XMind 3.2.1. had already improved a lot compared to previous versions.
XMind 2012, the latest version, comes with more good surprises ! A more business oriented Mindmapping program ever.
XMind is cheap, powerful and user friendly : that’s why we love it so much !
Today, it comes with the new 2012 version : not a great revolution, but some powerful and very interesting features. And above all : business oriented features ! But features equally interesting for students, projects leaders, and so on.
Themes and templates opening with the new page
So the days of the sad blank page with the bluish central topic are over ! Now, when you open a new page, you automatically get a set of themes and templates. Which saves you a lot of time !
So now, you can define the background colour, the type and thickness of your branches, the shape of your topics before you start drawing your mindmap ! You can also choose to start with a mindmap, an Org Chart, a SWOT analysis, a Time Line, etc.
The button on the left inferior corner of this window allows you to add your own themes and template : this will save you a lot of time on page layout !
You can also open a existing document from this dialog window : this is much more ergonomic than before : all commands are gathered in a single, manageable area.
A new Gantt Diagram
This is an amazing feature for business owners and project managers : before, the Gantt diagram was a little bit too basic. The new version is much more complete : it is now a real project management tool !
Here, I made a simulation of an email campaign project with task distribution for a team of 4 colleagues. I combined the mindmap view with the Gantt view so you can see the relationship between both. I drilled down the mindmap so we can focus on the topic “email campaign” and its subtopics. (Click on the map to enlarge it).
For instance, Juliet – the long red line on top of the diagram – has to encode the names of the subscribers in a list. She started on the 12th July. Her deadline was the 31st of August. She achieved 76 % of her task. Marc – second line on the diagram – had to write the text of the letter before the 27th of July and didn’t finished before the deadline either.
New Tasks relationships
Both tasks are displayed with a danger triangle board.
Another very interesting new function is the possibility to link two tasks : the second one cannot start as long as the previous one is not completed. For example, in the picture below, Marc had to put links in the newsletter after having written his text. But the text has not been finished and the tasks ‘links” cannot begin ! If I click on the yellow icon, a text in a bubble warns me that this task must be postphoned, since the previous one has not been achieved. (Click on the picture to enlarge it).
The panel on the right tells me that there is a “Finish-to-start” relationship between the predecessor ‘Writing” and the present task “Links”. “Writing” must be finished so that “Links” can start. Now, the tasks function allows you to program not only the date of a deadline, but also the number of days and even hours that you estimate which are necessary to achieve this task. That makes this new version of XMind, a real project management tool !
And the XMind teams promises to go further and to improve the Gantt chart in the future. XMind is thus more and more business and project management oriented ! It is a new position on the market of business mindmapping programs.
In future articles, we’ll speak about the pricing and some other interesting features for all the XMind users ! Stay tuned 😉
If you want to download XMind 2012, it is free !