The following is a copy of post that I recently made on the MindManager Forum regarding the features of the next version of MindManager 2017, to be released later this year.
Mindjet have just released a “preview” of MindManager 2017 due to be released in September this year which highlights the following features (my comments in brackets):
- HTML5 export of interactive maps which can be opened in most browsers (presumably an expanded and updated version of the current very basic web export facility);
- Export map content to “over 700 leading cloud apps” like Slack, Box, OneNote, Google Docs, and Gmail through Zapier (as I understood that this is already available through MindManager Enterprise, I assume this means this facility is being extended to the standard version. I assume this will address the current lack of OneNote integration which a number of users have been seeking);
- The ability to transfer Gmail items and send content and status updates into maps as topics using Zapier (fortunately, it appears from the screenshots that MM can still communicate directly with Outlook);
- New horizontal and vertical timeline templates which can be filtered (this is a feature which users have called for several years and which is increasingly available on competing products);
- A critical path view in Gantt charts (again, a feature which users have long called for);
- “Simplified flowchart creation” with new tools including a “fly-out topic shape selector”, right-angle relationship lines and new calendar display options;
- “Simplified file management” with a unified look covering file storage on the desktop, in SharePoint or in the cloud (Box is the only cloud service specifically mentioned, however);
- A technology guarantee that if you purchase either the English or German current version of MindManager after 15 July 2017 you will receive MM 2016 for Windows and MM 10 for Mac now and MM 2017 for Windows when it becomes available (by implication this statement indicates that there will not be a new Mac version any time soon).
Some of these features are interesting and/or useful, especially if the assumption that the Zapier export availability is being extended to the standard version is correct. However, a number of features which users have long sought to have improved or incorporated in MM appear not to have been addressed in this version, if the preview is a comprehensive guide.
Mindjet still leads by virtue of their forward thinking. It does seem they are listening more intently to the Voice of the Customer and it has shown even in the current version. The main competitor being Xmind and it does show, and very surprising these days that Mindjet is emulating competitors functions and capabilities; just shows you how tides change. But; Mindjet still lead by being the most professionally put together bag of functions and capabilities for personal, academic and business aligned graphical information/knowledge mapping.
I personally would like to see Mindjet begin to filter out the unnecessary functions and capabilities, and make it a more lean/Kaizen type of approach to what we the users need and want (read demand).
There’s one thing that may have been overlooked, and it’s KANBAN. Yes Kanban is being looked at by competitors and I understand CS Odessa the developers of ConceptDraw have added a Scrum function to their suite. I would like to see an added Kanban function inside Mindjet too, as this would encourage users to use desktop to cloud sync of their GTD, scheduling and personal/team productivity approaches.
All in all, Mindjet is experiencing a rebirth and re-connectivity to their original purpose of being the most professionally put together graphical knowledge management product on the planet. Yes the likes of Xmind, ConceptDraw and other notable products are equal, if not more proficient in a few aspects of functions and capabilities; yet Mindjet always pull a rabbit out of the hat when it comes down to the wire of innovation and creativity.
Congrats Mindjet; I am pretty stoked and await with bated breath as to the bringing forth of reality from imagination yet again from you.
Thanks Wallace for your comment. Your post raises some interesting points but I do take issue with some of them.
You state that Mindjet are listening more intently to the “voice of the customer” – yet you also concede that it is doing this by emulating the functions and capabilities of competing products. I think you may in fact be right on the latter point and this may explain a lot about the company’s direction in recent years. This approach has led to the addition of some worthwhile features but it also raises questions regarding the company’s failure to listen to its existing customer base in terms of suggestions for additional features, improvements to existing features – or even in some cases getting these features to work properly. One could be forgiven for thinking that Mindjet is putting its energies into an attempt to grow this base by listening to the voice of the customers of competing companies with the intent of attracting their business, while at the same time taking the needs of its current customers for granted.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with expanding the feature set – just so long as you maintain and improve the existing features. This is why I get very nervous when people suggest as you do that Mindjet should “filter out the unnecessary functions and capabilities”, make it more lean and that this is what “we the users need and want (read demand)”. Similar calls used to be made in relation to MS Office, where it was claimed for example that 80% of users use only 20% of the features. Often when you interrogate what people mean by this claim however, you discover that each user utilises a different 20%. Microsoft has I think wisely ignored these sorts of calls to continue making full-featured products, an approach which Mindjet should follow. I think MindManager’s strength is in fact that it is the “MS Word” of mind mapping software in terms of comprehensiveness, making it as you put it the “most professionally put together bag of functions and capabilities for personal, academic and business aligned graphical information/knowledge mapping”.
In a way your suggestion that a KANBAN function should be included in MM is a case in point. I don’t use KANBAN – in fact, I don’t even really understand it that well at all – but I have no objection to it being incorporated provided this is not done at the expense of any of the current features which I do use.
In conclusion I would like to believe as you put it that “Mindjet is experiencing a rebirth and re-connectivity to their original purpose of being the most professionally put together graphical knowledge management product on the planet” but it is hard to do so when many of MindManager’s current features have been poorly maintained and the company appears incapable of releasing an updated version of MindManager for Mac.
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