automatic filter on Department tasks

Torsten R. shared this question 2 years ago
Discussion Open


for my automotive change projects I created a large PSP made from a Project WBS which contains information from the change.


The PSP contains 8 main phases (Phase 1 initiation to Phase 8 project closure), each phase has at least one or more goals and these goals contains tasks to be done to reach that goal. All tasks are linked to responsible departments (f.i. R&D, Quality, Sales, PM, Production, Logistics, Controlling, Procurement, ...) .

If all tasks in the previous phase are completed (=100%) the phase is not seen any more (done with a power filter) and the tasks of the next phase and the next phase must become active. The tasks from this current active phase must be done next.

Problem: Having what is described above I would like to see (maybe on an extra page) all departments lined up each in a single box side by side , and below each department-box listed downwards should list all open tasks for the active phase.

If the next phase gets active, the tasks of that phase must be listed below the corresponding department .

Thanks for your ideas and help

BR, Torsten

Replies (1)


Without an image of an example map it's difficult to envisage what you are trying to do, but one option that might work is to use the tag map view. Create a Department tag group (or create them in the General Tag group) and apply these tags to the tasks. Then switch to the Tag map view, choose the relevant Tag group and sort this by Progress in reverse order. You can then hide the Uncategorized column which will contain Department names, etc..

Tasks should then appear grouped in columns matching the Departments with the tasks closest to completion closest to the top of each column. If you apply the 100% complete rule you have already created to hide completed tasks, these should then disappear from the visible map (see example below).

Unfortunately I don't think its possible to apply the filter automatically so that tasks disappear from the tag view the moment they are ticked off as complete without a macro of some sort. Also, I'm not sure how to integrate the phases. You could create a group of tags to match phases and when switching to Tag map view, select this tag group. However, it doesn't seem possible to combine different tag groups in the Tag map view.



Hello Alex,

thanks for your quick and good answer which gave me some new hints I can use.

Your Tag view is already really close to what I would like to have.

I will try to visualize my needs with the following two screenshots.

First picture is an fresh created good example of how my PSP looks like.

2nd picture shows the extract of tasks to be done in the next (active) Phase (and only tasks from the next -> called "active phase").

A Phase must be fully completed to activate the next Phase and its tasks to "active" Phase and active tasks.




Hi Torsten,

I'm pleased I've been of some assistance.

Looking at your map, I would use the tag view only with the active phase. There are a number of options to do this - you could filter the map to just show the branch, use a roll-up dashboard map or treat each phase as a separate map linked to an overall map. More simply, you could add the tags only as each phase becomes active and remove them when the phase is complete.

In the active phase I would assign tags based on the categories/departments you are using. If you wanted to, you could also set up a second set of tags linked to the result groups, which you could assign to tasks based on the Results branch they are in using a SmartRule, but this isn't strictly necessary.

In the first of the attached images I've set up a rough copy of the active phase in your map, and tagged each task with its Department (I've also set SmartRules to automatically add a fill colour to each task based on its Dept tag). In addition I've tagged each task with its Result group. I've also rolled up the tasks to show progress at the Phase and Project levels (I've hidden the start and due dates for clarity). Completed tasks are shown in this view.

In the second image I've applied the Tag map view using the Dept tags with the tasks sorted in progress reverse order. You will have to check and if necessary re-apply this each time you use the Tag view, but interestingly the filter seems to have been applied automatically so completed tasks have been excluded. In the third image I've applied the Tag map view using the Result tags, again in progress reverse order.

Finally, it may be possible using a combination of SmartRules and macros to automatically activate a phase when the previous one is completed, but it would be a lot of work. It would be a lot simpler to set up the tasks and tags manually.





Dear Alex,

thank you very much ! You helped me already with your very first Tag picture and comments a lot !!!

In my PSP I already worked with SmartRules and implemented some of them, such as, all tasks for a dedicated (and manually marked) Phase will be smart ruled marked with to its belonging Phase (using "Topic Belongs to Branch"), (for my understanding it is nearly the same as you did with wit your "Result x" formula). From your first advise I installed SmartRules for each department, related to the linked ressources. After filtering to the active Phase (f.i. Phase 5) and hiding all "100%" tasks --> my Tag view is exactly what I would like to see. :-) ! ! !

Next I will try to find out how macros must be started and how to use them, because all SmartRules are only working with and in its own box. When all tasks and results for its Phase are finished one of my SmartRule Tags the upper "Phase x - f.i. Implementation " Box with "Phase x finished",

But in the next following Phase X box, it is not possible to check for the previous Phase Tag and if it contains "Phase x finished" to make the next Phase Box "Phase x+1 active"

In the next 2-3 days I will check and read also your blog articles.

Finally, as I already said, you helped me a lot and I can manage my PSP in the way it is right now. the current solution (1-filtering to the active phase, 2. hide all 100% jobs, 3. switch to TAG view) is PERFECT and better than every other workaround. one thing of interest for me is, how macros work.

BTW I just saw, that my numbering system is now counting starting with 1 and shows not 5 what it was before filtering.

So I will read again what you did to get to your result. ;-)

Thanks again & BR Torsten



Hi Torsten,

I'm glad it's working out for you.

As I said it may be possible to set up an automatic progression to the next phase but it would be a lot of work - and unfortunately I can't help you there as I'm not very good with MindManager macros. Interestingly someone has suggested that there should be a process to calculate a "Next Action" status for a topic which would be very similar to what you want:

Actually the person who made this request, Nick Duffill, knows a lot more about macros than I do. You might want to touch base with him, but the fact that he's requesting such a feature suggests that it is probably very difficult to achieve this currently with macros.

I'm tied up for the next couple of days but I'll have a think about the numbering issue. I assume you mean the prefix. It may be something to do with the way in which you've filtered or selected the specific phase.


Thanks for the mention Alex. The request was as a result of reading this thread. It is not very difficult to calculate a Next Action status with a macro and generate either a tag or property for it. The underlying issue is when to calculate it, potentially relying on the user to remember to refresh it when needed. Constantly maintaining it would need an add-in rather than a macro. It's the kind of thing that would work much better embedded in the core rather than as an extension. I would be glad to draft a macro if people feel comfortable about remembering to refresh it before relying on the status of the next actions.


Hi Nick, I did wonder whether your Next Action status idea was entirely coincidental :)

I suspect we are approaching this in slightly different ways. It is possible to calculate and indicate a Next Action task status without a macro - provided there aren't many immediate predecessor tasks - by using a combination of a SmartRule and a formula. However, you have to nominate the predecessor tasks manually which is a big limitation.

In the case of Torsten's map this is relatively straightforward as the Next Action test is applied at the Phase level, so there is only one predecessor - the preceding Phase. So to set this up, I did the following:

  1. Create an Active Phase Tag group with one tag - Active Phase.
  2. Add the following formula to the second Phase branch parent topic: [Active]=(topic.Progress==1)&&(Self.Progress!=1) This will add a topic property called Active with a value of 1 if the previous Phase is 100% complete AND the current phase is incomplete. "topic" is manually selected using the Insert Topic feature in the formula dialogue box and refers to the previous Phase branch parent topic.
  3. Copy and then paste this formula in each of the successive Phase branch parent topics. However, you then have to go to each of these parent topics and edit the formula to remove the topic in each formula as they all point to the first phase. You then have to use Insert Topic feature in each of these formulas to insert a topic reference pointing to the parent topic of the immediately-preceding phase.
  4. Create the following SmartRule which will apply the Active Phase tag when the Active topic property is equal to 1. When this is saved the tag should appear on the active phase parent topic.


As I said, this works in the case of this map because there is only one predecessor at a time, but could rapidly become unwieldy if there were more than just three or four. You would have to edit the formula every time it was pasted in another topic to change the topic references to point to the correct predecessors and you might also have to use nested formulas. However, the advantage of this approach is that once the formulas have been added correctly to all the relevant topics the active phase status is updated automatically every time a phase is completed.

Nick, I suspect that whatever you come up with in terms of a macro will be much better than my effort. However, if there was a way involving my approach to automatically detect predecessor topics and their status (with or without relationships to the target topic) at the time the formula was added to a topic, that would be great.

Torsten, if you want more information on how to use arithmetic, comparison and logical operators in MindManager formulas have a look at the following article on my blog: You should be able to use this indicator in a filter to select the active phase branch,


Hi Alex, hi Nick,

@ Alex, after reading your 3 linked blogs I tried to start with properties. Maybe I did something wrong or did not fully understand if the properties could be set as a common information for all Phases. Shown below is what I thought that could maybe work. But it did not work automaticly. Only when copying the Phases with the increased counter into the next Stage (=Phase) Box all my other SmartRules worked. So my properties are currently not working in an automatic way.

Next I will read your money and time ... blog and will also read, test and adapt your above shown formular. I will give extra feedback to you when I am finished .

@Nick, you are right, i would like not to start the macro and also don't want to implement an add-in. Currently I am preparing this MM PSP -open Tasks for Departments View for my own Projectmanagement process controlling. but in future this MM could possibly be used from my other colleagues, and they shurely don't have admin rights to install any add-ins or they - (and I) - dont remember when do activate the macro. ;-) So, to create a solution which is working automatic f.i. with SmartRules or formulars would be really the top of my whishes.

Thank you both very much for your support !



Hi Alex.

your formula works really good !

I had a little bit trouble and several tryouts to understand and find how to set the topic - but now all the top "Phase" boxes have the "Active" field. The "Phase" which is active shows also a "1" all other "0". This is working for all Phases !

But, when switching to the Tag view to see the active tasks from the active Phase is not working because only the upper Box has this element and whith filtering to active only the one Phase box i apperaring.

Now I'am trying to set up a SmartRule f.i. for all Phase 2 tasks, but this seems not to be so easy the "Active" information from the Phase 2 (Stage A2 ... ) Box seems not to be present (readable) in the sub-tasks . You can see that I already made several SmartRules but still did not find a working SmartRule. BR, Torsten



Hi Torsten,

Check under Options in the Power Filter when you filter for the active phase that the "Results display exact matches" box is unticked.

I'm a little confused regarding the second part of your question. What exactly are you trying to do when you say you want to "set up a SmartRule f.i. for all Phase 2 tasks". Are you trying to replicate the topic property fields you've created in the parent topic in all the subtopics, or something else?


Hi Alex,

yes you understood me.

I tried to explain, when the previous Phase (like in the example below - Phase 1) is completly finished the next phase (Phase 2) will get the "1" at "Active". --> So your formula is working perfect ! (Pic 1)

When I then switch to "View" -> "Tag" -> "Show Tag view" I see all tasks from all Phases . (Pic.2)

So I have to filter . I choose -> "Power Filter" and select "ActivePhase", and then only one Box -> the Stage A2 Box is presented (Pic 3) .This is not the result I would like to see. I would like to see all not finished tasks from active Phase 2.

This is the reason why I tried to set up already some additional SmartRules (like PhaseStatus) for all Phase 2 tasks to Tag all sub elements of the highest Phase A2 Box.

(Unchecking the result display exact matches makes no difference)

Do you have an idea why the SmartRule for all Phase 2 tasks could not see (does not work with) the Active=1 from the formula ?

BR, Torsten



Hi Torsten,

Apologies - when I modelled this, I didn't populate the phases with tasks apart from the active one, so I didn't realise filtering wasn't working properly. Applying filters cumulatively can be a little problematic, especially when you want one filter to hide topics and another to show them.

You are on the right track with a solution. First, I would add a formula like the following: [Status]=(Ancestors.[Active])==1 to all the task topics. This will add a Status property to these tasks, with a value of 1 only in the active phase.

Then I would add something like the following SmartRule:


This will add an icon to indicate only those tasks which belong to the Active phase (ie, have a Status=1) AND which are NOT 100% finished (if you like you could use the rule to add a topic property instead). Then when you apply the filter in either the map or tag view you only need to filter on this icon (or topic property).


Edit: of course, you need the formula I described in my previous comment to flag the active phase at the main topic level. The Status formula I described above then reads the Active field created by this formula at the parent topic level. And don’t forget in tag view to sort the tasks in reverse progress order.