This article is the first in my series of articles on Mind Map Software.
I do not have affiliations with any software vendor. So, while I have my preferences, I am not biased by any financial incentives. I feel that it is important that you know this upfront so that you can be assured of an honest review. Even Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Maps, cannot give you this unbiased view, as he endorses his own brand of software.
I won’t be going over the features of the software, as most vendors have documentation on their websites. I will simply give you my experience in using the software.
I am starting with MindManager as it is the first Mind Mapping software that I used. I started with MindManager 2, went on to MindManager 5 and I am now using MindManager 7.
Years ago, I presented the power of Mind Maps using MindManager to a group of people at the company I work for. The Company turns over nearly a billion dollars and is based in South Africa.
Today, Mind Maps are used people throughout The Company, including the directors and CEO.
This was made possible by the power of MindManager.
MindManager is therefore an enterprise quality product. It is fast, easy to use and easy to deploy. PDF and image generation are also not a problem if you want to share information with people that don’t have MindManager.
A free viewer is also available, which can view Mind Mapsin their native format. The interactive nature of the Mind Maps are maintained when you use the viewer.
We use Mind Manager for many things in the business, including:
- Project Management
In fact, we use MindManager whenever we can!
Many people, including myself, use Mind Maps as a ‘Portal’ to all our important information and documents. You can link to local documents, network documents, intranet pages and external websites.
That’s all the positives.
On the negative side is the fact that Mind Manager has moved further and further away from Tony Buzan’s visual concept of a what a Mind Map should look like.
His concept of a colourful, organic picture has been systematically removed from the base templates. In fact, MindManager 2 was far closer to Tony Buzan’s concept that MindManager 7. I still use a modified version of MindManager X5′s base template.
This has not stopped people from using it however. In fact, it may have increased the popularity of Mind Mapping among people that don’t know the Mind Map principles, as more text can be put on the branches.
Tony Buzan promotes the use of one word per line or branch.
I feel that Tony Buzan’s concept of one word per line works well for personal Mind Maps, as each word can generate numerous ideas. In a corporate environment however, it becomes more difficult to get everybody on the ‘same page’ when required.
So, when I need to generate ideas I use one word per line.
When I want to communicate precisely and concisely with others, I use more words per line.
All in all MindManager is a great tool that will increase your productivity and serve you well, even though you won’t be creating organic works of art.
MindManager can be obtained at www.mindjet.com. A free trial is also available.