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Taskmm is a small Perl script to generate a mind map of the tasks that you maintain with planner.el.



planner.el is an ingenious planning tool that runs on top of Emacs Muse. It integrates nicely with the Emacs calendar. You can either use the hyperlinks within Emacs and edit your tasks and notes directly, or you publish your plans as a set of HTML pages.

The more complex your plans tend to get, the easier it is to get lost in the ramifications of your plans without a simple tool to get an overview. While mind maps were originally developed for an entirely different purpose, they come in handy to display your plans in a way that allows to view both the whole picture and all the details. FreeMind is a free mind map software that also comes in an applet version.


Taskmm.pl generates a mind map of your tasks

taskmm.pl is a small Perl script that evaluates the hierarchical backlinks in your planner files. It creates an XML file in a format that FreeMind and the FreeMind applet understand. Each planner file is displayed as a node. The nodes work as hyperlinks to the appropriate planner files. They can also carry icons that give additional information about the status and the priority. Branches are collapsible to focus on certain parts of the mind map. See this example page.


Put the script taskmm.pl somewhere into your path, e.g. into ~/bin. Make sure the executable bit is set: chmod u+x taskmm.pl. Edit the user-customizable stuff at the top of the file if it does not meet your needs. That's it.

If you're using Windows, you'll need the Cygwin tools which include the tools to extract the information from the planner files and, of course, the Perl interpreter to run the script in the first place.

Running taskmm.pl

Invoke the script like this:

taskmm.pl [-h] [-o outpath] [-p planner-dir] [-u baseurl]
  • -h: prints a brief help message and exits
  • -o outpath: the full path of the output FreeMind file
  • -p planner-dir: the full path of the directory containing the planner files
  • -u baseurl: the base URL for the hyperlinks

How to generate the mind map automatically

A direct integration of taskmm.pl is certainly possible. However, it's probably a better idea to have tasklist.pl generate and integrate the mind map by using the -m switch.


Download information

The script is included in the tasklist.pl tarball these days and therefore no longer available separately.

An earlier version of this script for Emacs-Wiki based planner versions is right here.