task management feautre -- option to propagate color upwards

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In MM 2018, conditional formatting has been improved significantly, which allows us to apply colors and other formatting to tasks with certain properties, such as due dates. The challenge with mindmaps is identifying those tasks that are hidden in collapsed branches.

I find "roll up" clumsy and visual filters slow. The index list also doesn't show context (just hits). The better option would be simply to have parents "reverse-inherit" the colors of their children.  If a task is due today, create a rule that highlights it orange. Even if that topic is out of sight because collapsed, the highlight would propagate upwards, and you would be able to have a visual signal to track it back down. Simple, easy way to radically improve informal task and project management.

Should be easy to implement. I could live with either background fill colors or even just the topic lines. Anything that provides visual indication that conditionally formatted items appear within.
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Jerry Kang

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Posted 7 months ago

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aHa!Coaching, Champion

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Interesting suggestion, a 'roll up' for conditional formats :)
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Actually you can use conditional formatting with task roll-ups, though as far as I can tell only in relation to the rolled-up task itself - ie, if the whole project is due today and not just one of the specific tasks.

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Jerry Kang

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Thanks for pointing that out.I realize that task roll ups allow certain properties to propagate upward. But, in my view, they do in a clumsy way for my use case because I use mindmaps more flexibly for project management, constantly intertwining notes and action items.  The current task roll up feature ends up tagging non action items with task icons, etc., which for me is "clumsy." Thus my original idea of simply letting color attributes rollup.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I have worked out a way to mimic this but you will need to use a combination of conditional formatting, formulas and the MAP add-in which is available from Olympic Limited.

MAP has an Extended Properties feature which enables you to copy task information into topic properties. This includes all the standard task info properties but also calculated ones like Days to Task Start, Days to Task Due and Task Days Elapsed. Once these properties are created they remain in sync with the task information and timing. The relevant property in your case would be Days to Task Due.

Assuming you have added this topic property to all the task topics in the map (if you are starting from scratch you can create a Map Part containing the topic property and use this for all new tasks) you need to create a topic property in the parent topic called, for example, "Deadline". You then need to create a formula to show the minimum value in this field for Days to Task Due among the parent topic's sub-topics, which would be something like this: [Deadline]= MIN(Descendants[Days to Task Due (#DTD)]

In the following example the minimum is Topic 1 with 3 days so "3" is shown in the Deadline field of the parent topic. All you need to do now is to use conditional formatting to create a rule to highlight parent topics which have a Deadline value below a certain trigger - I've used 4 as the value. I've used a similar rule to highlight any task topic which also meets this criteria.

One word of caution. I ended up using 3 days as the criteria as the extended task property seemed a little reluctant to update with tasks with only 1 day to the deadline. This may be because I'm not doing something properly but I'm going to ask Nigel from Olympic Limited to look into it.


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Jerry Kang

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Thanks for this creative work around.  But it is a lot of work (new task templates), lots of calculations (that may slow down maps with thousands of topics), etc.  There's an add in called Multimaps that allows the roll up of colors; the only challenge is that it since it makes so many changes, it effectively kills the possibility of "undos", which can be dangerous. So, I'm asking Mindjet to consider a very simple change -- allow colors to roll up.  Done.