More mind mapping

* MindJet's MindManager

Almost immediately after the publication of last week's newsletter on mind-mapping tools several readers wrote to tell me about MindJet's MindManager, which they all reckoned was the best mind-mapping application of all.

Well, our readers were right! MindManager is definitely the best mind-mapping tool I've found so far. MindManager comes in several versions and the one that I looked at was the Enterprise Edition.

MindManager offers all the mind mapping basics such creation and editing of maps, control of style and layout (including layout templates), printing, annotation, and so on.

Where the product shines is in its advanced features that include:

* Conferencing, which enables several people to simultaneously view and collaborate on one or more maps in real time.

* The ability to e-mail maps to other people.

* A presentation mode, which synchronizes tasks in Mind Manager with Outlook tasks and exports to PowerPoint and Word.

MindManager can also be scripted using its internal scripting language (MMScript) and scripts can also be created in a variety of other languages, including Visual Basic, C++ and Java. Developers can even create COM add-ins to extend MindManager.

Mind maps can also be created through templates - maps preformatted for a particular purpose. Templates may be empty and used to enforce a group of format settings or they may contain "boilerplate" data, which is replaced with actual data. Templates can also contain "wizards" to prompt for information (this is available only in the Enterprise edition).

For our purposes - creating Web applications - MindManager offers several layouts for HTML export including frames and no frames, inclusion of a Java navigation applet, simple text and just the map image without any additional text or links.

You can also add HTML to map node annotations and images and links to the nodes themselves. I really like the HTML output of MindManager - it is flexible and the supplied style templates are actually pleasing to use.

This is a terrific product, which comes in several versions:

* MindManager 2002 Enterprise Edition - costs $269 and includes the Enterprise Conference Server software to allow sharing and editing of maps in real-time.

* MindManager 2002 Business Edition - $189.

* MindManager 2002 Standard Edition - $99.

* MindManager 2002 Mobile Edition (for Palm and Pocket PC) - $49.

Learn more about this topic

MindJet

MindManager

Comparison of MindManager versions (PDF)

Mapping out your mind

Network World Web Applications Newsletter, 04/07/03

Siebel guards its CRM domain

Network World, 04/14/03

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.