snap - MindJet MindManager 8 screen

MindJet has just released a new version 8 of my favorite mind mapping tool (and productivity) tool. Version 8 has some incredible new features that the impressive version 7 Pro did not have, including an embedded browser, embedded Microsoft Office apps use, export to Flash so that you can share interactive maps with non-MindManager users, an embedded web browser, and new map parts (including web search). There are also new map templates, increased export features and many more options.

Since January 2007, it’s become my favorite work productivity tool ever, and I’ve barely tapped into the new features in MM 8, besides internal web search and the embedded browser. Wait, there’s more. For all you coders out there, they’ve released an API (Application Programmer Interface), which simply means that if you come up with an idea for a new Map Part, you can build it yourself. I intended to do just that, and hopefully will be able to integrate Mind Manager 8 with Yahoo Pipes.

Wait, still more. I believe we might just be able to post articles to a blog platform such as WordPress, from within a MindManager mind map!! (Though I need to create a custom Map Part for this.) If this is possible, I might never need to use my web browsers again.

Oh, did I tell you about MindManager Web and MindManager Connect? The former is a web version of MindManager, which integrates nicely with the desktop version. The latter is a way for remote teams to share their maps online and to collaborate.

Wondering what they’ll do for an encore? I don’t know yet, but it’s pity that they decided to use Microsoft Internet Explorer as their embedded browser. Maybe someday (soon?) they’ll use a real web browser such as Firefox or some Mozilla offshoot. Problem is, since MM versions have always been so tight with MS products, that may not happen. But a productivity geek can dream, can’t he?

If you didn’t already know, you can download a copy of MindManager 8 for a free, fully-functioning 30 day trial for MS Windows. If you’re on a Mac, can get a free 30 day trial for MindManager 7 Pro. If you do any sort of project management, don’t forget to download a trial copy of JVC Gantt as well.

P.S. Here’s something else to consider, once you realize how valuable the embedded web browser and the increased integration with MS Office products is… You can check your Outlook e-mail from within MindManager 8. You can also visit any website that offers IM (Instant Message chat) or VoIM (voice over IM) capability. (Or you can get a MindManager Connect subscription and collaborate in real-time with teammates and colleagues.) With MindManager 8, you have a master control panel for aspects of your online work day.

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