Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Mind2Chart and MindManager

M2C Box


I've been getting to know a useful project planning add-in for MindManager.  It's called Mind2Chart and can be used to create simple project plans and Gantts from MindManager maps - quickly and without fuss.


M2C01 To use you first create the task list in MM.  You can add task information and resources if you wish, or add them later when Mind2Chart is active.  Next select all the tasks and either click on the Chart Item option added to the ribbon or right click and select from the pop-up menu.  Then click Mind2Chart View from the MM View menu bar (the Mind2Chart options are added when the product is installed).  A window opens below the map displaying task details and the Gantt view.

Working in the Mind2Chart window you can now edit tasks, add and amend resources, link tasks and create dependencies and set milestones.  As you work, any changes are reflected in the MM map simultaneously. A nice feature is the critical path highlight option.

Mind2Chart does not work in standalone mode - it is designed to work with a map.  To add tasks or change their sequence, move the tasks (topics) on the mind map itself.  You can however amend the predecessors from within Mind2Chart.

M2CTskAlso included is an export feature which will create either a task or a resource spreadsheet - very nice touch and very useful.  To export to other formats, such as MS Project then export from the MindManager map in the usual way once you have finished editing using Mind2Chart.  You can also print the combined task list and Gantt.  This is a simple option but by changing the margins of the document it is possible to fit the output to "1 page wide - many pages tall".

Mind2Chart does simple task scheduling M2CReswell and is an alternative to JCVGantt, although less powerful.  The development team are incredibly responsive and have answered my queries and added a feature within days (export to older versions of Excel).  The web site includes training notes and videos together with support and FAQs.  At this stage I'm waiting for pricing details.


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