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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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?


  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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