Expand your mind and your projects will follow

Organizational software tool increases productivity by engaging both halves of your brain

Science has proven that most of us don’t use nearly as much of our brains as possible. At maximum efficiency, it is doubtful that we even come close to reaching the full potential of the human mind. Perhaps, contrary to popular belief, the neural network of the human brain is truly the final frontier, and our greatest mission is to go places in our heads where no one has gone before. MindJET L.L.C. hopes to start you on this trek with MindManager 3.5.5, an organizational software product designed to help you mine your mental resources.

For starters, not everyone thinks in a linear manner. Our thoughts sometimes present themselves as random associations rather than in outline form. However, we enlist the outline format for everything from business plans to group projects to novels. As a reward for our devotion to the outline concept, we are often left with a page full of erasures and arrows-and a nagging feeling that there must be a better way. Enter MindManager.

The product has been available in Europe for several years and is only just making its stateside debut. MindManager takes a unique approach to planning and organizing projects by introducing the concept called Mind Mapping. Rather than starting at the left uppermost corner of your screen, MindManager orients your ideas around a heading situated in the middle of your screen. Each subsequent thought is represented as a branch of the original concept. For instance, if you were working on a book review, the title of the book would be at the center, while plot, character development, story line and dialogue would represent the first level of branches off the main idea. Each of these branches can, in turn, have several branches of its own.

Any branch can also include notes, which are not visible as a part of the main project map, but can be pulled up by double-clicking the book that appears on a branch when it contains notes. For added effect, you can also include links to Websites and documents on your computer’s hard drive. MindManager also lets you publish your work directly on the Web, with several choices regarding its appearance. For group collaborations, the program can be used over the Internet, and each party can be given access to manipulate the map in real-time.

Overall, the product certainly brings a new perspective to planning. For those of us who labor to stay within the lines, this program helps you to think outside the box-and in more than one dimension.

For more information, call 877-646-3538 or visit the Website www.mind manager.com. Retail: $139.

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