Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Free Gantt upgrade available for Version 3 customers

MindGenius 3.5 has now been released and this version is free to all MindGenius Version 3 customers. Upgrade to this version to access an integrated Gantt view, giving you extensive project management capability within MindGenius without the need to export to other applications.


If you are an existing V3 customer, simply download the latest trial version of MindGenius from http://www.mindgenius.com/download.aspx. This will automatically update your installation. There is no need to uninstall earlier versions of MindGenius 3 and your product will still be activated.


The Gantt view has been seamlessly integrated with the key MindGenius Map Explorer feature providing the ability to focus on specific areas of the project plan, making it much easier to plan and schedule projects, easily switching back and forward between the map and Gantt views which are continually in sync with each other.


If you are new to Version 3, visit http://www.mindgenius.com/download.aspx
to download the 30-day free trial. Even if you have downloaded a trial of previous versions of MindGenius, this will give you another 30 day free trial version.

Version 3.5 now available to download

MindGenius Ltd are delighted to announce that Version 3.5 of MindGenius is now available to download. This version is free for all MindGenius Version 3 customers.

With an integrated Gantt view, Version 3.5 offers extensive project management capabilities within MindGenius without the need to export to other applications.

The Gantt view has been seamlessly integrated with the key MindGenius Map Explorer feature providing the ability to focus on specific areas of the project plan, making it much easier to plan and schedule projects, easily switching back and forward between the map and Gantt views which are continually in sync with each other.

If you are a Version 1 or Version 2 customer, and would like to trial Version 3.5, simply download the 30 day trial from http://www.mindgenius.com/download.aspx. Even if you have already trialled Version 3, this will give you another 30 day free trial.

If you are new to MindGenius and would like to find out more about features and functionality in Version 3.5, visit http://www.mindgenius.com/upgrade.aspx, or visit http://www.mindgenius.com/download.aspx if you would like to go ahead and download.

If you are an existing V3 customer, simply download the latest trial version of MindGenius from http://www.mindgenius.com/download.aspx. This will automatically update your installation. There is no need to uninstall earlier versions of MindGenius 3 and your product will still be activated.

Using MindGenius for food safety


Most of us rely on wherever we buy our food from to ensure our food is safe but if procedures aren’t followed throughout the global food chain, there is a risk our food could be contaminated with a wide variety of chemical or biological hazards such as pesticides, veterinary residue, bacteria, viruses or toxins.

One company who are trying to meet demand in the industry for a simple, rapid and affordable food testing tool, are Toximet. Toximet design & license technology for measuring food toxins and they have been using MindGenius mind mapping software to do this.

Toximet was founded in 2005 by Raymond Coker and Martin Nagler. Raymond is Emeritus Professor of Food Safety at the University of Greenwich and he and Martin have some 60 years combined experience in the management of food safety in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

Raymond is the Chief Technology Officer at Toximet and is particularly involved in Product Development and the comprehensive planning and strict monitoring process required means Raymond and his team need to have the ability to have an overview on a project as well as be able to understand the detail.

Their Project Management activities involve a complex mix of consultants and activities, both in-house chemists and with outsourced suppliers. In the past, this was managed with cumbersome spreadsheets which were time-consuming to produce, made it very difficult to obtain an overview of the project, and were not conducive to effective management.

Using MindGenius allows and encourages the effective management of their projects, giving them the overview and ability to focus on the detail that was missing from their spreadsheets. MindGenius is very fast to gather ideas and easily allows for a bird’s eye view on what needs to happen/ or is happening.

Raymond also believes MindGenius is excellent for team meetings, encourages more creative thinking from his team and contributes to the overall success of the company.

Raymond believes:

"MindGenius is an invaluable tool for managing our complex product development programme. It allows me and my team to quickly and confidently determine our goals, produce our work plans and meet our deadlines."

Find out more about Toximet at http://www.toximet.com/. Find out more about MindGenius at http://www.mindgenius.com/.

Why use Templates?

Templates are maps that already have content, i.e. branches that you would normally enter anyway when starting a particular task. Templates are generally seen as quick start, time saving resources.


However, they are also a great way to share knowledge, create comprehensive content and gain consistency within work produced.


MindGenius mind mapping software has always contained templates for Problem solving, SWOT analysis, reports, etc. and these can be accessed via the Tools ribbon \ Templates icon.


To create a template from any map, simply select Application Menu \ Save as \ MindGenius Template.


Create templates for any content that you use regularly, eg, Meeting agendas, Stages of a project, Sections of a report, etc.


Personal Templates are stored in My Documents\My MindGenius Templates


If you want to share templates with other users you can copy the templates from your My Documents\My MindGenius Templates directory to the other users My Documents\My MindGenius Templates directory. It is also possible to set up a Workgroup location (needs to be a network location) to allow users to create, store and share templates.


Personal and Workgroup templates can be accessed by selecting Application Menu \ New \ From other Template.


Once you start to use templates you will realize more and more opportunities to standardize you content across the team.


Try creating templates for; Tender documents, Project implementation plans, Sales management process, Specification documents, Checklists, Audits, etc.



Fig 1: Template for an IT Implementation Project
Please click image for full screen view


What do you have templates for, would you be willing to share your templates with other users?

For more information on MindGenius, please visit http://www.mindgenius.com/.



Free National Assistive Technology Conference

Iansyst, our premier educational partner in the UK, are pleased to announce their first National Assistive Technology Conference, Assess 2010. Attend the conference to hear the latest information on assistive technology developments as well as advice on ergonomic products and disability issues.

The conference will offer workshops and seminars with industry experts and insights from internationally recognised professionals, as well as the opportunity to see the latest computer technology. An exhibition will also be running alongside which will showcase some of the latest software and technology for DSA students.


Students of all abilities use MindGenius mind mapping software but it can be of particular benefit to learners who have learning difficulties, as it can help them organise their ideas and offers a visual way to learn. If you are a DSA Assessor and are attending Iansyst's Assessor Conference at the end of the month, be sure to find out information about how MindGenius can help your students.


MindGenius are exhibiting and our partners at Iansyst will be happy to demo MindGenius and answer specific questions on how MindGenius can help DSA students.


The conference is taking place 30-31st March at Girton College at the University of Cambridge and is completely free to attend for DSA Assessors or assessment centre managers.


The conference is free to attend, simply register online at www.itspc.co.uk, or email Iansyst at info@iansyst.co.uk.*


*Please note, if you cancel less than 7 days before the conference begins, there will be a £50 cancellation fee. Substitute delegates can be sent instead.



How I use MindGenius - Test Engineer


Edward Rider has been a Test Engineer at MindGenius for over 2 years and has worked on a number of large projects, including the MindGenius V3 release in 2009 and the most recent Version 3.5 project.

As one of the test engineers at MindGenius, my main role is designing and executing tests. Currently the Business V3 application can be broken down into 134 different functions such as the notes editor and brain storming timer. Each function contains a set of individual test cases and in total there are over 3000. Day to day I might have to jump in and out of several different functions looking at specific details in each test case keeping them up to date with revised specifications which come down from the design department. As well as keeping on top of that, I may have to juggle other projects.

It can be difficult concentrating on one very detailed specific part of one function and then all of a sudden having to drop what I’m doing to look at something completely unrelated, then having to return to the first task only to find that I’ve completely lost track of where I was and what I was doing. MindGenius primarily helps me to keep track of where I am in a certain project, what I am looking at and what I need to do next.

When the design department hand me an updated specification for a project, I read through and identify every area of test cases which need to be updated, group by function. Then, as I complete the update on that specific task, I use the in place categories gallery to assign a tick, and work my way backwards until that function is complete.



Fig 1 Sample Map - Zoomed in list of actions showing progress made
Please click on the image for a full screen view


It instantly allows me to see what function I am working on, and what its status is. Having only the level 1 branches visible straight away gives me an indication of where I was, if I suddenly have to go look at something else.

The level 1 branches here are the names of the functions I am currently working on. I can see that I have completed the updates for functions 0038, 0006 and 0099, I don’t have to go pouring through the specifications and double checking whether I have finished updating the tests in that area.



Fig 2 Sample Map - Test Map with only Level 1 branches displayed
Please click on the image for a full screen view


I can see that 0112 is the only outstanding area which I need to work on, so expanding the level 1 branch and focusing on it allows me to have a quick scan of the categories assigned so I can identify which areas still need to be completed.

Overall, using MindGenius helps me to keep on top of my priorities when working on a large amount of tasks.

For more information on MindGenius, please visit http://www.mindgenius.com/.

MindGenius Mind Mapping Software & PhD Research


For the last six years I have been doing a part-time PhD into the meaning of two Greek words. Unfortunately for most the time I did not have MindGenius. When I did buy it, MindGenius transformed the way I did my research.


Researching the meaning of an ancient Greek word means you have a lot of sources to look up and a lot of data to collect. One of my tasks was to read a lot of letters in Greek which were found in an old rubbish heap in ancient Egypt, looking for evidence of how my word was used.


There are hundreds, thousands, of these letters. Luckily by the time I had to give a talk about them, I had MindGenius. Otherwise I would have ended up with countless pieces of paper and bookmarks and got into an irretrievable muddle.


First I went through the books, noting in MindGenius the book and page number of the letters I was interested in, with a note of the subject, such as death, childbirth, school, business and bossy wives. Then I used categories to show how likely I was to use each letter.


From this, I was able to divide the letters up into their different subjects, giving me about a dozen level 1 branches, one for each subject. From that, I created a category map which brought together the letters which I really wanted to use, already divided by subject.


From there it was easy to discard the letters I did not want and organise the rest into the structure for my talk, which I used to compile my photocopied letters in order and as a guide when I was delivering the talk.


At the moment I am still doing the final writing up of the whole thesis but I have stalled on chapter 2. It is long and complex and I wrote the first draft without MindGenius.


It was long and rambling with no clear structure or overall theme.


But since then I have used MindGenius mind mapping software to make mindmaps of particular themes in the thesis, bringing together information from a number of sources with my own comments added in different styles - eg font, colour - to distinguish them from my sources.


So to make headway with chapter 2, I have made an outline mindmap of the whole thesis and a detailed one of the problem chapter just as I had written it. That showed me immediately where the structural problems were in the chapter itself and what the overall theme needed to be.


Now I have made a further detailed MindGenius mindmap of chapter 2, using the insights I have gained.


MindGenius makes writing it up easy: I've moved the notes editor to the bottom of the screen so I can write directly into the notes (mainly for level 1 branches), using the whole map or focused sections for the complex bits, at the top of the screen as an aide-memoir. In this way. In this way, I don't lose sight of the overall structure while concentrating on the section I'm writing.


When I've finished, I will simply export it to a Word document, omitting branches without notes (mainly branches below level 1), which will give me a chapter complete with section headings. Then all I have to do is add footnotes.


If I'd had MindGenius, with its ease of usage, versatility of display and variety of outputs, in the earlier years of my research, I reckon I would have finished my thesis ages ago.


Peter Roberts


(drafted and written in MindGenius!)


MindGenius 3.5 now with Gantt

MindGenius Ltd are delighted to announce the upcoming release of MindGenius 3.5, which has been developed as part of our ongoing commitment to product development and response to customer needs. This release of the mind mapping software contains an integrated Gantt view, providing extensive project management capability within MindGenius without the need to export to other applications and is free to all existing MindGenius V3 customers.


A unique and powerful feature of the MindGenius Gantt view is the ability to use the map explorer to focus on specific areas of the project plan. Since it is not unusual to have a project plan of a couple of hundred lines or more, this makes it much easier to plan and schedule projects, easily switching back and forward between the map and Gantt views which are continually in sync with each other.

The Gantt view also integrates with the MindGenius quick filters, simplifying project management by allowing you to quickly identify tasks assigned to each individual, tasks due or overdue, milestones, critical path and status.

MindGenius 3.5 is free to all current V3 customers and will be available next week, look out for our announcement email which will also contain details of upgrade pricing for V1 and V2 customers.

The Gantt view further extends MindGenius’ reputation as the mind mapping tool for business. We have also added the Gantt view to MindGenius Education as a cost effective solution for the management of student, school, college and university projects.


If you have any further customer enhancement requests, please let us know at info@mindgenius.com. For more information on MindGenius, please visit http://www.mindgenius.com/.