Mindgenius 4

3/26/2012 9:03:18 AM

Mindgenius 4

4 stars

$235 (VAT included)

MindGenius is the mindmap drawing application. Mindmaps can be used to draw the processes, brainstorming, concept development and plan making, which are developed from pen-and-paper illustrations into a dedicated and sophisticated software package. There are many free and low price applications allowing you to draw mindmaps, such as commercial programs like MindGenius and MindManager of Mindjet, which we reviewed several years ago, offer functions mentioned above and far beyond the vector drawing. 

Ideas are structured in tree format. In the computer-based versions, the branches can be folded or expand to hide or reveal the details. No surprise that mindmap is developed to be a powerful business tool. Therefore, an idea suddenly you come up with can become a fully-made project management plan with little work and further thought.

Mindmap is an ideal method to keep track the progress of a project. Different parts of the projects can be divided along the branches which can be folded, allowing an overall picture of the project as well as the important details are quickly access if needed. In MindGenius 4, even small branches can be assigned with resources, starting day and due dates, together with priority, status, progress and cost (including necessary hours and days). This kind of information can be transfer automatically into Gantt chart afterwards, which can be easily customized by dragging and dropping the links between tasks and deliverables. These tasks can be assigned as Actions in Microsoft Outlook and then a relevant to-do task list will be sent to Microsoft Outlook as well.

One new feature of this version is brainstorming mode. The normal mindmaps require you to create the links between the concepts once they are created, but this brainstorming mode allows you to drop your ideas freely on the page. Then, you can tag them with the categories which are defined in advance and questions relevantly involving with these concepts. The assignment of these questions and categories is structuring an automatically created mindmap. This is an effective way which offers a better condition for developing an idea starting from scratch to a much more detailed plan.

The basic tasks of making a mindmap, such as creating nodes, assigning categories, adjusting the formats and layouts, as well as much more complicated tasks related with projects like Gantt chart changing, are easily access and used, but some common important tasks are well hidden. For instant, in order to add in a web link to your nodes, you have to use the “Attach File” dialogue. 

The comprehensive filter lets you cut off the sophisticated plan for a better necessary detail reveal in any circumstance you need, which is useful in project management, when you need to find a subtask due to the given day, or keep an eye on the working schedule of team members in a group.  Mindmaps can be exported in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Visio, as well as static format like JPEG and PDF. You can also transfer the maps into interactive presentations by using built-in presentation tools. It isn’t as complicated as PowerPoint, but at least it keeps the presentations directly on the slides, therefore, you can change the course and explore other branches which were required.

An educational version is available for students, teachers and schools with the price of £57. However, with the sophisticated project management tools and filters, MindGenius 4 is suitable for higher education more than high schools.

MindGenius 4 can carry on daily tasks as a piece of cake, and a useful tool to start from the idea into execution and management. It lacks the integration of Microsoft Office and web services available in MindManager series, but at half the price, therefore, it is a great pick if you don’t need these additional features.

In summary:

Comments: It is not as powerful as MindManager, but at half the price.

Mindmap drawing software: Windows XP/Vista/7, 400MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 100MB hard drive.


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