Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mind Manager 7

I use MindJet's MindManager Pro a lot for all kinds of actions, project tracking, coding ideas, blog ideas, one-2-ones.

The tool is extremely flexible and now the new version 7 is available.

Key Features:

  • New User Interface - The fluent (ribbon) user interface is compliant with the new Microsoft standard seen in Vista. This means tabbed browsing and a quick access toolbar. The tabs are customizable so that you can keep your most widely used functions to hand. This also removes the map parts side bar.
    • Key Benefit: the tabbed browsing replaces the sidebar and that leaves more space available for viewing the map.
  • Topic Styles - Allows creation of named styles across the map regardless of the level.
    • Key Benefit: as the topic style travels with the map this gives more flexibility to highlight key topics and have a consistent view with other users
  • Saved Queries - Version 6 had powerful filtering capabilities. This has been extended with the ability to save the resulting query as a saved query to save repetition in filtering the map
    • Key Benefit: less key strokes required to view and redimension the map.
  • Saved Views - another use for the saved query is the ability to save the modified map as a saved view. The saved view keeps collapsed topics closed and allows for a zoom factor to be saved within the view.
    • Key Benefit: Allows for larger, more complex maps, with quick access to the key phase or map area. The view travels with the map and this means that the consistent view can be accessed by all viewing parties. Ultimately this means more map space that can be accessed and viewed as quickly as possible.
  • Show Branch Alone - a slight variation on the saved view is the ability to show the map branch in isolation.
    • Key Benefit: more efficient use of maps. Particularly when using MindManager for project tracking a branch is typically a phase or a feature. This means the map can be quickly focussed on that phase or feature for viewing and modifying.
The overall direction for the changes is on the user experience. All of the same powerful features are there in MindManager 7 but the ability to handle larger and more complex maps with the above key features makes the product more usable.

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