Having a great experience with Freeplane as a task manager

Having a great experience with Freeplane as a task manager

Postby luckyjimdixon » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:30 am

For several years, I've used another freeware application to manage my tasks, and done my planning, thinking, generating and elaborating of ideas, document tracking in Freeplane. This year, for what looks to be the busiest year in my career so far, I have decided to manage tasks with Freeplane, so that I'm not constantly jumping from one tool to another. So far, my experience has been tremendous. The filtering features, in conjunction with styles and reminders, are incredibly powerful, letting me temporarily reduce the complexity of my main map and concentrate on only one aspect of my several projects at a time. Moreover, I'm able to spot relationships between tasks (and problems common to them) much better than before. I just wanted to thank you for Freeplane.

I've tried to evangelize for it at work, so to speak, using it in meetings that I run and giving presentations with it. However, not one of the many people that I've shown this to have tried using it themselves. I tell people that our endless and inconclusive design meetings, where everything is argued over and no one remembers decisions or the rationales for them, would go much better if we had a common visual reference for notes as the meetings progress, a place to make questions, answers, ideas, pros, and cons visible. I've even tried running a few meetings that way, using a template that I adapted from the IBIS scheme in Compendium, a freeware concept-mapping tool. Everyone seems to prefer the meetings the way they are now, rather then want to improve them.

So, even if there were more change-management features integrated into Freeplane, so that a team could use it to keep track of tasks (perhaps in a master map with links to submaps), I don't believe it would be an easy sell where I work at least. It's too bad because this application is ideal for project management, even without Gantt charts and other statistical representations, much more so than the mindmapping tools with the "fancier" graphics.

Thanks again!
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Re: Having a great experience with Freeplane as a task manager

Postby nnako » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:26 am

luckyjimdixon wrote:For several years... this year... I have decided to manage tasks with Freeplane.

Great! This is similar to my own story. Now, organizing nearly everything using Freeplane, work seems to be much easier.

luckyjimdixon wrote:I've tried to evangelize for it at work... but... everyone seems to prefer the meetings the way they are now... I don't believe it would be an easy sell where I work at least.

Again my own story. People tend to stick to processes and tasks they know, rather than adapting to new methods in order to improve their workflows. It seems to me that there are only two common ways for people to switch to better methods: (1) a person discovers a new method himself or (2) this new method is obtruded to him. Unfortunately, there are just a few people who are more curious and thus more likely to jump on a train, though.

luckyjimdixon wrote:So, even if there were more change-management features integrated into Freeplane, so that a team could use it to keep track of tasks (perhaps in a master map with links to submaps)

I think, the amount of features for change-management is already sufficient. For the "master map" and "sub maps", see the node-to-node linking using anchors. With these, you can jump freely between all the nodes of different maps. Or see the formula feature, with which you can display (and even calculate) contents from original nodes at different places (different contexts) in your map. And, maybe soon, even external maps.
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Re: Having a great experience with Freeplane as a task manager

Postby elwood151 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:05 am

I use Freeplane for note taking, brainstorming, etc. - nearly everything except task management, as I still have another tool that works very well for me there.

nnako wrote:Again my own story. People tend to stick to processes and tasks they know, rather than adapting to new methods in order to improve their workflows. It seems to me that there are only two common ways for people to switch to better methods: (1) a person discovers a new method himself or (2) this new method is obtruded to him. Unfortunately, there are just a few people who are more curious and thus more likely to jump on a train, though.


I was more lucky in this respect - some colleagues of my team (including my boss) quickly tried Freeplane and also use it now for mindmapping. It is however difficult, to get to deeper knowledge (when I showed them filtering based on icons, they were really very impressed (and surprised) that it was possible).

nnako wrote:I think, the amount of features for change-management is already sufficient. For the "master map" and "sub maps", see the node-to-node linking using anchors. With these, you can jump freely between all the nodes of different maps. Or see the formula feature, with which you can display (and even calculate) contents from original nodes at different places (different contexts) in your map. And, maybe soon, even external maps.


From my point of view, there would be room for improvement: I would wish to have a feature which lets me "clone" a node to another place and update it (bidirectionally automatically) in case of changes, so kind of a "hardlink" between 2 nodes.
Why?

I really store a lot of information in mindmaps, so it would be not possible or practical, to have everything for all my projects in one single map.
So for each project (at least) I'd like to have one mindmap with information about notes, meetings, status, tasks, milestones, etc.
If you have many projects simultaneously, the most important thing (IMHO) is getting an overview easily and anytime about status and activities of ALL relevant projects.
So I'd also like to have one master-map which gives an overview about all projects and which also gives an overview about all current tasks (from all projects!) - from my knowledge, this is not possible out-of-the-box at the moment, to define a node (task) in one mindmap and then also see its contents (updated dynamically) in another (e. g. "master"-mindmap).
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