If you rock a Mac, like me, you’ll be pleased to know that there is now a version MindManager that works with OSX! I’m super-stoked about it. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now, and it’s definitely in daily rotation. It’s my standard notetaking and brainstorming application. I’ve gotten into the habit of using it for taking notes in conference presentations, since it’s so easy to make connections between ideas (and my handwriting bites). At the last conference I attended, I just output all my mindmap notes as pdf files and sent them to the folks in my office who hadn’t attended. Very nice.
When I have to do presentations, like The Secret Art of Managing Your Boss, this is what I use. In fact, when I did that presentation, I ditched the standard print-all-your-slides-as-a-handout technique and just used a one-page mindmap of the presentation. People loved it, and since I was supposed to bring 200 copies of my handouts (and my presentation was 85 slides long), it paid for itself right there. I think the mindmap method of presentation handouts provides a much richer and contextually relevant document for viewers.
By way of comparison, I’ve used a few other mindmap tools for OSX, including all the commercial offerings. Prior to MindManager, I stuck with FreeMind, since it had (for me) the most intuitive keyboard setup of the other options and it’s free. Some of the commercial offerings for Mac have a decent set of graphics, which FreeMind lacks, but I’m not a heavy graphics user in my mindmaps. MindManager also has an excellent set of graphics, btw, and the keyboard entry setup is easily as intuitive as FreeMind–at least to my fingers. Like MindManager, FreeMind will run on both Mac and Windows machines, but that’s because it’s a Java app. Java apps run pretty good on my Mac, but I found them to be a little clunky on my old Windows machine and FreeMind was no exception. MindManager was built from the ground up for both Mac and Windows and doesn’t require Java–it’s just a native app on both platforms. Now I can exchange MindManager files with colleagues who run the Windows version, and vice versa. Very helpful.
I’ve seen some tips for combining ActiveWords and MindManager on a Windows machine and that looked pretty helpful. I’m going to mess around with something similar for Quicksilver and MindManager. If anyone has any tips, I’m open…