Taskade, an all-in-one productivity tool, recently started promoting an AI-powered mind mapping app. It promises to revolutionize how its users think, plan and execute on their projects.
I’m always intrigued by new AI developments in the world of visual thinking tools. So I reached out to John Xie, CEO and cofounder of Taskade, to learn about the thinking behind it, what makes possible and what’s next.
Chuck Frey: First of all, please explain to the readers of the Mind Mapping Software Blog what Taskade is and what makes it unique?
John Xie: When we started Taskade, the goal to create a fun, fast, and flexible sharable task list to help individuals and teams turn ideas into action. We essentially created a smart tree-structured document with outlining and note-taking that supported checkboxes and progress bars. The idea of cascading tasks, hence the name Taskade, originally taskcade.
When we joined Y-Combinator, the product had evolved to a real-time organization and collaboration tool, but we stayed true to our goal, adding additional project views and visualizations onto the original data-structure, such as mind maps and more.
Our platform is really unique in many ways, depending on who you ask. For individuals, it really is the simplicity and flexibility of having a powerful note-taking tool that also lets you organize with bullet points and checkboxes, across multiple project views.
For teams, especially those that are remote or distributed, Taskade replaces Slack, Asana, and Notion/Docs, in the sense of replacing communication, coordination and collaboration in one single platform. We are also fully cross-platform, with real-time syncing, and multi-workspace/team support that is similar to Discord.
Frey: What made you decide to add an AI mind mapping tool to Taskade?
Xie: A mind mapping tool was the natural direction for Taskade, given our structured data and outliner. The original vision was to support the entire workflow, from ideation to action and completion. What better view than a mind map to help you brainstorm and arrange your thoughts, tasks and ideas – whether by yourself or with a team.
AI also works amazingly given GPT-3, GPT-4, and ChatGPT all offer structured markdown output, which import very nicely into our hierarchical tree-document format in Taskade. Users can manipulate each bullet point, organize, drag to move, assign tasks and attachments/add-ons to every node or item at the atomic level.
We will have many more exciting updates to come soon around generating mind maps, templates and task lists as part of our next GPT-4 upgrade.
Frey: What does Taskade’s mind map view enable that traditional mind mapping tools don’t, beyond the obvious generative AI element?
Xie: Our mind map view really is unique in that you can visualize your data consistently across different views, and also fully customize your project and mind map with backgrounds and wallpapers, so it feels more playful and less like work.
Most importantly, traditional mind maps are canvas based. Taskade’s mind map is a smart-structured document and outliner, an editing tool that lets you work across multiple views by yourself or with your team.
Frey: How can businesspeople use the AI mind mapping tool to be more productive and creative?
Xie: We have hundreds of thousands of active individuals and teams on Taskade with many more coming on board each day. Our goal is to continue to iterate and improve the platform based on customer feedback, and we have a very long list based on our feature request web page. With limited resources, prioritization is key! 🙂
Frey: In addition to mind maps, what other types of diagrams can Taskade create?
Xie: You can turn mind maps into vertical org charts, and we do have plans to add more views and customizations in the future.
We also recently added backlinks into Taskade, this will open up additional possibilities with the options to zoom into projects and mindmaps from each node level.
Frey: What’s your take on the synergies between visual thinking tools and generative AI? How can they enhance each other?
Xie: I believe combining visual thinking tools (think mind maps and kanban boards) with generative AI can do wonders for productivity, creativity and collaboration. You can now generate new ideas and also visualize the process and steps it takes for various workflows and productivity methods automatically. You don’t need to rely on manual editing and manual template creation. You can simply take outputs from AI and make them work in Taskade automatically. Watch for more to come around generative projects, mind maps and templates in Taskade in the near future.
Frey: Once a Taskade user is satisfied with the mind map they have created, what’s next? How can they export it or use it in other applications or incorporate it into projects within Taskade?
Xie: We support export to text and PDF. If you’re a premium user, you can also export your mind maps to JPG and PNG files. We may offer more free options soon in terms of import and export. Watch this web page for updates on Taskade’s growing import and export capabilities.
Frey: Is it possible for nodes in a mind map in Taskade to have enhancements like attachments, links, images or task data?
Xie: Absolutely. That is a big part of Taskade. Each project is a smart structured document, in tree/hierarchichal format. Every item and bullet point can be expanded upon. You can attach files, comments, due dates, timers, and more onto each element of Taskade. Look for more details about task add-ons in Taskade here.
Frey: What’s next for the mind map view of Taskade? Are any enhancements planned as part of your product roadmap?
Xie: Absolutely, we have big plans for our mind map view, including bringing it to our mobile and tablet app, along with general UI enhancements from zooming into individual nodes to added AI support at the heading level.
Keep up with all of the latest updates on the Taskade blog.
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