Mindjet MindManager Pro 9 review

Price when reviewed

Mind Mapping has been used for years for brainstorming, visualising complex ideas and projects, or as an aid for studying and writing. It’s a simple enough concept: from a central bubble, you draw lines out subtopics and further subtopics if necessary, illustrating them as you go for a visual, all-in-one view of your information, plan or project. The idea is that creating a mind map is more compatible with how your brain actually works than simply making lists, and consequently gives users more time and space to think creatively.

Mindjet’s MindManager 9 takes that concept and transfers it to your PC, adding more power and flexibility in the process. At its most basic, MindManager simply makes it easier to create a an attractive map, automatically drawing lines and nodes, allowing quick, keystroke-based addition of lists and spacing everything out for you as you add more branches and sub-branches. MindManager offers a number of different templates and styles for you to choose from, and also a library of icons and graphics with which to spruce up your maps.

Mindjet MindManager Pro 9

The real power in using software for mind mapping lies in its flexibility. Where the pen and paper approach forces you to squeeze everything into one display, with MindManager you can expand and collapse branches and lists of items, allowing you to create maps of vast size and scope. Items in lists can be sorted, text searches carried out, while nodes and list items can be dragged from one location to another with ease.

Nothing about this is revolutionary; plenty of free, open-source applications such as Freemind are available, that do exactly the same thing. Where MindManager 9 steps out in front is with its advanced business features, in particular its integration with Microsoft Office 2010. The first sign of this is its toolbar, which looks identical in style to Office 2010’s ribbon, right down to the backstage view, found under the File tab at the top left. This gives access to recent files and locations, print previews and so on. The familiar UI makes MindManager easy to get to grips with, but it isn’t here where the real power lies, it’s with the Microsoft Office, Outlook and Sharepoint integration.


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