Mind Mapping is a great way to organize your to-do lists. In fact this is the single most used feature of Mind Mapping, so I’m going to show you exactly how to do this in NovaMind.
NovaMind makes it easy to organize the things you need to do, and you can categorize by whatever makes sense for that particular list.
Sometimes you will want to create a to-do list that is time based, like the top example Mind Map to the right, which is used to organize your week. Other times, you will want to organize according to your objectives, like the second example to the right.
Colors and Shapes
You can use the colors and shapes of the topics to highlight similar items, like this:
If there are logical associations between the tasks, you may like to indicate those associations using link lines like this:
You can use the adornments to visually categorize the tasks like this:
And of course if you are using NovaMind Pro or Platinum, you are likely to want to put checkboxes on the topics like this:
You can see that the checkboxes are three state checkboxes where the is an on, or checked state, an intermediate state which indicates that the task is partly done, and an unchecked state which indicates the task hasn’t been started.
There are two ways that the checkboxes can operate. Normally the parent’s state is dependent on the state of the checkboxes of the children. This is called using “automatic” checkboxes, and you can tell when they are automatic because they are square checkboxes. Also, when you change the state of the parent automatic checkboxes, they will set the state of the children checkboxes.
With automatic checkboxes, you also have the advantage that if you collapse the children topics, the checkbox on the parent still shows the summary of the state of the children, so if you have a lot of subtasks which you don’t need to see right now, you can hide them away, and still know the status of the overall task. The state of the automatic checkboxes is carried up and down across multiple levels of sub-topics.
If you turn off automatic checkboxes, each topic is independent in its checked state, so you can easily do something like this (manual checkboxes are round):
As you can see, the parent task would normally be in the intermediate state since some of the sub-tasks have been started, but they haven’t all been completed, but in this case we have turned the checkbox off.
If you are using a Mac, the checkboxes can be synced with iCal to-do items.
Priorities, Percentage Complete, Dates, and Resource Assignments
If you have more extensive task management needs like seeing the percentage complete, setting priorities, assigning resources, start and finish dates etc, then you can do that in NovaMind Platinum. This really goes more into the realm of project management, when you get into all those details, but here is a taste of what you can do with the full task management capabilities of NovaMind 5 Platinum:
The first task has a percentage complete icon – the icon is drawn using the exact percentage complete you set for the topic.
The first sub-task has a duration set of four days. You can set durations in anything from minutes to years.
A number of the tasks have priorities assigned to them, so you can see the icon with the priority number in it for those tasks, so you can assign your time to the highest priority items first.
The second sub-task has a start date assigned to it, and the next one has both a start and an end date assigned. If you are using a Mac, the task information including the start and end dates can be synced with iCal.
The next main task has two resources assigned to it. Resources can refer to people or equipment or rooms or anything that is required to complete the task.
The “everything” task has just about every type of thing you would ever use for a task:
- The shape of the task is different to draw attention.
- It has a link line showing its association with another task.
- It has a checkbox, in this case indicating that the task has not been started.
- It has a priority setting.
- There is a percentage complete icon, in this case showing 0% complete.
- There is an adornment to convey additional meaning.
- Then a keyword describing the task.
- A duration of 3 weeks has been set.
- A start date has been set, in this case with a start time too.
- The end date has been set.
- Three resources have been assigned to the task.
- There are notes on the topic giving more detailed information.
- There are hyperlinks to related information and resources.
- There are attached files with extra information.
As you can see, NovaMind gives you a very powerful and flexible set of tools for creating and managing your to-do lists.