GyroQ Tag Usage Survey Results

Thanks to all who responded to the GyroQ Tag Usage Survey. We had 29 respondents and the results were very useful. The results are included below as screen shots.

The m tag was the clear winner with more than 60% using it often or all the time, followed by the c and q tags. The a, b, and p scored higher than I expected given how recently they were added. "d" won as the consensus name for the "mark task complete" tag.

Very few people were using their own custom tags and the default Gyronix tags were less frequently used by the power users responding to the survey.

I was a bit suprised how low "k" ranked. That is an important tag for setting up destination link keywords. I also am a big fan of the "clo" tag (perhaps because I open so many maps with k tag created keywords).

While there was interest in several of the less frequently used tags, I was happy to see they were not in broad use and will not inconvenience folks if they are not in the main gyroq.ini file. This has allowed the default "GyroQ.ini" file to be cleaned up and freed up a few empty tags for general use.

What are your reactions to the results? Comment below…

MindReader 2
Hans and I along with several beta testers have been working on creating a "Setup.Exe" installer that automatically installs mindreader, mark task complete, next action analysis and other tools from the site. Hans has done a great job figuring out how to use Inno Setup to create a generic installer script that I can load the "AO Tools" content into.

As part of that project I've rewritten MindReader significantly to enable the configuration map and main macros to be moved out of the root "My Maps" directory. Doing this in a way that successfully migrates legacy users is quite a challenge but its close to ready for prime time. I've been referring to this version as "MindReader 2" for lack of a better name. The macros now also have the capability to check the wiki for new versions on a periodic basis and will eventually direct you back to the installer page.

The new code and tags have been uploaded to the wiki this week. The new tags point to the new macro locations, so you need to upgrade everything together. If you are interested in beta testing the setup.exe installer, visit the setup page. If you system is working well and you don't want it disrupted, hold off on upgrading tags or macros from the wiki for a few weeks until the dust settles.



33 Comments »

  1. Mike said,

    January 23, 2009 @ 9:10 am

    If you need testers fro your setup.exe I would be willing to do so. I am new to this stuff (MindManager, Minreader, etc) so I could give some insight that might be lost on those power users that are already comfortable with everything.

    I am very computer literate, I just have never been into writing macros and code. I still recall my COBOL and FORTRAN programming in college with disdain. Just too logical for me. After all, doesn't the computer KNOW what I want it to do? ;-)

  2. Haico said,

    January 23, 2009 @ 11:40 am

    I would also like to volunteer. I am in the process of switching to MM8 and must setup everything again. I use MM, RM and GyroQ.

  3. ActivityOwner said,

    January 23, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

    I've sent you a link via email. Let us know how it goes.

  4. Peter said,

    January 24, 2009 @ 1:59 am

    I'd be interested in testing this as well!

    About tag usage, I think some lesser used tags might be more often used if there were videos to show some real time examples.

    I remember visiting this website the first time and I had no clue what mindreader was about (I was looking for stuff about GyroQ). At the start, I found it quite hard to figure out all the excellent things it does and it's value. I think one introductory video might have made me 'get it' much faster.

    First I was new to Mindmanager and had to learn and think about what it could mean for my timemanagement and productivity. Then when looking for solutions I found GyroQ…soon I realized I wanted ResultsManager too. All of a sudden all the new flexibility created a bit of an adjustment period. My head was turning at how I could apply the tools. Then I found myself needing certain flexibility which lead me to Activity Owner. That's four tools I've had to learn to use and adapt. The thing about this, is that AO comes at the very end, if you had a video in place, people could instantly be shown the benefits.

    Just some thoughts that came pouring out!

    In any case, would love to try out MindReader 2!

  5. Peter said,

    January 24, 2009 @ 2:01 am

    the fourth tool I mentioned is of course mindreader not "Activity Owner"….rather late here::)

  6. ActivityOwner said,

    January 24, 2009 @ 7:56 am

    Hi Pete — You are absolutely right. I also remember my early days with MindManager and ResultsManager. I installed both trials after reading about them in the New York Times and found it very confusing figuring out which program did what and for what purpose. For example, was the RM edit activity information different from the task information on the side bar?

    The ideal situation is probably to obtain and learn MindManager first, and then later ResultsManager or GyroQ on top of it. Once you have worked with them for awhile, the gaps that MindReader and Mark Task Complete fill are more clear.

    MindReader evolved incrementally from an initial idea and protoype tag

    http://www.activityowner.com/2006/09/16/using-gyroactivator-to-automatically-mark-up-your-gyroq-activities/

    to a set of tags and macros.

    New features and tags have trickled out over Saturday morning cereal since then to the point where even experienced power users feel they don't know the full capabilities. Heck, I forget to use many of the capabilities!

    The programs have largely stabilized and now with a setup.exe that will bring them to the masses with minimal setup work the priority becomes documentation and demos.

    I think a set of videos is a great idea. There is an old one that demonstrates the basic capabilities of the "c" tag:

    http://www.activityowner.com/2007/02/24/gyroq-mindreader-video-clip/

    It seems like Jing might provide a means to create more of these more easily and for free. Perhaps there might be some volunteers?

    http://www.jingproject.com/

  7. Ron said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

    Well, I went ahead and installed all of the components – manually. I did this partially because I am stuborn, partially because I don't like someone else deciding how my sytem should be configured (nothing personal), but mostly because I like to understand how everything is put together. It took a little while but everything seems to be working very well.

    The only thing I have noticed is that the "m" and "c" tag code seems to be cross linked in the GyroQ Tag Library on the wiki. In fact they both point to the same page which is labeled "Mindreader-m-code". However, the code seems to actually be the "c" tag code. When I use this code for the "m" tag on a dashboard I get that weird error about this item has moved and repairing the links. I reverted back to an old copy of the "m" code that I had and edited it to point to the new macros. It seems to work fine. Here is what I am using as my "m" tag:

    {run:macro:'Call MacroRun(GetPath(mmDirectoryMyMaps)&%22\ao\ao_mindreaderNLP.mmbas%22,%22_queueitem_%22)'}

    Am I missing something here?

    Great work by the way – I love the new documentation and will be pouring through all of it as I am sure there are new things for me to learn there.

    Ron

  8. ActivityOwner said,

    January 25, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

    Hi Ron — Sorry about that. The problem was that the "c" tag was so simple and straightforward that its code never changed over time and had been in the pre-wiki activityowner web page until this point. Looks like I messed up the edits getting it into the wiki.

    It should be correct now. The "c" tag is simply:

    {select:current; run:macro:'ao\ao_MindReaderNLP.mmbas';run:rm:sendchangesnow}

    while the m tag is:
    {select:current; run:macro:'Call MacroRun(GetPath(mmDirectoryMyMaps)&%22\ao\ao_mindreaderNLP.mmbas%22,%22_queueitem_%22)'; run:rm:sendchangesnow}

    I understand about wanting to configure manually. I'm working hard to keep both options open. Unfortunately that means a small revision to the code leads to a 15 step process to get everything updated now (I just counted it up).

  9. Ron said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    NP. These are working well now. I especially like the addition of the "sendchangesnow" to the tags.

    On another note, heres a variation on the lkw tag that you may like. I combined your lkw tag with a portion of the clp tag to create a version that copies the selected branch to the clipboard and opens it in notepad. From there you can print it or edit it, or whatever.

    {map:open:ao\mindreaderconfig.mmap;
    select:maintopic;
    select:text:'_queueitem_';
    run:macro:'activedocument.selection.copy';
    notes:'_clipboard_':addline;
    clipboard:'_notes_';
    run:macro:'f=GetPath(mmDirectoryMyMaps)&%22lkw.txt%22%0D%0A Open f For Output As #1%0D%0A Write #1, Clipboard%0D%0A Close #1%0D%0A Shell(%22notepad.exe %22&f,1)';}

    Ron

  10. Ron said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    BTW – the real reason I chose to apply the updates manually and not use the install scripts is that I have customized a few things. I did not want to risk overlaying my customizations being overlayed with a "standard" implementation.

  11. Peter said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

    Hey ActivityOwner,

    thanks for sending me the link! I installed fine and have it running well. I installed not worrying about my customizations since the one's I had tried were all experimental to see how things work. But I have a few tags I want to create now.

    How does the setup file handle customizations?

    About Video: I probably will create one or two videos when I've really grasped the use of it. I'm not sure Jing records sound, which is exactly what I would want. The Gyronix training videos are pretty good with that. I found myself going through the entire manual and watching all the videos. I had watched yours at an earlier date – it's self evident but I still missed some talking through it. I might create some of these.

    It was interesting I went for GyroQ before I went into ResultsManager. I wasn't hoping to buy any extra components after purchasing mindjet. Then it became obvious I wanted GyroQ pro edition and along the way I got educated on Resultsmanager, which made it impossible not to buy that too.

    Once I started tinkering I naturally read your mindreader stuff, because I was looking for solutions you've already created for all of us, and then some. Really amazing resource you have put out there. Deeply grateful. Do you have any financial arrangements with Gyronix? (affiliate income or so?)

    Peter

  12. ActivityOwner said,

    January 26, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

    Hi Pete — Currently the setup file recommends you overwrite the GyroQ.ini file with its version that includes all the default Gyronix tags that adds in the "AO" tags. Gyronix has a tag-by-tag installer that eventually we may incorporate, but for now the overwrite is recommended as it gets everything in place, clears out any old "AO" tags that might be pointed at the old macro locations, and also clears up any bugs. For example the "s" and "mra" tags acquired some bugs in the recent edits that were fixed in last few days and the setup is a nice way to get them out to people.

    For tag customizations I would recommend that you save the "packed text" for your tags off in a text file (or in the wiki if they are generally useful), and then just paste them back in after you run upgrades. That's what I do for one particular tag I use at work. Alternatively you could leave the gyroq.ini file in place and paste in packed text for updated tags.

    I think Gyronix should give away GyroQ as it is the perfect "gateway drug" to ResultsManager :-). It gets you engaged in pouring material into MindManager that eventually is best managed using ResultsManager's capabilities.

    I don't have any financial arrangements with Gyronix beyond being a happy and supportive personal and corporate customer. I've got a good day job and all this is just a fun hobby/distraction that replaces Sunday crossword puzzles or watching football on the couch. I also keep the blog/wiki free of affiliate/ad stuff as tempting as it is to maybe collect $13.71 a month from Google. Perhaps when I retire….. I did participate in the GyroQ invitation program out of support and curiosity on traffic/volume, but don't plan on redeeming any "points" from that beyond perhaps an upgrade or two if needed.

    In the pre-internet days I might have done 80% of this stuff for my own use and had it just sit on my hard drive. It is quite exciting to share tools and see them get used around the world. I have also ended up with better personal tools based on all the testing, feedback, and collaborations.

  13. ActivityOwner said,

    January 27, 2009 @ 8:14 am

    Ron — I like the lkw variation. I was actually discussing that type of change to that tag a couple of days ago with another user. I'm wondering if "lkw" might be better as a "command" that could be entered at the m-tag prompt rather than waste a tag slot on it. It also would be better to list a menu of branches to choose from first.

  14. Mike said,

    January 27, 2009 @ 8:26 am

    Hello AO,

    I have checked and re-checked my email folders and AV bit box for the email w/ the link attachment for the new setup.exe file. Could you please send another to the email address that I included in the E-mail address box to post this reply? I would greatly appreciate it.

    Best regards,

    Mike

  15. ActivityOwner said,

    January 27, 2009 @ 8:31 am

    Mike — The setup has been quietly placed on the wiki now — just follow the links for "Setup". We'll "announce" it once we get a bit more trouble-free experience with it.

  16. Ron said,

    January 27, 2009 @ 9:22 am

    AO – I like your thoughts on the lkw tag/command – especially adding the menu of branches to chose from. As it is now you still have to know the contents of the configuration map reasonably well to use the tag.

    Ron

  17. Peter said,

    January 27, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    Hey ActivityOwner,

    Thanks for your response, very interesting to hear about your relationship with Gyronix. They are very lucky to have you, very lucky – and so are Gyronix users.

    I do think it would be great to see Gyronix be a little more prominent in their advertising/promotion. I think they are inclined to focus more on small, medium and larger business clients rather than individual users. I would love to see them open up an affiliate program which would justify me pouring in some of my (professional) time in something I really enjoy. GyroQ & RM could easily spread wider faster than I reckon it is (although I have no idea how well they would scale in terms of their support/business/infrastructure). They would need a larger userbase of powerusers, it could spread like GTD.

    The only disadvantage the tools have is the learning curve. With more powerusers there would be more training & information & exposure. The fantastic thing about the tools is their flexibility. It can facilitate any productivity/projectplanning system. You can even operate more than one ways of working side by side (which is what I'm working on now)

    Oh well, just some musings!

    Good to know how to handle my customizations. I do prefer the new setup.exe way of doing things.

    I'm definitely creating a video once I have my 'auto focus' setup working. And I might create a couple for more general use of AO/gyroq/rm.

    Btw, It appears Jing does have audio recording capabilities (I stand corrected).

    Peter

  18. Mike said,

    January 30, 2009 @ 8:44 am

    Well, I finally got passed my week from hell and was able to run the newly created setup.exe. The process was smooth. I might clarify a few things int he instructions out on the wiki… but the process was flawless.

    I also notice a great deal more efficient transfer from GyroQ into MindManager. Maybe I am wrong, but I think it processes items much more quickly.

    I must tell you that I really do enjoy using these tools in my day-to-day operations. My inbox is to zero, and I now find myself a bit more calm about things /wrt not feeling I have loose ends hanging all over the place as I have a central location to organize things into. I had been trying to use Covey's PlanPlus and it still felt very disjointed… things all over the place. Not anymore!

    Thanks for your efforts, and if you would like more clarifications as to the instruction suggestions, let me know and I will mark up the pages in Word and get them to you somehow.

    Mike

  19. Ron said,

    January 30, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    The code on the Next Action Analysis page http://wiki.activityowner.com/index.php?title=Ao_next_action_analysis.mmbas is actually the Mark Task Complete code…

  20. ActivityOwner said,

    January 30, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

    Ron — Thanks — fixed it.

    MIke — Feel free to create an account and make instruction improvements directly. Just create an account, login and hit the edit button. Don't worry about messing things up. Someone will fix up if needed.

  21. BillS said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 2:49 pm

    Good to see this site still has activity. Here's my input
    1. Does this setup work with MM8 & GyroQ 2? If so, then I can add it to the wiki
    2. Would it be difficult to change the setup.exe to allow users to select their own directory for install? Of course there'd be a default location. I currently have a .bat file that copies the My Maps directory & zips it for backup. For handy. But I think this new setup.exe make things a little more disparate.

  22. ActivityOwner said,

    February 3, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

    Hi — Yes, it works fine with MM8 and GyroQ 2. You can also use v7 or v6 with GyroQ 2 or GyroQ 1.9.4.7.

    The new macros/tags/config files are setup by default to all live in the "My Maps\ao\ directory. This gets them out of the root directory which reduces clutter (which GTD-ers like).

    The setup does allow user to set custom directories. The problem is that the tags are hard-coded to expect the macros in AO and there may be a few other dependencies that need to be manually edited to get it all working.

  23. Ron said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 9:04 am

    Here a few suggestions I've been thinking about that you can add to your list, or not…

    Outlinker – How about adding "Forward and Save (FS)" and "Forward and Delete (FD)"?

    Mark Task Complete – Can the macro be made to mark an entire branch complete in one step? Currently when you run the macro on the root task of a branch it marks that root task complete and moves the entire branch to the "Reference" topic but it does not mark the underlying tasks on the branch complete. Also, the "Reference" topics should be marked with the "Exclude from Dashboards" flag when they are set up to save the Dashboard engine from needlessly having to search them.

    Just some thoughts – do what you will with them.

    Ron

  24. BillS said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 9:42 am

    Sorry AO,

    I thought setup was installing in a dir completely outside the My Maps hierarchy. I've actually been using My Maps/AO for a while now. Was also checking on GyroQ 2 as I believe you mentioned the bug in 1.9.4.9 was also fixed. Ok, I'm giving setup.exe a try.

    Thanks, Bill

  25. ActivityOwner said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

    Hi Ron,

    Re:Outlinker
    fd and fs (or should it be fa=forward/archive) are good ideas. I added them to my todo list.

    Re: Mark Task Complete
    Reference branch blocking makes sense. I'm not sure why I didn't do that in the first place. Added to my to do list.

    I wish I was so productive I needed to routinely mark off whole branches as complete. The quick way to do this if you want to customize your system would be to insert a select:tree command in front of your "d" tag:

    {select:tree; run:macro:'AO\mark_task_complete.mmbas'}

    An analogous approach is used by the "cb" tag. What do people think? Should this become the default functionality of the d tag?

  26. ActivityOwner said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

    BillS — Yes, all code stays in AO. That can be handy if you sync your system between computers or on a memory stick. Putting the code elsewhere gets more complex than I can handle.

    Yes, GyroQ 2 eliminates the 1.9.4.9 selection bug. Users who haven't upgraded to 2 can always use 1.9.4.7 (link available on the site), which also works fine and essentially is the same as 1.9.4.9 in most other respects.

  27. Ron said,

    February 5, 2009 @ 9:51 am

    "I wish I was so productive I needed to routinely mark off whole branches as complete." – Unfortunately in my case it is more a matter of not being diligent in keeping the maps up to date and then needing to do a mass catch up. I'll give the select.tree approach a try.

    fa=forward/archive makes sense – more consistent.

    Thanks,
    Ron

  28. ActivityOwner said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 12:21 am

    Ron — I added fa and fd to outlinker, added the "no entry" icon to the mark task complete reference branch, and added the "select:tree" command to the d tag. All can be installed with latest setup.exe.

  29. ActivityOwner said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 10:06 am

    After cleaning up the documentation page a bit I decided "fs" is actually more consistent with the rs and ras commands so I changed "fa" to "fs".

    http://wiki.activityowner.com/index.php?title=OutLinker#Usage

  30. ActivityOwner said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 10:07 am

    Should also note that OutLinker isn't installed by the setup.exe. New macro needs to be pasted into OutLook macro area.

  31. Ron said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    Thanks for the presents. I took a peak earlier this morning to see what was new and was pleasantly surprised to see my suggestions addressed so quickly.

    I am running into a problem with the d tag using the select:tree command producing some odd results and ultimately crashing with a run time error. When I select the root of a tree it does select the entire tree as anticipated, marks the sub-tasks complete and moves them to the reference branch and to the Completed topics. However when I select a Project or Result node with sub-tasks and sub-projects/results it repeats every sub-branch and ultimately every sub-task individually in the Results Branch and then crashes. I end up with every sub-task appearing multiple times in the Reference Branch. There is no detail provided to help analyze the runtime error. I am still using MM7.

    It could be (probably) that I am trying to use the macro in a way that was never intended. If that is the case, that is fine.

    Thanks for all of your continued efforts.

    Ron

  32. ActivityOwner said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    Thinking about this more there are potential conflicts when the macro is trying to put completed items in a project/result complete branch and also parse the branch. I just reverted to the old approach and upload new setup, tag, etc.

    This tag could live on as a "db – done branch" for cases where you only have tasks to deal with. It might work better if the local "complete" storage was turned off.

  33. Ron said,

    February 8, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    Sorry about the hassle witht the d tag – thanks for addressing my wish list so promptly.

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