Is there any way to create a dashboard that can apply a saved filter that you have saved at a single click?

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Hello 

Is there any way to create a dashboard of some sort where I can keep a list of saved filters, whereby with a single click I can clear the existing filter and apply a different saved filter?

(Either that or do the same thing with user-defined hotkeys??)

Explanation:
I found on other task management applications (e.g. MLO) that using a mouse is the thing that slows everything down. Personally it also tends to give me RSI. So the computer keyboard should be used as much as possible. And where not possible everything needs to be set up with as few clicks as possible.

I am experimenting with Results Manager, however as far as I can see its queries results seem to just be 'flat' lists and seem to lose all the hierarchies... whereas in MM saved filters you still get to see the hierarchies.

Thanks

J
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John Smith

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Posted 2 years ago

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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If you click on the Power Filter icon (the funnel in the bottom right of the map window or in the Filter group in the View tab on the ribbon) you should see a drop-down option for either Saved Queries or Manage Saved Queries. This allows you to save any query that you create and then manage these queries.

Once the queries are saved however you don't have to go into the dialogue box to apply (and remove) them. Simply click on the funnel icon and the query names should appear in the drop-down menu, so in effect you can get to them with two mouse clicks. Removing a query of filter requires only a single click on the Remove Filter icon (which appears the map is filtered).

Also dashboard maps which can roll up selected topics from one or more project maps in a single map have just become available with version 2017.1. While these won't filter in their own right you can filter them after creation and in fact have several different dashboard maps, each saved with a different filter (see my comment here).

(Edited)
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John Smith

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Thanks, yes roll-ups does look quite cool.  

But applying a saved filter seems to take a minimum of 2 clicks.  i.e. You need to click on "Show" before you can find and click on the saved query, yes?   Worse, if you don't have the View tab open it then become 3 clicks. 

I shall have a fairly large number of saved filters (maybe 20 or 30) so it may end up being more than 2 clicks if I need to scroll.  

What is also frustrating is that I can't see how to MOVE saved filter queries so that I can create a sort order that makes sense so as to allow me to find the one I want more easily. 

Is there any possible way of adding a saved Query directly onto a Ribbon?
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John Smith

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PS Wait, is there any way that I can call (i.e. apply) a saved filter by clicking on something within a map?

Yes, I am aware of ResultsManager, which I am still evaluating. However it seems to spit out "flat" results. i.e. It shows a long list of topics that all match the criteria, but you lose the hierarchy from that view, which makes it hard to read. (Yes, you could click on each one to find out where it is on the mindmap it comes from ,  but that's starting to get time consuming... And also I can't see pattern to what the default sort order for the tasks is, meaning you have to name and read each one very carefully...)
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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You don't need the View tab to be open in order to access the power filter icon - it's also available at the bottom right of the screen.
Whether or not you can get icons for the filters themselves directly on the ribbon is something that people with more programming skills than me can advise on, but if you could establish multiple dashboard maps each with its own filter then you could possibly construct a a menu of links to them based on a floating topic in the project map. Each menu item could link to a separate filtered dashboard map.
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John Smith

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Yes that filter bottom right does help a little - thanks  :)

Is it possible to get the same map file open on different tabs - each with differing filters open?

However I'm slightly hazy about what you mean by a "dashboard map"...
Is that a map with a link to another map? And if so is is possible to burn a filter into that link?

cheers

J
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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In answer to your first question, the short answer is no - you can have only one map open in one window at a time, the partial exception being that you can have a map and a Gantt view of the same map open together in the same window.

Regarding dashboard maps, yes these can be constructed as either separate stand-alone maps, or based on floating topics in the same map. I've written a post on how to set them up on my blog here (please note you need version 2017.1 or better to access the new dashboard maps feature). 

I had hoped that it would be possible to create a filter in these maps and then save them in the filtered state to create the scenario you describe. My idea was that you could save several dashboard maps linked to the same central project map with each dashboard being saved with different levels and types of filtering. Ideally these maps could then be reopened in their filtered state.

Unfortunately this isn't the case. While dashboard maps can be filtered and saved in the filtered state, when they are reopened they are unfiltered, even though the filtered map warning is visible. The filter is still there and can be reapplied after opening the map, but having to go through the extra clicks partly defeats the purpose.

I'm pretty sure this is a bug, especially as in certain circumstances the dashboard map will even duplicate subtopics and branches (refreshing the rollup removes the duplicates). I suspect what happens is that when the map is opened the filter is applied and then the rollup occurs (if you watch as a filtered dashboard map is opened you can see only the filtered topics appear to be followed a split second later by the rest of the map). This should happen the other way around - rollup refresh followed by filtering.

While this makes filtered dashboard maps less helpful for your purposes they still have their uses. You could for example use a dashboard to show a specific set of branches which you then filter, or set up and save particularly complex filters as a separate dashboard.

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John Smith

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My head is slightly starting to spin with this... but from what I can see a dashboard map is more about the flow of numeric date between sheets - rather like how a spreadsheet works.

But I think what I want is the ability to apply different previously saved filters. And to be able to jump between about 20 of such filters VERY trivially - ideally at a single click.

This sort of thing is absolutely crucial when you are dealing with large numbers of topics.

As I said previously, it's disappointing the we can't just build up our own logical expressions and create our own filter using AND and OR and NOT and brackets etc.

Given how powerful MM is in so many other ways, I find it extremely surprising that MM's filtering seems to be so weak. I am now trying to decide whether such weak filtering is a deal-breaker for me...   :^/
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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While dashboard maps can be used to track numeric data stored in topic properties from different maps and potentially to consolidate this information across maps (which is something I hadn't thought of), I suspect their primary purpose was intended to be more the tracking and summarising of task information across multiple maps.

Like a lot of things to do with MindManager however, a new or updated feature can have a range of uses, both intended or unintended. Therefore I thought it might be worth exploring the potential to use dashboard maps combined with filters.

As I indicated before, I found that you can filter dashboard maps and save them in their filtered state but there is a bug which results in them reopening in an unfiltered state. Not only does this increase the number of mouse clicks involved in using dashboard maps as a way of saving a range of filters; it also makes it difficult to save and use dashboard maps with multiple filters as they have to be reapplied one-by-one.

If this bug could be fixed so that the rollup was applied before the filter it would make dashboard maps much more useful in applying complex filters, especially as it appears possible to rollup other dashboard maps within a dashboard map (edit: I may have spoken too soon on that one. While it is possible to create "stacked" dashboard maps in this way, it seems that they subsequently crash on opening).

I do agree with you however about the limitations of MM's filtering system. It would be great if as you suggest we could have the ability to construct and save logical expressions in a similar manner to the way in which users can now put together complex expressions regarding topic properties. This would be a very powerful feature in its own right, but even more so if you could combine it with dashboard maps that filter properly on opening.

(Edited)
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Sia Banihashemi, Official Rep

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Thanks Alex for providing so much great information here. While I can't provide an immediate solution to your issue, I can say that we are working on improvements to the power filter for the next release that should alleviate some of these issues. Your feedback here is greatly appreciated.

John, When you use your filters do you also need to use the task pane? Or could we display the list of saved filters in the task pane to provide you a quick way to access them?
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John Smith

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John, When you use your filters do you also need to use the task pane? Or could we display the list of saved filters in the task pane to provide you a quick way to access them?
That is a very interesting question. And me thinks the answer is not obvious. 

In summary here is what I want to be able to:

A. Save about 20-30 filters, that I can name.

B. Change their positions relative to each other so that the user can group them into ways that make sense to him/her. (If difficult an alphabetic sort of stuff that I can easily rename would be okay, just.)

C. Create filters with full unrestricted complex logic statements (i.e.  ANDs, ORs, NOTs, >, <,  and brackets etc)

D. Be able to access them with as few clicks as possible, no matter what I'm doing. 


The last part (D.) is tricky... 

Although MM already has quite good hotkeys I think it should be possible to make  absolutely everything to happen by using just the keyboard without using the mouse at all, as this tends to be about 10 times faster.

So ideally I think we should be able to fire up these saved filters just buy using hotkeys that the user can define. They should toggle on and off. 

Now, IF we can have on user-defined hotkeys on our named/saved queries, then it doesn't matter so much where you access them by mouse! 

The simplest thing would be to have another icon in between the "Filter - Show" icon and the "Remove Filter" icon, called say "Saved Queries".  I think they need their own icon because those 11 existing Task Filters are already getting in the way vertically and we will never have room for so many names in one column. Moreover when it does run out of space, it should then start to take up two vertical columns.

But what is crucial is that the hotkeys that we have defined are also visible  in a column to the right of the filter names. Ideally if the user right-clicks on them, the user should be able to change either the name or the hotkey right there.  In order to work well, you would need to make sure about 20 -25 characters of saved filter name to be visible.

I would ideally like to be able to change the sort order of these filters pretty easily too - possibly by some action following a right click (e.g. click on an arrow up or an arrow down? Either that or drag??) That said if renaming is trivially easy, like I say, it wouldn't be a disaster to simply sort them alphabetically. 

But if user defined hotkeys are NOT possible to allocate for each saved query, then  I would vote for being able to allocate our own icons for each filter and have them appear either along the bottom of the screen next to the Gantt Chart icon.  Or failing that, I would have them be able to appear individually on Custom tab. However both of these options are pretty fiddly for the user to set up, so if humanly possible I would firmly vote for a user-configurable hotkeys for each saved filter.

I don't think it would really work having our named saved queries on any of the tabs on the right, because that would be at least one extra mouse click to change tab,  plus they would take up quiet a lot of room here. Conceivably they could be listed on their own brand new tab at the right but the list of tabs is already looking pretty busy. 

Overall my main recommendation is to give them user defined hotkeys, and then I don't care too much where they can be found by mouse, just so long as where I've found them I can actually see the hotkeys. 

Trying to help - that's the best I can do. 
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Sia Banihashemi, Official Rep

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Thanks for the detailed response! I think what you are describing would all be good improvements to our filtering capabilities. I can't promise anything, but I will take your suggestions into account as we make improvements in this area for the upcoming release.

Also, if there are other members of the community that think they would find value in these features please chime in so we can gauge the interest in this area.
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John Smith

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Excellent, Sia - I am crossing my fingers.    :^)

The more I think about it the more I think the improvements to MM's filtering would really take MM to the next level, because it would enable vastly better handling of larger volumes of data on a single map.  
It would start to enable the user to start to treat a really large mindmap more like a database and enable the user to extract useful information but - and this is crucial - to be able to do so without losing sight of the visual structure of the data.  Such a thing may exist but I have not yet come across anything else which does this - certainly not in the SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprise) space.
 
*     *     *     

Before I go, here is another suggestion.  The problem users have is time. Everyone is busy. And reading my long detailed, slightly discursive post will take time. But if your development team were to produce some visuals in say Photoshop - ideally annotated visuals - of what any proposed ideas might look like, I think you'd get much more feedback.

Moreover as soon as one can SEE something, certain things immediately become self-evident to everyone involved that were not evident when described in words. In fact I started knocking up a draft visual myself using Xara Designer Pro + Photoshop.

Once created and you could then annotate quickly and unambiguously in something like Faststone Capture to make it clear what is being discussed.

OK as a favour I've knocked up something myself to show roughly what I mean. Note that I've made a slight hash of it as the popup should line up with the new icon(!), but hopefully you get the general idea... which is that you could create what is deliberately only a quick & dirty visual for purposes of discussion. And in most instances it's probably quicker to knock up a visual rather than actually do any coding. 



Cheers

J

P.S. And Phase 2 of the above might be to get a specific much more real world example of the filters being put to use.   For example you might get a GTD methodology expert/coach to work with your graphic designers to lash up a well-thought through example of how the filtering might be put to use in the real world.  i.e Both the names of filters and the exact details of map content had been thought through (unlike what I've done above).

This might both inspire users to create something similar themselves as well as trigger a constructive discussion.  ...And all this  could be done without a single line of code being written!  

Trying to help. Over to you!    :^)
(Edited)
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Sia, thanks for your reply. While it was mainly asking a question about John's saved filters proposal it touched on some of the points I raised, so I wanted to respond to your statement that "... I can't provide an immediate solution to your issue".

I'm assuming that you're referring to my comment regarding the order in which filtered dashboard maps open - first filtering, then refreshing the roll-up, rather than the other way around.

This is much more of a concern than the other issue which I mentioned - the instability of "cascading" dashboard maps. This latter issue is more understandable and I assume arises because the final dashboard would need the intermediate dashboards to be open and the roll-ups updated. It also appears to be an intermittent fault as at times I can get the cascading dashboard maps to open without crashing.

The filtering and roll-up order is a more serious issue however because the ability to reopen dashboard maps in their filtered state would a great way to use these maps. Furthermore there is another bug on top of this - the "Map is Filtered" warning appears at the bottom left of the screen, even though the dashboard map obviously isn't filtered. While I hold out hope that the filter-rollup sequence might be reversed, at the very least the Map is Filtered warning should be removed when a dashboard map opens without the filter being applied.


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Hi Metta,

Yes, in this example I have added a "Map Roll-up" and used a filter to fade completed tasks. It is accurately displayed in the published file: https://share.mindmanager.com/#publish/L5Th7eEySP7xX3LTurcOSZ0HSKHmkFGX83Z5nWTq

You'll also note that I used the advanced publishing options to show this map in standard mode instead of presentation mode by default.
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This seems to work well and could be really useful.

One thing to remember is that if you decide to re-export a filtered dashboard map because you have made changes in the source map that is rolled up, you have to both refresh the roll-up in the dashboard map and reapply the filter before exporting.

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Metta

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Thank you very much, Sia, for the helpful example. Good to know filtered map roll-ups can be published -- and I appreciate you pointing out the advanced publishing option that allows the map to display in standard mode. Very helpful all! :-)

Thank you, too, Alex for your helpful advice about re-exporting an edited map. Since i am brand new to MM, this kind of tip will be extremely useful in the days ahead! :-)
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Thanks Metta.

I've posted the first in a series of articles on my blog on the key new and updated features in MM2018, starting with conditional mapping and the improvements to map roll-up (for example, the return of in-map dashboards which were introduced in 2017.1 but which 2017.2 couldn't handle).

You might find conditional formatting interesting, as it can be combined with both map roll-up and HTML 5 export.

I'll probably look at HTML 5 export and using filters with map fading in my next article in this series, plus I might do something on how you can combine all these features.


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Metta

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Many thanks, Alex! I was delighted to read your blog article and your thoughtful analysis of MM's evolution following the Corel purchase. So glad to get this snapshot of MM's recent history, and learn more about the roll-up, dashboards and conditional formatting features.

I had already planned on taking a closer look at these features, and now your well-considered article provides a great starting point for learning more! :-)

I'm also eager to see your review of the HTML5 Export, since this sharing feature has such great potential. Will do my best to keep an eye out for future articles on your blog, and if you ever start a mailing list for sharing your blog updates, please let me know.  I'm ready to sign-up! ;-)