Method to simplify map with many relationship arrows

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  • Updated 4 months ago
My map has many branches with nodes that actually are identical or similar depending on the data. I've been using relationships to connect them so I'm aware of the other locations but it's getting quite busy looking and harder to read. What other methods should I consider?
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bdesilva

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Posted 5 months ago

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Ary Velstra, Expert Trainer

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If you use the relationship-lines only for that purpose, you could go to View ShowHide hide relationshiplines,
You can always switch it on again and...... the map will signal that the relationship exists
Click the icon will bring you to the topic where the relationship line ends. If there are more you can select where to go.

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Detlef Huß

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I assume, you are maintaining large project plans, as I do? For project plans, I choose the tree map format. The top down order can be imagined in some respect as the time line. At least it is a bit easier to remember, where a topic resides. And, regarding your question, in the tree map format you can drag the relationships to the left side.
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bdesilva

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Hi Detlef, I'm not using MM for project plans at this time. This is simply one of many large maps I have that I'm trying to make more useable. Just tried one as a tree map and although pretty cool I don't think this solves my problem. Thanks though!
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Detlef Huß

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PS: Additionally I would like to promote the Power Filter, which is a real "nomen est omen". Consider to enhance your map by some kind of meta layers. These may be icons or, very powerful and specific, an assortment of tags. - I understand, this wasn't your question, but the hint may be useful.
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bdesilva

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OK. I've never used filtering so off to the help! If you have reading / watching suggestions I'd appreciate it.
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Nick Duffill, Champion

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I have often used topic-to-topic links instead of relationships where they start to obscure the map. I use a macro that converts relationships to links and vice versa. The disadvantage is that you lose any information on callouts on the relationship by doing that.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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If you are using relationship lines just to highlight the similarities between specific topics and not also to indicate, say, a direct relationship linking them, there may be better options.

You could create a SmartRule to change the fill colour, font or some other characteristic of these topics, assuming they share at least some common characteristic that can be used as the trigger. Alternatively you could use the SmartRule to add a tag or icon.

This should help to make them stand out. You could also follow Detlef's proposal and apply a Power Filter to select these topics. If you Fade rather than Hide the non-matching topics you can make the selected topics very visible while retaining an overview of the whole map.

Of course you can also do all of these things and retain relationship lines if they are performing some other function within the map.
(Edited)
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bdesilva

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Thanks Alex.  The relationship lines are meaningful to me given that the topics in one part of the map are similar or even exactly the same as the other topic. This comes from reading / watching many sources of information, each one logically creating its own branch but often touching on the same idea or process. It's those topics that duplicate or more. So as I'm reading the map and I'm on a topic like this I wish to be able to easily navigate to all the topics that are similar so I can think about all the data together.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Have you thought about using tags for this, either as well as or instead of relationship lines?

I've used this approach extensively for research. You can set up a tag for each topic group or theme and apply them to the relevant topics. These topics can be highlighted using a power filter as mentioned previously, but they will also be listed under the tag name in the Map Index. 

It's quite interesting to see different patterns emerge using this process, especially as you can apply multiple tags to the same topic. Personally I find this to be a more effective and less confusing approach than using relationship lines, but you can of course use tags alongside relationships.

While they may be a little technical (and unfortunately slightly out of date) the following articles on my blog describe the approach: https://sociamind.com/2017/07/18/mindmanager-2017s-new-features-in-action-3-researching-with-reusabl...
https://sociamind.com/2017/07/20/mindmanager-2017s-new-features-in-action-3-researching-with-reusabl...
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bdesilva

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I have played with tags but don't think I've groked the best way to use them. I'll play with filters and tags and see how that helps. I'll check out the blogs and mess around with these options. Thanks!