From Mindmap to Asana

productivity

#1

I mindmap a lot. For complex projects, I find mindmapping especially useful, because I can visually break down tasks to a granular level. I use freeplane for mindmaps.

I discovered that you can copy and paste your tasks from freeplane (the mindmapping software I use) directly into Asana.

copy the nodes in the mindmap and paste - Bam. They turn into tasks. The Child nodes from the mindmap even turn up as indented text in Asana - so you can recognise subtasks. Multiple-select and drag them into a task as sub-tasks.

Mindmap to spreadsheet to Asana

Freeplane allows you to export the mindmap as a spreadsheet - if you like a record of all your tasks in one. Just copy the rows and paste them into Asana - and they all turn up there perfectly.

Now, here’s the freaky thing. I scrolled down to discover that Asana had created an image of the spreadsheet rows that i pasted.

So, you have that for reference as well :slight_smile:


#2

Wow! This is super cool.

Thanks so much for sharing, @George_supreeth. I’m sure other community members will find value from this post. :slight_smile:

Have a great weekend!


#3

@George_supreeth - this is amazing! I also find mind mapping to be a super helpful creative tool. I actually usually do mind mapping with a pen and paper, but now that I know that it’s possible to turn a mind map into Asana tasks using freeplane, I may just have to explore freeplane.

A clarification question for you. You describe the indentations for subtasks and I can see them in your picture. Are these actually Asana subtasks, or are they just tasks with indentation (as in a text editor) so it’s clear that they’re nested beneath another idea? If they were Asana subtasks, I’d expect not to be able to see them in project view, except of course if they were tethered to the parent project.

I’d love to hear more about your creative process…Do you use mind mapping for general brainstorming, project planning, or something else? What do you see as the primary benefit for converting these ideas into Asana tasks? And lastly, if the ideas will be converted into tasks anyway, why not do the brainstorming in Asana in the first place?

Thanks for sharing this great idea! Looking forward to learning more.


#4

Hi. I saw this and tried it with a different mindmap tool I use (SimpleMind) and it worked too. I exported/copied outline mode. Nice to know pasting hierarchical text stays that way for at least a few other tools we Asana users have in our bag of tricks. Hope this helps others at least check if pasting from other tools they use might work as well. Cheers!


#5

@Alexis Unfortunately these are not sub-tasks - just indented text. Still useful though, because the level of indentation is a visual indicator, and I can just drag these into a task, as sub-tasks later.

Indented text as sub-tasks is something to think about though. It provides a fast way of creating sub-tasks from the main project tasks pane.

creative process
I use mindmaps for pretty much everything, and they are particularly useful for planning projects where I work. I run a small design strategy business, where the kind of projects that come in are radically different from one to the next. One month we may be helping a startup ideate on a business model, the next we are building brand element for an established firm. In fact we picked Asana over Wrike because of Asana’s conceptual flexibility.

Now, the traditional WBS works well for known workflows, and Asana is brilliant for that. You just get in and plug the tasks in until it’s all there. With our projects, we don’t even know what the tasks are until we have mapped out the project in terms of it’s environment, actors, resources and event dependencies.

Mindmaps are brilliant for this. They let me maintain a high level view and drill down to detail if I need to in a second. This constant zooming in and pulling out is an invaluable aid because it sparks connections that save time and effort further into the project. Lists and Kanban boards - both of which have sub-tasks hidden inside them are not so great for this.

As an interesting side note, I briefly toyed with other alternatives like taskmeister and subtask because of their mindmap led project management method. But that didn’t go anywhere becuase their permissions systems aren’t that great (Our clients collaborate in Asana projects a lot) and I realised that Freeplane to Asana is much faster anyway.


#6

@KC_Bolton - That’s great to hear! I just tested it on xmind and it works like a charm.


Helpful Asana FAQs from a Community expert
#7

Visualising your Asana task list as a mindmap

It’s also possible to take a list of tasks back into your mindmap, (although there is one inbetween step.)
This is useful if you want an overview of all the tasks and visualise connections between them.

  1. Multiple select all tasks in the main project view in Asana (Including Sections!)
  2. Paste in notepad or any text editor.
  3. Indent the tasks under each section (if it is a level 2 sub-task, indent twice)
  4. Copy all and paste it onto your mindmap. (tested with Freeplane)

All your tasks appear as mindmap nodes, complete with sub-tasks nested within each node.


#8

Awesome @George_supreeth,
I work everyday with Mindjet MindManager and it works the same.

The way I use MindMapping plus Asana is, that I have thousands of MindMaps with all my knowledge since university and the next steps and action items are linked to the Asana Project/task:

Asana also has a MindMap extension: Digispoke

But at least for me it is not working for the last years :frowning:

Is Digispoke working for anyone??

Cheers,
Sebastian


#9

No such luck with Mindmiester. You need an intermediary step, export to excel


#10

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, @George_supreeth! I’m sure many people in the Community will find this inspiring. :sparkles:


#11

Great post guys! @Alexis is there any plans to incorporate a native mind mapping feature into Asana at some point? Im with @George_supreeth I find using a mindmap to get ideas out to be way more efficient than how you would add them to Asana. Being able to create a mind map and create actionable tasks from it would be awesome.


#12

Hi @Christopher_Smith and @George_supreeth ,
I have good news for you!
The new version of Mindjet Mindmanager can send task to Asana via Zapier.

I plan to buy the new version and test it within the next 2-4 weeks.

Find the Zapier workflow here.

From my point of view this is awesome for every mindmapper, we can outline the project and complex issues in a mindmap and once done we can simply send the tasks to an Asana project and collaborate from there.
I am really excited :smile:


#13

Great suggestion @Sebastian_Paasch!

@Christopher_Smith at this time I am unable to speak to plans to incorporate a native mind mapping feature into Asana. However, the team is aware that you’re interested. For information on how we collect product feedback here in the Community I recommend that you visit this post:


#14

Hi,
How do you do that ? I try with SimpleMind Pro on android and paste to Asana Android, it does not work.


#15

Did you try it on your laptop to see if it is an issue with the Android version?


#16

No i didn’t do that because it does not fit my reality, ie in my eyes and in most cases, just pushing infos from one system to another, whatever manually or automatically (with services such as zapier for example), it’s just a one way info push and after this only one move, it’s done, nothing else can reasonably happen because insisting without a sync service between the 2 systems is counter productive.

That was the explanation, now the conclusion : as it’s a one move operation, to me this means the work is a branstorming draft, ie a mindmap draft pushed to a project management system like asana in our example. For drafts, in a majority of case i did them while on an extreme mobility scenario, ie on a tablet or phone before before making on these drafts a real and serious work with the help of a desktop computer.

As a result, the desktop mindmap for drafts is not a helper for me.


#17

Hi Asana community members! We are running some exciting research sessions this week with folks who use spreadsheets, powerpoint, whiteboards and paper to plan projects.

We’d love to see your typical process and get your feedback on a new feature that might help. This video chat will only take an hour and we will give you a $100 Amazon gift card after we chat. Fill out a few questions to see if there’s a fit.

Survey
https://asanaops.wufoo.com/forms/mks1fl61nc6u4b/

Cheers,
Christa + Jerry
User Experience Research


#18

That’s awesome, @Christa! @George_supreeth, @Sean_Sullivan, @Christopher_Smith, @Sebastian_Paasch, @Alexandre_Emeriau I encourage you to participate in the study Christa mentions above!


#19

Calling all Mind Mappers! I just wanted to direct your attention to a brand new feature of Asana2Go:

So as not to divert this thread’s topic/discussion, please find more info, and confine any discussion of Asana2Go’s mind map features, to that new thread.

For a short video of these new Asana2Go features (which are pretty fun!):
Demo/How-To Video - Asana2Go: Import and Export Mind Maps

Thanks,

Larry Berger
Asana2Go & Asana Certified Pro consultant at Trilogi