Is there a way to merge branches into one?

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Hello,

I am looking for a way to merge branches together in a well stuctured way.

Please see in the screenshot what I tried by using connections. In principle, this satisfies my need but it does not look quite good ...


What I want to have is something like this:



Is there a way to achieve this?

Thank you, kind regards!



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N Strach

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Posted 3 years ago

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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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I just tried it and this the result:



You can select the relationship line and use the yellow handles to place the relation to the desired side of the topic

You can select all relationships to Prime nrs and format them in one go.

It can be done although it is a bit of work
(Edited)
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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I was just about to share the same Ary, thanks!!
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Andrew Wilcox, Champion

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Snap.
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N Strach

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Thank you very much for you quick help, Ary! It is a good solution for my task!

Just one last question: Is there a way to create these connections in a more automated way like done when creating a top-down mindmap tree? The standard connection seems to be also a little different, since there is a (-) to click on to collapse etc.

(Edited)
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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Now that is a bit more complicated, since you wish to connect from  various perpsectives:
From Req as well as from Prime/even nrs .

The mindmap technique was not designed for that purpose. That is always a tree, hence the + and minus when creating and collapsing a tree. And that is why you need to use floating topics and connect them through relationships to get the image you want.

You would need something like conceptmaps for your needs.
They can  be made by using this Addin http://www.olympic-limited.co.uk/product/network-builder/
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N Strach

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Ah, ok... I will have a look at the tool! Thank you!
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Even in a concept map, it would be tough to implement an expand / collapse capacity on relationship lines. I suppose you could but you'd hide much of the content with each collapse. 
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N Strach

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Maybe I shall explain a little bit the purpose of what I wanted to do: It is a kind of a system architecture for an electronic device. The device shall meet several requirements. Main requirements are split up into sub requirements and subsub requirements. This fits well into the tree structure of a mindmap. But this is not where I wanted to stop. I would like combine the subsub requirements again in another (logical) way to "functional groups", that one can easily see which functions cover wich subsub and sub requirements. Any good ideas on how to do this in MindManager?

(Edited)
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emonterog

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I still think would be nice to have this option and connect several topics to one as we do one to one or multiple topcis. The problem with the
floating topics is that as map grow bigger the associated topic won't move with it and mess the map structure and organization, which needs to be readjusted and is time consuming. Also when retracting branches the float topic will remain visibile. Would be nice if it ca be hide it with its parents Really a nice to have feature in the future.
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Maybe it's possible to 'tag' the sub-sub requirements in multiple ways. Then apply filters to show or hide certain tags. 
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N Strach

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I totally agree with emonterog! It would be a big improvement in usability if there would be another way of connecting several topics to one.
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Do you mean an easier way to add the relationships? Or, more/improved functionality with the relationship lines? 
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emonterog

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I think both easier and it will improve functionality. I face several times with this scenario to reconnect several nodes/topics to one and it is really a pain to do it as suggested above. I was thinking instead of using a relantionship lines to have a function of merge several topics to just one node, similar to the first branch example showed in the video. Is this to hard to do in the future?
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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Hi there,
I did a test with Michael's idea of using TAG's and MAP-Index functionality



It provides the insight as N Strach describes, but ofcourse not the visual that emonterog wants.

No need for floating topics though.

I personally think the visual is another issue, and moving a bit away from Mindmaping conventions, but absolutely nice to have.
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emonterog

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My passion is Mind Mapping. I use them all the time, I collect them, read them,  hand draw them and I have invested a little fortune in some of the best software out there to create them. When talking about mind mapping conventions I don ́t consider that we are moving away from it. I think the power of mind mapping is the flexibility to allow the brain make associations in a visual and engaging ways to make them memorable and easy to understand. Mindmanager is a great tool however I think it becomes too rigid in different ways. I hope Mindjet considers their customers feedback and suggestions to really make substantial improvements in future releases of this tool. In my very humble opinion but as a loyal customer since Mindmanager 8, I am a bit dissapointed with the last 2 versions (MM14, MM15) due to the minor changes provided. I was expecting a lot more from this tool and more value for price paid. 
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What other ways do you find the tool rigid? 

Right now the only way to 'close' a branch would be to put a boundary on it...And then a boundary can have a callout and then the callout can have additional children. This doesn't work elegantly at all but it does, very roughly allow multiple children to be summarized by a topic. I like the idea that you're mentioning above though and you're not the first to ask for it. 
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emonterog

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One thing I really struggle with is to position things where I want to. MindManager  grows vertically and not horizontally. Would be nice to have an auto/manual layout feature so you decide if you want the tool to allocate elements for you or you take control for a more convenient organization of the elements as needed. Floating topics and callouts sometimes become a pain to move since you try to drag and drop where you want and they just move back or reconnect as a subtopic. Just to mention 2 examples.
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A unfortunately little known feature is to keep the shift key down while moving floating topics. It'll allow movement without connecting it to the map. 
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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I'm not sure I understand the issue about moving the callout though, can you explain further? 
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Michael Deutch, Official Rep

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also, I'm not clear on what you mean by growing vertically vs. horizontally. Can you explain that too? 
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emonterog

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In my point of view, due to the limited control over the layout, the distribution of the elements tend to grow vertically. I think there is an opportunity to improve how to allocate and move the elements within the canvas. In the example below I had not being able to distribute the elements like in picture 2-3 using mindjet.
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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If I understand the red lines in the images above correct, you want to do something like this???



You can do this by making a boundary (accoladestyle) on topic A and B
Select the topic, add a callout that turns automatically into a topic and so on.
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emonterog

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Thank you Ary, This can work too. I have used this approach sometimes. What I don't understand is why it becomes a callout instead of a subtopic to give a sense of continutity of the idea or at least give the option to choose from a callout or subtopic look. Also would be nice that floating topics with associated lines will remain with its parents and disappeir when you retract the subtopic too. 
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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It is called a callout because it tells something about the topics inside the boundary. That is quite logical to me. Once it is there, you can also use it as a starting point for next levels. That is an extra feature within MindManager.

Floating topics are floating because they do not belong to other topics. Neither as parent nor as child. You can either drag them to a parent,( but then they are not floating anymore) or use relationshiplines to inform you there is some kind of relation. That is why there is no real association.  Floating topics are a real gift while e.g. brainstorming

By the way, have you found the Balance Map function in MIndManager to re-distribute your topics ?
Have you seen the little white circle that comes with a topic that can be used as a handle to place the topics etc to any desired place on your canvas? (it turns black once the location is changed) You can hold down he shift key while dragging (as Michael mentioned) to be more precise.
Have you seen the vast amount of templates and design features to optimize the look of your map's?
(Edited)
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emonterog

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Thank you Ary for sharing your comments and suggestions

Abt. the callout suggestion I just think why not to give the option to choose from a callout or a subtopic connection. I think this will provide a different context to the information.



Mostly I use floating topics for the reason that N Strach asked the question in first place,  of "how to merge branches into one?". Visually is the closest way I can get to resolve this issue. That is why I wish floating topics can disappear when the subtopic is retracted and move along with their linked topics (IF,  there is a connection or link line in btw.) OR have a different option to MERGE Branches into one. I understand the concept of floating topic but it can be more versatile to maybe add more functionality while creating the map
.
Balance works sometimes for me but not always. The dragging point seems to work only on first topic but not on children unless you let me discover something new.



I appreciate you let us as customers to express an opinion, my intention is to share what I think could be improved and not just complaint about it. I know Mindmanager has a lot of nice features too but I wish Mindjet can allow to explore other ideas to improve and make mindmanager even a better program.
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I've gone back to the initial question and come up with a few work-arounds.

Consider the following version of the map:

I can get it to do this:

- or this:



With one click, or this with two:

The trick is to create a completely blank floating topic with no, text, lines or fill colouring which renders it invisible. Then attach a sub-topic to this floating topic as the "real" target topic formatted as you wish but with no lines (you might need lines for sub-topics of this topic, but I'll come back to that in a moment).

Then you attach the relationship lines to the relevant topics on the main tree formatted as discussed earlier in this thread. In the following map I've given the hidden floating topics a fill colour to make this approach a bit clearer:

Of course you are left with the +/- buttons between the invisible floating topics and their visible sub-topics, but I think that's a small price to pay, plus they make it easy to collapse and expand each of these ersatz branches. This approach also gives you more flexibility in the placement of these topic groups.

Now, if you want to add sub-topics to these there are a few alternatives which I've shown in the following map:



In this map the orange topic has three child sub-topics connected with conventional lines. I've reinstated the line for the orange topic to make the connection more obvious but you don't have to use it; without the three subtopics would still have lines connecting them to the +/- button but no line to their parent topic. The +/- button on the right means that this group can be made to expand and collapse independently of the orange topic, but the whole group disappears when the orange topic's button is clicked.

The second blue group works substantially the same way, but I've put a boundary around the group and tried to make the topic lines a matching colour to the boundary fill. Otherwise this group is technically the same as the orange group.

With the green topic I've repeated the same trick I used with the orange and blue topics in the earlier maps. There is an invisible floating topic to which the three pale green sub-topics are attached. These subtopics have no lines but are linked instead to their parent by relationship lines. This means there is more flexibility in where you place this sub-group and they can still be made to appear and disappear as a group, but the downside is that to remove the green topic and this group completely from view you have to click both the +/- icons.

With the pink subtopics I've added callouts instead of sub-topics. These callouts have been formatted to have a fill colour but no lines; instead they have been given relationship lines. This gives you more flexibility as callouts can be moved around more easily, though bear in mind they can do strange things to the placement of their parent topic. The disadvantage however is that the callout group cannot be collapsed independently of their parent topic, though unlike floating topics they will disappear when the parent topic is made to disappear.

In the final map below however I have combined these techniques in the purple subtopic. Attached to it is an invisible subtopic to which the callouts are attached. The callouts are formatted without lines but have relationship lines back to the parent purple topic (not the invisible subtopic). This means you can collapse this group as if they were conventional subtopics and they will also disappear when the parent purple topic is collapsed, while at the same time they have the greater flexibility in terms of placement that callouts have.

All this may seem like a bit of work but once you decide which is the best approach for your needs you can always save the sub-topic group as a map part and just format it as required when you paste it in the map.

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I've described this process in more detail here.
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dennis.ofarrell

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Are any of these features now built into MindManager 16?
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emonterog

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Nop :(
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menace97

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Coggle is able to do this quite nicely. I see I'm not the only one waiting to see if MindManager will be able to merge branches into one (without workarounds or add-ons).
(Edited)
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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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Hi Menace, I see you have posted this twice.
So I answer twice as well.

If you upgrade to MindManager vs 2018 you will see that there are now also extensive Flowcharting Options.

With those you can create the layouts you have in your image and more...

Obvious the product is still meant for professionals, so the lines may be somewhat more structured than your example.

If you want to check first.... why not download the MM2018 trial and see if it works correct.