Project management help - allow smart rule that changes parent topic color

profkang shared this idea 6 months ago
Voting Open

In the past, I have asked for a simple change to the Smart rules conditional formatting, which would provide substantial value for informal project management.

Here's the challenge: some task item that is buried deep many levels and not currently visible is past due. It's easy enough to create a smart rule that colors that topic red. But if the branch is collapsed, you cannot see it. If I could have a smart rule that colors a parent topic on the basis of the status of its children, then that status signal would ride "up the chain" so that important information is always visible even if some branch is collapsed.


Now, you may think that this can already be done with "roll up tasks". I think that's right if you have a map that is only a strictly gantt like map where each topic stands for some task or subtask. But the beauty of MindManager is that it allows you to mix together ideas, reference material, and action items. Using the "rollup tasks" produces a visual mess that puts task icons on topics that don't represent tasks (at least in my workflow).


Another way to do this, courtesy of Alex Gooding (on this forum), is to use properties and a formula that allows taking the MAX of its descendants, then create a smart rule based on that formula computation. This is what I do now, but it feels clumsy and doesn't always update unless topic positions are moved. And this is technically too difficult for the average user.

This request can't be that hard to implement. If a topic is red, let its parent become red. That's it. It's easy enough to pick the darkest/lightest color if children have different colors or let the ordering of the smartrules decide which rule controls.

Replies (2)

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I voted for this, after the explanation you give.

Personally I donot want to clutter my projectmaps with background information, like idea's, reference material, etc., but if it is your projectmanagent style....

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As the author of the workaround described by profkang I also support this proposal.

I think the best way to implement it (which I'll expand upon in a separate post) would be to allow SmartRules to access descendant and remote topics in the same way that formulas currently can do. In effect the the SmartRule trigger would have an additional topic field to identify which topic(s) set the trigger (with This Topic being the default), while the trigger field itself would be expanded to include topic attributes such as colour, fill, etc.

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