Online Brainstorming Tools: Mindjet's MindManager Reviewed

Each week, the Education Techie reviews tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is discussing brainstorming tools. Today's review: Mindjet's MindManager.

mindjet mapping software

What Is It?

Mindjet's MindManager software is a basic diagramming program. You can start with a blank slate or use a template. Templates include an event planner, travel itinerary, weekly schedule, packing list, resume, SWOT analysis and to-do list, among others. Using a template, you aren't given as much control over the appearance of your chart as when starting with a blank slate. The program has standard controls that allow users to control fonts and add a variety of images, shapes and connectors to charts.

mind manager screenshot

MindManager is a downloadable program available for $249. A 30-day trial is available. In addition to the software itself, you can purchase extensions and add-ons through the MindJet website.

What Makes It Cool?

MindManager's graphics are among the best of the brainstorming tools that I reviewed for this week. The appearance of a finished chart is clean and professional. There is some dimension and polish to the clip art in this program, which sets it apart from some of the others I looked at. Additionally, MindManager is compatible with both Mac and Windows-based operating systems, which isn't the case with many other brainstorming tools I reviewed this week. I use a Mac, and in the trial software, there was integration with Mac-specific programs like iCal.

The download of MindManager comes with a wide range of video tutorials, which could be useful for new users. These tutorials are accessed through the program's website, though, so you do need an Internet connection to view them.

What Are Its Drawbacks?

Compared to some of the other brainstorming tools that I reviewed, MindManager isn't very versatile. It seems possible to get a lot of this program, but you'd have to put time in to get to know its ins and outs. Some of the other brainstorming programs I reviewed included features more readily available to newer users. MindManager's interface is also a bit more complex than most of the other brainstorming tools I looked at, with fewer user-friendly shortcuts.

Where Can I Find It?

Check out MindManager by visiting the Mindjet website.

The Education Techie will continue to review brainstorming tools this week and next. Check back for these product reviews, and don't forget to read reviews of Gliffy and Inspiration.

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