Setting Importance

Assign Importance visually

Goalscape shows the relative importance of all goals simply, directly and intuitively. The size of a goal's slice represents its importance relative to its neighbors (subgoals of the same parent), according to its contribution to its parent.

So you can set the importance of your goals according to a single criterion like time or money allocated; or you can perform a full cost/benefit assessment and risk analysis; or you can simply adjust it visually using your 'gut feel' based on experience.

Since the total importance of a set of subgoals (aggregate contribution to their parent) is always 100%, increasing the importance of one will necessarily reduce the importance of all the others. Similarly, reducing the importance of any goal will increase the importance of all its neighbors. When you adjust the importance of one goal, all the others maintain their proportions relative to each other. 

To change the importance of a goal, select it and drag and drop its border on the chart by using the circular button that appears on one of its outer corners. You can also drag and drop the Importance slider in its panel or enter digits in the text field to the left of the '%' sign. The size of the subgoal slice will change accordingly – and all its (unlocked) neighbors will change size, always maintaining their sizes relative to each other.


You cannot increase the importance of a goal so much that it 'crushes' any of its neighbors to an importance of less than 1%. If you attempt to do you will see a tooltip telling you to lock the smallest goal(s) before you can continue. 

This is a logical result of the need to maintain the relative importance of the smallest subgoal in a set with respect to all the others. When the importance of the smallest hits 1%, it cannot decrease any more; so none of its neighbors' importances can decrease either, since that would change their relative importance. So at this point there is simply no room to make the selected goal any bigger! If you really need to increase the importance of any goal at this point, you can delete, lock or increase the importance of its smallest neighbor(s) to remove this constraint.

There is a short video about setting Importance here.

Locking importance

Lock Importance

Sometimes you may wish to lock the importance of a particular goal so it is unaffected by changes to its neighbors' importances (or when you adddelete or move neighbors). Once you have set its importance to the desired value, simply click on the padlock symbol to the right of the Importance slider in its panel. When a subgoal is locked the padlock on its panel closes.

You cannot lock all the subgoals of a parent goal: at least one sibling in a set must be unlocked. If all a subgoal's siblings are locked you cannot delete it or move it.

You can move or copy a locked subgoal to a different position on the same parent using drag and drop (if you copy it, it will be unlocked in the process); but you cannot move or copy it to a different parent using drag and drop. If you wish to do so you must unlock it first; or use cut and paste (which will unlock it automatically).

To unlock a locked goal, click on the closed padlock icon: you will see the padlock unlock and you will then be able to change the importance.  There is a short video about locking importance here.

Equalizing Subgoals


You can equalize the importance of all a goal's subgoals very quickly: right click it and select 'Equalize Subgoals' from the drop-down context menu. 

If you have locked the importance of any of the subgoals, Equalize Subgoals will override the lock.

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