MindManager 9 Task Date Issue Update (Part 5)

When we left off in Part 4, we were getting started on the initial next actions of a "funnel timeline" project plan for addressing task date issues in MindManager 9:

funnel timeline

The goal of this series of posts is to both work through the MindManager 9 task date issue and to attempt to provide a working case study in how I use the tools on the side.

I decided to use a MindManager 9 Issues page on wiki.activityowner.com to enumerate current issues and status. Visit this page to see current status. I also decided to download a trial of MindManager 9 SP1 to better understand the issues. The primary issue I saw in testing MindReader was that its start date related activites using the q, m, or c tags had unpredictable results. As I worked through open tasks and completed them, Mark Task Complete logged them in a monthly "completed log" as well as in the reference branch of the project map:

While one may get the impression that MindJet may see the task date issue as a bit obscure and impacting a narrow portion of their user base, there do seem to be some general problems. Having looked into this a little further, it seems the regular MindManager user interface for setting task dates behaves in a non-ideal way. For example, if you have a task and want to set a start and due date, you might typically set the due date first. Lets say you add a task to "Complete 2010 Taxes", you would probably start by adding a due date of April 15th.

Then you would consider when you can start on this task and conclude the earliest you want to start is January 1st:

You would expect that you could leave the task info tab and be all set, but you discover you are left with:

This is due to MindManager 9 inserting and enforcing a default duration of 0 work days when you add date information. In order to fix this you need to go back and set the due date again. Now suppose you later decide that you want to defer starting on the task until all your paper work comes during January so you now set your start date to January 30th. Now the due date is pushed out to May 15th due to the assumption of a fixed duration of the task. This is an issue that potentially impacts all users.

MindReader Update
MindReader has been revised so that keywords that change start dates do not disturb due dates. I did this by changes all the code that set the start date to instead run a routine that memorizes the original due date, changes the start date, and then fixes the due date. Next Action Analysis has been updated to ignore tasks and projects with (start date=due date) when enumerating overdue tasks. There are some risks to this, but generally speaking hard deadline issues will show up on the left side of the map in any case. See the MindReader set up page to download and install both of these updates. You also need to set the MindManager calendar to include Saturdays and Sundays. This has been added to an updated MindManager Setup Tips page on the wiki.

The main unresolved item is that now the "nsd" and "ndd" keywords don't work for removing start dates and due dates. Once MindManager has a start date and a due date, you can't get rid of one individually. I imagine these keywords are sparsely used in any case so this is probably not a major issue. The trick to get them working would be to somehow figure out how to remove both the start and due date programatically and then add back the required information. Any programming insight would be appreciated on that strategy. I may just set this as a "Someday/Maybe" along with the MindManager 9 purchase.

In terms of next steps, I'll be waiting for your feedback:

I revised my "plan" for project to remove the "list" code in the parent topic and to mainly have "waiting fors" and "somedays" for next steps:

3 Comments »

  1. ActivityOwner said,

    November 1, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

    Note that I found one additional bug in 31Oct code. If you use m tag from a dashboard it sends false due date down to the underlying map. The 01Nov version (setup157.exe) addresses this issue.

  2. Donnell Walton said,

    January 20, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    How do I use MindReader with MM9? I just upgraded from MM8 to MM9 yesterday and now MR is not working. I get the error "The sequence {run:macro:Call%20MacroRun(GetPath(mmDirectoryMyMaps)&%22\ao\ao_mindreaderNLP.mmbas%22,%22@waiting.for%22)} returned an error:

    Mindmanager was not selected during installation"

    HELP!

  3. ActivityOwner said,

    January 20, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

    Hi Donnell — That error appears to be coming from GyroQ. After installing MindManager 9, you need to install the latest version of GyroQ and select MindManager 9 during the installation so that GyroQ knows what to connect to. GyroQ can also work with eproductivity so it has an option to not work with MindManager at all, so perhaps you selected that option inadvertently.

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