Written by Michael Woodman

MindManager is a concept mapping program which allows you to create ‘spider diagrams’ or ‘mind maps’. Creating a mind map can help you to plan and write essays, revise for exams, and organise large projects.

MindManager has a more complex interface than most other concept mapping programs. While some users may find it too rich in features, others will love the extra functionality it offers. And you don’t have to use the more advanced features of MindManager to:

  • quickly add and rearrange ideas for use in an essay
  • add detail to your branches in text notes
  • add attachments and images
  • export the plan as an image, word document, or presentation

MindManager is not a free application, but you can download a free 30 day trial to help you determine if it is the program for you. If you’re looking for a tool which allows detailed planning and project management, here are a few of its most striking features:

  • Embed Excel Ranges in your map:You can select a data range in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and link it to your map, so that you can view and edit data directly from MindManager. Also, changes made to the spreadsheet in Excel will update in your map every time you open MindManager.
  • Web Services & Dynamic Searching:Add sections of your map that automatically populate based on the most up to date google hits for keywords that you define; every time you open your mind map, these branches will offer you links to all the current news items based around your search terms.
  • Project management tools:Much like Mindview, Mindmanager maps accept date ranges that can be used to generate Gantt charts. You can enter task deadlines for you or the team you are collaborating with. You can also jump back and forth between the ‘map’ and ‘Gantt’ view, (which represents your project as a timeline based on the dates you have added).