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Project collaboration in the cloud via Mindjet Connect

Work management tools are offering new ways to work and brainstorm solutions using mobile platforms and storing solutions "in the cloud." Mindject Connect is one example.

The rise in popularity of web-based collaboration tools like Basecamp, LiquidPlanner, Microsoft SharePoint, Box.net, Jive, and Cohuman demonstrated a need to enable work management and collaboration across multiple platforms and multiple locations. The popularity of cloud computing has set certain expectations of being able to edit a document on your laptop at work, and then go home and edit the same document on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, or your home computer.

As project teams become more mobile and dispersed, there is an increasing need to connect and collaborate using cloud-based solutions. The latest releases of Mindjet's MindManager 2012 and Mindjet Connect provide a better way to work and collaborate across the web. For this post, I'll focus on Mindject Connect.

What is Mindject Connect?

Mindjet Connect is a free collaboration platform that enables project teams to visually capture ideas and information, share files, and collaborate with others in real time or anytime. With other non-web based tools, each user needs to have their own software license for team members to effectively collaborate and brainstorm. I solved this problem by running my own copy of the software and facilitated the brainstorming session with an overhead digital projector and a web conferencing solution. This was an adequate workaround, but if project teams want true, real-time, collaborative brainstorming, each participant should be able to interact with the tool.

With Mindjet Connect, each user can create a free 1 GB Mindjet Connect account and start collaborating and exchanging ideas. When a software vendor provides a solution for free, most of us assume the software is a scaled down version of the professional solution that the vendor uses as bait to upgrade to the professional version. Mindjet delivers a feature rich web-based collaborative mind mapping and document management solution that mind mapping enthusiasts will applaud for all the features included in a free, online collaborative solution. Mindjet Connect even includes the coveted task management features to support project delivery.

Figure A

Mindjet Connect (Click the image to enlarge.)

A practical example of applying Mindjet Connect is determining the scope and needs of a given project. In a typical sticky notepad exercise, team members would generate as many ideas within a given time limit and post the sticky notes to the wall. The facilitator would read each of the ideas and begin to group them into logical categories. With Mindjet Connect, each team member can use the virtual canvas and create their own nodes and ideas. As the project team debriefs the brainstorming exercise, the map can be organized online and immediately shared with everyone on the project team.

Map Once Access Anywhere

Once you start mind mapping, you quickly find it to be a superior way to organize your thoughts, presentations, and note taking. With Mindjet Connect and Mindjet's free iPhone and iPad apps, you can access your files while away from your PC or laptop. Mindjet Connect also integrates with Evernote, the single capture-everything-remember-everything note taking solution, so you'll never be more than a few clicks away from your files and supporting notes. For the virtual and mobile team member, the Map Once Access Anywhere solution is appealing.

Why use MindManager 2012?

If Mindjet Connect provides all this functionality for free, you might wonder why it would be worth purchasing a professional Mindjet MindManager license. Mindjet MindManger 2012 extends Mindjet Connect's collaboration functionality with more advanced features. Once the Mindjet file is downloaded into MindManager 2012, the team lead can apply all of Mindjet's Microsoft Office integration and full project management features. MindManager 2012 provides SharePoint integration across the corporate intranet and provides full integration with Microsoft Outlook, spreadsheet support and integration with multiple database platforms.

Try Mindject Connect for free

With Mindjet Connect, you can start collaborating for free and test drive a feature rich mind mapping solution across a variety of mobile and traditional computing platforms. Sign up for your free Mindjet Connect account.

About

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of How To Use Microsoft Project and Project Management Interview Questions Made Easy. For more project management advice visit http://www.tacticalprojectmanagement.com.

3 comments
izazael
izazael

I thought I'd give it a shot, but I found it rather lacklustre. As a tool for building diagrams and "visually capturing" information, it's still quite a long way from being polished (or dare I say: usable). When compared to desktop tools, or even something like Gliffy, it really doesn't stand up at all. Online collaboration? Maybe. But I think it's still easier to create your diagrams and flowcharts using local, mature tools and then store them somewhere online for colleagues to manipulate rather than use a limited, poorly designed web tool.

arahim36
arahim36

I found this quite useful. I am using for my new IT project and it is definitely great plateform for project collaboration. It is worth trying it. Thanks for the opportunity.

amakar
amakar

The desktop version of Mindjet has a lot more features and the typical usability you find in desktop based applications. Mindjet Connect is very useful in creating basic brainstorming diagrams that set the foundation for scope definition and project scheduling. I've found the usability was much better than MindMeister - another free web-based mind mapping tool. As teams start out with mind mapping, they can expand and collaborate on solutions with the commercial tool. Considering Connect is offered for free for mind maps and storing other documents, I found it worthwhile for project teams to use. Andy