Next Actions to Go

If you were away from your MindManager maps for the holidays, you might have missed having ready-access to your ResultsManager "next actions" lists. While having your lists with you is a canonical GTD prerequisite, you can often get away without mobile copies if you spend most of your time in the context of being in front of your computer. While the point of a holiday is often to get away and relax, your lists will often have rewarding or deferred activities that you'll want to be able to consider doing during your vacation time.

Although it is possible with some work and luck to synchronize ResultsManager and outlook tasks automatically, I've always advocated for the approach of using a simple copy/paste into NotePad instead. ResultsManager is complex enough without throwing in the constraints imposed to make it Outlook-compatible.

Using the copy/paste approach converts the topics into a plain text list that can be saved, printed, or copied into PDA-accessible form as a note or an Outlook or Gmail email message. You can't check off the task directly, but the main point is getting things done! It is easy enough to mark them complete and trim them from your maps when you find yourself back at your desk.

In reality, I personally haven't used the copy/paste approach as routinely as I should, so I thought a GyroQ macro that lowers the activation energy required a bit by doing a few steps automatically might help.

The short macro below assumes that you have your Daily Action dashboard saved in your default "my maps" directory as ddashboards\dailyactions.mmap (as would be done if you implemented the "Put it in front of the door" dashboard regeneration macro as is). This script, available in the tag library as code or packed text does the following:

  1. Opens the "daily actions" dashboard
  2. Selects the next action branch
  3. Expands it to show all the subtopics,
  4. Runs a line of SAX basic macro code to copy the entire branch to the clipboard.
  5. Pastes that information as text into the notes for the "My committed Next Actions towards success" main topic.
  6. Copies the text back into the clipboard
  7. Alerts the users that the tasks are ready on the clipboard

select:main;select:text:'My committed Next Actions towards success';
alert:'Next Actions are on clipboard ready to be pasted'}

I've found the Gyoactivator "select" statement to be a little unreliable, but it seems to be working in this case. Similarly, the "send" keys command sometimes doesn't work, so this tage uses a line of Sax Basic macro code instead of a control-c for the copy step. The round trip through the main topic notes converts the clipboard contexts from a branch of topic objects to a simple text list ready to be pasted into the mobile destination of your choice (email to self, syncronized text file, etc.). Note that you can remove the alert line if you like.

This tag only eliminates a few steps, but every little bit can help. I plan to tack it onto the end of my dashboard regenerating macro. I've also found that looking at your activities "list" as a full plain text "list" sometimes give a different perspective than just reviewing it by context by expanding subtopics in the dashboard.

Happy New Year –make sure those new resolutions have next actions :-).

Next Actions to Go Example


  1. Jim said,

    January 1, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

    Beautiful – again another helpful wonderful post – thanks again.

  2. Jürgen said,

    January 9, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

    dto – very useful! Note that the link under GyroQ for this actually points to "Daily Actions Plus".

  3. Jürgen said,

    January 9, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

    Any chance that the day and date can be added to the top of the text generated?

  4. ActivityOwner said,

    January 10, 2007 @ 8:45 am

    Thanks for the catch on the link. Adding date/time to the top is a good idea. To do that you would just replace the notes line:



    notes:'_today_ _time_':add;

    I've incorporated this into the tag in the library.

  5. Jürgen said,

    February 11, 2007 @ 2:59 am

    How would you apply this to any map – ie, have a step to choose the map you wish to have text pasted to clipboard?

  6. ActivityOwner said,

    February 11, 2007 @ 9:20 am


    The "cna" GyroQ tag takes care of opening your daily actions map and its "next action" branch for you. The generic approach would be to have a tag that copies the currently selected MindManager topic and the subtopics displayed below it. This can be done using a subset of the tag above:

    notes:'_today_ _time_':add;

    You need to expand the subtopics of the selected topic to the extent that you want them to be included.

    For some destinations (e.g. notepad), you can just do the copy/paste manually, but for most others (e.g. gmail), the above macro is useful. I went ahead and added it to the tag library as "clp".

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