The Power of the Mind 

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Ever wondered if mind mapping techniques can help you get better organised at work or at home? We review two fo the leading products.

The human mind is a wonderful thing but it can become too easily confused; it can forget things and it is selective about what it remembers.  Ask any group of people that have just come out of a meeting or a brainstorm and you would be amazed at what they remember.  Were some even in the same room?? So how can you work smarter and capture all the input you need to make your job easier and more efficient?

I always have a number of projects on the go and have just taken on two new and quite complex ones. A friend of mine had introduced me to the concept of mind mapping a while ago and I have seen how much schools now use it in my kids' homework.  But, despite my love for pen and paper what I really needed was to be able to capture the discipline in a digital way.

I found that the software I tried doesn't just have business applications but if (god forbid) you find yourself organising the school fete or a trip round the world, they could still prove very useful.

Buzan's imindmap V3 from £49 - £149

Tony Buzan is the guru behind Mind Maps™ and world authority on learning and the brain.  He lectures all over the world and himself has a brain the size of a planet.  To us mere mortals he has passed on some fascinating techniques now available on the computer in 3 different versions.  V3 is about to be launched and has some great functions.

Creating your Mind Map is intuitive and easy to export to a word document, a powerpoint slide or other useful formats. I was able to produce organic Mind Maps that looked as creative as the ideas I was trying to get across and there was no limit to the complexity

However, using it was a bit like using Microsoft Paint - just a little bit woolly and you can't help but wish you were using inDesign. 

Score : 4/5

Special offer for Gadgetspeak users
10% off Mind Genius Business version when purchasing online for two months from 18th August 2008. Please quote the discount code MGGADG

Mind Genius £29 - £147

Mind Genius allows you to optimise and prioritise what you need to do and get it done today rather than tomorrow; according to their website and the no nonsense language they use is perfectly reflected in the product.  Maybe it's the mathematician/scientist in me, but I much preferred this piece of software.  It somehow felt more logical and more business like and the presentations I was able to create were simple and matter of fact.

What I particularly liked about Mind Genius was the ability to create a document directly from the headings in the chart to use as a project document or notes for a presentation.

Mind Genius represents real value for money and has already become an essential tool for me as someone who works in communications.  It has also helped me to demonstrate to my sons exactly how much mummy does around the house compared to the few little chores I ask them to do and I can't thank Mind Genius enough for that!!!!

Score : 5/5


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