Visualise your thoughts
MindManager from M-Urge
Many people instinctively jot ideas down on paper by clustering associated thoughts together.
MindManager provides an on screen tool to achieve the same graphical idea capture with the added benefits of editability by drag and drop of branches, enhancement through colour and images plus the ability to collaborate.
To avoid disruption to the flow of ideas operation is transparent with all map creation operations suitably intuitive.
The usual range of help topics is effectively enhanced with useful maps that simultaneously describe functionality and illustrate how effective they can be.
An extensive range of controls, icons or codes in MindManager speak and images are available to aid idea association.
Branches can be hyperlinked to a Web page, document, program, or bookmarked branches in any map.
A small map overview pane shows the extent of the map and allows the area of the main graphics view to be dynamically panned around.
The 2002 product is available in a number of versions.
Standard offers all the basic standalone functionality with a basic set of codes and images and HTML output.
The business version adds input and output compatibility with Word and PowerPoint outline format although some minor incompatibilities with Office 97 and earlier exist.
As an alternative to transferring the outline to PowerPoint, a presentation mode enables the map to be dynamically revealed manually or automatically.
The interface in all versions is consistent with Office XP complete with Task Panes.
The Power Select pane in the business version enables the map to be dynamically pruned or multiple branches be selected using a range of branch attributes.
Branches can be defined as tasks and consequently tools for collaboration with Microsoft Project plans and Outlook tasks are also available.
The Map organizer enables maps in multiple locations to be managed by keyword, flagging of favourites and preview before opening.
For collaboration, the Corporate version offers simple peer to peer operation for up to 5 users plus a bundled enterprise conference server for secure collaboration.
Users can join an ongoing conference to view maps or to make changes, depending on user-based permissions assigned by the conference creator.
Finally the separately available or bundled Mobile edition allows users of Palm OS 3 or higher users to synchronise maps between the business and enterprise versions and a PDA.
Although the compact screen provides a very different environment, drag and drop is still possible in both the top level map view and hierarchical outline view with codes, text formatting and associated notes still available.
If you like to visualise your thoughts give MindManager a try.
21 day free trial products and a free viewer are available.
Full product prices are Enterprise £169, Business £119, Standard £59 and Mobile £30 with multi user discounts also available.