I’ve been an avid fan of mind maps since I saw a colleague use one for recording meeting minutes. The way all the notes seemed to fit an organized structure, rather than just being a list, really spoke to me.
When I asked him how he’d produced the map he pointed me at MindManager ® from Mindjet.com. After using the trial version for a short period I just knew I had to have this tool in my armory.
What can you use Mind Manager for? Here’s some ideas drawn from my own experience;
- Collating large volumes of data. I love the ability to view the big picture and then drill down to concentrate on specific branches.
- Goal setting. Put your goal as the central topic, add an inspirational image, then brainstorm all the topics you can think of that will get you to your goal.
- Planning a novel. Put your idea at the center, add your characters as branches and develop their personalities off these. Add your plot lines as other branches and link your characters into the plot.
- Career development. Put yourself at the center and add branches for your skills, knowledge and desires. Identify strengths and areas where you need to improve.
- Blogging. Add information about your blog postings on themed branches. Create links between topic where they refer to each other. Use the information to plan the development of the topics within your blog.
The list is, literally, endless. There are other mind mapping tools out there and Mind Manager isn’t cheap. So why do I think it has the edge over other products?
- A good supply of map templates and styles as well as regular newsletters providing more suggestions and templates.
- Great export facilities so that I can save mind maps as PDF files or import them into My Life Organized (more on this fellow in a later post).
- If I were a Microsoft ® Office ™ user I could synchronize with Outlook or export maps to Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Project. As it is I can export to a very nice HTML format.
- Plenty of built in images and icons to help visually enhance the information.
All round it’s a very professional package and highly functional. So I was delighted to hear that Mindjet are going to be releasing version 7 of Mind Manager at the end of May. I’ve had a sneak preview and it looks divine; but I’ll have to wait to see if the beauty of the new version goes deeper than just skin deep. Either way I can’t see my life now without Mind Manager.
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