I just got finished packing my bags and I am sure you want to know what technology I will be taking with me to NECC 2009. While I am gone I will have my trusty Blackberry Curve to stay in touch on the Verizon Network. I will also have my Acer One, my lightweight and dependable netbook with me which you can throw into any bag and not really know its there. To round out my technology attache- I will have my Apple iPod, a Flip Digital Video Camera, and my Olympus digital camera with me. I will also be taking my Livescribe Pulse Smartpen to take notes and for my scheduled interviews. It should be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to seeing all of the latest and greatest new products that are announced and being demonstrated on the floor. With the Stimulus Funding coming down the pike, I'm sure that the vendors will be in a real positive mood and will go the extra mile to make our stay in Washington, D.C. a memorable one.
So to keep in touch while I'm at NECC 2009 you can follow me on Twitter. I will use the hash tag NECC as part of my tweets which you will be able to search. I hope to do some regular postings while I'm at NECC 2009 to keep you abreast of all the happenings. And by the way if you will be attending NECC 2009 shoot me an email maybe we can connect.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Phil Novak, Manager of Global Communications at Mindjet and ask him some question about the recent release of Mindjet MindManager 8 CPA Edition.
Brian S. Friedlander: I noticed that Mindjet just released MindManager 8 CPA edition- I was wondering if you could tell me more about this edition and how it differs from the standard version of MindManager 8?
Phil Novack: The MindManager CPA Edition is a purpose-built tool that enables CPA's to synthesize information and communicate it all in a way that business understands. The MindManager software is not changed; however, the CPA Edition includes with MindManager twenty-four custom-built templates that were developed by CPA's for
Brian S. Friedlander: Can you share with us how this edition came to be? And how will CPA’s will benefit from using MindManager 8 CPA edition?
Phil Novack: The edition came to be as a result of Mindjet’s relationship with Tom Hood from the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA). CPA's are trusted advisors for clients and peers, and today the business and accounting worlds are changing at unprecedented rates. MindManager CPA Edition is focused on providing CPA's the following benefits:
- Improve organization
Organize and find information you need quickly and efficiently in a map. By adding and updating information, documents, and hyperlinks in the map, you can count on having the most current information at your fingertips.
- Track processes
Manage the evolving accounting landscape and cope with increasing complexity and ongoing standard changes. Track and understand your unique processes within a living document and allows you to understand all the moving parts.
- Communicate more effectively
See the forest without losing site of the trees. Detailed maps of your processes provide context that drives team
and stakeholder alignment. Communicate with engaging visual illustrations that speak to business in the language it understands.
What are some of the templates that are included in this version?
· Audit Plan
· Audit Checklist
· Internal Audit Checklist
· Due Diligence
· Organization Chart
· XBRL Implementation
· Board Meeting
· And more…
Brian S. Friedlander: Can we expect to see other editions of MindManager 8 that are geared to a specific profession or industry?
Phil Novack: Mindjet sees great potential in providing solutions for our customers that focus on the specific business value for their role or industry. While we can’t comment specifically on any future products, we recognize the tremendous value solutions like these provide for our customers and are always working to serve them better.
Mindjet Unveils Image Library Add-In for MindManager to Help Users Better Illustrate Their Information
The new images help users' information come to life. For quick and easy access, they are stored within the pre-existing MindManager Library tab, reducing the need to conduct image searches outside the MindManager application. With more visual assets at their fingertips, users can save time and maintain focus by keeping their workflow process moving inside MindManager.
The image library add-in provides seamless integration with MindManager -- users can download the library from Mindjet.com and have access to hundreds of new visual assets within minutes.
"Visually presenting ideas and information through MindManager is a powerful method of communication and collaboration," said Neil Mendelson, vice president of products for Mindjet. "The new image library add-in augments these capabilities and helps our users create that 'wow' factor by adding visual depth and enhanced aesthetic appeal to their task lists, project plans, brainstorming concepts, meeting agendas and more."
Unlike documents, presentations and e-mail that constrain you to working one page at a time, MindManager's visual approach on an expandable canvas, or "map," efficiently organizes complex ideas and processes to increase clarity and turn ideas into action. Personal or business information and processes can be viewed at a glance, with the ability to drill into details by clicking into sub-topics and branches.
The MindManager image library add-in for MindManager 8 and MindManager 7 is available immediately for the English, German and French Windows desktop versions of the product. Japanese will be available at a later date. It's available for purchase and electronic download at the Mindjet online store or through a Mindjet corporate sales or channel representative for $29.
- Insert your own graphics to your Webspiration diagrams or outlines
- A new Starter screen which gives you easier access to your documents
- New button on the Starter screen to access templates and Examples
- Improved Chat features
Visit http://www.mywebspiration.com/blog/updates-launched to learn more. One of the most asked for features the ability to add you own graphics to your mind map has been added. I for one have sked for this feature for awhile now and am glad to know that it was included in this update. I have tied this feature this morning and am glad to tell you it worked great. I found it very intuitive and easy to use. You will see in my mind map that each of my symbols now has a customized picture. This is a huge feature and one that I know that you will enjoy. Another key feature of Webspiration is the ability to embed or publish your mind maps to the web. To view the mind map that I created with Webspiration click here. Webspiration makes it very easy to share your mind maps over the web and the new Chat features will make it even easier to communicate while collaborating. I would be interested in how you are using Webspiration in the work that you do? So please feel free to comment! To sign up for a free Webspration account click on the link.
From my perspective, there is an energy that is shared when presenting information in a mind map that is not often felt when producing it in a text based outline. For me, mind maps help to clarify and give you a clear snapshot of the task or project at hand. With this clarity, I am able to better plan and initiate my projects-but more importantly it is a great way to visually communicate and share ideas with others in refreshing manner. Many of my clients often comment that they really enjoy my presentation of the information that is conveyed and that it is more digestible, then seeing it in a report or in an outline form. But just in case, I always have my outline as a backup for those clients who may not be inclined to seeing the information in a mind map. If you haven't tried mindmapping I urge to experience it and see what it is about. I have a number of resources on my blog to help you gt started and if you need some help, please free to email me.
For those of you who have not taken a look at MindMapper 2009 in awhile now is the time to do so. MindMapper 2009 Professional is a significant upgrade from MindMapper 2008 and now includes the familiar Fluid Ribbon Interface along with a number of powerful new features that can easily turn this mind mapping application into a presentation and project management tool. In the project management arena MindMapper 2009 Professional includes: task scheduling, Gantt charts, Resource Allocation, and integration with Microsoft Project. It is easy to assign Resources to tasks as well as dependencies and view them in a Gantt Chart. By default MindMapper 2009 sets up Finish to Start dependencies which can not be changed. You will find it easy to change the percentage of the task completed which can be easily visualized in the Gantt Chart. In the Gantt Chart View you can also have MindMapper 2009 USB Edition to track Actual versus Projected Costs. MindMapper 2009 offers a Scenario Mode which lets you use MindMapper 2009 in a Presentation Mode by isolating each of your branches. Once in the Presentation mode you can view your mind map in a presentation manner, in Full screen mode and moving through the slides by clicking or setting up a time delay before advancing to the next slide.
MindMapper 2009 USB Edition is a powerful mind mapping application with a built in Gantt Chart and Presentation Mode. It is easy to use and having access to MindMapper 2009 USB Edition makes it easy to work with the application- wherever you are as long as you have access to a Windows based computer and a USB port. So give it a try and let me know what you think.
Inspiration 8 is easy to use and all the tools you need are there in front of you. Over the years more features have been added but the program has always been true to its mission allowing the user to think visually about the topic at hand. You see for me, the true test of a software application is that it fades into the background and doesn't interfere with the work at hand. In this respect Inspiration 8 with its powerful RapidFire feature makes brainstorming and getting your ideas out on the page easy and elegant. For the the visual thinkers the Library of pictures adds to the appeal of the program but the same can be said for the linear thinkers who have access to a powerful outlining tool with the click of a button.
Today I had the opportunity to work with a student with a learning disability and I asked him if he had been using Inspiration as I had recommended to his teachers. The student said that he had been using it and when I put Inspiration 8 in front of him he quickly created a map of his favorite activities. Within minutes he had mapped out his favorite activities and if we had more time he would have been able to add note cards and transfer the information to Microsoft Word. I had a chance to speak to this student's Language Arts teacher and she reinforced how important it was for this student to use graphic organizers in the writing process. She shared that for this student, being able to visually see his ideas and the connections was an important and essential part of the writing process for him.
As we all work with students to develop their skills, it is important to give them life long tools that they can use even after they finish their formal education. I for one am a big proponent of teaching all students how to use visual thinking and mind mapping skills-which are essential in helping students to think, create and present information in a graphical way. As the amount of information expands exponentially the ability to use tools like Inspiration 8 to help students organize and visualize information will become more important and certainly one of my priorities as a 21st Century skill set.