Hypershifters focuses on the use of visual mapping software, thereby including open source, freeware and commercial solutions. The added value of Hypershifters is extensive research, testing, advice and consultancy, both for experienced and inexperienced users. Many users have questions about the application of visual mapping in their work environment. This was the reason for Hypershifters set up a test team, supported by international visual mapping specialists, to thoroughly examine and test the available products in the market place. The angle taken was not so much from a functionality point of view, but more from the perspective of practical use and areas of application. For example, brainstorming, meeting management, project management and knowledge management.
The reviews are based on an application matrix we have designed that serves as a benchmark for the listed areas of application. In addition to in-depth reviews per product you will also find the results presented in a product comparison table.
The difference between Preview, Review and Test
In the Hypershifters community three types of software tool descriptions are being published: preview, review and a test.
A preview is a brief description of a software program, including a discussion about its functionality and a quick start guide. In addition, a price indication is provided and areas of application are listed.
A review goes one step further. In a review, Hypershifters testers describe the program’s capabilities in different areas. A review offers a deeper insight in the different areas of application and practical capabilities of the software.
A test is carried out by at least 2 visual mapping experts. All functionality and possible areas of application are thoroughly being tried and tested, from a user and work process perspective. What is the value of the software for a professional in her or his day-to-day work (processes), in terms of: brainstorming, meeting management, project management, knowledge management, reporting & presenting, personal dashboard, online mindmapping? In the end we give our final conclusion.
MindMeister version 4.6
In February 2007, MindMeister was launched as a private beta by the German MeisterLabs. At that time it was one of the first fully functional web-based mindmapping tools available and has since become one of the most popular and widely used online mindmapping tools.
MindMeister is online mindmapping software that focuses on the ability to work on a single mindmap with more than one user at the same time (online mindmapping collaboration). This way, teams can collaborate time and place independent. This ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) solution is, of course, also very suitable for individual use.
The MindMeister functionality is not as extensive as most desktop software packages, but everything that a mindmapping user would like to do online and in collaboration with others, can be done with this program. The fundamental online features MindMeister offers include rapid sharing of mindmaps (hence knowledge), online collaboration and setting up projects with e-mail reminders for deadlines.
After signing in, the user can either create a new mindmap or open an existing one. The screen is dominated by the “canvas” of the mindmap. At the top and bottom and on the right hand side, menu bars are showing the available menu options. The top and bottom menu bars are relatively small, thereby leaving more room for mindmapping, which is especially important when working with devices with smaller screens. The menu bar on the right hand side can be hidden when desired. Significant basic features such as inserting and deleting branches (topics), copy and paste, creating relationships between branches and exporting can be found in the top menu bar. A ‘navigator’ (showing an overview of the mindmap) and formatting options such as using icons, hyperlinks and colors can be found in the top menu bar. The bottom menu bar displays who is working on the mindmap, contains the ‘map sharing’ and ‘search’ functions and shows a slider that enables you to go back in time to track back previous changes made to the map (including a user name tag). Here you can also find the function to turn the right hand side menu bar on and off. On the bottom right resides an indicator displaying the server connection status; at high loads there might be a slight delay in processing changes made to the map.