German developer Ontaris recently launched a new MindManager Pro add-in called OutlookLinker that replaces its built-in Outlook linking capabilities with its own high-powered set of tools.
When you install OutlookLinker, it places a new tab in MindManager 7’s ribbon toolbar, which enables you to access all of your e-mail messages, contacts, tasks, notes and appointments – without leaving MindManager. It displays the data from Outlook in a vertical pane on the right side of the MindManager workspace. This window contains a series of tabs across the top, corresponding to each area of Outlook. The panel itself is divided into two sections; the upper pane displays a summary view (if you’re looking at e-mail messages, it displays only the subject lines, for example) while the lower pane displays the detail (in our e-mail example, it displays the body text of the e-mail).
You can easily drag an item from OutlookLinker into your map; a checkbox at the bottom of the panel lets you decide if you want the link to be a live one or not. In other words, if if the link is live, the data is updated in your MindManager map any time the item is updated at Outlook, and vice versa. If it is not linked, OutlookLinker displays it as a static item..
The marvelous thing about Outlook link or is that you don’t have to keep switching back and forth between MindManager and Outlook, as MindManager’s implementation of Outlook linking forces you to do. As I played around with OutlookLinker, I quickly became comfortable without having to switch to Outlook. Of course, if I was working my way through the morning’s tidal wave of e-mail, I’d want to do that in Outlook. But for routine project work, it functioned just fine. One minor negative: OutlookLinker will only display e-mails from your Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items and Drafts folders in Outlook. Why Deleted Items? Who knows! I’d like to see future versions of this application include all Outlook mail folders, because that’s where I store the bulk of my project information.
You can download a trial version of OutlookLinker for MindManager Pro versions 7 or 6 from the Ontaris website. To continue using this powerful utility after the trial period will cost you US$142. If you utilize both Outlook and MindManager, I think you owe it to yourself to see what OutlookLinker has to offer. It’s like taking MindManager’s built-in Outlook linking capabilities and putting them on steroids!