MindManager 8 full review

MindManager 8 is a research, brainstorming, planning and information-sorting program that lets you organise your ideas and information as a graphical layout. Imagine an electronic way of capturing all your doodles, meeting notes, group brainstorms and SWOT analyses in one place and you’re pretty much there. It’s not just for creating data maps of your ideas; you can create more rigid things like organisational structures and business process models.

There are some neat touches that make the job of creating a layout much simpler and more interactive. You can share charts, or ‘maps’ as they are referred to, via email, the web, or social-networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Compatibility with Google Apps, Microsoft Office and iWork means you can integrate your maps and documents too. There’s also support for iChat, multi-touch gestures and a built-in browser so you don’t have to leave your data map to perform research.

The interface is a bit confusing at first, as there’s a lot of flexibility with this application. MindManager worked best for us when there was plenty of screen space to play with. It’s useable on a laptop but the ease of creating maps is reduced. The level of detail you can add to your mind maps is very impressive.

There are a number of pre-built templates to help you get started and the documentation is thorough, too. Although the learning curve isn’t that steep it does take a steady upwards gradient once you’re past the basics.

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