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By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-07-23 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


It took me a long time to get interested enough in MindManager to actually play with it. First, mind mapping looked and sounded like so much psychobabble to me. Also, the graphics in the earlier versions made the maps look silly to my eyes. OK, if that makes me shallow, so be it. It was only with the previous version and especially with the current release that MindManager started to make sense to me. And while I dont use it every day, its a great tool to have available when I am trying to wrap my hands around something complex. For example, Ive used MindManager to develop an organizational chart that included details of specific tasks. Ive used it to capture a complex business process from a brainstorming session. I then used the automated PowerPoint presentation builder to create something I could show to co-workers.
Rather than reading the slides, which is the death of any PowerPoint show, I used the branches as jumping-off points for discussion. MindManager also created an excellent leave-behind for the troops.
The process of creating the mind map also improved my thinking, so I went into the meeting much better able to communicate my ideas. And how many times does a $199 software package have to do that to earn its keep? It helps to have a specific problem in mind when you start using the program. There are wizards and templates and lots of online help, and all these are useful and even fun, but they dont communicate the real value of the program. And some of the samples create what to my eyes are silly-looking maps. That may not be a problem for you, especially forewarned, but it was for me. I didnt really start liking the program until I had a problem I needed to brainstorm and remembered the program was loaded on one of my machines. It was that experience that made me a convert.
Still, MindManager is not for everyone. You may look at it and completely miss the point, or merely not be interested in finding out what the point actually is. But if you invest some time with the program, your investment will be repaid many times. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for eWeek.com, where he writes a daily Blog (blog.ziffdavis.com/coursey) and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is www.coursey.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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