Do you mind map? Do you like to brainstorm with others using software that helps focus your ideas and prioritize project plans? Maybe you’re into Getting Things Done (GTD) and like to prioritize your tasks visually? If so, then read on my friend.
The folks at Matchware recently released MindView Pro 3.0 for the Mac. What was formerly called OpenMind has an all-new name and some nifty new features. So, what has changed in this new version? Well, it isn’t a significant upgrade, but here is the short list:
- The product has been renamed from OpenMind 2 to MindView 3.
- There is a new Top Down Vertical layout (see below).
- There is a new Power Filter that has been added to the inspector area. Note, that filters are stored per document.
As a long time user of MindManager from Mindjet, I was eager to see how this product worked. I will say that MindManager on the Mac does not compare to its Windows brethren.
One of the reasons I went looking for a new mind mapping client is the ability to import/export the content and maintain file format fidelity. With MindView 3, I can accomplish that goal.
Of the new features in version 3, here is an example of the new Top Down Vertical Layout.
MindView 3 Top Down Vertical Layout
Another new feature mentioned above is that you can also filter the data in mind maps (generally ones with lots of branches) so that you can see specific information quickly.
MindView 3 Power Filter
MindView 3 has exceptional export and import capabilities. I was able to export the above simple mindmap as a Word file and then reimport it without any loss in data. However, I did have to reapply the visual style chosen in the original mind map. Thankfully, it was an easy workaround as opposed to losing the actual data (or its structure).
The Export dialog box has many options for a variety of file formats.
MindView 3 Export Dialog Box
Lastly, MindView 3 comes with a great set of pre-defined templates from timelines to bibliographies and much more. MindView 3 also has a vast library of clip art to use within your mind maps.
MindView 3 Template – Acknowledging Sources
Using this template, you can quickly map the related items when building a document that requires sources. MindView 3 automatically assigns the clip art and structure to the mind map, so you just need to enter the respective data – a very big time saver.
MindView 3 Multimedia Catalog
As you can see, the catalog has a rich set of visuals from a wide variety of places. The best part is that you can favorite particular visuals that you use often within your mind maps.
If you need a solid mind map tool, then MindView 3 is an exceptional choice. It has a rich feature set, and for a cross-platform product, it is very easy to use. In fact, the product does an excellent job of adhering to Apple user interface guidelines. And, with its extensive export capabilities, you can get your data out easily and import it into a variety of other programs without a hitch.
So is there a negative? I would have to say the price. MindView 3 retails at $279, which is not cheap. Other competitors in the space are also not inexpensive, with prices ranging from $129-199. Regardless, you do pay a premium for MindView 3. Thankfully, the folks at Matchware have educational and volume pricing. So, if you are a student or you need more than five licenses, you can get a reasonable deal.
As an aside, I find that one major annoyance with the software vendors in the mind map space is that they do not import/export their competitors file formats. Thus, you better be prepared to export it to text and/or OPML (an outline format). Of course, if you are happy with your existing mind mapping tool, then this might not be an issue.