MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC, a new pen-based version of the popular mind-mapping software, gives knowledge workers a powerful new toolset for capturing, structuring and sharing ideas and information on the fly. It does this by leveraging the advantages of the Tablet PC’s “digital ink” pen interface in some highly intuitive ways, while at the same time fully supporting all of the productivity features and integration with Microsoft Office that existing users of MindManager have come to expect.
In this first look at MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC, we will provide you with an overview of some of this exciting program’s most valuable new features, and how they enable “corridor warriors” — knowledge workers who spend a significant part of their day moving from meeting to meeting — to be more efficient and productive.
MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC is designed to operate in mouse mode, which displays the standard toolbars and icons that are familiar to users of MindManager 2002, and pen mode, which is optimized for pen input on the Tablet PC. When you switch to pen mode, the program’s standard toolbars are replaced by a new set, with fewer, larger icons that are easier to click with a stylus. Pen mode also displays a context sensitive toolbar at the bottom of the screen, which changes depending on the task you’re trying to perform. For example, if you click on a branch of your map to edit it, this toolbar displays icons for changing the font, color and other properties of the branch.
Tablet PCs are available as “slates” – flat screen PCs that can be mounted in a docking station/base and used with a keyboard and mouse, or “convertibles” that can be used in either a laptop or slate configuration. No matter what kind of Tablet PC you buy, chances are you will be using it in “desktop PC” mode at least some of the time. This gives MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC an extra level of flexibility, and helps to ensure that users are as productive as possible, no matter where or how they are using these mobile computers.
MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC leverages the Tablet PC computing platform to a surprising degree by supporting no less than 18 different pen gestures. These stylus shortcuts give users a big productivity boost by helping them to make fast work of common MindManager tasks. For example, to add a new topic to your mind map, you draw a stroke from an existing topic to the right or left. This opens up the “ink editor,” a dialog box where you can write in the text of your new topic. You can also attach notes, symbols, priority codes, graphics, documents and web links to the topics of your mind maps, just like the desktop version of MindManager.
To speed the process of adding new topics and subtopics to your mind map, the program’s developers thoughtfully included two useful icons in the ink editor dialog box: A downward pointing arrow icon saves your current branch and immediately opens up a new ink editor window to create another topic at the same level, while a right pointing arrow icon enables you to quickly add a sub-topic to your currently-selected topic. These little enhancements make MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC ideal for rapid brainstorming – where you need to be able to capture ideas quickly, without interrupting your creative “flow.”
When you’re working in pen mode, a Tablet Help window is displayed along the right side of the screen. It provides one-click access to important “how to” resources for first-time users, including a pen mode tutorial, an ink map gallery (examples), a quick start map, Pen mode help file, plus visual examples of all 18 pen gestures.
Other MindManager pen gestures include:
Considering that this is the first iteration of MindManager for the Tablet PC platform, Mindjet’s decision to include this many productivity-enhancing pen gestures is pleasantly surprising.
To add a sketch to your mind map, you simply draw a triangle gesture in a blank spot within your work space. This opens a sketch window, where you can create and format your drawing. When you click OK, your drawing is inserted into your map as a free-floating object; you can easily drag and drop it to another location within your map, or attach it to a branch of your mind map.
MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC was designed to enable users to quickly capture and organize information, and to share it with others. Maps created in pen mode can be stored as digital ink, or can be converted to text at any time. You can also use pen mode to annotate your existing MindManager text files, very useful for providing others with feedback on their ideas. Maps created in digital ink are searchable, increasing their utility as a personal repository of notes, knowledge and ideas.
In addition, MindManager for 2002 Tablet PC offers complete integration with Microsoft Office. With one click, you can publish your mind maps to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Project, Outlook or as an HTML Web page.
MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC is ideal for:
In short, any application that requires you to capture and organize unstructured information — such as the contents of meetings, planning sessions and brainstorming — can be handled more productively using this program. Handwritten meeting notes are usually captured in a linear format, and often lack structure and clarity, which limits their usefulness. MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC enables you to structure notes as you create them, and to work with them in a single, collapsible view.
Mindjet has succeeded in creating a business software application that fulfills the promise of the Tablet PC as an information capture device for mobile knowledge workers — in ways that linear note-taking tools like Microsoft Journal and OneNote (a personal journal with a tabbed interface that Microsoft will launch later in 2003) can’t equal. It does so quite elegantly, with a polished, easy-to-use pen input interface that has a low learning curve and is fun to use. Whether you’re brainstorming in your favorite quiet spot or meeting with your work team, visually building a shared understanding of a problem or challenge, MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC helps to take knowledge worker productivity to the next level.
MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC is available in both Business ($189) and Enterprise ($269) versions, with 20 percent off for a limited time. A 21-day trial version is also available for download from the Mindjet Web site.