Forums

I have been using trial versions of MM off and on for about a year. I absolutely love the product, but haven't found myself able to plunk down $350 to purchase it just yet.

I was just curious to learn about how other folks use the product and have integrated it into your daily workflows. Right now it's still a bit of a "toy" for me, but I absolutely can see that the product has great potential. I just don't want to buy it and then 2 months from now learn that it's not all it's cracked up to be, so I'm looking for some advice here.

Thanks!

tcomeau's picture

I've used FreeMind([url]http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page[/url]) for several years now. FreeMind is written in Java, and is an Open Source application.

I use it for all my meeting note-taking (except one-on-ones, where I use paper). I also use it to organize requirements hierarchies, for developing fault trees and doing root cause analysis (easier than fishbones for me to get my head around).

Here's an image of a snip of one of those meetings:
[img]http://tom.comeau.googlepages.com/PipelineMeetingSnip.png[/img]

I also use it to organize performance appraisals, to make sure I have inputs from all the right people, have appropriately-balanced comments, have covered all the goals, and have a reasonable organization for the feedback. (I write the feedback separately, off a paper copy of the map.)

My secret identity used to use it to organize fiction writing, but I've switched to using Scrivener ([url]http://literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html[/url])
for all of my fiction writing and some technical writing that requires a lot of research. If you've written research papers where you carried index cards around, Scrivener will feel very familiar.

tc>

asteriskrntt1's picture

wow TC

That is wild. I imagine you could do something like that on Visio? Or even in Word with some of the drawing tools.

Jclishe - You don't need to spend big money. Just use your tools differently.

*RNTT

kklogic's picture

asterisk - not if you use MM to its full abilities. You can attach docs, xls files, hyperlinks, etc. to any part of your map.

To answer the original question, MM has literally saved my professional life. I use it much like David Allen's GTD theories - to get things out of my head so I can expand on them more. I've used it to create a 5-year growth strategy for my company that people who aren't as forward-looking can see and understand. I've used it mainly on strategic-type projects of that nature, but also on research projects and large, complex projects. Feel free to PM with any specific questions. I'm a HUGE advocate of MM.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Ah... so I only saw the forest and not the trees. I don't have any specific questions right now; however, now that you mentioned those other features, I can see this being incredibly useful.

ccleveland's picture

jclishe,

I think it's an excellent product!

I use it for[list]-Project planning (indispensable for creating WBSs)
-Personal/Group Brainstorming (a.k.a Fishbone diagramming, a great way to break down big problems into smaller ones)
-Teleconference Collaboration (most of my work is with people at multiple locations; using MM as a virtual whiteboard helps people see what's happening and keeps things categorized)[/list:u]I've even started drawing mind maps in my logbook when away from my PC. It's a very natural way of thinking and doing. MM just makes it easily captured on a PC.

As far as other tools...Mind [u][i]mapping[/i][/u] is the real tool that's beneficial. You can use other applications or methods to do mind mapping. The MindManager application makes mind mapping easier than trying to use something like Visio.

CC

DanStratton's picture

They just released version 7 and there is a Lite version for $99. I haven't investigated what makes it 'lite', but may be worth the research. I like MindManager and use it almost daily.

itilimp's picture

I'm another daily user of Mind Manager and absolutely swear by it both in my professional and home life. You can read an [url=http://itilimp.blogspot.com/2006/04/mind-mapping-and-me.html]article on my blog[/url] about my typical usage.

rwwh's picture

I use "vym": http://www.insilmaril.de/vym/

It is free. I did not try the windows port.

jclishe's picture

KKlogic-

Do you have a sanitized example of your 5 year strategy that you would be willing to send me? I've just started creating a SWOT analysis for my practice in MM and I'd like to see what you've done.

Jason

thaGUma's picture

[quote]I've even started drawing mind maps in my logbook when away from my PC. It's a very natural way of thinking and doing[/quote]
Spot on - MM is a pretty way of doing what started as a hand drawn exercise. With a little practice, your mind maps usually come out right, and all it costs is the price of a pencil and paper (the paper needs to run Vista of course). :roll:

You can footnote to links to docs
Chris

kklogic's picture

Jason,
Let me see what I can scrub out of it so it's generic and not disclosing anything. PM me your email and I'll send it there. To the best of my knowledge, you can't attach files in PMs.

sholden's picture

I use MindManager (both on my TabletPC and on my iBook) for all my meeting notes and project tracking for specific projects. I also have links back into Outlook for Tasks, Contacts, and Calendar items.

The new version 7 is a good upgrade ... especially on the Mac. I still haven't seen the file version 7 on Windows yet (on order but hasn't shown up yet).

I highly recommend the tool.

Steve

jblack's picture

I've used FreeMind quite a few times (because it is free!!)
http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

But I really like MindManager because it will export straight into MS Project!!
http://www.mindjet.com/us/support/qa_102005.php?newsletter=102005US

Here are a few more articles on mind mapping:
http://www.pmconnection.com/modules.php?name=Web_Links&l_op=search&query...

gernot's picture

I use freemind a lot.

But if you refer to the original inventor of mindmaps, Tony Buzan, coloured pens and paper are the best tool for mindmaps.

I absolutely recommend to read one of the books from him about mind mapping.

corinag's picture

I also began using Freemind about a month ago. I wanted to see if mindmapping would be something I can do successfully, as I'm generally pretty linear in my thinking (and note taking)

I absolutely love it. However, i couldn't figure out how to attach files, or whether you can make two nodes relate to each other (point to each other).

Still, I highly recommended for beginner mindmappers, before they decide whether they will use the tool enough to warrant the more expensive software.

gernot's picture

Hello corinag,

you need the newest version for these functions:

1) attach Files
You can link files to nodes with "insert hyperlink"
It is not possible to insert files into the .mm file, because its a text file.

2) link nodes to each other:
click on the first node, hold ctrl, click the second one an choose "insert graphical linc" on the insert right mouse menu.

Maybe the links are named a little it differently because i translated it back from the german version :)

Here is how it looks like:

[img]http://www.megaproaktiv.de/blog/uploads/oteam/mt-fm.JPG[/img]

corinag's picture

Thank you, it worked!!!

Corina

colleen's picture

Among many, many other things, I use Mindmap for my weekly remote (netmeeting) meetings with my team. I absolutely love it.

Hyperlinks & embedded files throughout make for easy opening/navigation. I put notes directly in the agenda and build the Weekly Action List.

Then I put a .jpeg version on of the map (Save-As .jpeg) out on our main team page for quick reference for the week. (I also attach the actual .mmap file)

The next week, I prepare for the next week by starting with last week's map and agenda/meeting notes, rotate in this weeks items (I have a system for this) and go from there.

skwanch's picture

I'm about halfway thru my trial period for MM . . . does anybody have any info/insight on the differences betw the 'lite' vers and the full vers?

So far it's a fun toy, and is helpful for organizing my thoughts, but I haven't really gotten into the project mgmt / task mgmt features. (I'm using Cedric's excellent Outlook implementation for that).

James Gutherson's picture

Hi Ron - always ready to help a fellow 'creative'.
BLUF (for the D side): I live in MindManager and have been a user since 2000. I currently use V7 Pro because I use the Gyronix ResultsManager add-on as my project management and GTD system (RM needs MMPro because of the additional tag functionality). I have used Cedric's outlook system for 3 months and find the RM/MM solution more effective.

Data (for the C side): I have up until yesterday used (a very similar approach to) Cedric's Outlook system for my PM and GTD system. I had previously used the RM/MM system for 2 years but was unable to get it to function in my new companies Thin Client environment. (I solved this yesterday - except for the Outlook synchronisation.)
The RM/MM solution lets me map out my projects in a visual form (which fits my creative side) and the RM dashboards filter out the 'Next Actions' from all my projects into dynamic 'context lists' (or any other desire form).

Check out Nick Duffil's (Gyronix CEO) funnel timeline approach to Project mapping at http://www.gyronix.com/grm/grm.html?2.10 and this article for a variation to suit events http://duffill.blogs.com/beyond_crayons/2007/01/a_simple_templa.html

I find that the RM/MM approach lets me quickly add a lot more metadata to projects and actions that can be filtered and manipulated a number of ways to give me the information I need in the format appropriate at the time. I have added another two links below to the MMPro/Lite comparison chart, and to a couple of Results Manager videos. The 'GPS' one is a short 5 minute overview while the 'Mindjet Webinar - Visualising Outcomes' is an hour long but well worth it (IMO).

http://www.mindjet.com/pdf/eng/Mindjet_MindManager_Comparison.pdf

http://www.gyronix.com/gallery/browse.php?home=Gyronix-Video-Library.txt...

I feel that having just half your MM trial might not be enough time for you to fully grasp the RM/MM system (they have a 28 trial) but even if you decide to not go that way the "Funnel Timeline' approach to project planning will still be useful with MM Lite or any other Mind Mapping software (or even hand-drawn).

ajwilcox's picture

[quote="skwanch"]I'm about halfway thru my trial period for MM . . . does anybody have any info/insight on the differences betw the 'lite' vers and the full vers?

So far it's a fun toy, and is helpful for organizing my thoughts, but I haven't really gotten into the project mgmt / task mgmt features. (I'm using Cedric's excellent Outlook implementation for that).[/quote]

Ron

Like Jim l am a long term addict of MindManager. You can see my page about [url=http://www.cabre.co.uk/software/mindmanagerlite7.html]MindManager Lite 7 here[/url]. There is a link to a comparison PDF at the bottom of the page.

You can sync one map to the Outlook Tasks and then view them in Outlook's Timeline view. Not as elegant as working with JCVGantt Pro which shares the MindManager map file. An update in the Gantt view or map view is immediately visible in the other view.

An issue is that maps that work with JCVGantt or MS Project will not work with Results Manager which uses the found timeline process. Both have their place.

Have fun with the toy!

PierG's picture

I use mind mapping tools for many purposes: above all for some kind note taking, and in the thinking process.
I find FreeMind basic and kind of slow in reacting to users' input but has everything is needed: I don't believe in fancy features. I just miss good import export capabilities (that are better in MindManager).
I'm also starting doing some expermentation with online tools like Mind42.
PierG
http://pierg.wordpress.com

tlhausmann's picture

I have used Inspiration. It is routinely used in educational environments.

I will, however, take a fresh look at the tools mentioned in this forum.

johnsonwarren's picture

I'm a advocate for MindManager; it's a great tool.

I have the professional version at work, but paid for the lite version to have it at home for personal use on my Tablet PC.

Although I'm a high C, I don't use MM daily, or use it to schedule my day or run meetings, although many people do use it in this way. I find it has value for organizing (and subsequently sharing, if appropriate) complex projects or marketing campaigns. When things get overwhelming, I create a To Do mind map to organize items that go together and get it all out of my head onto paper, but I don't like spending the time to do this every week (although, I may need to reconsider after I listen to the Calendar Management cast [URL]http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/11/the-basics-of-calendar-management/[...

I wrote a blog post about mind maping back in 2005 that has some background material about mind mapping that those unfamiliar with this type of software may find useful:

[URL=http://unsolicitedmarketingadvice.blogspot.com/2005/08/expanding-and-org... and Organizing Your Brain Power with Mind Mapping[/URL]

Hope this helps.

mauzenne's picture

I'm also a big user of MindMaps .... I've owned at least one program for doing MindMaps for the last 15 years or so. Frankly, there is little I think about that doesn't end up (or originate) in a MindMap.

Currently, I'm using MindManager like many folks here, although I've been impressed lately, thanks to folks here pointing them out, with some of the web implementations out there. Who would have thought?

Mike

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="mauzenne"]I'm also a big user of MindMaps .... I've owned at least one program for doing MindMaps for the last 15 years or so. Frankly, there is little I think about that doesn't end up (or originate) in a MindMap.

Currently, I'm using MindManager like many folks here, although I've been impressed lately, thanks to folks here pointing them out, with some of the web implementations out there. Who would have thought?

Mike[/quote]

Mike (and others)- Have you looked at the ResultsManager add on to Mindmanager as a GTD system? I have been using it for two years now and have found it invaluable. I now combine it with Mindomo to give me access to my dashboards over the interwebs (and my potential (hopefully soon in this country) iPhone.

sholden's picture

[quote="JimGutherson"]
Mike (and others)- Have you looked at the ResultsManager add on to Mindmanager as a GTD system? I have been using it for two years now and have found it invaluable.[/quote]

Hello!

I looked at ResultsManager a couple of months back and went through the trial period without ending up purchasing it. It has some pretty powerful dashboard and roll-up features but in the end I just decided to keep it simple and use MindManager out of the box. In GTD speak, I use MindManager for Projects and Outlook tasks for Next Actions.

My experience is my experience. The demo period is free to try so I'd recommend that folks with the bandwidth give it a whirl.

Steve

mauzenne's picture

Sounds interesting ... I'll give ResultsManager a look. My current solution (hybrid using Toodledo to track actions) works fairly well in that visibility to my current actions isn't limited to when I'm near my computer (critical for me).

Now, get me a version of MindManager that runs on my iPhone, syncs wirelessly with my laptop, and accessible via any browser and NOW you have something I'd be interested in. :-)

Mike

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="mauzenne"]

Now, get me a version of MindManager that runs on my iPhone, syncs wirelessly with my laptop, and accessible via any browser and NOW you have something I'd be interested in. :-)

Mike[/quote]

Mindomo should run on the iphone's safari browser (we don't have the iphone here in Australia to test), and Mindomo can read and write Mindmanager files. It is the automatic syncing that we need to work on.

ATM - I use MM/RM to manage my main projects map and create RM Next Action dashboards that I load into Mindomo for remote access via the web and an A4 printout for my Moleskine.

benswallow's picture

[quote="mauzenne"]Sounds interesting ... I'll give ResultsManager a look. My current solution (hybrid using Toodledo to track actions) works fairly well in that visibility to my current actions isn't limited to when I'm near my computer (critical for me).

Now, get me a version of MindManager that runs on my iPhone, syncs wirelessly with my laptop, and accessible via any browser and NOW you have something I'd be interested in. :-)

Mike[/quote]

I work for Gyronix and help people implement Gyronix into their work. Please contact me at [email protected] and I will be happy to answer any questions and show you how it works.

James Gutherson's picture

Good to see you here Ben. You helped me out at the start of my RM implementation. I hope you stick around, the community would appreciate your perspective.

benswallow's picture

Thanks, I am looking to understand more about peoples management needs and where appropriate help grow Gyronix. I hope things are going well with the solution. If I can answer any questions please get in touch

itilimp's picture

I've tried Results Manager in the past and think it would be more powerful for me at work than at home. However, I cant justify the cost of it for myself and work won't fund it so I use Mind Manager for projects, information gathering, etc. and Thinking Rock for my GTD action lists.

sprevrha's picture

[quote="mauzenne"]Sounds interesting ... I'll give ResultsManager a look. My current solution (hybrid using Toodledo to track actions) works fairly well in that visibility to my current actions isn't limited to when I'm near my computer (critical for me).

Now, get me a version of MindManager that runs on my iPhone, syncs wirelessly with my laptop, and accessible via any browser and NOW you have something I'd be interested in. :-)

Mike[/quote]

..and that you can jott and twitter to ...
Sven

dkuperman's picture

I've tried a couple of different mind mapping software out there but always go back to Freemind. It's tough to beat "free" when my company won't pay for a mind mapping tool. Actually, I don't use it daily, but more on a quarterly basis after brainstorming to lay out plans with mind maps to help me walk through it and see if there's anything missing.

Besides MindManager, which I think is awesome, Personal Brain (http://www.thebrain.com) is quite an interesting tool allowing you to manipulate your mind map in 3D. Cool factor apart, some people may find it confusing, but is worth checking out anyways.

Cool thread!

DK

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="sprevrha"][quote="mauzenne"]Sounds interesting ... I'll give ResultsManager a look. My current solution (hybrid using Toodledo to track actions) works fairly well in that visibility to my current actions isn't limited to when I'm near my computer (critical for me).

Now, get me a version of MindManager that runs on my iPhone, syncs wirelessly with my laptop, and accessible via any browser and NOW you have something I'd be interested in. :-)

Mike[/quote]

..and that you can jott and twitter to ...
Sven[/quote]

Can't do the jott/twitter thing yet but there are a few mindmapping apps appearing for the iphone iBlueSky and MindMaker are two. Both promise mindmanager import/export is coming.