Which Mind Mapping Product Do I Use?

A quite few people have asked me which mind mapping product I use, because I have just linked previously to Mindjets web site and not been specific.

Well I use MindManager X5 Pro,  which is not the latest version that Mindjet provide but it’s pretty good.  My daughter (13) has been using a trial version of MindManager 6 Pro which she likes,  but it’s a very expensive upgrade ($174) and I am not a fan of trials (they tend to get you hooked – which of course is the plan :-)).  Here are the main improvements that caught my eye:

You can now edit in the Outline view,  it always seemed strange that you couldn’t before and I do find it useful sometimes to use the Outline view, particularly when I am doing a end to end review of the content of the map, and you want to edit when are reviewing!

Whatsnew_outline

You can use the topic “right click” menu to add icons, which is great if you have a large map and don’t want to show the task pane.  Even though I have three 19” TFT displays I still tend to have an application per screen so this is really helpful.  It would be mice though to have some of these task panes as drag off windows that I could place on my other screens.

Whatsnew_topic

You can now attach multiple files,  this is really useful as I tend to have one map always open to use as a dashboard showing me all of the work I currently have on-going and like to have all the associated files linked to it.

Whatsnew_attachments

You can now re-balance the map,  which I seem to remember is an area where other mind mapping products out performed Mind Manager,  so I am pleased to see this as I have often searched for this feature expecting to find it in the previous version.

Whatsnew_balance

I export lots of my maps to Word,  in fact I normally write the first draft of a Word document in MindManager, so its great to see that I can now format lists.

Whatsnew_numbering

Another feature I really liked in a competing product was grouping – with comments, this has been added to version 6

Whatsnew_summary

Export to PowerPoint now looks much more usable as well,  I often tried this but was never that happy with the result

Whatsnew_powerpoint

What would I like to see?

  • Definitely more clip-art,  the current selection is pretty limited and for a product that is so visual it needs a much better selection
  • Better support for multiple monitors,  I bet that 30% of Mind Manager pro users use a laptop and a second monitor or a desktop with 2 or more
  • Automatic resizing, so that the map fits the screen,  maybe with a threshold so that not resizing every few seconds
  • A kids version,  my kids love MindManager and use it for homework and revising all of the time but its not a viable option to buy them their own copies
  • One click PDF export, and ideally the ability to auto generate a PDF when the map is saved.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    oops, just looked at the detailed feature description for v6 and it seems that PDF export is on the list.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Your children must surely qualify for the educational licence. See http://www.mindjet.com/us/solutions/education/students/index.php?s=3

    A good alternative could be for them to use FreeMind, which is an open source software.

    Working on both Wintel (at the university) and Mac (at home) I now use FreeMind.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! I didn’t notice the educational version before, although its still a bit expensive. As you say I need to check out Freemind, but its a shame that MindManager don’t have a version for $20-30 that kids can use, different clip art and no enterprise features.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What I would love to find is mind mapping software which I can install on my thumb drive, but so far, I haven’t found anything. Anyone know of something that would work?

    Thanks!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been using FreeMind as well and also recommend it. Recently, because I’ve become involved with a “call centre” CRM type requirement for my company and because we are a Notes/Domino shop I did some further research and came across “the Brain” which is a java app with integration to Lotus (won the 2002 Beacon Award). Have a look – http://www.thebrain.com/

  6. Anonymous says:

    I really love thebrain! Not being able to use it was one of my two only regrets after I switched back to Mac OS nearly two years ago. The other was not to be able to use MindManager, but I am now beta testing MindManager for Mac! 😉

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