Using the MindReader m tag

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Note: The GyroQ "m" tag is replaced by the "MindReader" button on the new MindReader program. The examples below apply but some of the figures show the MindReader for GyroQ dialog box instead of the new input box.


There are several GyroQ MindReader tags, but the most frequently used tag (according to the GyroQ Tag usage survey) is the m tag. The m tag is used to mark up selected topics using text you enter at the GyroQ prompt. Once you understand how this tag works, you can advance to the "c" tag, which works the same way but reads the text in the topic itself, and the "q" tag which queues up task to be populated into maps and then read.

The Problem

MindManager topics have dozen attributes that you can set including Icons, Hyperlinks, Notes, and Task Information, which includes Resources, start date, due date, priorities, and completion percentages

Using ResultsManager with MindManager for project management adds the attributes of Categories, Areas, Contexts, Deadline status, and specific icon meanings for deadline, Project, Result/Subproject, Someday, and Committed.

Editactivityexample.jpg

When you are brainstorming, planning projects, or otherwise updating your maps, you don't want to be slowed down setting these attributes, either via the MindManager interface or using the ResultsManager "edit activity" interface.

The Goal

The goal of the MindReader m tag is to use an artificial intelligence approach and to "read your mind" to enable you to quickly mark up topics by selecting one or more and topics and telling GyroQ in English (or Spanish or French..) what you want done.

Setting the Target or Due Date

Let's start with due dates. Ordinarily you would click on the MindManager side bar and browse through the calendar dialog and set a date or bring up the ResultsManager "Edit Activity" dialog. This can take several seconds.

With MindReader, you hit Control Q (to bring up GyroQ), type "m " (to toggle to the m tag) and then type....

  • today
  • tomorrow!
  • Friday (or any day of the week)
  • this week
  • next week
  • next month
  • next year
  • end of week
  • end of month
  • end of year
  • next month
  • 4/15/09

MindReader recognizes each of these and inserts the right due date. An exclamation point (!) sets it as a hard deadline.For example the branch,

M tag example.PNG,

can be modified with "m today"


M tag today.PNG

to set the due date to today's date,


M tag example date1.PNG.

Notice that a activity icon is added as well! The original branch is now a ResultsManager task.

Setting Priority

How important is this task to you? Just type

  • p1
  • p2
  • p3
  • p4

to set priority icon. Note that you can set as many attributes as you like in one string. For example the branch,

M tag example.PNG

"Control Q, "m " (to bring up GyroQ m tag) type in "tomorrow p1"

M tag tomorrow p1.PNG

will mark up the selected topics as tasks needing to be done tomorrow with a priority.


Task tomorrow p1.PNG


Note that using an explanation mark "!" with a date sets the due date as a deadline.

Setting Context

A key concept in Getting Things Done (GTD) is having tasks flow to contexts lists (@errands, @phone, @desk). MindReader recognizes key action verbs associated with common contexts.

  • Call = @phone
  • Pick up = @errand
  • buy = @errand
  • Order = @web
  • return = @errand
  • pay = @web
  • research = @web
  • fix = @home
  • @somecontext = @somecontext

Note that the last example sets a context directly by typing "@somecontext". For example if you wanted to add an "office" context then you would type @office into the GyroQ M Tag.

Important Note

MindReader requires these verbs to be at the beginning of the entry to avoid confusion with nouns later in the phrase. For example the user must type "Call Fred about BBQ" and NOT "Give Fred a call" for the task to be correctly assigned to the @phone context.

Several MindReader functions can be configured through the MindReaderConfig.mmap. For example, you can customize these context verbs, or add new verbs that are associated with contexts, in the ResourceVerbs branch of the MindReaderConfig.mmap configuration map. This is found in the My Maps/AO folder. The topic defines the verb while the note assigns the context.

*Please make sure you have a backup of this file before making changes.

Working with People

Project management is all about relationships and accountability. Most tasks will be owned by someone and owed to someone who is waiting for it. Being able to quickly add this information to task (e.g. in a meeting) can be the key to adding clarity and building consensus around path forward.

MindReader recognizes several "Resource Verbs" that help you set this information. Any of these phrases will set up the task with a Bob@ mark that puts it on your "Contact Bob" list in ResultsManager:

  • Contact Bob
  • Talk to Bob
  • Email Bob
  • Ask Bob
  • Discuss with Bob
  • Remind Bob
  • Inform Bob
  • Call Bob
  • Bob@

Note that the last example sets the "Contact Bob about" Bob@ directly without using the MindReaderConfig.mmap configuration map.


If Bob already owns the task, you can type:

  • Waiting for Bob
  • Delegated to Bob
  • R:Bob

Finally if you owe something to someone you can type:

  • I owe Bob

If you want to use full names you need to put a dot between the first and last name so that MindReader knows it is a name:

  • I owe Bob.Smith
  • R:Bob.Smith

If you frequently interact with someone and don't want to type the whole name you can set up their name in the Resource List of the configuraiton map so that MindReader automatically substitutes the full name for a nick name:

  • Waiting for Bob = R:Robert Smith


Setting Start Dates

By default Mindreader adds the current date as the start date for a new task when it is added with the q tag or read by the c tag. The m tag can set start dates relative to today or to the due date using "starting" (relative to due date) or "start in" (relative to now) syntax:

For example, suppose today is Monday and the due date for the task is Sunday.

  • start in 1 day = Tuesday
  • start in 2 days = Wednesday
  • starting 1 day before = Thursday

You can also say:

  • starting now = Monday
  • same day = Friday

If you change your mind and don't want a start date or due date, you can pull them off with...

  • nsd = no start date
  • ndd = no due date

Adding Icons

MindManager is a visual tool and icons can improve reader understanding as well as have use in filtering or in tools like ResultsManager. Here are some examples of keywords that will add icons for you:

  • ! = ! (using this icon sets the due date as a deadline if used through the m tag)
  • isproject = project
  • isresult = result
  • someday = hour glass
  • idea = light bulb
  • commitment = Meeting
  • email = email
  • call = phone
  • schedule = calendar
  • pay = dollar sign
  • talk = people/resource icon
  • waiting = On hold
  • book = book
  • read = book
  • ? = ?

Defining Categories and Areas

*NB. This information has been taken from the ResultsManager help file. Users are advised to read the entire ResultsManager manual/help to get a full understanding of this powerful addition to MindManager

Although Categories and Areas appear to be similar, there is a basic difference between them. ResultsManager treats them differently for the purposes of organising Activities in Dashboard maps. Area settings are inherited cumulatively within the map, whereas Categories replace inherited settings.


The Category or Categories assigned to an Activity will either be the Categories explicitly assigned to it in the Topic, or if none are defined, the Categories it has inherited from its parent topic will be used. If Categories are explicitly assigned to a Topic, then they will replace any that are inherited from its parent in the map.


For example, if an Activity has the category "Improvement", and a subtopic has the Category "Bug Fix" assigned to it, then the subtopic's own category will replace "Improvement" that was inherited from its parent.


Areas work slightly differently. The Area or Areas assigned to an Activity will be combined with those inherited from a parent. So the inherited settings are not lost, but are added to.


If an Activity has an Area of "Management Meetings", and has a subtopic with the Area "Weekly Meetings", then the subtopic's Areas will be regarded as "Management Meetings; Weekly Meetings". It will retain the Area inherited from its parent and add its own to the list. When it is displayed in a Dashboard that organises Activities by Area, it will be listed under "Management Meetings" and "Weekly Meetings", even though it only had the latter assigned to it explicitly. [1], [2]

Setting Categories

Categories are used heavily by the Mark Task Complete tool for advancing repeating tasks. You can also use them to set the approximate time frame a task will take (2m, 15m, 1h, 2h). MindReader recoginizes the set of categories that Mark Task Complete uses and these are defined in the category branch of the mindreaderconfig.mmap as follows:

  • 15m = 15m
  • 1h = 1h
  • 2h = 2h
  • monthly = monthly
  • eachmonth = eachmonth
  • everytwo = everytwo
  • weekly = weekly
  • eachweek = eachweek
  • every2weeks = every2weeks
  • each2weeks = each2weeks
  • fortnightly = fortnightly
  • eachfortnight = eachfortnight
  • quarterly = quarterly
  • eachquarter = eachquarter
  • biannual = biannual
  • yearly = yearly
  • eachyear = eachyear
  • endofmonth = endofmonth
  • endofquarter = endofquarter
  • each month = eachmonth
  • each week = eachweek
  • every 2 weeks = every2weeks
  • each quarter = eachquarter
  • each year = eachyear
  • end of month = endofmonth
  • end of quarter = endofquarter
  • daily = daily
  • 2m = 2m


Although these are defined, users can manually add a category entering ~category. For example ~HalfDay could be used to categorize a project that will take half a day. The tasks that make up the project could be allocated as ~1h or ~15m (or whatever unit of time you want to use). This means that a dashboard can gather categories together into unit of time. Users can easily allocate appropriate tasks to the available block of time in their calendar. If you have a 15m block of time then you can allocate a 15m task.


  • Remember that a sibling task's category will be inherited from the project (parent), but if you allocate another category to the task it will be replaced.

Setting Area

Areas are a fairly user-specific concept. You set these up in the "Area" branch of mindreaderconfig.mmap. By default MindReader comes with two keywords that you can modify or delete:

  • family = Family
  • finances = Finances

Users can manually add an Area by typing ^Area. For example, ^Manufacturing would set the task or project Area to Manufacturing.

  • Remember that Area is inherited from parent tasks. However if a user chooses to allocate a new Area to a child task then the new Area is added to parent Area. For example, a project is designated as a ^Manufacturing Area while the child task is designated as a ^Packaging Area. The child actually adds the Packaging Area to the pre-existing or inherited Manufacturing Area thus becoming Manufacturing Packaging Area. This allows dashboards to report tasks in Area and Sub-areas.

Setting Task Status

  • info: = not a task
  • isinfo = not a task
  • complete: = done
  • done: = done
  • iscomplete = done
  • half done = half done

Using these key words to change the status of your tasks. For example, if you have a task that should be information then type "isinfo" into the m tag and the blob will be removed and the task will then not be considered by ResultsMangager (in dashboard generation).

Procrastinating

Once users start setting target dates all over the place they quickly get in over there head and its time to start pushing things out :-).

  • The delay keyword pushes out the start and due date of a project
  • The extend keyword pushes out the due date
  • The advance keyword pulls in both the start and due date.

Examples

  • Delay 1 day
  • delay 1 week
  • delay 1 month
  • extend 1 month