Simplify your ResultsManager Map Central Strategy for 2010

The typical approach to utilizing ResultsManager to harvest project and next action information from MindManager maps is to set up a central map that links out to each map of interest or to a set of "area" map centrals which links to project maps.

ResultsManager Map Central

While this approach does allow you to navigate down to particular maps from the map central, it adds a fair amount of activation energy for adding a project map and often will lead you to just clutter central maps with several projects. In my experience, giving a project "elbow room" of its own map will often catalyze the process of Getting Things Done (GTD).

Did you know that instead of linking out to individual maps from your map central, you can also organize your maps by just link to a folder (e.g. "My Maps\2010") and ResultsManager will automatically process all the maps in that folder? Using the approach you can add one folder and one link for 2010 today, and then just use the GyroQ "nm" tag to quickly create new project maps as projects arise. I used this approach in 2009 and found it much easier than detailed map by map links.

11 Comments »

  1. ActivityOwner said,

    December 31, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    A few more tips:

    The folder link will not recurse sub-folders so if you want to be able to generate dashboards on a subset of projects in a given area you might want to add area folders under 2010 and also link to the sub-folders individually from your main map central and also set up mini-map centrals for them with a single link. It can be refreshing to get a daily action or review dashboard that focuses just on one area (e.g. blog) and this is a faster way to achieve this than custom dashboards and filters. You can also block process of a set of folders using the stop icon on the map central branch it is in.

    Once a project is completed, you can move its map into a "done" folder that is not scanned it will speed up your dashboards a little bit. The ResultsManager "multi-map checker" under can search for maps that don't have active projects in them.

  2. Paul Christy said,

    December 31, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    Fantastic idea! Based on this tip I reorganized my Map Central map, and created a \2010 folder, and started using the "nm" tag for the first time.

    This has really revitalized my use of MM8 … thanks for the idea!

  3. ActivityOwner said,

    December 31, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

    Thanks Paul — the other thing you might want to try is the new "put it in front of the door" batch file:

    http://wiki.activityowner.com/index.php?title=Put_it_in_front_of_the_door

    I still need to post on the blog on this and clean up its wiki page but give it a try if you have time.

  4. Mike C said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    AO,

    It has been some time since I have been on the blog and it is exciting to see some updates!

    I must admit that I fell off the MM and mindreader wagon Q4 of last year. I am still struggling with an efficient way to manage all of the projects, activities, blah, blah, blah.

    I see your map central graphic above and I would be most interested in understanding the basic structure of your map central and how and what you start as projects and then how you use the Gyronix (w/ Mindereader & Outlinker) to get the information in there. I don’t necessarily need a deep dive, just a high level understanding as to how you leverage these tools.

    For example, the in-tray and the daily capture. Are you using the intray as a repository for the outlinker items and the daily capture where your GyroQ dumps to? What is the difference between your career folder and the sharpen the saw?

    My stuff is a mess… project maps that have a map central that then is further divided into submaps… It has gotten out of hand! It got to a point where I am trying to update at the end of the week and I am opening all these maps up say on a Friday and it can take half a day to update them all. I know that results manager is supposed to automate this but I guess I am missing the boat.

    I have read through the postings you have made here and the information on the Wiki and I have to say I just get overwhelmed. Just looking for some direction so that I can have a foundation on the tools usage and then begin to learn more of the advanced skills.

  5. ActivityOwner said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

    Hi Mike — Your questions could launch a 10-part blog series but given that you might need some advice sooner rather than later, I'll try for a 2 minute action instead :-).

    My map central approach has evolved over time. After the initial "everything in one map" phase, I moved to a graphical map central linked out to map centrals for each area of my life (career, family, friends, saw, home repair, finances, etc) and spawned sub-map centrals for each of my kids (below family), for the blog (below saw) etc. "Saw" tends to be health, GTD, efficiency stuff while career is "career". I used mindreader destination keywords to direct gyroq or outlinker items to these sub map central in-trays with misc stuff falling the the default daily capture map. I just find it easier to deal with smaller in-trays of related items that one big in-tray. MindReader cheats the GTD process a bit by trying to do some processing automatically for you so things make it to the right context list, someday/maybe, or project needing next action status. Make sure all your in-trays are subprojects so that the "need next action" gets triggered.

    I make heavy use of repeating tasks (which "mark task complete" enables) and typically 30% of what I'm marking done is repeating — particularly around "saw" items.

    I used to put projects in the map central and/or send them off to their own map. If something lingers on the in-tray for awhile, I create a dedicated map for it with the nm tag and rely on resultsmanager to surface it in the daily action dashboard. I don't worry about linking to it directly from a map central heirarchy and rely on the folder approach described above. "Someday" project typical just get marked up that way and stay in in-tray or move to left side of the map central.

    From an daily map update point of view, I work entirely from the "Next Action Analysis" (NAA) report and just focus on increasing my score. That makes it all fun and forces mini-reviews. If you make updates to dashboards, the changes should flow to the underlying maps.

    I set up the "put it in front of the door" script so that everything is refreshed when I sit down and I have action items out by context in my gmail for "on the go" reference.

    The wiki does need some gardening and pages that better tie things together. I tried to do some cross referencing between the blog and the wiki over the holidays. I'm open to suggestions. Anyone who wants to jump in is welcome to do clean up and additions.

    Here's what I'd recommend for "getting on the wagon"

    0. Make sure you install latest setup.exe from the wiki for mindreader/mtc/naa and that you get RM 2.8.3 downloaded.

    1. Make sure all your maps are linked into you map central directly or via folders.

    2. Run a power user daily action dashboard.

    3. Run the "naa" tag to generate a report

    4. Try to work on the three things it recommends

    5. Repeat from step 2 a few times.

    6. Post here with more questions.

  6. Mike C said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Thanks for the reply… I still have questions about how you utilize these tools.

    BUT! I have gone back and started reading throught he wiki again and have found that I missed substantial portions. It has reinvigorated me and it seems that I am getting the hang of using GyroQ. That little program is very powerful now that I better understand the commands.

    I do have one question that I cant seem to find the answer to. What template is sued when you use the nm tag? I would like to customize it, but I am unsure as to which one it is as I have opened all the templates and none of them look like the map that is generated when I do nm. Can you help?

  7. ActivityOwner said,

    January 12, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

    The "nm" tag simply uses a "new:map" command to open a new map using the default template and then add to it with GyroQ commands and mindreader markup. Customization would have to happen in the nm gyroq tag commands.

  8. Focusing in on One Area of your Life » ActivityOwner.Com – Getting Things Done with MindManager, ResultsManager, and GyroQ said,

    March 22, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

    […] workaround I would use for this is to follow the map central strategy I described earlier this year bu go one step further and put the maps you care about in this area […]

  9. Curtis N. Bingham said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    ok, I'm officially requesting the 10-part blog series describing how you've got your maps set up and how you use them on a day-to-day basis.

  10. ActivityOwner said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    I'm guessing the "next action" here will be to illustrate my GTD workflow while I use mindreader to create maps to plan and execute a x-part series on how to write macros :-).

  11. Refresh your ResultsManager Dashboard 60% Faster » ActivityOwner.Com – Getting Things Done with MindManager, ResultsManager, and GyroQ said,

    January 2, 2011 @ 11:49 am

    […] I adopted last year for that was to move away from using map specific hyperlinks but instead to link to folders from my map central. Even though I'd been doing this for a couple of years, the legacy "area map […]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.