How can I cope with huge mind-maps, and e.g. work on several parts at the same time?

If you are working with huge mind-maps, you might want to open different parts of this mind-map and e.g. move nodes from one part to another part, without navigating through the mind-map all the time. To do this, it would be perfect, if you could open the same mind-map in two windows, having each window showing a different part of your map, and then you could drag&drop some nodes from one window to another. Unfortunately, this is not yet possible. However, maybe one of the following suggestions helps you

  1. Work with two instances of Docear and a temporary mind-map
    1. Open your mind-map in Docear
    2. Create a new mind-map, e.g. temp.mm
    3. Open temp.mm in a second instance of Docear
    4. Cut one part of your original mind-map and paste it in temp.mm
    5. Arrange your two Docear instances on your monitor, and cut and paste nodes from your temp.mm to the original mind-map
    6. Alternatively, open multiple mind-maps in one instance and switch between them (read here for more details)
  2. Use Freeplane 1.3 (or later)
    1. Download Freeplane, which uses the same file format as Docear.
    2. Since version 1.3, Freeplane has an enhanced window mode that allows showing multiple mind-maps in the same instance of Freeplane (see screenshot). In the long run, we will also integrate this into Docear, but until then, you might want to use Freeplane for working in large mind-maps (you don’t have reference management, workspace, etc. in Freeplane)
    3. The way you would work with Freeplane is the same as explained previously.  Create a temporary mind-map, and copy/move parts from your original mind-map to it.
    4. The Freeplane team is also very open to suggestions. So, if you want to ask them to improve anything of the multi-window mode, just go ahead.
  3. Get used to Docear’s keyboard shortcuts and make use of the folding options
    Docear has a lot of useful keyboard shortcuts to navigate through mind-maps and quickly fold (hide) and unfold (show) nodes. Have a look at the “Nodes” options in the “Navigation” tab of the ribbon menu. With these options it is rather easy to display only those parts of a huge mind-maps that you really need.  The below screenshot shows an example, for more information read here.
  4. Buy a larger monitor
    If you think that you will use Docear for the next couple of months or even years to manage your literature, then you should seriously consider to buy a monitor as large as you can afford. For Docear, and mind-mapping in general, you screen can’t be large enough. Actually, most members of the Docear team use 27″ or 30″ screens and this is definitely not too large. We can promise that if you are currently using a small screen (e.g. a 15″ laptop monitor), and you switch to a larger screen, e.g. 24″ you will be blown away by how much easier it is to work with Docear.

If all these steps don’t help, read on here how to enhance your productivity with Docear.

Posted in: Usability

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