How do I just show the FIRST of the children topics?

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Hello

Is there any way to just show the FIRST of the children topics?

BACKGROUND
I am using MM2019 to manage my various projects. Each of my projects has a large number of tasks as child topics, but if I show all of them at once, it it quickly becomes overwhelming(!) and takes up too much screen space.  So to simplify my view, I just want to just show the FIRST task for each of my projects. Is that possible?

Failing that, is there any way for the first task to appear in a popup when you do a mouseover?

Cheers

J

PS The best I can do is to have one child to act as a "collection of tasks" topic and to put all my tasks for the project in as grand-children tasks below that topic.
I could then format the topic size of the "collection of tasks" to be a fixed size which I could make extremely small (e.g. 3mm x 3mm), and then just drag the next task up from being a grandchild into being a child... ...but that's all quite fiddly! 
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J Smith

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Posted 2 months ago

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zak_neutron

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Why can't you use the Collapse map - back to Level 1 (Ctrl + F3)? Or have I misunderstood this?
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I think the question was about how to show the first subtopic among a group of siblings, not level 1 topics.
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J Smith

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Yes, Alex is correct.
To get clear, imagine that you have 5 separate major projects. And for each project you have of say 20 child tasks.  I want to create a view that shows the first one task for each project ==> i.e. 5 child tasks on my screen, rather than 100 tasks  (from 5 x 20). 

In practice, just showing the one task per major project can be restrictive, so even better would be to be able to choose how many tasks each project shows (e.g. just say 2 or 3 tasks per project?)... but either way, I definitely do no want all 20 tasks for each project visible on this view, as that number quickly becomes overwhelming.
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Paddy Boocock

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You could do it with a simple macro that used the Focus instruction on the first child of a selected topic or with one that traversed all topics recursively to do this for each topic on the map with subtopics.
I can't think of a way to do it directly from the menu.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I can't think of a way to do this from the menu either. You could manually change the formatting slightly for each first subtopic and then apply a filter to show these subtopics only, but that isn't going to work if you're constantly changing the top subtopic as tasks are completed.

As Paddy suggested you could probably design a simple macro to do this. I'd also suggest approaching Nigel at Olympic Limited to see if this idea could be incorporated in a future version of the MAP add-in.

Edit: Another option is to think laterally about this and use the Schedule View. This won't reduce the number of visible subtopics but it should provide a bit more focus, with tasks organised in columns by date. Within each column the tasks are shown in hierarchical order, starting with tasks under the first main topic, and so on. You could filter that map so that as tasks are completed they would disappear from view, while being retained in the map.
(Edited)
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J Smith

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If I understand you correctly, the problem with using Schedule View is that one would need to give each task a Due Date, yes?   If so that isn't going to work well, because one would be forced to enter artificial, non-true data in order to get the view to work.

In business we are all busy. There is always to much too do.  At least some tasks will almost always tip from one day into the next. But I don't want to keep having to edit and re-edit the Due Dates of all my tasks, just to get my views to work...! 
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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What is a project without a due date?
Have you tried any combination of linked maps and map rollup?
Instead of schedule view you could try icon view and specifically the new kanbantemplate _ see the webinars on the subject
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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If you can't assign dates then I think Ary's suggestion of using Kanban is the best way to go. This would require the basic Kanban tagging of tasks into the categories of ToDo, Doing and Done, though you can expand on these. You could add priority icons and sort by these so that the Priority 1 tasks appeared at the top of the category in each column in the Kanban tag view; you could also filter the map to show only the high priority tasks.

The other option is to take a look at the ResultsManager and Task4Maps add-ins for MindManager from Olympic Limited, though I think these both assume that the task topics will have due dates assigned to them.

Edit: I think a variant of your request would be a useful idea which I have suggested for inclusion in the MAP add-in for MindManager. This would be to make a topic’s number (whether topic numbering is turned on, or not) accessible as a topic property, similar to how MAP now handles topic level. As with the topic level property the topic number would adjust automatically as a topic is moved, or as topics above it are removed or added.

This topic property would then be accessible in filters and SmartRules, or a combination of both, so for example you could set up a SmartRule to format the topics with a topic number less than five and then filter on that formatting. The advantage of doing this via topic properties is that you could also highlight, say, the topics numbered five to ten and not just the first five.
(Edited)
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John Smith

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Alex - your edit sounds like a promising idea.

To get clear, the problem I am tackling is a deep one for any task management system. It is about the difference between Urgency vs Importance.  They are of course utterly different things!

What I personally have found in practice is that although many task management systems help you to become very good at doing the more urgent stuff, somehow after time has passed, when you then look back at what you have been doing, you have failed to do the more important stuff.

So to conflate Urgency and Importance into a single Priority value is extremely dangerous!
For one thing a lot of important stuff never, EVER becomes urgent (and if you are not careful it may never ever get done) and likewise it's all too easy to find yourself doing lots of relatively easy, 'low-resistance' urgent stuff instead of those more difficult/higher resistance tasks that are actually much more important.  Indeed there needs to be an easy visual way to consciously abandon urgent but non-important stuff, simply because it isn't important enough to execute. OR even if it is, maybe you just defer it regardless of the fact that it is nominally 'urgent', on a "too bad" basis!

It is particularly crucial to keep all these issues under control when working in a dynamic environment (e.g. entrepreneurial situations) where priorities are likely to shift by quite a large amount and do so quite quickly!



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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi John,

I understand what you're saying but it should be possible to apply tags or icons indicating both urgency and importance to tasks, and then use the tag or icon views. You could set up the columns in either view to reflect importance, and then sort tasks by urgency, or vice versa.

If you like my suggestion regarding topic numbering I suggest writing to Nigel at Olympic Limited to ask him to look at including this in a future version of the MAP add-in. I've already requested this.
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John Smith

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> You could set up the columns in either view to reflect importance, and then sort tasks by urgency, or vice versa.

This sounds like a good idea but it doesn't quite work in practice.  
Whatever you use for columns would work. For example you might put the level of urgency into columns with more most urgent stuff being in the further to the left column, and the Importance being represented vertically, with the more important stuff going nearer the top. 

BUT the problem is that as you pick off the tasks nearer the top, tasks further down appear to become more important. But this is clearly an artefact! Stuff does not become more important just because you have done other stuff!

And I don't think things become more urgent either just because other tasks have been done.

TL;DR
Like most people almost all of my tasks have a genuine, real-world level of both importance and urgency whose magnitude does not depend on other tasks. So having tasks flow up and down the screen using the sort order to indicate magnitude does not work.  
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I agree that my solution isn’t perfect, but unless Mindjet provide access to the topic number (or this facility is added in a third-party add-in like MAP or via a macro), you will have to make do with suboptimal alternatives.

Actually I think the other variant of the tag/icon view which I suggested may be more useful,, which is to set the columns by importance and then sort by urgency (or whatever else you want to use) within the column.

Tasks would retain their relative importance as indicated by their column regardless of whether other tasks were completed or not. One advantage of the tag/icon view is that tasks can have new tags or icons assigned to them (in this case reflecting their importance) simply by moving them between columns.