Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sharing MindManager Icons, Map Parts and Themes with Package Folders


imageA big thank you to Andrew Wilcox for introducing me to the Package Folder feature of MindManager and providing the inspiration for sharing all my custom items across multiple PCs.

Andrew is an acknowledged expert with MindManager and his blog is regularly updated - please visit: Applications of MindManager.


What is a Package Folder?

It has been described by some as one of the hidden (lost?) gems of MindManager.

It is the place where MindManager stores all the styles/themes, icons, markers, map parts, images and so on.

When you install MindManager a series of folders are created on your PC to hold all the elements that come with the package. MindManager finds these items by referencing a default 'Package Folder' called 'MindManager'. See 'File' > 'Options' then select 'Package Folders'.


Every time you access an icon or choose a template or theme from within MindManager, the application is looking these up in this default Package Folder.

These installed items are buried deep with your 'Program Files' folder, accessed by a long file path such as 'C:\Documents and Settings\Steve\Local Settings\Application Data\Mindjet\MindManager\10\Library\ENU\'.

What Can I Use it For?

When you create your own items for use with MindManager - map parts, icons, images, themes - you probably save these somewhere in your 'My Documents' folder on the PC you created them with.

Whenever you want to use them you have to point MindManager manually at the appropriate folder - assuming you can remember where you saved the item.

If instead you create your own Package Folder, you can store all your custom items in this.

See Andrew Wilcox's post 'How to manage shared resources for teams of MindManager users' on how to do this.


Sharing Your Package Folders

Andrew describes the sharing of items between different users across a network and even between different versions of MindManager on the same PC.

He also describes how you can do this using Internet sharing tools such as DropBox.

My own favourite is the Magic Briefcase feature of SugarSync which lets me share these items amongst my different PCs and laptops at home, in the office and with clients.

To do this, I created a Package Folder in my Magic Briefcase. In MindManager I called this .... well, 'Magic Briefcase'. It points to a new folder within Magic Briefcase which I called 'MindManager Package Folder'.


Next I copied in all my useful items, using Windows Explorer, taking care to store them within the appropriate sub folder created by MindManager.

The items were instantly available from within MindManager - such as this theme ...


...or these icons.


Then I started my laptop up. SugarSync automatically updated the Magic Briefcase folder on the laptop with the new folders and items.

I opened MindManager on the laptop and created the new Package Folder as before, taking care to point to this new folder at the Package Folder in Magic Briefcase. The items I'd put in here on my desktop PC were now immediately available to MindManager on my laptop.

From now on I can not only find and use all these items more easily from within MindManager, I can also maintain them automatically across my various PCs.

Please visit Andrew's blog - Applications of MindManager.


If you would like to know more about SugarSync and the Magic Briefcase please click here to be taken to the SugarSync web site.

SugarSync: Sync your life. Access, sync, and share all your files from any device.

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