Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Add Topics Your Way - a MindGenius Tip

This quick tip shows how you can control MindGenius behaviour when you are adding topics/branches to a map. Understanding this behaviour can help you choose the option best suited to the way you work. It can help reduce interruptions to the train of thought, especially when creating topics at speed.

 When adding topics to a MindGenius map, the default behaviour is for the editing "focus" to remain with the currently selected topic. This is great when you want to add lots of sub-topics.

You may prefer a different option - such as when adding a list of Level 1 topics or a list of sub-topics at the same time. In this instance you may want the editing "focus" to switch to the newly added topic each time, thus allowing you to enter the next topic from that point on, just by hitting "Enter".

This behaviour is controlled by a simple check box toggle that can be found by following "Tools > Options > General".

It may be worth experimenting to understand the best option for the given situation.

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If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Monday, 2 February 2015

MindGenius Matures with Version 6

1. In-place Editing

 inPlace

Replaces the 'Add Branch' Dialogue

In the past, when a branch was added or edited a separate edit window opened so that the Branch text could be added/edited.

Ease of Use

The new 'In-place Editing' allows Branch text to be edited directly without the need to open a separate dialogue window.  This is much simpler and more intuitive.

Speed of Entry Improved

Data entry is not only simpler but faster, better enabling 'the hands to keep up with the mind'. The risk of interruptions to the train of thought or conversation is reduced.

2. 'Pan Mode' for Map Explorer

 panMode

Make a Branch the Focus

In previous versions, clicking on a branch using the Map Explorer would highlight that branch on the map and make it the focus - all other map branches would be excluded and only sub-branches of the branch selected would be displayed.  A very useful feature when you want to home in on a specific area of the map.

New - Highlight and 'Pan' to a Branch

Now you may use Map Explorer to navigate around a map.  With the 'Pan' option selected, clicking on a branch within Map Explorer highlights the branch and 'pans' the map to put that branch at the centre of the map display whilst continuing to display all branches and sub-branches - essentially continuing to display the map in its entirety, or at least such of it as will fit in the display window given the current 'zoom' setting, but with the selected branch highlighted and at the centre of the display.  This new feature will be invaluable for navigating large maps.  The Map Explorer makes it easy to find the a branch and with 'Pan' mode it takes only one click to be taken to that branch on the map.  This complements nicely the existing 'make focus' option.  

 

3. Word Cloud

wordCloud

As a map is created there is now the option to display a 'Word Cloud'.  This can help to identify the emerging themes as a map is created or to review a map when the flow of ideas has ceased.  There are two configuration possibilities, to be found in the 'Tools > Options > Display' dialogue.  Users can choose between having the word cloud include or exclude words found in Notes.  They may also choose to restrict the size of the word cloud to a maximum of 30 words.  The word cloud can be exported as an image by clicking on the 'Copy To Clipboard' button of the feature.  The image may then be pasted into any application such as Word or PowerPoint.

 

4. Cloud Storage

cloudStorage A new dialogue added to the File menu in addition to 'Save' and 'Save as'.  This option allows users to connect to and save maps to Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and/or the new MindGenius cloud storage.  The application keeps track of whether the most recent 'save' was to local or to Cloud storage at the top of the screen in the file name display.  Files can be retrieved from the Cloud for display and editing using the 'Open' dialogue with the 'Cloud Storage' option.  This all seems straightforward and fuss free - just remember to choose between 'Save/Save as' and 'Cloud Storage' depending on where you want to save your map.

 

5. Other Changes

Of benefit to project managers is the new ability to have cost and quantities calculated up through the task hierarchy.  Working with a map, if you assign cost or quantity to tasks you can now select the parent branch (or a branch higher up the hierarchy) and have the total cost or quantity calculated and applied to that parent branch.

Other welcome new features are the ability to customise the Gantt chart (task bar colours) and additional features for project resources.

 

6. Overall

Mind Genius 6 has a very clean and uncluttered feel.  Most of the frequently used options are readily accessible from the ribbon.  The new features contribute greatly to what has become a mature product.  My favourite is 'In-place Editing' which allows maps to be developed more quickly and with less chance of interruption to the train of thought.

Footnote:

This review was prepared using MindGenius 6 and exported to Word, using a pre-prepared Word template. The result is the document you are reading, created from the MindGenius map in a single step and requiring no further editing or formatting, other than formatting for the web.

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If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

"Mind Mapping ... for business ... are you serious?"

"Do you need to put pre-conceptions .. about mind mapping to one side?" is the challenging question posed by Jamie MacDonald, Head of Client Development at Mind Genius.  In a recently published article, Jamie considers this question and offers insights as to how mind mapping (and mind mapping software) can help raise efficiency, productivity and performance in business.

Jamie lists a number of applications and benefits for mind mapping:

  • Discussions at meetings or brainstorming sessions
  • Clear understanding of outcomes and requirements at planning meetings
  • Monitoring and managing tasks and activities in the most efficient way
  • Thinking things through thoroughly when planning strategies, objectives and projects
  • Planning, scheduling and managing projects better
  • Preparing documents, reports and presentations.

Read more about Jamie's challenge and his response in the article available here (click to open in your browser or right click to download/save).  For more articles by Jamie and other contributors please visit the MindGenius Blog.

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If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

NEW! WordX Creates Professional Documents from MindManager

new-2My most heavily used MindManager add-in, OPTi-Word, has just been replaced.  Olympic have released WordX which delivers more control when exporting to MS Word.

I use MindManager to create many documents, reports and articles.  The mind map format helps me visualise the content, structure and shape of the document.  This way, I find I can produce more focused content more quickly.  Delivery of the content remains almost entirely by traditional text document so I export the map to MS Word.  Over the years I've developed some favourite templates and rely on Word Styles to do all the formatting for me.  I have been an OPTi-Word user for many years, giving much greater control over Style assignments than the native MindManager export function.  With the combination of the two applications I can create professional Word documents from my maps with a single click.  Often the finished product is achieved without any additional formatting using Word.

To see previous thoughts on exporting mind maps to MS Word just follow this link to review the relevant posts.

WordX for Mindjet MindManagerNow Olympic have replaced OPTi-Word with WordX.  WordX is NOT just a cosmetic makeover.  Yes, there is a new menu and yes it is part of the ribbon - however there are many new functions added and the export process is now lightning fast.

As before, the start of the document export process is to mark up the map, assigning Word Styles to the Topics.  Now you can choose which Topics to include without having to apply a filter, meaning you can retain the view of the map and all the content.  If you have a map marked up with OPTi-Word you can amend this using WordX - first load the template (if you wish to retain this) , turn off 'Initialize Map Topics with default Styles', then open the map.  WordX will do a brief conversion and then you can edit the map or change the Styles.

image

There are more options to apply to Topics, including Hyperlinks, Attachments and Images. 

image

It is now possible to select Topics by the same Style applied, so that you can then apply a different Style to those Topics should you want to achieve a different look.  Select a Topic with Style you want to replace then click Style Select on the ribbon menu -  image .

There is now a Default Export option which will override individual Topic attribute settings.  If you want more control over Topic attributes then set them using the ribbon menu options and turn Default Export off.

 image

WordX also provides new control over pagination in the exported document - just select the Topic from where the new page is to start and apply the 'Start New Page' attribute.

image

When the map is marked up for export, click 'Export Map'.  Did I say that export is now lightning fast?  Well it is - in no time you will be viewing the Word document.

For more information on WordX visit the product page at the Olympic web site.  Olympic also provide a '12 Steps to a Great Mind Map Microsoft Word Export' guide.  The manual is provided as a MindManager map - it covers everything.  My thanks to Nigel Goult at Olympic for answering my questions with patience - especially after it became clear I had not RTFM.....

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Meeting Booster from the MindView Stable

Something new (to me at least) is an online, Cloud-based meeting manager system - Meeting Booster.  The promotional material describes the product as "a meeting management system that provides a secure and efficient method for scheduling, executing and archiving meetings".

The product offers meeting and agenda planning, scheduling, minute taking and circulation, together with "comprehensive meeting analytics". 

Notes can be taken and actions and tasks assigned.  The record minutes and actions can be used as the basis for follow up meetings and progress chasing.  Meeting Booster is fully integrated with MS Outlook.

For more details please visit the Meeting Booster web site.

I am very interested to hear from anyone with experience of this tool - please use the comments section below or get in touch directly.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

MindGenius - Now Available in German

Yesterday, Monday 20th January 2014, MindGenius announced that their mind mapping software is now available in German.  Functionally identical to the current English version, MindGenius in German is available from www.mindgenius.de, in conjunction with business partner Haage & Partner .

For more details visit the MindGenius blog or www.mindgenius.de.

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If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Friday, 7 June 2013

Project Reports with MindGenius 5

One of the new features of MindGenius 5 is the Project Report.  It produce a very neat summary report.

Assume you've created a project schedule using a map to capture the work breakdown structure - it might look something like this:

Design Project1

Accessible from the 'Gantt' tab is a 'Project report' button.  You can click this either from the map view (above) or from the Gantt view:

Design Project2

Design Project2a

This brings up an options selection dialogue.

Design Project3

Click OK and shortly a simple project report is created in Word.  Note how the categories used on the map to indicate the RAG status are carried through on to the Project report.

DesignProject4

DesignProject5

Clicking on the larger images will take you to an expanded view of the image.

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If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST