TheBrain Technologies has just announced a new version of its popular PersonalBrain mind mapping and information software for PC and Mac OS X. Now in beta testing, PersonalBrain 5 offers numerous improvements and new features, including these:
A new outline view, which creates a visual hierarchy of topics and sub-topics, similar to a text outline (see screen shot at right). This outline can be expanded or collapsed one level at a time or on a case by case basis, which gives you a lot of control over how much or how little information you display in the workspace. Considering the sometimes-confusing nomenclature of PersonalBrain (gates, relationships, pins, etc.), this is a welcome addition to the program.
Tags are now centrally managed, making them easier to use and easier to apply consistently to your maps. In addition, you can easily switch to a map view that displays only tagged topics in both the workspace and any reports you generate from PersonalBrain.
A new Presentation Mode displays your map full screen, without any toolbars or dialog boxes.
New import options: PersonalBrain 5 can now import MindManager and Freemind maps, as well as Word outlines, Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML) files, Web Ontology Language (OWL) files (used in semantic web applications) and Internet Explorer and Firefox bookmarks. The ability to pull data from other programs into PersonalBrain maps should definitely be attractive to many users.
User interface enhancements: The menus have been reorganized in PersonalBrain 5 to make key commands more convenient. Also, the “plex” (the program’s map workspace) can now be panned using a keyboard command, rather than just the mouse. In addition, the mouse wheel can be used for both scaling and scrolling of thoughts.
Spotlight integration: The OS X version of PersonalBrain 5 supports Spotlight integration, which means you can now search inside file attachments contained inside your Brain or externally linked.
Outlook support: You can now drag content from Microsoft Outlook into your maps. Considering the amount of ideas and knowledge that get passed around most organizations in the form of e-mail, this is a much-needed addition to PersonalBrain 5!
You can download PersonalBrain 5 beta here, or purchase version 4.5 now and receive a free upgrade to version 5 when it is released.