Mindjet is a Windows mind mapping application with aspirations towards productivity applications, task management and even basic project management functionality. If you want a nice mind mapping application that plays well with MS Office you could do worse than Mindjet. Would I recommend to buy it for task or project management at a price of £249, no.
Tony Buzan’s mindmap invention has grown up and is now sprouting all kinds of task management and project management functionality. At this point, taskmanagementreview.com has got to take note. What mindjet now has is the ability to transfer the mindmap information to various formats such as Gannt charts, MS Office reports and even as simple outline lists. Does this really help in terms of task management, formulating to do lists and project management? Let’s see.
Features and Interface
For anyone familiar with mind mapping, Mindjet is familiar territory. You first create a centralized topic. Then, create orbital subtopics of the main topic, with each subtopic then able to spawn multiple little moons. It is a great way to sketch out the content of a new activity. Mindjet has all the usual functions associated with this. Each topic/subtopic can have associated notes, icons, tags and hyperlinks.
As a Project Management Tool: The addition of project and task relevant information such as start dates, due dates, priorities, resources, task links etc. This makes it possible to go from a mindmap to something that could feasibly be used as a task management or even project management system.
When a mindmap has this information added with a simple push of a button it can be viewed as a Gantt chart. Simple editing of the Gantt Chart is possible but if you want to do something outlandish such as adding new tasks, then we hit the limits of it’s functionality. So, hard core project planners look elsewhere. That said, as a simple sanity check of project feasibility the Gantt view should not be dismissed. One other possible problem was also noted between the Gantt and mindmap. Links between tasks are relatively subdued in Gantt charts, but on the mind map we have red arrows all over the place between tasks. I can imagine this could do some damage to the aesthetics/viewability of the mindmap if links are used in abundance.
As a to do list: Some other functions are also available which enhance the credentials of this mindmap as a task management tool. First, we have filtering across the different input information (resource, dates, priorities etc.). Should more powerful search and filter be required this is also possible with save functions being available for each query. Basic calendar and time alerts are also available.
Finally, in terms of overall usability/viewability, mindjet is quite competent. It would be foreseeable that the contents of the map would be reviewed within teams and the ability to navigate through complex maps has been covered. The Walk Through button enables clutter free navigation. Also the ability to create slides easily from an in-built feature eases the process of having to share one’s creation to other people.
In terms of compatibility with other programs it is a mixed bag. One clear omission is the ability to handle other mind map formats. In compensation there is ample MS Office features – exporting slides, Word documents, exchanging information with MS Outlook for example. I also miss the possibility to export the Gantt chart view, clearly a requirement for planning purposes. Bit of a serious omission there.
As a mindmap, Mindjet is fine. It has enough bells and whistles to fill this role admirably. However, as a effective tool for task management I feel the program is trying to give everything to everyone and has not succeeded. For me personally, I would like to have better functionality from the outline and Gantt chart side of things to make it a more balanced proposition for day to day task and project handling.
That said, I am sure many will benefit from visualizing their lists in the mindmap format and for that audience, Mindjet may serve you admirably.
Let me know your take on this product, especially if you can utilise it effectively for larger scale task planning.