Ever since the dawn of web-based mind mapping applications, Mindomo has been one of the leaders in providing a rich feature set for visual mapping within the confines of the web browser. During the last year or so, however, things have been quiet in the Mindomo camp, which made me wonder what was going on behind the scenes.
I needn’t have worried, because it turns out that they were quite busy creating the next new version of Mindomo, which recently debuted with a host of new features. For this release, they focused upon providing task and project management tools, integrating multimedia content into Mindomo maps, improving the user interface of this application and adding collaboration features.
Here’s a summary of what’s new in Mindomo 4:
Project and task management: Mindomo 4 enables you to add task information to map topics, including task priority, percentage complete, start and end dates, task duration and resources (the people to whom you have delegated specific tasks). Task functionality is added using a panel that opens on the left side of the workspace. Resource management is only available in the premium version of Mindomo.
One nice usability enhancement: when you’re working with priority and percentage complete data, if you click on the icon, it increments to the next value. In other words, if you designated a topic as level 1 priority task, clicking on the number 1 icon will cause it to change to a number 2. This is a real time-saver, because it eliminates the need to open the task info panel to make these changes. Nice!
Also notable is a new auto-calculate task info option, which will cause a topic’s task values to be derived by rolling up the values of its sub-topics. It sounds like Mindomo may be evolving into a great tool for managing basic projects!
New Team Version: The new Team Version of Mindomo comes with a custom subdomain, a common root folder (where other subfolders can be added) and a common user management interface. It also contains all Mindomo Premium features, including the ability to upload documents, auto-calculate task information, filter tasks and topics and much more.
Topic and task filters: This new capability is much needed, especially if you’re trying to zero in on specific information within a large mind map. What makes Mindomo’s implementation of it unique, however, is that it performs this filtering function from the application’s dashboard – in other words, you can build filters that can be applied across multiple maps! The developers of Mindomo have indicated they plan to make this functionality available when you’re working with individual maps as well.
Flickr, YouTube and Wikipedia integration: If you’re looking for multimedia content to add to your mindmaps, Mindomo 4 makes that easier. You can now perform searches for images from Flickr and Wikipedia and videos from YouTube from within the application – nice! Searches are performed in a multimedia panel that opens on the left side of the workspace, which enables you to select images from Mindomo’s built-in image library, from your computer or from “public” sources – which is where you conduct your searches of Flickr, Wikipedia and YouTube. When you find an image you like, you use an “add” button to attach it to the currently-selected topic. Curiously, dragging and dropping images into your map isn’t supported.
Why did the developers include Wikipedia in their multimedia search functionality? Because it often returns results that are much more closely aligned with your search term than Flickr does. Once placed within your mind map, images can be resized using control handles on the corner of the image. It’s nice to see these resources integrated so well into a web application like Mindomo, because they enable you to create much more engaging mind maps quickly and easily.
Integrated browser pane: The desktop version of Mindomo (an application that is based on Adobe Air) now contains an integrated web browser pane, which enables you to do research online, and add text, images and web links directly into your mind map, using a right-click command.
Protect and/or encrypt maps: This is another feature that is important to business users of Mindomo. The previous version of this web-based mind mapping application enabled you to encrypt maps, but if you lost your password, the developers couldn’t restore your map for you. So they have added the option of password protecting your map without encrypting them.
Mindomo 4 includes a number of additional new features and enhancements. You can learn about all of them on the Mindomo Blog.