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MindManager 2002 Enterprise Edition - Mindjet Print
Let's face it. We all have those days.
You're at your desk, your fourth cup of coffee lurking precariously amidst mountains of former trees. A new project is at hand, and, while you're awaiting that caffeine jolt to take affect, you know that the ideas and scope you determine can conceivably make or break the entire project.

Fried Brain Cells? Liberate Your Mind!

Web site: http://www.mindjet.com/

System Specs:

  • Pentium 133 MHz system or higher
  • 64-128 MB RAM
  • 45 MB free disk space
  • Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 Professional
  • Dedicated IP address
  • Network card
  • Proprietary web server
  • HTTP access to server required for conference participants
  • Internet browser/access
  • SVGA resolution

Alternatively try

  • Dynamic Thinking VisiMap
  • Inspiration Software, Inc. Inspiration
  • Norcan Data AS Visual Mind
  • SimTech USA MindMapper

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}So now you're faced with brainstorming ideas, developing key concepts, and planning every aspect of your project. You're practicing your hook shots with paper basketballs, and your waste paper basket is moving into overflow. What now?

Consider the solution of ComputerCenter National Project Manager Peter Melville-Brown. With over 500 project managers and thousands of clients who require solutions for project planning, the UK-based provider of IT systems and services needed a tool that would easily capture multiple sources of information and ideas, be highly accessible, save valuable time, and encourage project planning collaboration.

Enter the latest offering from Mindjet.
MindManager 2002 Enterprise Edition is the latest in an updated series of mind mapping tools that allows creative input to be mapped visually in a structured, yet easy to understand format. According to Melville-Brown, MindManager is "the most liberating and empowering tool I have been able to give my teams."

With MindManager, a central idea acts as the trunk of a tree with a range of interlinking ideas representing branches coming from the trunk (Figure 1). Based on the mind-mapping techniques developed by Tony Buzan in the 1970s, it is designed to simplify problem solving and improve productivity. Exploiting how the brain learns and memorises visual material more efficiently than plain text-based content, MindManager not only provides a tool for visualising concepts and ideas but also allows for and encourages collaboration and interaction between the facilitator and the audience.

Figure 1


Version 2002 boasts a number of new features and enhancements including an MS Office 2002 look and feel, personalised menus, a new Help interface, large-scale deployment across large organisations supporting Citrix and Windows Terminal Server platforms, server-based conference support, and new export, import, and synchronisation capabilities.

MindManager 2002 is ideal for large companies. It runs directly off your server and sends the screen to the client desktop as soon as the connection is active. It can be used on not only the Windows platform, but on Unix/Linux, OS/2, MAC, PDA, and Nokia 9210 operating platforms. Its Windows 2002 look and feel includes the MS Office Task Pane, personalised menus, and a nicely improved and tweaked user interface. Recent additions include an enhanced colour picker and the ability to select multiple map branches and format them simultaneously. The Enterprise Edition also boasts of the addition of 1000 clipart symbols that can be added in WMF, EMF, BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, and PNG formats.

The Help interface is another new addition and is probably one of the most comprehensive we've seen. While we're familiar with mind mapping, this help system provides you with everything you need to know to successfully create maps for your projects.

Perhaps the one of the most impressive functions of MindManager 2002 is its seamless integration with desktop applications. The ability to synchronise MS Outlook and Project 98/2000 is also new and a great feature as it can recognise the conflicts between managing the time and needs of project teams and their resources. You can allocate tasks to your team members and they in turn can display them as mind maps.

The additional functionality extends into its ability to import and export between mind maps and project plans. You can present your information in the 98 and 2000 versions of Project as well as in MS Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. MindManager 2002 will import and export to Project, import with Outlook tasks, export to and from Word, and provide enhanced export to PowerPoint.

This Enterprise Edition of MindManager 2002 is optimised for secure server-based conferencing (Figure 2) with firewall protection. While it allows for peer-to-peer conferences of up to five users per conference, it also supports server-based conferences of up to 100 users with password protection for added security. Not only can you conduct safe project collaboration, but you can also quickly create, organise, and present your ideas and project scope to stakeholders in live, online brainstorming and meeting sessions.

Figure 2


Our installation of MindManager Enterprise Edition was fast, straight forward, and hassle free. If you're unfamiliar with the entire mind-mapping idea, you can take advantage of the audio-visual tutorial, "Learning by Seeing." This very helpful feature walks you through step-by-step map creation (Figure 3).

Figure 3


Everything promised in MindManager was true to Mindjet form. Creating a mind map was simple; you simply click and type and drag and drop your way to building a map and letting your ideas become reality. We especially liked the icons or codes that can be added to each branch of the map to indicate order of priority. Through the use of these codes, you can even imply your feelings if you think a particular concept is too expensive (the $ icon), not doable (the sad face), a brilliant idea (shining light bulb), or even if you want to take a break (the coffee cup).

Synchronisation was also easily accomplished. MindManager provides you with synchronisation wizards that quickly get the job done (Figure 4). The new MindManager Mobile Edition also allows you to synchronise maps with your PC and beam them up to your PDA running PalmOS. You can hot sync your mind maps with your desktop MindManager and then send them off to other Palms. If you have geographically dispersed teams, this is an excellent means to relay projects ideas and improve project collaboration.

Figure 4


You might think that software like MindManager Enterprise Edition could conceivably empty out your wallet or send you scrambling to increase your bank overdraft. Nothing could be further from the truth. A single user license is available for $269. A five-user license can be obtained for $1,278, and there are a number of pricing options for those who want to upgrade from other versions of MindManager.

When using MindManager 2002, you're really only limited by your own creativity. This software is applicable to a wide range of processes and can be used to generate reports, conduct presentations and project analysis, present seminars and conferences, and create html-based projects and web sites. You're no longer confronted with having to express your ideas via pen and paper and then having critical details become lost or overlooked in the shuffle of multiple pages. Having a whole lot of papers scattered across the conference table isn't exactly conducive to seeing the big project picture. Knowledge is captured, and when it's displayed with colour and symbols as in MindManager, every last detail can be viewed easily and the creative thinking of everyone involved is greatly enhanced.

MindManager's use by such corporate giants as Microsoft, Barclays, Oracle, and British Airways is a testament to its comprehensiveness and ability to show ideas and concepts in a structured format without intrusive technology.

If you've reached the end of your tether and are bouncing off the walls from the caffeine overload of that fourth cup of coffee, consider MindManager as a powerful gap between your brain cells and the PC-based project planning tools you currently have on board. Whether it's a short meeting or a major planning session, MindManager 2002 could prove to be a valuable time saver and mind liberator.

What are you waiting for?

MindManager 2002 Enterprise Edition
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of
5 bananas

2002 © Lee and James Appleyard

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