Advertisement
Advertisement

Mindjet MindManager 8 review

David McKinnon
24 Apr 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
218
inc VAT

Advertisement

MindManager 8 is an information-management application that lets you compose, edit and share mind maps, also known as spider diagrams.

These enable you to assemble your thoughts, notes or tasks in a condensed and easy-to-read visual format, making it possible to achieve an overview of the current subject and maintain a high level of detail.

Creating mind maps in MindManager 8 is simple. You start from a blank canvas, adding topics and sub-topics as necessary, or use a predefined template - a meeting, company organisation chart, packing list or suchlike. Topic content isn't limited to text. You can add images, hyperlinks and tables, attach files and graphic markers, and display dynamic content from Microsoft Excel and Outlook files. With the latter two types, any data you change in the linked files is mirrored in the mind map you have created, and vice versa.

Office integration goes much further than in previous versions. It's now possible to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in a side-pane within MindManager, rather than launching the appropriate Office application. This works only if you have Microsoft Office (or the relevant Office component) installed. Disappointingly, there's no support for other office suites, such as OpenOffice.

The integrated browser can be used to access web pages within MindManager. Pages can be easily added as hyperlinks to topics, but the browser itself is not particularly sophisticated and you will soon miss all the handy tools in your preferred browser. Alternatively, you can choose from a limited list of supported web services and attach these directly to your mind map. You can display search results from sites such as Amazon, Google and eBay as branches of your map by dragging the service on to an existing topic. Both the results and the search are stored in your mind map, giving you a lasting reminder of what you searched for and what results came back.

MindManager uses its own proprietary file format to store your mind maps. Thankfully, a handy export tool converts maps into an interactive Adobe Flash SWF file. This read-only file can be opened in any up-to-date browser, allowing you to share interactive maps with others. You can also output to PDF, as an image file or, if installed, as a Microsoft Word document outline or PowerPoint presentation.

An online collaboration tool, MindManager Connect, integrates with the main interface. This lets you create and share work spaces on a central MindJet server. You can upload mind maps and associated files to these. Other users can work on the mind maps from anywhere, thanks to a simplified browser-based editor. You don't need a full copy of MindManager for each collaborator, but MindManager Connect costs a hefty £110 including VAT per year for every user.

MindManager 8 eases the task of organising information from lots of different sources. However, it's a serious investment. Those using it to increase their business productivity should recoup this expense and are also the most likely to appreciate its tight Office integration. However, if you simply want to give your creative ideas some structure, free alternatives such as FreeMind (http://freemind.sourceforge.net) are a better choice.

Details

Price£218
Detailswww.mindjet.com
Rating***

Read more

Reviews