Support for writing

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  • Updated 3 months ago
I have been using MindJet since it was MindMan and like a lot of users I use MindManager as a key part of my researching and writing process. In theory the process is something like manage research and notes in MM, create an outline in MM, and export the outline to Word. But of course the process is messier than that and I start writing on day one if a good way to put something occurs to me. What I would like as a first step would be the ability to write rich text in MM and export it. Ultimately, I would love it if MM evolved into a writing tool in the same way it has moved into project management. I suppose that today the closest thing to this is WhizFolders.
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Patrick Flanagan

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Posted 3 months ago

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I use MindManager extensively for writing and I follow something like the sequence you describe. I haven't used WhizFolders but while I have dabbled in similar tools I much prefer MM because of the flexibility it gives me in arranging and shuffling around ideas and sections of text.

While other notes programs and outliners offer a similar hierarchical structure to a basic MindManager map, only a few of them (including Scrivener, I think) offer the ability to completely rearrange sections or to set up secondary trees in the same map, which is relatively easy to do in MM. It's also great to be able to quickly jot down an idea as a floating topic, then come back later to flesh it out and park it in the appropriate place in the map. It's also useful to be able to include separate branches or even trees within the same map to store research links or attachments.

I'm also puzzled by your comment that you would like "the ability to write rich text in MM and export it". MM Notes may not be a fully-fledged word processor but it certainly offers rich text formatting which is exportable to Word. While I would certainly like Notes to evolve into a more fully-featured word processor, one of the things I do like about its relative simplicity is the ability to write without too many distractions. I tend to use MM to get the basic ideas down, shuffle them around a bit, and then export them to Word for final editing and formatting.
(Edited)
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Patrick Flanagan

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Thanks for your comments. I had completely forgotten that MM can edit rich text. I blame senility. That's pat oh the problem solved.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Don't be too hard on yourself! I came back here myself to say something I forgot to mention before, which is that a lot of the features which have been added to MM primarily for project management are also useful for writing.

For example, you can tag topics or attach icons to them, and then use filters, SmartRules or Tag/Icon View (or combinations of these) to rearrange and highlight different themes in your material - or even just group ideas under tags or icons in the Map Index.

I've only just started to do this with material I'm writing but I have used this method in the past to analyse qualitative research data like survey results or interview transcripts using mind maps. It's a very useful technique.

I know some of the more dedicated outlining and notes programs offer some tagging capability I don't think any of them match MM's flexibility and versatility in this regard. I've just noted however that you have nominated MM v15 as the product - to use many of these features to their fullest extent you will have to upgrade to a more recent version and preferably MM 2020.
(Edited)
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Jim AK

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Unable to post an image in this reply, so had to create a completely new post instead.

https://community.mindjet.com/mindjet/topics/using-mindmanager-for-writing?rfm=1&topic_submit=tr...

(Edited)
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Patrick Flanagan

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An excellent approach. Thanks for sharing.