Review: MindManager 6

Organize projects at home or work (November 16th, 2006)

MacNN Rating:

ratingratingratingratingrating

Product Manufacturer: Mindjet

Price: $229.00 US

The Good

  • Very easy to use. Good support on site.

The Bad

  • Known conflicts with old spell checkers like Grammarian and Spell Catcher.

Do you have to manage projects at work or at home? Whether you have simple personal projects for your personal life or ones that involve many people or departments after two or three weeks of planning you probably have mountains of notes in your workspace. There is a better way.

Create order out of Chaos

Mind mapping is a visual way to organize information. From a central idea, you connect other ideas, information, tasks, or any parts of a project. For example, for a Boy Scout Outing, you start with the main topic and draw a line to a box called meals. From the Meals box, you create breakfast, lunch, and dinner boxes. From the each meal, you create boxes with menus, shopping lists, cooking, and cleanup schedules. Another subtopic might be transportation, which you link from the main Boy Scout Outing box. From the Transportation box, you add a list of people who will drive. Next, you go back to the Boy Scout Outing Main Topic and make a line to a box called schedule where you list the activities and needed supplies. Another box may include a list of participants, and another for key phone numbers or email addresses. Before you know it, that whole mountain of project notes is organized on your computer in a neat diagram. This is what MindManager from MindJet does - organizes everything into one easy chart where you can view your whole project simplified.

Simple to Use

When you start a new project in MindManger, you first select the kind of project. You can choose between a blank map, Organizational Chart, Decision Making map, Meeting, Resume, To-Do-List, or Week at a Glance. Use the tool bar to create boxes for topics and subtopics. The Inspector contains markers to indicate priorities or attention flags to mark your boxes. You can drag and drop graphics or photos from the Library. Using photos of people in an organization chart is very helpful.

If you place a meeting agenda on a map, during the meeting you can project the map on a screen and take notes. As you speak, you can visually draw relationships between people and tasks, and add data needed, such as phone numbers, addresses, Memos, or lists. You can place a hyperlink or an email address link using buttons on the tool bar, and you can even link to files and folders on your computer.

Easy to Share

When you have to send the map and all supporting documents to someone else, you can insert the attached documents easily. When several people need to see your map, you can export it as a PDF, JPG, PNC, Tiff, Text, or RTF file. Documents created in the Mac version open seamlessly in the PC version also.

Good for the organizationally challenged

MindManager helps you organize your projects and visually helps others view and understand the key parts of any project. You can also define smaller parts of your project using icons as well as link to documents, the web, and email or other attached documents. You can even use Spotlight to search within maps. Maps can be as simple or as intricate you need them. This program sports a simple Mac interface and an intuitive ease of use, but it is a very powerful organizer with many features. Any project with multiple tasks and people is easier to administer once you map it out with MindManager. Please note that the latest version requires at least Mac OS X 10.4 and a minimum of 733 MHz on a Mac G3 or greater, but they do recommend a 1.25 GHz machine.

by Rick Curran


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