Unique IDs for topics

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 6 years ago
I realize that each topic in a mindmap has a unique URL, but for dealing with large quantities of data, easy to read unique IDs are critical (a 3 digit number, for example) to being able to easily find a specific topic in a large mind map and to link topics to other tools.

SharePoint and many other tools used by enterprises do this automatically. Adding this capability to MindManager would make it a much more robust tool for enterprises using multiple tools and for anyone using MindManager to track large quantities of information (we typically have hundreds to thousands of topics in our maps).
Photo of Granite

Granite

  • 34 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes

Posted 6 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Nick Duffill

Nick Duffill, Champion

  • 508 Posts
  • 169 Reply Likes
Would the automatic topic numbering in MindManager 2012 for Windows help with this? The numbers would change with as topics are inserted or rearranged, but they do help to locate topics without any special search technique.

Topics can also have a permanent label attached to them which does not change if the topic is repositioned, but these are not automatically generated.
Photo of Granite

Granite

  • 34 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Agreed the auto numbers help find topics (up to 5 levels deep; they stop working after that, which means our maps end up with large numbers of topics that have no numbers).

I should have clarified in my request that am looking for a way to automatically create unique and persistent IDs. Not a big deal for small maps/brain storming but a critical feature for very large maps that are used for tracking information over a long period of time.
Photo of Nick Duffill

Nick Duffill, Champion

  • 508 Posts
  • 169 Reply Likes
Maybe this will be a built-in feature in the long term. In the short term, this kind of function can be integrated today with a custom Add-in for MindManager for Windows, although it would not be supportable across all platforms.
Photo of Granite

Granite

  • 34 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Thanks for the info. We've already resigned ourselves to the Windows version (even those of us on Macs) since the Mac version lacks so many critical (to us) features, so a custom Add-in would be a viable option.
Photo of Alex Gooding

Alex Gooding, Champion

  • 842 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
I think that this would be a great idea, along with automatic date stamping, though its implementation would be interesting. For example, would each topic number relate to its topic level or branch or be completely unique?
Photo of Granite

Granite

  • 34 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
By definition a unique (persistent) ID would not relate to its topic level/position; if it did it would no longer be persistent. MindManager already has auto numbering for people who want their numbering to reflect the orgnaization of the map.

Simplest way to define unique IDs would be to start with number 1 and increment from there in order of topic creation, just like a database or SharePoint list (my team is essentially using MindManager as a visual database).

The existing show/hide command would seem a natural way to control the display of unique IDs.

MindManager already has automatic date stamping of modification dates. Adding creation dates would be useful too, although this is a much lower priority to me than unique IDs and is something I'd want to be able to turn on/off (or at least show/hide) independently of unique IDs.
Photo of Alex Gooding

Alex Gooding, Champion

  • 842 Posts
  • 211 Reply Likes
I take your point re unique numbering (though as someone who uses auto numbering to reflect map organisation I'm not very happy with MM's take on that either).

I also agree re your suggestion on the simplest approach to implementing it. However I think it would be useful to have an option for users to create their own leading or trailing code to the ID. This could be set on a global or map-by-map basis.

Apart from removing the potential for duplication when topics from multiple maps are exported, this would give users the ability to establish tailored identification schemes and also allow them to search for a specific topic by topic id across maps.
Photo of Nick Duffill

Nick Duffill, Champion

  • 508 Posts
  • 169 Reply Likes
For proof of concept, it would make sense to use Tag map markers for a persistent topic ID. The reasons are

1. They could be shown or hidden in the map (with the View > Show/Hide menu)
2. They could be individually edited if necessary
3. They can be block-deleted if necessary
4. The Marker Index pane will create an index of topics by ID even if the tag is hidden in the map
5. The data could easily be transferred to another mechanism later on if needed.

The downsides is that tags are not searchable, but the Marker Index pane provides an alternative way to find them. Also, I don't know how well it would scale for a map with 2000 topics.

If you are comfortable with running macros in MindManager, I could provide a simple starter macro to set Topic IDs as tag markers, which would need to be run once on each map to begin with, then again at the end of an editing session in which new topics are added to the map, to add IDs to new topics.

If this works then it could be turned into an Add-in to manage the IDs automatically.