No matter what the project, time spent preparing is rarely wasted. MindManager fishes out all the ideas washing around in your noggin and sets them into a plan of action. Templates are on hand to help you structure your thoughts and organise everything from meetings and holidays to business ideas or parties.

As you make a note on the page you can attach hidden data to it, kind of like the way Aperture stacks photos one on top of the other (hidden from the basic view but easy to open up again). In this way, a relatively threadbare-looking page with a bunch of colour-coded boxes and indicators can contain a wealth of project-related information.

This aggregation of references within a map works very well, particularly for people who think visually.

Version 7 brings in a new interface and a different way to view the key features. New features are few but worthy enough. They include a list-making function that instantly takes the colourful images and lays them into a checklist, and a timer feature that sets goals for the length of meetings,

but this struck us as rather restrictive. Finally, anyone swapping files from Windows versions of MindManager now has full integration with the Mac version.

Old MindManager hands will be familiar with the pricey upgrade path, so are the new features worth the wonga? If you've been waiting for cross-OS file swapping, yes. But if all you ever needed MindManager for was to visualise your thoughts, stick with version 6.