MindGenius 3 Released!

No sooner then I do a review of MindGenius 2.5, I find out that MindGenius Ldt., has just released MindGenius 3. When you first open MindGenius 3 you will see an who new look, complete with the adoption of the Fluid Ribbon Interface. MindGenius 3.0 is much more visually appealing to use but you should feel right at home with the common interface structure. MindGenius 3 kept many of the same conventions as in their previous version such as the Map Explorer and the Picture Gallery Viewer. MindGenius 3 has a clean and inviting look summoning you to jump in and use the program. If you are upgrading from version 2.5 you should be up and running in no time. While it may take some time to get used to the Ribbon, I found the organization of the commands on the Ribbon to be well thought out and relatively easy to find what I was looking for. The Welcome Map and the Getting Started Guide are two useful resources when you are just beginning to use MindGenius 3. Here are a list of some of the new features that you will find in MindGenius as provided by the publisher:

  • Ribbon User Interface which allows for improved brainstorming, presentations, analysis and task management functionality and easier access to the most commonly used features and functionality.

  • improved Analysis capability to help you sort your information and add quick filters to get a different view on your data eg by category, actions due/ over due, cost or task properties.

  • MS Excel export for use with pivot table analysis, parts lists, costs, task management, and FMEA Analysis, allowing you to work with numerical values as well as words.

  • Numerical fields added that allow you to record actual work hours, costs and quantities and undertake cost and quantity calculations.

  • updated image library with a suite of pictures that can be used royalty free by all MindGenius users.

  • ability to add and edit your own question sets in the Question Tool allowing you to undertake improved planning and brainstorming sessions and create frameworks for meetings and customer facing sessions.

  • timer to allow you to keep on schedule in brainstorming, meetings and presentations.

One of the strengths that comes across in using MindGenuis 3 is the powerful filters and the ability to sort your maps by a specific category. MndGenius really shines in this area and makes for a valuable tool if you are doing consulting and looking how resources are being used in a project. With a click of the mouse you are able to create your map based on the Resources and see things through a different lens. You can watch this video to show you how to assign Resources with the Resources Dropper and how to quickly create a Resource Map within MindGenius 3. In this regards MindGenius 3 has redone the interface and allows you to quickly link resources with tasks on your map. Using the very familiar Eye Dropper you can drop resources in tasks make it easy to track them in a project. You will also find that there were some significant features added to the Task Ribbon. In MindGenius 3 you can now track Work Hours, and Cost for tasks that can then be Exported to Excel for further analysis. If you like you can also Export your Tasks to Outlook with a click of the mouse. Having exported some project information to Excel I was impressed with the formatting and the Report that was generated. Of course if I decide to, I could always export the project to MS Project to give me a full range of tools and a Gantt Chart.

One of the features which is unique to MindGenius 3 is the ability to create Question Sets. A Question Set is a series of prompts or questions that can be associated with a mind map. This is a great feature to use to help you to generate ideas and to get you to thinking about a topic is a new or novel way. While MindGenius 2.5 included this feature you were unable to edit the Question Sets and you had to use them in the standard way. In MindGenius 3 you can easily edit the Questions and use them as you see fit. These custom prompts and questions can help and guide users to be more productive when they are working through an issue and are mind mapping. These Question Sets can be very powerful frameworks for users when they are attempting to solve problems using mind mapping tools.

All in all, you will find MindGenius 3 to be an easy to use mind mapping tool that builds on it foundations and provides a good foundation for future development. While you will have to gauge for yourself the worth of this upgrade- I for one feel that users will find MindGenius 3 easier to use, more visually appealing and brings with it a clean new interface that should make users more productive.

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