Yesterday, I attended a Web seminar with Mindjet as they provided a preview of MindManager 7.  I have been a serious evangelist for MindManager products for a couple years now and the trainer for MindManager for about the same length of time.  I did some work on a project to help promote their products last December using a process I developed which allows users the ability to turn mind maps into a video podcast.  Unfortunately as these things go I was completely out of the loop and did not realize that they were working on a version 7.

Version 7 was partially designed so that mindmanager would work with office 2007 and live up to the new Microsoft Office standards, which it does.  I knew that they were working to integrate Mindmanager with office 2007 but I did not know they were going to push that out in something called version 7.  So was a bit of a surprise to get the invite for the seminar and learn about the new version.

For several months now my mindjet labs ID and password have been stuck somewhere in limbo and I can’t seem to get it unstuck and so I don’t get technical information from Mindjet like I used to get.

There are some interesting new features in the new version of mindmanager, however I wouldn’t say that this is a evolutionary change for mindmanager other than the fact that it’s now office 2007 compliant.  That is a big change all by itself.  It is not going to revolutionize the world of mind mapping.

Still Waiting for the Day When  .. .

There is no support for 3-D, nor as far as I can tell from video or audio for that matter.  I haven’t seen anything to indicate that can handle HTML tags within a mind map either.  These are all elements that could take MindMapping to an entirely different level.  Also absent is anything that would indicate that Mindmanager has created a more collaborative tool capable of creating wiki’s or even enabling a greater ease-of-use for bloggers.

Hint Hint How about a right click and Blog this option???  LiveWriter tie in?  (Microsoft is responsible for LiveWriter)

I was somewhat surprised to see that the feed reader option available in Mindmanager, is still a 10 step process.  It takes 10 clicks to add a feed to a topic in a mind map to create a feed reader.  If you have 10 URLs that you want to follow through a feed reader that would be a total of one hundred clicks compared to a one to two click option if you want to use Google’s feed reader tool(10-20 clicks for 10 urls).

In Version 7, Mindjet seems to be staying the course with a Microsoft strategy that will further remove it from web-based products and solutions.  They have done a lot more work to bring the Mac version of MindManager up to snuff as well,  but as more and more free office programs start to compete directly with Microsoft office programs Mindjet could find itself painted into a corner.  Already free mindmapping solutions are starting to chip away at the market for people looking for lower price points.

Now I make all these comments from the slightly critical perspective of somebody that expects more out of their favorite software.  I will be reviewing the software a great deal more over the next several weeks and sharing that with you.  It is still my favorite software and I get more use out of that software than almost any other program with the potential future exception of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which I can use to blog with.  I anticipate putting together a video tutorial very soon about mind mapping with Dragon NaturallySpeaking so keep your eye open for that.

For users that haven’t tried MindManager, when you use it you will be blown away.

For those of you that have been using it for some time, you are probably somewhat like me waiting for MindManager to show that amazing genious that is hidden away somewhere in Mindjet waiting to break free and make an evolutionary phase shift one more time.