Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Add Topics Your Way - a MindGenius Tip

This quick tip shows how you can control MindGenius behaviour when you are adding topics/branches to a map. Understanding this behaviour can help you choose the option best suited to the way you work. It can help reduce interruptions to the train of thought, especially when creating topics at speed.

 When adding topics to a MindGenius map, the default behaviour is for the editing "focus" to remain with the currently selected topic. This is great when you want to add lots of sub-topics.

You may prefer a different option - such as when adding a list of Level 1 topics or a list of sub-topics at the same time. In this instance you may want the editing "focus" to switch to the newly added topic each time, thus allowing you to enter the next topic from that point on, just by hitting "Enter".

This behaviour is controlled by a simple check box toggle that can be found by following "Tools > Options > General".

It may be worth experimenting to understand the best option for the given situation.

If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST

Monday, 2 February 2015

MindGenius Matures with Version 6

1. In-place Editing


Replaces the 'Add Branch' Dialogue

In the past, when a branch was added or edited a separate edit window opened so that the Branch text could be added/edited.

Ease of Use

The new 'In-place Editing' allows Branch text to be edited directly without the need to open a separate dialogue window.  This is much simpler and more intuitive.

Speed of Entry Improved

Data entry is not only simpler but faster, better enabling 'the hands to keep up with the mind'. The risk of interruptions to the train of thought or conversation is reduced.

2. 'Pan Mode' for Map Explorer


Make a Branch the Focus

In previous versions, clicking on a branch using the Map Explorer would highlight that branch on the map and make it the focus - all other map branches would be excluded and only sub-branches of the branch selected would be displayed.  A very useful feature when you want to home in on a specific area of the map.

New - Highlight and 'Pan' to a Branch

Now you may use Map Explorer to navigate around a map.  With the 'Pan' option selected, clicking on a branch within Map Explorer highlights the branch and 'pans' the map to put that branch at the centre of the map display whilst continuing to display all branches and sub-branches - essentially continuing to display the map in its entirety, or at least such of it as will fit in the display window given the current 'zoom' setting, but with the selected branch highlighted and at the centre of the display.  This new feature will be invaluable for navigating large maps.  The Map Explorer makes it easy to find the a branch and with 'Pan' mode it takes only one click to be taken to that branch on the map.  This complements nicely the existing 'make focus' option.  


3. Word Cloud


As a map is created there is now the option to display a 'Word Cloud'.  This can help to identify the emerging themes as a map is created or to review a map when the flow of ideas has ceased.  There are two configuration possibilities, to be found in the 'Tools > Options > Display' dialogue.  Users can choose between having the word cloud include or exclude words found in Notes.  They may also choose to restrict the size of the word cloud to a maximum of 30 words.  The word cloud can be exported as an image by clicking on the 'Copy To Clipboard' button of the feature.  The image may then be pasted into any application such as Word or PowerPoint.


4. Cloud Storage

cloudStorage A new dialogue added to the File menu in addition to 'Save' and 'Save as'.  This option allows users to connect to and save maps to Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and/or the new MindGenius cloud storage.  The application keeps track of whether the most recent 'save' was to local or to Cloud storage at the top of the screen in the file name display.  Files can be retrieved from the Cloud for display and editing using the 'Open' dialogue with the 'Cloud Storage' option.  This all seems straightforward and fuss free - just remember to choose between 'Save/Save as' and 'Cloud Storage' depending on where you want to save your map.


5. Other Changes

Of benefit to project managers is the new ability to have cost and quantities calculated up through the task hierarchy.  Working with a map, if you assign cost or quantity to tasks you can now select the parent branch (or a branch higher up the hierarchy) and have the total cost or quantity calculated and applied to that parent branch.

Other welcome new features are the ability to customise the Gantt chart (task bar colours) and additional features for project resources.


6. Overall

Mind Genius 6 has a very clean and uncluttered feel.  Most of the frequently used options are readily accessible from the ribbon.  The new features contribute greatly to what has become a mature product.  My favourite is 'In-place Editing' which allows maps to be developed more quickly and with less chance of interruption to the train of thought.


This review was prepared using MindGenius 6 and exported to Word, using a pre-prepared Word template. The result is the document you are reading, created from the MindGenius map in a single step and requiring no further editing or formatting, other than formatting for the web.


If you would like to know more about MindGenius, do visit the web site and try the product free for 30 days.

Should you decide to buy MindGenius, Peace of Mind Blog can offer a 10% discount.  Just use the discount code at the checkout on the MindGenius web site or quote the code in any correspondence with MindGenius.

To claim the 10% discount please use the code:  MGELST