Saturday, March 14, 2009

MindManager 8

I have written about MindManager before (here, here, here and here). A few months ago I finally took the step and tried out version 8. I never bothered installing version 7 let alone trying it out after I have received comments that other users had similar issues (in particular performance) in version 7 that I observed in versions 5 and 6.

Now here is the nice surprise: Finally the software is a useful tool from a performance perspective. And I don't have to switch off hardware acceleration.

And apparently some more work went into improving the tool. It has become easier to to selection the handles to modify the curves representing a relationship between two nodes. In previous versions it sometimes took selecting other elements, then selecting the relationship again to be able to hit the handle. It's not perfect yet but at least usable.

With regards to the performance I need to be more specific. The load time is now a little bit of an issue. I sometimes think for a moment whether I really want to close the program since starting takes quite some time. I'm not sure what it is doing, maybe counting each bit of my laptops memory? Once it's loaded working with maps is very smooth.

There are items in version 8, though, which would benefit from putting some more thoughts into them.

The Outlook addin doesn't seem to be up to it's job. After I installed it Outlook became very unstable. After I disabled the addin things went back to normal. So in the meantime I'm not using the Outlook addin. And quite frankly: I'm not missing it! What exactly were the benefits of the addin?

Another area worth considering is how call-outs can be placed in a map. Sometimes I wish I could place them further out on a map or close to the node that it is related to. However, if that node has many children and all are expanded the call-out has to be above or below all of them in terms of vertical position. That way the call-out ends up to be very far away. The layout algorithm should allow more freedom for call-outs.

So bottom line we are now looking at a product that has reached the maturity that as a leader you would expect from productivity tools. A few minor areas remain that MindJet should consider. But for now MindManager 8 is a very valuable piece of software and I use it on a daily basis.

Note: I'm not affiliated with MindJet or have any financial interest in the company or the product. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my personal view and are not paid for.

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