At Mindjet, we strive to provide revolutionary ways for people to be more innovative, creative, collaborative, and productive. There’s nothing more important to us than making that happen.
To that end, MindManager has evolved to take mind mapping way beyond just the brainstorming session. Now it provides one of the most flexible methods for teams and individuals to capture ideas, create strategic plans, and manage everything from meetings to massive projects. We are thrilled to continue that evolution with the new MindManager 15 for Windows, and we hope that you’ll be as excited as we are.
A Better Balance
Our goal for this release was to balance new features requested by our power users with an enhanced experience for new and casual users. We’re working to ensure that new users can be productive quickly, and our dedicated, long-time users can complete their most common tasks more efficiently.
Many of the features and improvements in version 15 are the direct result of discussions with clients, partners, and the MindManager community. To make sure we captured your needs, we used our design partner database to collect anonymous, opt-in feedback on our features. We also solicited feedback via surveys, live observations, online feedback, and customer visits.
This collaboration with our user base fully supports our ongoing commitment to refining and improving MindManager in order to provide you with the most powerful and effective tool in its class. We encourage all of you to add or vote on ideas in our community.
With that in mind, here are some of the new improvements.
Expanded Microsoft Integration
Microsoft 64-Bit Compatibility
One of the most highly anticipated updates is the 64-bit version of MindManager for Windows. Users can now run MindManager on either 32- or 64-bit Windows OS. Better yet, MindManager 15 users can now integrate their projects seamlessly with Microsoft Office 64-bit applications, and still benefit from all of the great features available in the original version.
Slide & Presentation Improvements
Slides in MindManager are used in a variety of ways. You can print them, create a slideshow and present it from within MindManager, or export slides to PowerPoint.
When you have a large map, it was a cumbersome process to manually create each individual slide. With this new feature, MindManager creates slides for you automatically.
Creating slides is easier, too—you can do it directly from the Presentation Menu in the ribbon.
And, if you try to export a map to PowerPoint without any slides created, MindManager will offer to do it for you.
The end result: You have a series of slides that you can use to present, print, or export, without the need to switch programs or spend extra time reformatting.
New Presentation Theme
We’ve also added a new Map Theme, “Default – Project,” which is set up with darker lines and text, making it easier to see when you’re projecting your maps.
More Powerful Project Planning
Removing Slack Time
We’ve had many people request a way to more easily remove ‘slack time’—the amount of time left after a project if the project is started immediately—between dependent tasks.
Previously, if a task finished later than expected, the new end date would push out dependent tasks to start later. However, if a task finished early, users had to manually move all the dependent tasks in the project. In MindManager 15, whether a task is finished early or late, dependent tasks can be moved automatically. This is a massive improvement for MindManager users that may have hundreds of tasks per project.
Now you can also either remove slack time for the whole project (in your current map), or for any selected tasks. When you choose selected tasks, it really represents not only the chosen task, but any dependent tasks, too.
To access this command, you can either use the Remove Slack Time button in the Task Ribbon, or from the context menu when you click on a task in the Gantt chart.
Project Managers often spend a lot of time developing plans, identifying tasks, defining dependencies, resources, milestones, and more. Quite often, by the time they’re done, they need to shift the plan to an entirely new start date.
In earlier versions of MindManager, you had to manually update all tasks to their new start dates. Now, users can simply click the Move Project command in the Task Ribbon, select a new date, and all appropriate tasks will shift accordingly.
There’s also an option to maintain the current milestones. This allows you to move all of a project’s tasks, yet keep the milestones and any dependencies in place if needed.
Project Map Parts
We’ve added new map parts so you can quickly drag and drop predefined branches like a project charter, status, or project success criteria branch directly into your map. These predefined branches guide you through the project definition and planning process, and provide a framework for helping you manage initiatives.
User Experience Improvements
Simple Template Navigation
One of the things we repeatedly observed in our usability lab is that when users tried to find a template, they were quickly overwhelmed. To remedy that, we’ve created a new template experience, which includes:
- New blank map templates with radial, right, tree, and org-chart layouts.
- New folders for MindManager templates for management, meetings & events, personal productivity, problem solving, project management, and strategic planning.
- New section for your own custom templates that you add.
- Easier access to our online gallery of MindManager maps and customer maps in the Maps for That community.
New Map Parts
I mentioned earlier that we’ve added new map parts to provide a repeatable and efficient way to plan your next project. We didn’t stop there!
MindManager 15 has approximately 50 new map parts to help you:
- Brainstorm, refine, and categorize ideas.
- Analyze ideas, strategies, and opportunities.
- Conduct meetings and take notes.
- Plan and manage projects, and much more!
We’ve made the default view of map parts a list view so that they’re easier to identify and select. You can always switch back to the original thumbnail view using the context menu option.
New Hand-Drawn Images
We’ve added a gallery of hand-drawn images to give your map topics a more personal touch. Choose from over 150 new images in a variety of colors.
Topic Quick-Add Refinements
In our last update, we introduced the new Topic Quick-Add feature, which lets you quickly add topics to map elements. We’ve continued to refine this feature to make it even easier to add topics into your maps. Since the feature adds space to the map (which may impact previously created maps with slides for printing and presenting) we’ve also added an option that lets you temporarily disable the feature. It’s located in the MindManager Options, Edit page.
New OPML Export
For those of you who use apps that accept OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language), we’ve now added OPML export so you can easily transfer map content. Simply use the “Save As” command and select OPML as the file format.
Periodically, it becomes necessary to remove features from MindManager. Features may be underutilized, outdated, or just fail to accomplish their intended purpose. To keep the user experience clean, we take them out.
In this release, we’ve removed the following features:
- Microsoft SharePoint Linker Add-in. This feature is being retired from the standard offering of MindManager, and will be included in the new MindManager Enterprise offering. This also includes our MindManager Server product, which installs on SharePoint.
- Google Desktop Search. Support for this functionality was dropped by Google in 2011.
- Save and Open MindManager 2002 files. As we’re moving to support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of MindManager, it’s time to hang up support for this very old file format.
The new MindManager 15 for Windows is our most robust and streamlined version to date, and we can’t wait to see what you’re able to accomplish with it.