Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Thursday, December 15th, 2005
The power of mind maps as a visual planning tool is undisputed. MindManager brings that power to the personal computer. Lotus Notes is a tool long-used by highly productive organizations for managing their communication, collaboration, and coordination of information-related activities. Hmmm. Can you tell where I'm going with this post?

Here's a screenmovie of my test mind map with embedded Notes
doclinks

Notes Doclinks in MindMaps bring together two powerful tools for information management:

One of the Lotus Notes productivity features that I use regularly is doclinks. In Lotus Notes, a doclink can be created to jump to a Notes document,  database,or view. The ability to embed these doclinks in my project and action lists gives me a quick and easy way to link to all of my support material regardless of where they are located. The beauty of Notes Doclinks is that the Notes client will locate the target regardless of whether it is located on the local machine or a remote server.

My campaign to get Notes doclinks into MindManager

As soon as I began using MindManager as a planning tool, I knew that I wanted the ability to create maps that would contain links to specific documents, views, and databases in Notes. Unfortunately, MindManager does not currently support the Notes Doclinks when pasted from the clipboard.

About a year ago, I began a campaign to get the folks at MindJet to implement Notes Doclinks in MindManager. Unfortunately, MindJet does not use Lotus Notes. My attempts to convince them of the value of Doclinks were initially not as successful as I would have hoped. Fortunately, I found a champion in Hobart Swan. Hobie stuck with me, introducing me to various people within MindJet; I made my case for Notes and MindManager to each one. I even made my case to Mike Jetter, MindJet's CTO, at the Collaborative Technologies Conference this summer.

Recently, Hobie opened the door for me to present the case for Lotus Notes and MindManager Richard Barber, MindJet's new VP of engineering.
Richard got it. MindJet now gets it. Very Cool.

Things have been moving swiftly since.

With help from Bruce, Ben, and Brian, I've managed to figure out the Notes URL syntax. (Thanks guys!)

Something powerful for Lotus Notes and MindManager users

Today, I managed to embed links to a MindManager map that, when clicked, launch specific views and databases in Notes. So far, I've been unable to get links to documents to work, but I'm working on this and I hope to have progress to report soon.

I am optimistic that I will see Notes Doclink support in a future MindManager service pack. Who knows, we may even get them to include the Notes doclink icon!

Stay tuned!

I've got a few more productivity enhancements on the drawing board for Notes and MindManager. Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to make my case for these soon. Wish me luck!


Disclaimer:
I have MindJet's permission to blog about this, however, they asked me to inform my readers there is no committed release date for the next MindManage service pack at this time. The video clip shown above is real; it is my working prototype; it is not a special MindManager release. All comments and opinions are my own.

Discussion/Comments (16):

Michael Sampson (http://www.shared-spaces.com): 1/31/2006 6:53:37 PM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Looking good Gents. Layout is coming along well. Keep up the good work.


Eric Mack (http://www.ica.com): 12/15/2005 1:24:44 PM
I’ve solved the Notes Doclink in MindManager Riddle

The trick is to strip not only the colons (":"), which I knew, but to strip the "-ON" and "-OF" from the ID String, too. Works great! I now have a mindmap with working doclinks, view links and database links. Cool!


Ian McKenzie (http://www.ismckenzie.com/): 12/15/2005 3:31:40 PM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Okay Eric, you've really piqued my curiosity. I use Notes and MM and haven't yet figured out how to get them talking to each other.


Bruce Elgort (http://www.bruceelgort.com): 12/16/2005 8:12:26 AM
Woo hoo!

Eric,

This is great news. The question is "when will we see it available from Mindjet?"

:-)

Warm regards,

Bruce Elgort


Ian McKenzie (http://www.ismckenzie.com/): 12/16/2005 9:09:24 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Eric, have you tried PLANDOCS Map2Docs MINO>>{ Link } I played with a bit a few months ago and it seems to integrate fairly well with Notes. A little more money than I want to spend for an add-in.


Ian McNairn (http://www.mcnairn.com): 12/20/2005 9:47:52 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Eric ... I am most interested in seeing what comes out of MindJet as I currently save the doclink I copy in Notes as an .NDL file in a standard place on the PC and then create a hyperlink within MMap to that file. That obviously works well, but is a real pain to create as a multistep process.


Chris Blatnick (): 12/23/2005 7:54:02 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Hi Eric,

Great news...to have native support for this in MindManager will be very nice!

Perhaps I am missing something with respect to your comment about not getting links to documents to work. The way I do this is to right-click the Notes document to get the properties dialog, copy the Identifier from the + tab and then right-click my element in MindManager and choose 'Paste Hyperlink'. Works a charm! Certainly it is not as nice as just choosing 'Copy as Doclink', but it's close for now.

I've been working on a programatic way to select an element and copy the Notes URL to the clipboard so that it is basically a two-step process to link to MM. I hope to have this complete soon...if so, I'll let you know.

@Ian...I've used the .NDL technique as well. This can be very useful if you are also a fan of ActiveWords. I currently have active words setup to take me to commonly used views and documents in Notes. For example, I can type 'server' or 'people' and I will automatically be taken to the corresponding views in the corporate NAB.

Best Regards!

Chris Blatnick


Richard Schwartz (http://www.rhs.com/poweroftheschwartz): 12/25/2005 9:39:04 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Very cool. I've been meaning to try out MindManager. Doclinks would surely make it far more valuable to me. And if they've got the wherewithal to figure out all the OLE2 details behind drag-and-drop of doclinks, which IBM has never documented despite requests that I've been making for a couple of years now, and which nobody to my knowledge has been able to get working (except for Microsoft, that is), more power to them!


Eric Mack (www.ericmackonline.com): 12/27/2005 3:24:39 PM
re: Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Richard, MindManager is a powerful tool; definately worth looking at. The folks at MindJet get the power of visual mapping. So do the people at ThinkMap. I'm presently evaluating some tools that will link these into MindManager. I agree with your comment about Drag-n-drop doclinks. It would be nice to see IBM deliver on that promise.


Eric Mack (www.ericmackonline.com): 12/27/2005 3:29:17 PM
MindManager & ActiveWords to jump into Lotus Notes

Thanks for the comment Chris. I've been able to manually create doclinks that work in MindManager and ActiveWords. Unfortunately, these can be tedious to create and so I don't use them as often as I would like. Once I get the doclinks fully sorted out in MindManager, I'll knock on Buzz Bruggeman's door to get him to add doclink support to ActiveWords. I'm sure that Buzz and Peter and crank that out in short order.


Chris Blatnick (): 12/28/2005 7:10:24 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Sounds great, Eric! By the way, what I currently have working, which is one step beyond the manual way, is a series of three toolbar buttons that create links based on the context of where you are, one for database links, one for view links and one for doc links. These buttons then call an agent in a db I have locally to copy the link to the clipboard. Thus, I've got the linking to MindManager down to two steps...click the toolbar button and then switch to MM and paste the link to the element on the map. I'd be happy to share if anyone is interested...


Greg (): 1/3/2006 4:59:36 PM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Chris, thank you for the information. I would be very interested in seeing how the process works as I extensively use lotus notes.


Maurice del Prado (): 1/5/2006 10:04:33 PM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Folks,

Here's how I link from MM to a Notes document.

Right-click on the document you want to link to, bringing up the context menu. Click on "document properties". Tab over to the "<+>" tab. Located the "Identifier" field. Copy the data there.

And in MM, create a "hyperlink" for a topic (CLT-K) and paste the data in your clipboard (Ctl-V) in the "Link to" field.

The data in the Identifier field is called "metadata".

Works like a charm, even if you move that Notes document to another location.

I think this is how Eric does it.

Anything in Notes with an Identifier field will work...I think.

I use ActiveWords (www.activewords.com) to simplify/script the keystrokes. If you like MM, you'll like ActiveWords.


Tom Rhodes (): 2/7/2006 12:51:42 PM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

I'll add my voice to getting closer integration between Lotus Notes and MM.

I use MM for weekly planning and project planning for my job as a Notes Administrator and Developer. Finding this thread telling me how to link the two is brilliant.


Michael (): 2/20/2006 11:58:09 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

A new version of Plandocs Map2Docs MINO on 3/1/2006

{ Link }


saç ekimi (http://www.sacekimmerkezi.name.tr): 5/1/2008 5:42:21 AM
Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

thank you admin..



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