I’ve been an (irregular) fan of Mind Mapping for several years, previously using simple flip-charts. and later Visio’s Brainstorming diagram or a simple whiteboard. Recently, one of my associates purchased a license of the brand new MindJet MindManager 7 Pro, and I’ve gone back to using this technique with renewed energy.
I frequently toy with my friends about the best tool of all, CPL 1.0 (in English, this would be translatable as BPP 1.0 — Brain, Paper and Pencil :-)), but this tool is a very close second :-). Basically, MindManager allows you to create diagrams with everything that pops into your mind, organizing concepts or actions or ideas in a hierarchical approach across a central concept. You can do stuff such as create relationships, export to formats such as PowerPoint or Visio or MS Project (including resource usage and task-related information), synchronize with Outlook’s Task List (at last, hierarchically organized tasks!!! — great for GTD fans like myself) or Appointments, etc. Version 7 comes with a Ribbon interface just like Office 2007, which also makes it easy to use and great looking.
I probably sound like a salesman, which I am not, but this is because I ready like this tool. I am the kind of person that pops out a notebook or rushes to a whiteboard to help structure ideas and think/draw things out, and I’ve realized in the few days that I’ve been using this, that it is astonishingly easy doing it in MindManager.
MindJet has a 21-day trial I recommend people try out. The price is not cheap for local standards (299.00 for the Pro version, 79 for the Lite one), but I’d very easily spend the money on this.
To give you some ideas of diagrams we’ve done in the past days: to structure competencies around hiring of non-technical resources, the company’s strengths and weaknesses, at least 2 tactical approaches to projects including action points and things to take into consideration, ideas about an architecture to a project, and my own Outlook task list.
Great Software: 5 Jota’s out of 5 🙂
Disclosure: as an MVP, I have received a free license for MindManager 7 as a 3rd party offer from MindJet.