Mind mapping software is quite a niche software product, but at the same time incredibly versatile. It can be used in a number of ways to help bring any type of project from the drawing board into reality, from brainstorming ideas to planning various tasks, organising data and more easily identifying the relationships between different aspects of a project.
MindManager 9 adopts the ribbon toolbar that is now the norm in Microsoft Office and while this helps to give the program a uniform look, it also means that many program options and features take a while to locate.
That said, the interface is generally far less overwhelming than in version 8 of the program. With templates covering everything from meetings and to-do lists to training plans, getting up and running is also easier than ever.
Integration with Microsoft Outlook is a welcome inclusion – notes, emails, tasks and appointments can all be pulled into MindManager and incorporated into a mind map.
The ability to add dynamic Outlook dashboards to a mindmap means external information relating to a project can be viewed without switching programs, and any necessary changes can be made to Outlook data from within MindManager.
MindManager can be used as a project management tool, helping you to make better use of the resources available. Mind maps can be shared online with colleagues using the Mindjet Catalyst service. Web-based map editing means that remote collaboration is a possibility, and maps can also be exported as PDFs.
In addition, the program's presentation mode works like a cutdown version of PowerPoint, and makes it possible to transform an entire mind map into a slideshow.
Where MindManager stands apart from the competition is in its ability to enable a team to not only plan a project, but also to oversee it to completion. It's a useful weapon for your arsenal.
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