Mind Mapping with View Your Mind

Detective Work

To switch easily between branch labels, use your arrow keys. If the mind map becomes too large, hold the left mouse button over a white section and drag the mouse to move the section you're interested in into view. To zoom in and out, press the magnifying glass icons in the toolbar. For an improved overview, select Edit and collapse the selected branch. Its subitems only appear again when you activate them with the arrow keys or click them in the Tree Editor. The items in the Edit menu for expanding and collapsing only apply to the elements in the Tree Editor and have the same effect as clicking on the small triangles.

Pressing Ctrl+F takes you to a search function (Figure 3). In the newly opened area, type the search term into the box at the bottom and then click the binoculars to search. The matches appear in the list above. After you select one of them, the view jumps to the corresponding branch.

Figure 3: Using the search function, you can quickly find the desired branches, even in large mind maps.


For each label, you can attach a link that leads to another mind map or to a website. Thus, for the lemon cake, you could directly reference a recipe on a food website. To do this, right-click the entry, choose References (URLs, vymLinks, …) | Edit URL and type or paste in the web address. Now a small globe appears in front of the lemon cake item. Clicking the globe icon will open a browser window with the relevant page. If you want to reference another mind map, use the context menu item References (URLs, vymLinks, …) | Edit vym link and then select the file with the appropriate mind map.

Pressing the E key opens a text editor where you can change, expand, and reformat the currently active label. Keep it as short as possible here; you will rarely need more than one keyword. For longer supplementary texts, such as recipes for lemon cake, VYM lets you create notes. To do so, first highlight the lemon cake and select View | Note Editor (or press N). A new area appears (Figure 4) with a gray background, which indicates no notes have been made. Once you click and start writing, VYM enables the text editor along with its other functions. You can import longer texts in the Note | Import menu. All branch labels with notes display a small clipboard icon that lets you open or close the note editor with a single click.

Figure 4: Creating longer messages and editing them with the Note Editor in VYM.

One Step at a Time

To bake the lemon cake, you have to buy the ingredients, weigh out the correct amounts, mix them, and finally bake the mixture in the oven. You can create a to-do list (subtopics) for task sequences like this. To do so, first create a separate step for each subtopic. In the example here, you would append branches to the lemon cake entry to Buy ingredients, Weigh ingredients, and so forth, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: A task list; the Buy ingredients task has been completed.

If the order of your subtopics is unimportant, you can sort them alphabetically in ascending or descending order by choosing the main topic (here, Lemon cake) and pressing O or Shift+O. Otherwise, you can order your subtopics by choosing each and then clicking the up or down arrow in the top menubar.

Next, you can convert these subtopics successively into tasks by right-clicking the first branch, Buy ingredients, and selecting Tasks | Toggle task, or you can press the keyboard shortcut Shift+W. Repeat this for all tasks. VYM places a red icon in front of each of the branches to indicate that it is an unfinished task. Once you have completed a task, select the appropriate entry and click on the red icon until a green icon with a checkmark appears, or press W until you see the icon you want. The meanings of the symbols are listed in Table 1.

Table 1

Task Status



Task not yet started

Task being processed

Task completed

Task not yet started, paused

Task in progress, paused

Task not yet started, woken up

Task in progress, woken up

If you have to postpone buying ingredients until later, just pause the task by right-clicking the icon, selecting Sleep n days, and entering the number of days; VYM now displays a moon symbol that indicates the break (Table 1). By right-clicking the icon and then selecting Reset sleep, you can reinstate the task. All the tasks in the mind map can be displayed in a table by pressing View | Task editor (Figure 6). The table lists a priority for each task. The higher the number, the higher the priority; however, you cannot set the priority yourself: VYM computes this from the status, the age, and the period for which you send the task to sleep. By default, VYM sorts the table in descending order by priority. Clicking one of the column headings lets you sort the tasks by that column.

Figure 6: View Your Mind assigns a priority to each task and remembers – among other things – the status and the age of a task.

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