Mindjet Connect – Document Collaboration via SaaS

June 25, 2008

I’ve been a big fan of MindJet’s MindManager application.  If you’re not familiar with Mindmapping, you should learn.  It’s an excellent way to take notes, diagram projects and brainstorm.  MindManager is the top-dog in this software field.

They recently announced Mindjet Connect, an online collaboration extension to MindManager that allows you to shared all kinds of office documents, as well as do online, real-time collaboration (chat, shared whiteboard).  I was one of the beta testers and was pretty pleased with their implementation.  Though I never tried any online collaboration (because I didn’t want to suggest anyone else on my team install the beta), I could see they’d done a good job with the online hosting of project files.  Pretty clean interface, decent levels of security, good integration with MindManager 7.

But now that they’ve released it from beta, I can’t recommend my company sign up for it, because of their pricing plan.  $8.95 per month per seat with an annual subscription?  Yikes, over $100 per year?

Sorry, but I don’t think Connect makes you that much more productive!  We use WebEx here for the occasional online meeting, but they’re pretty rare, so that’s not a great selling point for me.  I’d love to use the shared file folders for our projects, but we’ve got fileservers that can manage that (though not as smoothly or well).

I remember back in MindManager 5 when they added online collaboration, and they yanked the functionality back out on the next version.  Not sure why, but I’m thinking this new Connect isn’t going to fare any better.

Oh well.


3 Responses to “Mindjet Connect – Document Collaboration via SaaS”

  1. Project Collaboration in my view is important. Mindmanager sounds cool – it has some of the things that tools already have and some things it brings to the table. Overall it sounds more like a ‘touch – feely’ tool. I use Deskaway – the reason i’ve stuck with it despite the $100 a year is that it drives value through integration. I successfully merge it with Google Apps in a ‘get your hands dirty’ manner – i share my material — i HONESTLY feel like i have more control over my business – i can control better, share better – it seems to me that the tool is more ‘inclusive’ than something that monitors. I find it giving me value worth paying despite using Google Apps for free. Now there’s soon to be process replication so its project management + process management. White boards are great as well! Personally though i think brainstorming cant be done online – its a little too fancy for my liking. My experience says it wont work.

    My guess is that the other tools such as wrike, Deskaway, Zoho Projects, shitty basecamp and the like will always thus be more valueable than MindManager

  2. Stew Stryker Says:


    I agree that collaboration is key, I guess I just don’t want to pay for it? 🙂 Or at least that much? If you’re in this blog you know I’m really big on Apex, and after viewing the DeskAway tour (really just screenshots), I feel like a competent Apex programmer could write 90% of what they show in an Apex app in a few days (I’m not quite that competent yet). Oracle even provides a basic project mgmt app you can download and install for free that could be fleshed out to do much of this. So why should my company pay up to $1000 per year for this service?

    But you make a decent point, that software that includes collaboration will always be more valuable than standalone, which is why MindJet is trying to charge so much. I think they’re missing the point in their pricing model though; it should be, say, $500 per year for 10 seats. That’s because a single seat isn’t worth much, unless you just want to have your files available from multiple PCs that have MindManager installed.

    Finally, I think *you’re* missing the point about the power of MindManager to boost personal productivity (especially with their GANTT chart add-on). You have to use it for a little bit before it sinks in how clearly it helps you think and explain complex problems.

    Thanks for the comments and the plugs for the various collaboration tools. Hopefully you’re not shilling for Deskaway? 🙂

  3. Stew Stryker Says:

    Oops, my mistake. I said the DeskAway tour was really just screenshots, but I just saw there are additional links to short videos below each screenshot. My apologies for the confusion. After looking at this further, I’ll probably try out a free (ad-supported) account for a bit. Hopefully it’s better than BackPackit?

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