they try to INCLUDE "anything else", but in the end, it's not the theoretical conception of what might trigger better thinking, it's the actual results that should lead your choice of such sw, and that sw of choice seems indeed and for most people to be the (technically "primitive", in comparison, and "flat") "mind-map", if used in a smart way.


"Mind Manager 11" is the successor of "Mind Manager 2012" (!), and I just saw an ad, "from 349 dollar p.a." - this is outrageous. It should be possible to buy a COMBINATION of IMS like (an optimized) UR and a professional "mind-map" sw that integrates with the former, for a total of 500 dollar, one-time payment, and then regular combined updates should perhaps be 200 dollar every 18 months or so.

By "professional" I mean,

- good, NEAT graphics (important for presentation means, AND for your own eyes staring hours and hours at the screen)

- bug-free (no problem whatsoever with UR or with MM, whilst with VM, I can make crash the prog anytime by just re-arranging some little branches within the same map)

- lotsa shortkeys for re-arranging branches, etc. (as im MM, whilst in VM, there are only a few; if freely assignable or not (in MM they are not, but the point is that there ARE shortkeys, and then you re-assign them by AHK or such))

- this also means, the respective commands must be there, in order to re-arrange lotsa things, so that these commands can be addressed by shortcuts then (MM is really good in this respect)

- ribbon or (preferably) not, but if a ribbon there is, no need to display it in order to trigger commands (have a shortkey for every command, and hide the ribbon)

- etc., etc.

We're almost 2013, which makes 30 years of pc, and nobody offers such a system yet. It would be time to do it. (And no, it's NOT possible to replace your IMS by outliner, by an IMS by "mind-map": No such program does seem robust enough in order to manager real big stuff - people who tried tell it'll get too slow, too cumbersome. And then, "mind-map" is not a GUI for managing 100 k of items of more to begin with. Hence the interest of a combi.


Oh yes, I forgot: Integration could be done in 3 different quality levels:

- to begin with, acceptable, but not satisfying long-term: export-import both ways

- as before, but with a command, available in both applications, to synch instantly; that would also mean (see below), if that "part" is not currently open in the other program, that applic would (open, in case, and then) open and display that part, too

- as before, but an option, too, that would synch both-ways anytime you do any change within one of the programs, provided that both programs are open and the part of the tree / the file ( in the "mind-map" program, or if, in UR, you got several files, not just one big file) you're working on, is currently open within the other program

Last edited by schferk; 11-17-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:12 PM
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quant quant is online now
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I suppose all that's needed is to incorporate some chart/map representation as an alternative to Data explorer pane in UR, should not be that difficult, there must be many companies offering ready made visual representation of charts/maps/ etc, for example
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:51 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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There are components even for this (as better editors e.g.), that could be integrated in any software. As long as such a components is not only a graphical representation of data, but allows for manipulating the data from this GUI, such an integrated solution would avoid lotsa potential difficulties that might arise by the otherwise necessary balancing of not necessarily convergent interest of two different developing companies - not speaking of the problems arising for the user by concurrent update needs.

Of course, this again shows, as with UR's current editor, that here, the choice of a cheap / free component then produces annoyance for the user, over many years, or, the other way round, prof. sw should incorporate the very best such components. (Formatting within the tree, anyone? = another example of a component (or an original development by kinook?) that's not as good as it should be, at this moment.)

But in fact, quant, your idea would avoid lotsa problems, no clash of two sw corporations and their respective policies "needed" at all here.

I'm more and more inclined to do a second IMS in some years, with top-notch components and with a good programmer doing the coding, if really no current developer will have taken this path until then.


Some minutes ago, I deliberately avoided any comment re TheBrain SDK vs. some more traditional "mind-map" component, in view of my preference to the latter (detailed above), but not wanting to artificially divide a consensus on the means to apply. But of course, these divergences must be treated if a developer wants to satisfy his users.

So, it occured to me that needs and preferences of different users do vary, of course, hence our traditional asking of delivering in-built functions "both" / multiple ways, i.e. to let the USER decide how he wants to do his work, whenever possible, instead of forcing upon him a precise way of doing things which might not please him at all - the apotheosis of such a system being, of course, SAP which every corporation puts into exactly that use that customer has in mind - it's an extreme case, for the asking price as well as for the needed amount (and hence the high price) of necessary adaptation.

So back to components. Let's assume a developer buys a highbrow component for 50 dollar apiece (standard components are rather 300 to 1200 dollar one-time payment), i.e. for every license he sells of his product, he pays 50 dollar to the component vendor (and why not if his price is 250 dollar). Now imagine he'll get TWO such, similar components, one costing him 50 dollar apiece, the other (not necessarily better) one 80 dollar apiece.

Why not offer his sw at a price of 200 dollar without any of these components, at 250 dollar with component one and at 280 or 300 dollar with component two, leaving the choice to his customers?

The additional (!) "man time" for adjustments to not one, but both components might be a week since most of the functionality is very similar - in extreme cases (and I'm speaking of professional coders here) it might be 2 weeks - perhaps it's 4 weeks to integrate one, but 6 weeks to integrate both.

At this price, the developer would make all his users happy, not forcing 50 p.c. of them into a new way of working they only accept for lack of any alternatives; it would propulse his prof. image, it would generate good press coverage, and so on.

The same could be done for other add-ons, add-ins, e.g. those "little corporation" features I spoke of lately: tax-compliant archiving incl. scanning / OCR, mail functionality, and so on: prof. software as a construction kit where users chose the components they want or need. Such a paradigm is way beyond "cheaper crippled versions" and a viable business model.

Meet people's needs, and you'll have happy customers willing to pay your price (as long as it's not beyond reason).

Last edited by schferk; 11-17-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:28 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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Additional problems:


One of the big advantages in my experience of "mind-map" sw

- IN THE FUTURE, I'LL DO "mm" for "mind-map" (rights to "mind-map": Tony Buzan) and "MM" for "Mind Manager" (commercial product by Mindjet) -

is the consistent graphical representation of the material, i.e. you add branches, you manually move branches, but apart from that, every time you re-open a map, the branches will be at the same location they were when you last had worked / mused upon your map.

TheBrain does NOT seem to have such a consistent graphical representation of branches and their sub-branches, or at least, there is much fiddling with several "views" in order to at least have ALL sub-branches of a given branch / node displayed together, to begin with, and about re-arranging branches as in MM, well, I never got to it, and it seems impossible (must say that my last thorough trials with TB were with the last major version).


See I, and additional prob: I can NOT work with (meaning: all the advantages of mm's I have liste do NOT work for me if I accept) the "original" distribution of branches, in mm's, clockwise, i.e. those progs do the branches 1 h, 3 h, 6 h (here, most progs fill up the right side first, then go "after" 6 h - I'm not speaking of the order, which is always preserved by your doing the sibling for a given item, but the graphical distribution on the screen, order preserved, I'm speaking here), 9 h, with additional sibling branches being put between.

So, I in my MM, I manually rearrange my nodes by the system 11 h, 9 h, 7 h, 1 h, then 3 h, 5 h, meaning I go down on the left side, then I go down on the right side, just as if I would fill up two pages, left, right, one after the other, by writing.

Now, I didn't search yet for a mm prog where I could do this by option, automatically, but that's not the real prob here, because of the consistency of the graphical representation in MM and in most / all mm's.

But as soon as you get to automatic transfer / "traduction" of your data between IMS and mm, or if you get to a mm component within your IMS, this "how the data is automatically distributed on the screen (and on paper)" prob will enter the scene and probably make useless any such automatic "dual data representation" worthless for more than one, either because it does it "the usual way" - I'd be out, then, or because it does it my way, which could mean many traditional user of mm's will find it unusable, them having always left the graphical representation of their data within their mm on default = clockwise.

Hence, the necessity to do some "research" first in order to know HOW mm users do it - it could be that many of them would like to do it as I do, once they will have started to manually re-arrange their branches, but without having done so up to know, and perhaps my assumption is wishful thinking only.

So, this uncertainty is another big obstacle to any such implementation (be it interconnection, be it implementing an internal component).


Clones. The more I work with mm's (in MM 8.2, as said), the more I miss clones, i.e. items / branches being on several maps simultaneously, and updated from anywhere - of course, we have got here the same problem as with UR and every other IMS: The updating must affect even clones being situated in NON-OPEN maps or databases, which means that in every (?) current IMS, there isn't but cloning of items / sub-trees within the CURRENT db, at best.

Sideline: Why do I need clones in my maps, when otherwise defending use of clones, within the IMS, just for special branches / db's there, i.e. prospects by area, by potential, etc., or (for an author) the personnel of his drama, by themes and by scenes, and such uses?

Because I started to get get out all my things related to planning, to todoing, to deciding, etc., from the depths of my IMS and into the mm map system, and of course, within THIS frame of thinking, clones are an absolute necessity.

In other words, the traditional problem "car assurance in car or in assurance" isn't a real problem, since a simple link will do here, from the side the car ass. is not, to the side where you put the car ass., so there would probably be car, with a link to ass., and ass, incl. car ass. - the same applies to any such "reference data" prob, and even less so, not even links would be necessary, most of the time, just item "car", then first child "assurance SEE assurance" (as link or not) (and other such), then a divider line, and elsewhere the item "assurance", then first child "incl. car assurance", then a divider line, and the "car assurance" further down anywhere within this block of perhaps dozens of children for various assurances.

But as said, within your "planning world", it's totally otherwise: there, multiple cloning is a necessity - but today's mm sw's do NOT offer them, it seems.

A citation from MM:

"Because the current maps are just hierarchical constructs, it is impossible to represent situations, where a child branch has many parents. Of course we can create additional relations, but this is definitely not the same." = seems to be an official statement from Mindjet.

Then the poster goes on with asking for clones, and he gets a "3 people like this idea", for a post 10 months old and tagged "MM 2012".

Which means that not even MM does have clones, with a 6- or 7-digit number of users (= in many corporations, and because of cheap university licenses) - this is a disaster.

And then, OF COURSE it is perfectly possible to have clones, inter-db-wise, inter-file-wise, as it is possible to have search over multiple db's (UR's missing inter-db-search, anyone?): You just maintain a little db with references, and containing the respective data, and for any opening of such a map, this db is checked for any changes that might have occured within this map = within the cloned branches in this map, in the meanwhile; then, these changes are worked into the map in question, before its being displayed.

The alternative solution would be to update any such map with clones being altered within a current map, by the prog opening the other map in the background, without displaying it, and doing the necessary change immediately, then save the other map again; the information which other maps contain which clones of clones within the current map, would be present in any such map containing clones, anyway.

Sorry for being rather technical, but currently, there seems to be NOT ONE really perfect IMS, so my "work" of imagining such a system must rely, in big parts, upon just imagination even of the intermediate steps to get to such perfect sw - I'd greatly prefer to have existing sw available that came nearer the desirable "end result", instead of constantly even having to imagine the necessary intermediate solutions - that would greatly enhance the precision of what I could say.

Hence my constant begging for realizing at least some intermediate steps to a perfect IMS, for my imagining further enhancements to become more focused.

Anyway, my next step will be to have a further look at mm sw and probably get the one that first will come out with clones, even if these clones are only possible in some "grouped maps" environment where all these maps must be opened together, each time. My MM maps just are about 35 kb each, so there would not be any problem to open even 100 such maps at the same time (but I hope that they could be grouped within a tree structure, since having 100 tabs wouldn't be a realistic solution here).

As smart readers will have understood, my dual way, MM plus IMS, being just another try to have get to that "super level" that is absent from any existing IMS, in order to work within that "super level", and NOT work within my referential data bulk.

This is a problem we ALL have, all the more so my astonishment that so few people see the prob here.

There have been some books, from a German woman, who has been defending strict discrimination of "work files" and "reference files", between your physical lever files and so on, some years ago. The problem, of course, being, that much stuff is reference AND working material at the same time, and additional prob is, this intersection is plastic, and moving all the time. In theory, computer power should / MUST finally bring a viable solution to this permanent problem THAT EATS UP, for everyone, for every corporation, lotsa working time and effort that could both be much better deployed on real tasks bringing "revenue" (be it commercial or scientific)), so it's revolting that there is no solution yet. And worse, that there is no developer out there who's available for doing some good work here, in order to leave the pack and become vanguard for a time, then get BIG revenue.

The first IMS that will really work, would grasp big markets, very big ones. It's a pity.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:26 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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(Edit of the above impossible since > 10k chars.)

EDIT [of the above] : Screaming Idiocy

In FreeMind / sourcefourge, there are two discussion on clones,

and especially

Both are from 2004 (!!!). In the latter one, the developer wishes to distinguish between natural and adoptive parents (see the other thread here), calling them fathers and unclues, in order to avoid recurson problems (see the other thread here). "Of course", nothing has been done about it in 8 years, but now see this thread:

In fact, while FreeMind almost does nothing, re further development, these "Requests_for_enhancements" are virtually endless: That's blatant idiocy, and of course, it reminds me of my own asking for enhancements in sw fori where in fact active development's having come to a standstill, more or less, is the matter, not possible high-brow enhancements.

So I'm questioning myself if I'm not as much an idiot as those FM users going into lengths for backing up their FM wishes, when in fact, even many years later, FM is certainly one of the WORST mm sw out there.

Sideline: While I criticised the pcworld "reviewer" for the blatant primitiveness in his "reviews" yesterday, please look here, for an example of a virtual perfect intro into a subject many of yours will be interested in (judging by the views of this thread here):

EDIT [of this post here] :

What I'm asking for is technically possible, and has been realized many ago ago, in another environment. I own Visio 2002, and there, there ARE clones, to other maps, but only within the "organigramme" template (= those kind of Warnier/Orr diagrams, not from left to right, but turned 90 degrees to the right, which makes them floating top-down).

Unfortunately, these templates are good for nothing else, and I tried! (Then I searched books about Visio, later version, in order to see if this functionality had been applied to other templates, but it seems it has not. Problem with trialling Visio (which I have avoided) is, as with other MS sw, that once you trialed it once, you will never be able to trial it again, even if you restitute your image which you had made anterior to your MS sw trialling - I have no idea how they succeed at this exploit, but in kicking the user in the you know what, MS has always been very strong. Hence my reliance on books and googling, for the respective current Visio capabilities-or-not.)

EDIT 2 :

Here - a mostly Mac-site not updated anymore, but being a gold mine for deeply detailed and highly developed info,

says (the Mac-only sw) Tinderbox does all what I'd need, technically speaking. But I started this thread in order to explain my need for DE-COMPACTING "working-info", whilst the Tinderbox concept COMPACTS everything in a way that I'd prefer working on paper only if ever they might be left the last working computer sw. Your experience might differ, but then, Tinderbox is presented as the technical non-plus-ultra almost everywhere, when in fact rather few people use it on a daily basis, so I dare say we've got another example here for highest-brow sw where the gui mastering doesn't follow the technical expertise. (Whenever I see a Tinderbox map, the term "sw for blockheads" appears in my field of vision - "blockhead" literally speaking, of course: sw not for simpletons, but for people with square brains - prob is, there ain't any such people, out there.)

Last edited by schferk; 11-25-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:35 PM
Jon Polish Jon Polish is online now
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I'm pretty sure that Freemind implemented clones a few betas ago. They are currently on Beta 8 (Sept 2012).

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Old 11-25-2012, 03:03 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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Jon, thank you a lot, by googling, this info doesn't become evident (EDIT: I meant by "mind map cloned item" and such, "freemind clone" will find it immediately! Introduced in May, 2012). If that's working, it'd turn the mm world upside down: A(n even last year) rather primitive freeware has the key function missing from any known commercial sw. Will report back.

EDIT : The user guide is for v. 0.8.0, and the info I found about cloning in FM:

seems to indicate that cloning is possible within the same map only (I've become a cynic and think that they would tout it if was otherwise, AND overall functionality last time I trialled FM was so bad that I come to the same conclusion from this pov. And there is, "This should work after saving and loading later on, too.", which seems to indicate even cloning within a given map is stable. AND you get what you pay for (e.g. DNS Legal: 949 euro, about 1250 bucks), so re sourceforge... I said I'm a cynic.). And yes, I've ceased to download all sort of crap just for trialling, I'm not believing in Santa Claus anymore. (Cf. GiveAwayOfTheDay with all that crap, crippled versions and so on. Most sw out there is only time-consuming rubbish.)

In a positive mood: The above-mentioned FM wish list is a good point of departure if you like to construct perfect mm sw (i.e. sometimes, collaboration is very helpful).

Last edited by schferk; 11-25-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:40 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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I - Visio

I fear I mixed up my real experience with retroactive wishful thinking. In fact, within the organigramme template only, there is a rectangle stencil / symbol that can indeed be cloned, but I think now that's only possible within the same drawing. Anyway, both ways for the technical implementation of multi-map symbol cloning are valid and could be realized by whomever willing to do it.

II - Another advantage of mm

In an IMS like UR, you'd have multiple items, each with a (rather short) title and then real content OR rather short details, explanations, etc. So, in analysis / projecting / planning / etc., you'd have lots of items, with their titles BEING displayed, and with lots of minor details, perhaps some words, perhaps 3 lines within the content / editor pane, and which would NOT be visible.

Now here comes, perhaps, the idea to get a 1-pane outliner, in order to have these short details visible, which in UR and such are invisible. That's perfectly possible, of course, but remember, a 1-pane outliner will not solve your problem of too-much-compactness of your "musing data".

Hence the interest of a mm prog: Here, you'd have a central topic (level 0 - bear this in mind, please, and if you consider the source item being level 1, add 1 to any number that follows), the name of the map in question, then, around this, some specific topics (level 1), and then, each of these have their respective sub-tree, with the specific subjects / ideas / etc. (level 2), and then, further down, they often have some details (level 3).

If you don't do lots of single maps, but only one very-big-map or just several rather-big-maps, you could be here at level 4 or level 5, instead of level 3, and that's as well as the system I detail here, given the fact that most mm progs (= don't buy any other / any crippled, "Personal" = not-"Business" version that can't do it) allow for switching from "big picture" to "display this branch only", and back again. Anyway, let's consider the level 3 as the "put descriptive details here" level and go back to our example.

In the following, then, you might look after levels 6 and 7, when I mention levels 2 and 3, no problem. The important is, I want to speak of those 2 levels where (in my case) 2 in UR would be single items titles, and the next level (in my case 3) would be the content of that same item.

So, again, we have level 1 containing what in UR would be headings (= not individual item titles, but the titles of "items" that in fact are parents to a group / subgroup".

And we have level 2, the UR item title. Now for level 3, i.e. the content of that same item.

It goes without saying that whenever you've got real detail here, a mm is NOT the right place to put that in, and you should perhaps put it into the NOTE field of that mm item, but perhaps not, since those note fields they are often bad, often worse, from their capabilities, and especially since they would constitue a FORTH separate entity for your things: You'll have the file system, the mm maps, UR or another IMS, so things in a forth body would not be a good idea imo, in most cases (there might be special cases where all SPECIFIC data go into a mm map system, and the notes there, and nothing else contained elsewhere - that would seem to be ok with me).

So, if there is real content, preferably do a link (from the mm item on level 2) to a UR item, or anything along those lines; anyway, such "real content" backgrounds of planning items should rather be the exception: In most cases, you'll get nothing, just two words, or perhaps even 2 or 3 lines of text.

Now, what to do with that "mini content"? Very simply, it'll become your mm level 3, and if it's too long for being visually ok within one level 3 item "under" the corresponding level 2 item, just split it up into 2 or 3 or 4 different such level 3 siblings - this cutting up will also force you to bring a max. of order / neatness into these bits. In exceptional cases, you could also split this level 3 then further up into level 4 bits, but my thinking is that whenever you must do this, you'd be far better off by thinking about it again and doing more level 2 items instead, with their details then in level 3 siblings.

This way, "EVERYTHING IS VISIBLE" (AND DE-COMPACTED, which isn't possible in 1-pane outliners), and that's a hefty advantage of mm over other techniques whenever you do planning or analysing work.

And, mm is a perfect means to "teach you" my motto (I have mentioned elsewhere): Make it hierarchical, yes, in order to get a first and main systematic framework for your material, BUT HOLD THAT HIERARCHY AS FLAT AS POSSIBLE:

And when I say, mm maps are perfect teachers for that motto to be adhered to, it's totally simple: When your mm map looks convoluted, you did NOT adhere to my motto, and when you re-arrange things as long as it gets to become a much better-looking map, heureka, it will be one considerably flattened-out!

Hence, mm maps are a PROOF for the validity of my "hold it flat" tenet, hence the multiplication of maps OR big maps, that in their big-map version necessarily convoluted, but that will - if you follow my maxim "more siblings, less grand-grand-grand-children" on the deepest levels - be as neat as the multiple maps, once you go down to the sub-branches that would constitute separate maps within the first model (= items level 0 in multiple maps, so items 1 in a big-map, here levels 1, 2, 3, 4 becoming levels 2, 3, 4, 5), and trigger "display current branch only".

III - Power Markers 1, 2, 3

I've been too late. In fact, there has been a work-around for clones, not over several maps - "of course" not, given the fact that nobody out there's willing to get into real coding troube but then present overwhelming results -, but over one map at least, which is the reason for my detailing the acceptability of the big-map paradigm above in Part II.

In fact, if you analyse a very big project, you would not split it up into many connected separate maps, but you would do a big map for that project, but work only on these level 1-entities (= which are equivalent to the level 0-source-items in multiple maps), by doing bookmarks or such for these level-1 items, go to them by shortkeys or mouse clicks in a list (as you would do with multiple maps in order to display them), and then, after triggering (best: by macro = 1 step: "show "virtual map 4 within a 20-map "big-map" AND ONLY show that "map 4" there"), and then work on that virtual sub-map, as you'd work onto map 4 of 20 different maps.

But now comes Power Marker (Poma, PM is Project Management, let's not create chaos) - ok, we're in Poma, und thus, MM country here. Even without Poma, you can put various "markers" onto your items, and then, you can "filter" for such markers, and even for combinations of them, but this will give weird graphical presentations. So back to Poma: It creates a second outline view (the main outline view being implemented in native MM), but here, the tree is by the marker(s) of your choice.

You got it, Poma for MM creates alternative trees, on-the-fly (cf. askSam)!

Now you wouldn't expect to have this even in the graphics, but then, you don't have clones, so you'll assign categories to items, with markers, and then, you'll get that tree showing these "marked" items only. That's far from perfect, but it's far more than you'll get anywhere else, except perhaps for clones in FM maps whenever they might be debugged.

Now, Poma 1 was 40 bucks (I suppose), Poma 2 was 40 bucks. Should have known about it then.

Well, then Mindjet get aware that Poma was a feature MM should have got by native implementation - and they are perfectly right about that. Now, what they did, is this: They bought Poma (hence non-availabilty from both sources for Poma 2 from then on), and they quickly brought out Poma version 3, with (if I dare trust the web, some Mindjet blablah about Poma, and minor debugging) - and they sold it for 2 times the price, which made that 80 bucks.

Should have bought then, anyway. (but wasn't aware of it of course)

Now, MM 2012, with integrated Poma! And the same is also integrated into version 11 (again, attention please, "11" comes AFTER "2012" - you cannot repeat this enough since at this very moment, the web is saturated with offers like "MM 2012, ONLY 430 euro / 600 bucks" - well, not even the current version 11 is even more expensive than that).

So, in my case, I'm stuck with a free version 8.2, without the chance to get Poma for that, and the total unwillingness to buy version 11, with Poma integrated, but at a price of more than 400 euro.

But then, I got an old trial version of Poma on my hdd (downloaded when I hadn't got MM yet, then forgot about it), so I'll can at least trial now (14 days only, I fear).

SO, I'm looking forward to buying, from someone having bought / updated to MM 2012 or MM 11, his unused Poma 2 (version 1 seems to have been buggy) or 3. (Look out for it in the web, on ebay worldwide or such: nada.)

Fact is: MM 11 is expensive and not outstanding, but it has got very good and highly needed features, so as for the competition.

Sideline: There are some PM offerings for MM that rely on synching back and forth with MS Outlook, i.e. relying heavily on Outlook's corresponding features in order to make them available for MM. I got both progs, but I'm not a fan of that integration. The MM-inherent graphic capabilities should be enhanced, not some info features from elsewhere brought within MM maps instead: That's good in its own way, but it's not a good replacement for all that's missing.

I'm looking forward to reconstitute my c: image every 30, 28, 21...14 (OMG!) days in the future, before being able to afford MM 12 or 13, at last.

Which shows that even third-rate solutions get much addiction (if not love), when first-rate solutions ain't available at any price.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:36 PM
schferk schferk is online now
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Join Date: 11-02-2010
Posts: 151

EDIT (above >10k) :

Have got 1 (14 days) and 3 (30 days), and the user guide for 3 - almost 80 pages! - lotsa detail for a third-class work-around...


Oh, and there's also a VERY smart (and successful) little gem: GyroQ ( I don't see the necessity to buy the 50 bucks prof version, but even the 30 bucks standard version has a very neat feature.

First, let me explain. You trigger GyroQ from wherever, you enter "must get milk from the grocer", you enter "enter", and you go on with your work, i.e. you gather, in the neatest possible way, ideas, things to do, etc., etc.

At the end of the day - or whenever you like -, you open MM and will have got all these little things into a special MM map, and from which you then will distribute all this to the right target locations.

So much for version 1.

Version 2 (= the one you now buy for 30 bucks) goes way beyond this:

You trigger GyroQ (let's say by F12 or whatever), then you enter "gr must get milk", and the "must get milk" thing will be put as a child to the branch "grocer" within that special map!

You'll do the same with 19 more possible such codes (separated by a space, as you will have understood by your own means, I'm sure), and there are even some very special codes that trigger more elaborate macros, e.g. a swot analysis (I doubt if this is really needed from an external mini tool, instead of from within the map, preferably).

Of course, I know, this is all rather rudimentary since it would also be possible - but isn't with the current version of GyroQ - to put such clippings to the "inboxes" of the maps in question, or of the level 1 virtual maps within a "big-map", by according codes.

But that code thing is really smart, and I say this all the more so since I have discovered such coding for my own needs, years ago in a macro tool, since being replaced by even more elaborate macros in AHK.

Whenever I put a clipping into a new item, in my IMS, from let's say IE8, I do F7, then I enter (in a pop-up dialog) the title of the new item = sibling I want to create where the focus is at the time in my IMS, then press "enter".

Now, if I want to create a child instead of a sibling, I dont do
F7TitleEnter, but


And if I am in a siblings range that all constitute children of an item I want the new item to be created as a sibling to, i.e. when I want to create an uncle of the current focus item, I do

(on my kb, the keys being "bnm,.-", so it's partly mnemonic)

And when I want to create the new item within my general inbox, since the current item is not suitable as a sibling or parent of the new item, I do

Since I got about 10 intermediate files (as I explained in length), with 10 more specific inboxes, I can also do, for the new item to be created within the "m" inbox (all these are 1-character):

And since I got, in every one of these 10 intermediate files, a list of all the respective more specific files (all these would be sub-branches of your big tree in UR), and all these entries there function as "most-specific" inboxes, I can also do:

in order to create the new item as a child of the mg entry within the m file - the second "-" being necessary because these "mg" and such can be 2 or 3 chars long, but an "m" before the "mg" isn't necessary because the "mg" might be in several such 1-char files, but only the one "mg" being in the "m" file should be served as an inbox; and how to target that "mg" entry within the "m" file? In going to the m file, then making sure focus is in the tree, then "home", then just entering not the "mg", but an ".mg", and this isn't search but the normal way to go to items in trees, just be sure there isn't another "mg" before, and in order to be always sure of this, file names in my files begin with a ".", that's only there as a coding sign, in order to jump to ".mg", by entering ".mg", or to OPEN the mg file when I press "enter" on such a ".mg" entry.

So you see, there is a lot of coding and code-checking going on behind the scenes, and a lot of working on strings, but on the surface, it's more than easy, SLICK TO THE EXTREME.

And in fact, I just decided to NOT buy GyroQ, in view of the fact that there's isn't but 20 such codes you can do there. By AHK, I can do the same, not as pretty, but with much more functionality, much more codes to be processed, as I detailed above.

Up to know, I had just elaborate creating-new-items-exactly-where-I-want macros for importing clippings from IE8, but it's more than easy to do just the same for ideas to be imported into multiple MM maps - or into your various UR sub-branches.



Because with this update, you'll get 200 favorites instead of just some, and if I were you, to write the according UR macros, I'd do it with jumping to favorites! 100 inboxes, 100 favorites left for other purposes.

WARNING, though: Once you'll create AHK macros, YOU'LL NEVER STOP !

EDIT : Oh, important detail, I forgot: Of course, in II, when the entry dialog is displayed, the screen will have changed to my IMS (it will revert to IE8 later on), so that I can SEE which one is the current file, and the current item there, when I do my entry (perhaps coded accordingly, or not), so I never must decide on these in the dark!

AND : You will have got that the interest of "coding" (those leading ".", ",", etc.) is to avoid those amateurishly-designed dialogs that force the user to click on several checkboxes, buttons, and so on: Worse, if it's checkboxes, you don't even know beforehand at which state they are at any given moment, so the user has to check, to act his mouse, perhaps on 2 or 3 elements within the box - all this is amateurish rubbish - and the GyroQ people HAVE GOT THIS, and do it a much better way, as I do. Just their SCOPE is too limited, 20 codes for similar level-1 target items within only ONE pre-selected map isn't enough, when you could have various targets in multiple maps, for the same "price" (meaning, there isn't any additional coding difficulty for the developer, but it would make a big enhancement for the user: hence my, again, doing it by AHK).

AND : It seems that Poma 2, and hence Poma 3 (not speaking of Poma1), in spite of the 78 pages of User Manual, only can extract attributes lists for ONE attribute in a row, not for a combination of 2 or 3. But again, even that, having things together by one attribute, in a clickable (and I hope, exportable??? YES YES YES!!!) list, that might be graphically spread over (remember, you need the big-map, since no assembling over different maps!) 1,200 or 2,000 items, is a treat, comparing to what the competition delivers.

Last edited by schferk; 11-26-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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