In November 2009, there was an article about how XMind can be helpful on Project management by using TaskInfo and Gantt Chart. At that time, XMind might not perform well enough, but it still worked efficiently. And with valuable support and suggestions from many enthusiastic people, XMind has made many improvements through time. For example, the “assigned to” option to add a particular person.

Especially in XMind 2012, we bring the “task dependency relationship” to help you identify the dependency relation between tasks, and re-design the Gantt Chart with a more friendly interface, fluent interaction and improved usability. We’re ready now.

Taskinfo and Gantt Chart

Now, let’s see how Task Info View works. Below are what we can do here,

  • Task: This is the content of selected task (can’t be changed in the Task Info view);
  • Assigned to: Select or input the people who are responsible for this task;
  • Priority: Select the proper priority level for this task in the drop-down list;
  • Start/End Date: Select the proper date for this task. You can even set an exactly time if required.
  • Duration: This shows how many days you can complete this task. You can set it directly too;
  • Progress: Move the slide to change task progress;
  • Check Point: The time point to stop and check your task;
  • Predecessors: Click the plus button to add a predecessor to selected task.

TaskInfo View

Task Dependency In XMind

Before showing Gantt Chart, maybe we should talk about the Task Dependency for better understanding.
A dependency relation exists between any two tasks in XMind. How do you display it? Now, XMind can help you achieve this with few simple steps. For example, task A has a dependency relation with task B. Let’s do as following:
Select task A.

  1. On the Predecessors fields, click plus button.
  2. Choose task B in the coming Task Dependency dialog.
  3. Confirm the Dependency type,
    • Finish to Start, Task A can’t be started until Task B is finished.
    • Start to Finish, Task A can’t be finished until Task B is started.
    • Start to Start, Task A can’t be started until Task B is started.
    • Finish to Finish, Task A can’t be finished until Task B is finished.
  4. Click OK to finish.

Task Dependency

Then after adding these task details, let’s click Show Gantt Chart at the Taskinfo View bottom. All tasks in current mind map will be shown in the Gantt Chart view.

Gantt Chart

If you switch among sheets or workbooks, the content will be updated at the same time. Moreover, when you drill down any a topic to focus on more details, Gantt Chart will only show the tasks in this drilled down map. Concentration is ever so easy and simple.

Gantt Chart has two parts. On the left, all topics are listed as a tree. On the right, the tasks are shown as task bars with time indicator. A glance, you can catch the most task details immediately, like Task content, Start/End Date, Progress Status, and Dependencies. When moving mouse on a task, all information will be appeared. How convenient! Also, you can change timeline scale among Hours, Days, Weeks and Months in the left as you want.

In this redesigned Gantt Chart View, we bring various colors for task bars, which depend on the task’ priority. This would be helpful to distinguish one task from the others. One more thing, the Task Dependency, which is shown as the lines between tasks. You’re allowed to insert dependency line here, by selecting the little circle at the start or end of a task bar and pointing to any a task. To help you understand the dependency type better,  please watch the above screenshot, there are four lines, from top to bottom,

  • The first one means that Task B can’t be started until Task A is started.
  • The second one means that Task C can’t be started until Task B is finished.
  • The third one means that Task D can’t be finished until Task E is started.
  • The fourth one means that Task F can’t be finished until Task E is finished.

What we do believe is that, you may bring a big surprise to your co-workers while reporting the project status with XMind, and they will understand your work fast and easily.