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Sorry to those of you who subscribe to this for Apex content, but this is too good to keep under wraps.  Actually, if you want a good tool for designing, documenting and organizing information for your Apex applications, check out MindManager.  Try out the Free Trial version.

MindJet released their newest and greatest version of MindManager today and I’m pretty impressed.

I’d participated in their beta test and didn’t see much that was new and notable.  But what they actually released is pretty cool.

Share your map with anyone

Want to share your map but your buddy doesn’t have MindManager and has zero interest in downloading the free viewer?  No problem!

Just export the file as a pdf and Adobe Reader will start up the Flash player for your map.  So your friend can browse your map interactively, expanding and contracting the branches, zooming, etc.  I think that’s the slickest thing!

You can also export as an Adobe Flash (SWF) file that can be viewed via a web browser, so you can post it to your blog.

Here’s a small example of an Apex Knowledge Base I started (and never finished) a while back.  Obviously you’ll need the free Adobe Flash player installed in your browser.

They’ve also further integrated their Mindjet Connect tool, which lets you share and edit maps and any Microsoft Office-type document on their servers with your closest friends.  I think their price for this service is out of reach for most, but more power to them.

Your maps on the web!

I haven’t learned much about this (missed much of yesterday’s webinar), but they say you can access your files via their MindManager Web utility.  No clue how that’s different from Mindjet Connect, sorry.

Connect to your Database

Yes, they had very basic access to SQLServer and Oracle, if you wanted to roll your own connection.  I’m much more excited about this, hoping against hope that it will be fairly easy to implement this.  Databases they say they support include:

  • Access
  • SQLServer
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • IBM DB2
  • Excel
  • Text files (*.txt and *.csv)

Integrating Web Search to your maps

This sounds pretty slick too.  Basically you define a search against your favorite search engine (from their list) and then the results appear in your map.  Refresh them on demand.

I’m really looking forward to digging into this functionality.  Expect more later.

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.

MindJet has (finally) officially announced the upcoming release of MindManager version 7 (aka MM7), so beta-testers like me are finally allowed to talk about it publicly! I take my beta-tester responsibilities seriously, so kept it under my hat.

They say it’ll be available for purchase on May 30th, for both PC and Macintosh.

This is the software tool I use the most at work, some days even more than email! It’s great for managing lots of information in various forms and places. If you’ve never seen a mindmap, think “graphical outline.” If you’ve never seen a MindManager mindmap, think “visual organizer with tons of power for integrating, sorting, finding and organizing your information”.

As for what’s in the upgrade… Read the rest of this entry »

I just found this PC Magazine review of a new mindmapping tool, and add-on for Word 2007

Their intro:

“This tool for the excellent MindManager program allows for a degree of collaboration that was once impossible for users who didn’t own the program. Now users with Office 2007 can collaborate with MindManager users with no loss of information, though Word users will find that the program takes a little getting used to.”

Complete review is here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2091652,00.asp

You can get more info on this at MindJet’s website, buried in a newsletter article.  Oddly, the link to the specific page about this tool didn’t work!

MindJet describes it in the newsletter as:

“The free Word 2007 Map Editor for Mindjet® MindManager® enables you to use Word 2007 to open and edit information captured in MindManager visual “maps.” You can then send the edited Word document back to MindManager users, who will see these changes reflected in the original map.”

My employer actually bought a site license so all college staff can use it (and students can buy it at a major discount), so this add-on might not be useful here (even if we’d upgraded to Office 2007, which we haven’t and probably won’t for at least 6 months!).  But it could definitely have use with outside vendors and such!

From their MindMeister site:

“MindMeister is a collaborative online mind mapping tool – you can capture your thoughts and share them instantly with friends and colleagues.

MindMeister supports all the standard features of a classic mind mapping tool – only online, and with as many simultaneous users as you like!”

It looks pretty slick, but after playing with it for 5 minutes I decided it wasn’t any better than Mindomo – they even have similar charge rates for the monthly license to eachother.  MindMeister will let you collaborate on a map in real-time with others, even using Skype phone to talk while you’re writing together, kinda cool but not important to me.  I couldn’t even check out MindMeister’s ability to import MindManager maps without paying the monthly fee, which is definitely a deal-breaker.

I guess if I was sharing mindmaps with people who didn’t have MindManager, or I didn’t already have a great tool I’m used to using, then I might be more willing to investigate this.